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 41xjbn0b9jl

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: $942.00

Thumb 41fxises1al

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

Thumb 41dpxudif1l

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

Thumb 41veuzkyahl

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

Thumb 41qpptg9 2bil

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

Thumb 41f4n0sfujl

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

Thumb 41yefrublil

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

Thumb 414a3aysyyl

Nikon Coolpix P300

Nikon's P300 looks like a great compact camera, with enough power and control to appeal to some enthusiasts but a price that puts it within reach of hobbyists and general camera buyers. The standout feature here is the f/1.8 lens, which is inc...

Grade: B- Price: $380.00

Thumb 41bgc2a 2bxal

Nikon COOLPIX P340

The advanced compact market has long been defined by the Sony RX-100, but $600+ for a compact camera is a little bit much to ask for some consumers, considering the price of an entry-level DSLR. That's where this little sub-category of budget ...

Grade: B+ Price: $380.00

Thumb 41dvkjjshjl

Nikon Coolpix S6100

The Nikon S6100 is a mid-range point-and-shoot, best for casual shooters who want the added versatility of a little extra zoom. It's a 7x zoomer with a large, crisp 3-inch touch LCD and 720p video capability -- all nice specs. At a bloated 16 ...

Grade: C+ Price: $350.00

Thumb 41ryrnxf4ll

Nikon Coolpix S6900

The Nikon Coolpix S6900 joins in the foray of cameras designed for selfie-lovers, but does so with quite a bit of flair. With several features designed for selfie use, the S6900 still offers quite a few imaging features for general use as well.Bui...

Grade: B Price: $350.00

Thumb 41gpyngzvzl

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: $350.00

Thumb 41xzrsuo0dl

Nikon COOLPIX S810c

The Nikon Coolpix S810c is only the camera giant's second model to offer an Android operating system in the growing world of smart cameras. Consumers looking for a smart camera should note though that the S810c is only equipped with Wi-Fi--whe...

Grade: B+ Price: $341.00

Thumb 41cbze7qbml

Nikon COOLPIX AW100

Nikon finally got the ruggedized camera right in the AW100, it seems. The AW100 is still a compromise in some respects (battery life), but image quality is good enough for most purposes and, with waterproofing to 33 ft and shockproofing to 5, it c...

Grade: B Price: $335.00

Thumb 41iao8uz5el

Nikon COOLPIX AW110

Nikon has been steadily improving their all-weather lineup and the AW110 is a good choice for the rugged photographer. Capable of diving down to 59 feet for an hour, the AW110 can handle more depth than any other waterproof model for 2013. Nikon&#...

Grade: B+ Price: $326.00

Thumb 41pwpkgrlkl

Nikon COOLPIX S9700

Nikon's 2014 compact zoom, the S9700, looks to have an excellent set of features for the $350 retail price tag. The S9700 features the same 16.1 megapixel 1/2.3 sensor as Nikon's bulkier and pricer P520 and P600 ($450 and $500 retail, resp...

Grade: B Price: $320.00

Thumb 41zk5dimt8l

Nikon Coolpix S9100

Nikon surprised us last fall with the S8100, a compact zoom with the chops to actually turn out some decent low-light pictures. Camera buyers had been begging for something like it for quite some time, and while a few other models had come close, ...

Grade: B- Price: $300.00

Thumb 41mrj6h7bnl

Nikon Coolpix S7000

At the time of it's release, the Nikon Coolpix S7000 is the lightest camera sporting a 20x zoom. Weighing in at just 5.9 ounces, the S7000 is a tiny camera that looks to still stand its ground.The highlighting feature in the S7000 is that 20x ...

Grade: A- Price: $290.00

Thumb 41udlfi3vql

Nikon COOLPIX P330

Interestingly, Nikon lowered the number of megapixels in the P330 from the previous model, yet stepped up the image sensor size. Nikon also put a f1.8 lens in front of the larger sensor, and increased the aperture range—all signs that this m...

Grade: B+ Price: $270.00

Thumb 41bzxs 2bip9l

Nikon COOLPIX S6500

Nikon's more advanced point and shoot models have caught quite a bit of attention in the past few years. The camera giant's newest addition, the Nikon Coolpix S6500, adds wi-fi, a few more megapixels and a longer zoom range over the older ...

Grade: B+ Price: $250.00

Thumb 412s7m8fwxl

Nikon COOLPIX S9500

The S9500 pushes the boundaries of compact travel zooms by adding a bit more zoom in a bit smaller package. The S9500 has a 22x zoom, plus packs in features like GPS and wi-fi. We expect the S9500 to be worthy of the Nikon name in image quality as...

Grade: B+ Price: $230.00

Thumb 412qtyrizll

Nikon COOLPIX S6800

Nikon's S6500 was one of our favorite compacts of 2013 and we expect the S6800 to be a top performer in the category as well. The 16 megapixel 1/2.3" sensor, 12x optical zoom and 9.4 fps burst mode are good features considering the $200 p...

Grade: A- Price: $200.00

Thumb 41gfyodmi6l

Nikon COOLPIX S9200

Power and portability blend perfectly into the Nikon COOLPIX S9200. This digital camera features 16MP backside-illuminated CMOS, 18x wide-angle optical zoom lens, VR image stabilization, Full HD (1080p) video, 3.0-inch LCD, Easy Panorama Mode, 7 f...

Grade: B- Price: $200.00

Thumb 41aze6ztyll

Nikon COOLPIX S6300

Nikon's higher-end S-series models have really impressed in the last year or so. They are responsive and have the latest backside illuminated CMOS sensors. The S6300 is pretty compact for its impressive 10x zoom lens and offers key upgrades to...

Grade: C+ Price: $190.00

Thumb 41nd 2ehmzl

Nikon COOLPIX S5300

While camera manufacturers have devoted a lot of attention to advanced models, there's still a place in the market for compact, point-and-shoot cameras. The Nikon S5300 is one of those cameras. Featuring convenience features like wi-fi, it als...

Grade: B Price: $180.00

Thumb 511unb1bhwl

Nikon COOLPIX S3300

The S3300 and S4300 are essentially identical other than the S4300's larger 3-inch LCD. Both have 16 megapixel sensors and a useful 6x zoom with a 26mm wide-angle. The video, as you'd expect from a CCD sensor, is 720p. Unless you need the ...

Grade: C Price: $170.00

Thumb 41gecog2qjl

Nikon COOLPIX L26

Nikon's cheapest camera, the L24, gets an upgrade in the L26. The sensor has been switched out for a 16 megapixel CCD, the zoom is now 5x, and video has been increased to 720p. The camera still runs on AA's, too, which is both good and bad...

Grade: B- Price: $165.00

Thumb 41 a5fxwgll

Nikon COOLPIX S32

While the Nikon S32 doesn't sit at the top of the category for waterproof cameras by a long shot, it does sit near the top for cameras under $125. Most budget cameras have a slow, 1 fps burst speed, but this little guy at least hits four. The ...

Grade: C+ Price: $160.00

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