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Nikon Reviews: Best Nikon Compact Cameras

While Nikon is more known for their DSLRs, they have a few compact cameras often worth a look. Nikon point-and-shoots are a bit harder to judge without a full hands-on review--we've seen a few gems, but there's also a few that really didn't pan out.

Nikon offers compact cameras for nearly every budget, and it appears that Nikon's naming strategy tends to indicate price and level as well. The S-models ex. Coolpix S6500) are mid-line options. L models on the other hand are very basic with minimal features but a low price. The P tends to designate a more advanced camera with highlighting features like a larger sensor or a bigger zoom. AW designates their rough, waterproof models. The numbers following that can also indicate their level--for example the Coolpix S3300 has fewer features than the S6300. Numbers will also indicate when it was released, with the S6500 being newer than the S6300.

Be careful with the lowest budget options, they tend to be slow and snap pretty basic shots. Nikon's advanced options have recieved several decent reviews from us in the past, with the middle options being hit or miss. Here are Nikon's best compact cameras.

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Nikon COOLPIX P310

Nikon’s P-series currently represents their high-end compact lineup. The line came to the fore with the arrival of the P5000 in 2007, an enthusiast compact that blended the separation between point and shoot and DSLR. Subsequent models have ...

Grade: C+ Price: $400.00

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Nikon COOLPIX P7800

Viewfinder-lovers, rejoice--Nikon has released an update to their strong low light performer, the advanced compact Coolpix P7700, with the viewfinder-equipped P7800. The P7800 still features the large, 1/1.7" backlit sensor and fast f2.0 lens whic...

Grade: A- Price: $449.00

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Nikon COOLPIX L620

Nikon's popular compact zoom line received a nice speed upgrade with the Coolpix L620. While the older L610 took burst shots at a sluggish 1.9 fps, the L620 takes up to six photos in a row at 10 fps. Nikon has also added their high speed setti...

Grade: A- Price: $476.00

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Nikon Coolpix P7700

The Coolpix line of pocket cameras have been high performers in the category, even if they haven't always looked the part. The latest models feature large rotatable LCD panels, and this replacement to the P7100 improves on the predecessor in m...

Grade: B+ Price: $500.00

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Nikon COOLPIX AW120

Nikon has certainly taken a step in the right direction with the all-weather AW120. When taking images underwater, lighting is much more limited, so a good lens is a must. The AW120 features an f2.8-4.9 lens, which is much brighter than the previo...

Grade: A- Price: $539.00

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Nikon Coolpix AW130

There's the waterproof camera that you can take to the beach, and then there's the waterproof camera that you can dive with. With one of the highest depth ratings in its class, the Nikon AW130 definitely falls in the latter category.Nikon ...

Grade: B- Price: $600.00

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Nikon Coolpix S9900

Zoom is a big deal—but it also makes for a big camera. The Nikon Coolpix S9900 doesn't offer the 83x optical zoom of their P900 superzoom, but it packs a nice 30x optical zoom in a package that travels easily.The S9900 is a bit faster th...

Grade: B+ Price: $650.00

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Nikon COOLPIX A

Nikon enters into the world of compact cameras with full frame sensors with their new Coolpix A. The first in its line, the A uses the DX sensors found on Nikon's DSLRs. But that's not all the A shares with DSLRs, Nikon also offers various attachm...

Grade: B+ Price: $1,028.00