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Nikon Coolpix S4100 Digital Camera Review$179.95
If you're still searching for the perfect pocket-sized camera-camcorder hybrid, this isn't it. The Nikon Coolpix S4100 records HD video, but it's only 720/30p. You might be thinking that's good enough for YouTube, but pick up even a cheap camcorder and you'll see what you're missing. For $100, you can scoop up a Flip UltraHD that takes significantly better video.
The S4100 does not boast particularly impressive color performance in video mode, despite this being one of the camera's strengths in still photography. Colors in video mode are undersaturated and inaccurate. These results are neither surprising nor deeply troubling: many cameras fare worse and we don't expect a lot of consumers to use the video capture function on the S4100. More on how we test video color.
Incredibly poor video sharpness is the most compelling reason to avoid the S4100's movie mode. Captured videos displayed a mere 400 lw/ph maximum sharpness, which is worse than even the worst camcorder we've reviewed over at CamcorderInfo. The 720p limitation has something to do with the lackluster sharpness performance, but last year's S4000 from Nikon did much better in this test and it was also recording in 720p. Even a casual glance is enough to tell you that the 2011 model simply isn't as good as its predecessor. More on how we test video sharpness.