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Nikon S6300 First Impressions Review$199.95
Lens & Sensor
The image sensor on the S9300 is a 16-megapixel CMOS iteration, identical to the company's $350 S9300 model. It provides enough sensitivity for an ISO range of 125-3200, with the option for a fixed range auto that limits that to a max of 400 or 800. Like with the S9300, light is controlled with a combination of mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter, depending on the speed being captured.
The S6300 comes with a collapsible 10x optical zoom Nikkor lens, with ED (extra low dispersion) coated glass, to help reduce the effects of glare and incident light. The lens is the major difference between the S9300 and S6300, as those wanting the most zoom in a compact form factor will have to consider the 18x optical zoom range on the S9300. If they opt for the S6300 instead they'll get a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 25-250mm, which is considerably less telephoto power than the S9300.
One of the main cost-cutting areas Nikon skimped in order to get the S6300 under the $200 threshold is in the rear LCD, which replaces the high-resolution LCD on the 9300 with a 230k-dot resolution 2.7-inch version. It's as basic as point-and-shoot LCDs get, but to be honest it's unlikely most users will really notice the difference in the long term between the two screens. The screen is bright enough to detect image detail and focus accuracy, renders the menu text legibly, and operates as it should. It's unlikely you'll be able to see much on the screen outside during a bright sunny day, but that's true of pretty much every camera LCD, even the high-resolution ones.
The built-in flash on the S6300 is slightly different from the higher-end S9300, but it actually is slightly more powerful. The S6300's flash has an effective range of 1ft18'' up to 18ft when shooting at the widest angle of view, though that shrinks to just 3ft4'' to 10ft when zoomed all the way in. It produces a harsh white light that tends to wash out images and produce undersaturated images. As with most point-and-shoots we'd recommend only using the flash as a last resort when there's not enough light to produce a sharp image otherwise.
Jacks, Ports & Plugs
The S6300 includes a USB/AV input/output port, along with a mini-HDMI terminal for playing back images and videos on an HDTV. The connector is proprietary, with Nikon providing a cable for connecting the camera to a computer, model number UC-E6. Nikon also provides an A/V cable with the S6300, though like their competitors they don't include an HDMI cable.
The S6300 utilizes a Nikon EN-EL12 removable rechargeable Lithium-ion battery pack, same as the S9300. The CIPA rating with the S6300 is approximately 230 shots, which is standard for a point-and-shoot of this type. It's a fairly standard battery from Nikon that's been around for awhile, so those upgrading from one of several Nikon models will find that they've already got an extra battery. For a list of all 22 (current) compatible models, please go to Nikon's USA website here.
The Nikon S6300 makes use of SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards to store its images, with the cards slotting into a dedicated slot in the bottom of the camera alongside the battery. When shooting at the camera's maximum resolution of 16 megapixels, you should be able to fit approximately 1200-1300 shots on a standard 8GB SDHC memory card. The camera also features about 25MB of internal memory, which is enough to hold maybe four or five images, so a memory card is essential.