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Nikon S6300 First Impressions Review$199.95
The Nikon S6300 is an exercise in just how quickly the industry has embraced the long zoom compact movement, featuring a 10x optical zoom body and 16-megapixel image sensor in a body that, a few years ago, might have only features a 3 or 4x zoom range.
The crushing ubiquity of smartphone cameras has made point-and-shoot manufacturers certainly sweat, with reports that the compact camera industry saw nearly quarter of their sales drop off in just 2011. That has led to a rush to stick bigger and better optics in pocketable cameras, and the S6300 is the benefactor of that.
That isn't to say the S6300 is a cheap cash grab with a pumped-up spec sheet; it's a fine compact camera, that is light, easy to use, has enough zoom range to cover most shots, and can slot into your pocket with ease. We felt the handling could have been better, but an effective 10x optical zoom for under $200 certainly piques our interest.
The S6300 is a long shot from is 18x optical zoom-toting cousin, the S9300, but at a suggested retail price of $200—$150 less than the S9300—it represents a significant value. It skimps on many of the comforts that you get with the S9300, rubberized grip and high-resolution screen chief among them, but its combination of lens and sensor should provide nearly identical image quality. We'll have to gauge the differences with a full battery of performance tests, but we'll have a full report as soon as we can.
The S9300 will obviously still have its place for those shoppers looking for as much zoom as possible in a compact, but the S6300 is sure to present an alluring alternative for the price-conscious shopper. The compact point-and-shoot market is certainly eroding, but with companies like Nikon presenting the kind of zoom-to-price ratio that the S6300 provides, it's hard for anyone but the companies to complain.