We were sent a new camera a few weeks ago and are really very impressed.
If you're into DSLR cameras, and know stuff like the difference between types of lenses, then this isn't for you. However, if you want a reliable point-and-shoot with some nice features, that is pretty kid-proof, then it's worth a look!
The Nikon Coolpix S32 is an ideal camera for travel - it's waterproof (you can submerge it to 10m for underwater pics), is shockproof (from 1.5m), light, small, and re-chargeable. It is 13.2 megapixels. It has Nikkor 3x Optical Zoom.
The item comes with a rechargeable LiOn battery, a USB lead, and a plug. There is also a wrist strap and a cleaning brush. It does not come with a memory card, which you will need to make it work. I have a 4GB HDMI memory card which will hold around 500 photos.
The features are all accessed through the on-screen menu using four buttons. There are no fiddly dials, and the buttons can be used for pre-exposure and post-editing.
The photo quality is reasonable for the price of the camera. If you want super-dooper quality then buy a DSLR. The camera has a lot of features.
- take video clips with sound
- take photos of fireworks, or at night-time
- you can turn the flash on or off as required (or set to auto flash)
- take photos in cartoon, diorama, neon, bubble, mirror styles
- can be set to take a black-and-white photo picking out a colour of your choice
- take a series of photos one after another in succession
- do self-timed photos
Here are a few photos I've taken using the camera
The above photo was taken using the 'backlight' setting. It's not perfect as you can see as it makes it a bit blurry, but with the light coming through the trees to the dark ground level area, it was a lot better than the photos I was getting through the standard mode. In this mode, the camera saves a 'standard' mode photo and a 'backlight' one, so you have two to choose from. Good for fluctuating light levels.
This photo was taken in diorama mode. It creates a focus through the middle and blurs the top and bottom. Good for landscapes.
At Disneyland Paris I used the 'series of pictures' setting a lot. This is where you hold the exposure button down and it takes a two or three photos a second. Helpful when your subject is moving.
The Nikon Coolpix S32 has some nice design features where you can add frames and graphics to your photos as you take them. Great fun for children. I have no problem with letting even my youngest children use the camera as it is so robust and easy to use.
The above photo was taken using the 'highlight colours' feature. You can choose from one of twelve colours to highlight. In this shot I choose blue as there were a lot of bluebells about. It didn't find the bluebells but did find the denim jacket of my eldest.
And this is a video clip taken with the video button - the camera has an exposure button for video as well as photos - you don't have to fiddle with knobs and buttons should you feel the need to video something instead. The memory card holds up to 25 minutes of video.
The battery life is quite good. I can do around 200 photos before it starts to run out of power. Of course, you can save power by not editing or playing back the photos if you don't need to. It charges up pretty quickly through a standard three-pin plug. The recharge lead doubles as the upload/USB lead so you only need the one. Infinitely better than having to carry spares, or having to find a gift shop with powerful enough batteries for your camera.
Overall, as a family camera it is excellent value. They retail for less than £90 at the moment though you will need to supply your own HDMI memory card. It takes reasonable quality photos and is great for travel, and is fairly kid-proof.