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Nikon S6300 First Impressions Review$199.95
As Nikon has done with previous compacts, the S6300 eschews the common shooting mode dial, instead featuring a mode button (the green camera symbol) that brings up the mode menu. The user can then select whatever shooting mode they want, including auto, program auto, scene, and video modes.
There are no true manual shooting modes on the S6300, with just about every mode on the camera taking nearly universal control over the camera's main settings. The main automatic mode is the most common, which attempts to expose a scene evenly as much as possible, while reducing camera shake while keeping shutter speeds above 1/30th as much as possible. The camera also features a program automatic mode that does the same, but offers more control over other shooting settings.
The Nikon S6300 isn't designed primarily for video capture, but it does have the ability to shoot full HD 1080/30p video. Video is captured in a .MOV container, compressed using MPEG-4/AVC HD with AAC audio. The camera also features the ability to shoot videos in a 720/24p resolution, which is a little odd (most cameras up that to 720/60p, but 720/24 offers a more filmic look) The camera also supports the iFrame compression, capturing 960x540 videos at 30fps, though we're not particularly impressed with the results of iFrame, though it should aid those who want to do heavy editing of videos on Mac computers with IMovie '09 and later.
The S6300 features the same drive and burst options as the higher-end S9300, with a single shot mode, continuous shooting mode, 7fps burst mode, and a number of high-speed reduced resolution options. Users can take a full-resolution burst of up to seven shots in around one second, or opt for 60 or even 120fps reduced resolution shooting. Users can also do a 16-shot multi-image index, or shoot with a "pre-capture cache" that helps capture fast action more accurately. We'll have to get the camera into our labs to get a better idea of the speed capabilities of the S6300, but we found it was much more responsive than older Nikons, especially regarding the camera's power on to first shot time.
Playback on the S6300 is pretty standard, though Nikon has provided more creative in-camera editing effects. Users can access playback with the blue "play" button on the back of the camera. From there you can zoom in on an image, pull back to view a grid of shots on the memory card, or edit the photos. Shots can be cropped, resized, rotated, have brightness altered slightly (D-lighting), or users can apply a soft touch filter, one of a number of other in-camera digital filters, or apply a "quick retouch" that fixes minor issues.
Picture Quality & Size Options
The maximum resolution on the S6300 is 16 megapixels, with the option to shoot at reduced resolutions of 14, 12, 10, or 3 megapixels along with VGA stills to fit more shots on the memory card. The camera captures images in a .JPEG format, though the 3D photography scene mode captures standard 3D .MPO files. The S6300 provides the option to also reduce the quality of JPEG compression to maintain resolution but save space, though this results in significant image quality degradation.