Nikon Coolpix S2100PJ
The Nikon Coolpix S1200PJ is Nikon’s third-generation
digital camera with a built-in projector that allows a
picture to be
taken then instantly relayed to family and friends via the nearest available wall. As a result there’s a 5x optical zoom lens with lens
shift stabilisation for capturing photos and video, with a wide-angle focal range the equivalent of 28-140mm on a 35mm film camera, and a
second opening for their projection.
This means the camera is physically wider than non-projecting
point and shoot cameras, such as the Canon Ixus 230 HS. However in
technical termsthis camera is impressive.
The S1200pj allows the hooking up of an iPhone, iPad or iPod
Touch to project pictures straight from the device using an optional
At 20 lumens brightness is a avearge, and projections are
standard resolution 640×480 pixels, however, the projected
image size is adjustable between five inches and a whopping 60 inches.
The Nikon Coolpix S2100PJ is available in black at NTP Trading for £277.77.
More than just a compact camera
Although in terms of scale and portability it’s slightly
broader than your average non-projecting compact, the solid feel 186g
camera’s overall dimensions are roughly the size of a pack of playing cards at 107×63.4×22.6mm excluding projections. So it will still
squeeze conveniently into a trouser pocket or handbag.
Powering up in just over a second, which is remarkably swift
for a compact camera, pictures are composed and reviewed in standard
fashion via the
perfectly adequate 3-inch back screen, which features the usual non-widescreen 4:3 aspect ratio yet a better than average resolution of 460k dots and anti reflective coating. Because of the built in projecting facility, there are two openings at the front of the Coolpix S1200PJ – one for the lens and the other for the projector, located slightly
off the centre of the camera.
Good zoom, reduced shake
The Coolpix S1200PJ has an impressive 5x optical zoom lens
equivalent to 28-140mm in 35mm terms is internally stacked so at no
point does it project from the body,
even when zooming in. It also features an automatically opening and closing lens cover for protection, however, the projector’s
cover has to be manually slid downwards or upwards to open and close. This is partlybecause this action automatically activates or deactivates the
projector, removing the need for a separate button to do this.
Use of the lens is backed-up with lens shift image stabilisation, though as with any pocket compact, the odd bit of blur as a result of camera shake can creep in here and there. Focus range of the camera itself is 30cm to infinity, or 3cm if opting for macro/close up mode.
A half-press of the shutter release button and the Nikon is
capably of quichly determining focus and exposure, the image relayed
via the LCD momentarily blurring before snapping
back into focus with a beep,
and AF points visible on screen indicating that it is good to take the
shot. A maximum resolution JPEG is
committed to 94MB internal memory or removable SD card. Nikon claims that around 220 shots can be squeezed out of a full charge of the supplied lithium ion rechargeable battery.
Projector brightness of the Coolpix S1200PJ is an
acceptable 20 lumens, which means that an image can look a little vague
when viewed on a wall in daylight,
and projections are standard definition 640×480 pixels. Optimum viewing size is between five and 60 inches. To go smaller or larger, you simply step nearer or
further back from the projection surface, adjusting the focus dial on the top plate. Reducing the light in the room to project clearer and sharper the images.
Apart from the focus wheel for the projector, most camera controls will be familiar from any modern point and shoot camera, though the Coolpix S1200PJ does not have a shooting mode dial, providing just a button marked with familiar camera icon that’s also titled ‘scene’ to press instead. To shoot video at up to 1280×720 pixels, simply press the camcorder style record button on the top right side of the camera back.
The backplate controls are playback, menu and
delete, with a multi directional control pad. Placed around the control
pad are settings for adjusting the flash options,
exposure compensation, activating close up/macro focus or the self timer, handy if the photographer wants to be included in the shot or to protect a low light image against camera shake.
A press of the mode button and the user has access to ‘the easy auto mode’, this function is best suited to first time users and allows the image resolution (up to a maximum 4320×3240 pixels) to be changed if the main menu button is subsequently pressed.
The next option on the shooting mode toolbar offers the manual
selection of 18 scene modes, covering all modes between human portraits
and Landscape. There is also the ability to add a
soft sheen or high or low key lighting effect to shots under the ‘special effects’ menu.For low light photography without flash, an ISO range is provided that runs from ISO80 to ISO6400, again a respectable level of spec for a compact camera. But at ISO3200 and ISO6400 resolution drops down to three megapixels to limit the gritty appearance of image noise,
which is a slight if not uncommon cheat.
The more regular digital filter effects like fisheye and
miniature effect are selectable, but only on pre-captured images. So
you can’t, for example, preview what an effect would look like before
squeezing the shutter release button in the first place, as you can with other cameras such as the Olympus range of compacts. However, the Nikon does allow the user to preview the results before applying them in playback mode, but it’s not obvious that the camera offers such creative touches if you’re not deliberately hunting for them.
With its built in Projector the Nikon Coolpix S2100PJ is more than just a mere compact camera, the Nikon Coolpix S2100PJ satisfies on several levels
The price tag means that you really have got to want to use
the projector to make it worthwhile. This is a pocket-sized point and
shoot camera first and foremost, majoring on portability and
convenience rather than DSLR-like results. However the wow factor of being able to conduct an impromptu slide show to share images makes the Coolpix S1200PJ an attractive purchase