Nikon CoolPix S8100
Daytrippers looking for an able bodied, pocket-sized digicam that packs a combination of high levels of resolving power, a broad focal range, HD video capability and impressively fast burst rates in a stylish, yet serious-looking package should take a close look at the Nikon CoolPix S8100.
Nikon's CoolPix S8100 features a 12.1-megapixel 1/2.3" CMOS sensor, which is supported by Nikon's latest-generation image processor, the EXPEED C2. Extremes seem to be the theme with this pocket rocket, starting with a 10x, 5.4 to 54mm Nikkor zoom lens (10 elements in 8 groups), which emulates the field of view of a 30 to 300mm lens on a 35mm camera, with close focusing down to 0.4" (1cm) from the front lens element. The theme continues in the burst-rate department, which according to the specs, tops out at up to 5 full-resolution JPEGs per second.
For composing, viewing and editing stills and video, which by the way, can be recorded with stereo sound at 1080p with a touch of the Record button, the Nikon CoolPix S8100 features a bright 3", 921,000-dot Clear Color LCD, which displays 100% of the total viewing area and allows for 5 levels of brightness adjustment.
Image shake is kept in check via the S8100s four-way VR Image Stabilization System, which employs a combination of lens shift and ISO boosting up to an equivalent of ISO 3200 (from a native sensitivity of ISO 160) to better ensure sharp stills and video.
Other standard features found on the Nikon CoolPix S8100 include a Smart Portrait System, which incorporates a Smile Timer that will only trigger the shutter when your subjct smiles, In-Camera Red-Eye fix, Face-Priority AF, which can detect up to 12 faces within each scene, three levels of Skin Softening for flattering pix of the women folk in your life and Blink Warning, which alerts you if anyone blinked their eyes during the exposure.
There's also a choice of 17 Scene Modes, which adjust the camera settings to best match your subject matter, as well as a Scene Auto Selector, which chooses the best shooting mode automatically.
The Nikon CoolPix S8100 powers off a rechargeable EN-EL12 lithium-ion battery, which is good for up to about 210 exposures per charge, or about 1 hour and 20 minutes of video recording. In addition to approximately 102MB of internal memory, images can be recorded to your choice of SD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards.