Filters

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.

Thumb 412pql5b8 l

Nikon COOLPIX S3600

Nikon's cheapest Coolpix S-line camera for 2014 still keeps the 1/2.3" sensor, though it switches over to a CCD style. It sports a nice 8x optical zoom with vibration reduction, though doesn't offer wi-fi at this price and has a small...

Grade: B+ Price: $149.00

Thumb 51fwtfptzwl

Nikon COOLPIX L30

We're pleased to see that Nikon is sticking with a 1/2.3" size sensor with their budget models, instead of shrinking it down to hit the right price point. What you will sacrifice for this price is speed, with just a 1.1 fps burst mode, th...

Grade: C+ Price: $149.00

Thumb 41njyv wbyl

Nikon COOLPIX S3500

The Nikon S3500 adds another four megapixels to the previous model, but doesn't upgrade the CCD sensor size. Regardless, the 20.1 megapixel camera with a 7x zoom is still a decent choice for a a smaller, more affordable point-and-shoot. Nikon ...

Grade: B+ Price: $140.00

Thumb 41gcltazl 2bl

Nikon Coolpix S33

The Nikon Coolpix S33 is hiding quite a few surprises for a budget camera. While users will find better quality with pricier models like the Olympus TG-3, there's not a whole lot of cameras with similar features for under $150.First off, the i...

Grade: C+ Price: $139.00

Thumb original

Nikon Coolpix S01

A camera of the tiniest proportions, the S01 weighs in at just under 100 grams and proportions that may make it the smallest camera on the market. Nikon has achieved this engineering feat by packing in a smaller, cellphone camera sized 10.1 megapi...

Grade: B Price: $120.00

Thumb 41rdcvobckl

Nikon COOLPIX S30

One of Nikon's cheapest cameras and a truly affordable waterproof camera, the S30 cuts a lot of corners but is a decent buy for the money. There's a tiny 10 megapixel sensor under the hood and an uncompetitive 3x zoom, yet for only $120 th...

Grade: B Price: $99.00

Thumb 411lif6ital

Nikon COOLPIX S02

Sub-$200 cameras are very much a hit and miss. Nikon's September 2013 budget compact, the S02, is directed towards consumers looking for a trendy, pocketable camera. Except for the lack of wi-fi, the S02 operates very much like a smart phone with ...

Grade: B- Price: $99.00

Thumb 51tpjvrtztl

Nikon COOLPIX L32

The phrase "you get what you pay for" certainly applies to cameras, and the $120 Nikon Coolpix L32 budget cam is no exception. The basic camera might be suited for some, but as with any budget model, proceed with extreme caution.The L32 ...

Grade: C+ Price: $85.00