rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

August 12, 2013 15:47 IST

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

     Next

Next
Reviews42.com

Don’t dismiss the Coolpix S31 as yet another point-and-shoot camera. For the amount of punishment it can take, the price seems just about right.

The variety of cameras, like any other technology, is truly staggering when you think about it. Budget cameras for point and shoot, affordable and expensive DSLRs (which have their own various features like full HD recording, Dual Pixel AF and whatnot), tough cameras which can take a beating and shoot underwater, portable cameras and much more occupy the market.

Looking at the Nikon Coolpix S31, one might dismiss it as just another point and shoot device -- except it’s not. It blends an easy to use interface with a small frame that is surprisingly robust and incredibly affordable.

Sure, it’s more or less similar in terms of specs to the Coolpix S30. It might not be the most innovative camera around but it manages to make up for it in other ways.


Image: Nikon Coolpix S31
Photographs: nikon.com

     Next

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Design

The Coolpix S31 employs a fairly unorthodox colour palette. It’s neither brightly lit nor entirely dark in its colours, opting for a steel-brown shade.

It weighs about 185 grams, giving a bit of heft to the entire frame, but that’s fine. The lens slightly protrudes from the front, with the uniform, rectangular structure interrupted by a flash above the lens. There’s a wrist-strap on the left.

You’ll notice on the front, next to the lens, that the device is waterproof up to 5 meters and shockproof for drops from up to 1.2 meters.

Even though the camera is IPX-8 and IPX-6 certified, making it waterproof and dustproof respectively, it can’t be used underwater for longer than 60 minutes.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix S31
Photographs: nikon.com

Prev     Next

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Also, there’s a difference between dropping it from roughly 4 feet high by accident and doing it with full force. The camera can still take a fair beating though, and will be excellent for those travelling in rough weather. If only the glossy surface didn’t attract so many smudges.

The design is fairly straightforward -- you have the LCD monitor with four buttons on the left of the device which activate different modes (the first button is Auto mode, while the second button has access to flash mode). There is also a D-pad for switching between different options in these modes, with the up and down directions allowing you to zoom in and out of pictures. And that’s pretty much it -- nothing overtly complex at all.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix S31
Photographs: nikon.com
Tags: LCD , S31

Prev     Next

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Interface

There’s really not a lot to the interface. Even with various shooting modes, options are limited in so far as to what you’ll be able to shoot with. You can still choose between close-ups, underwater shooting, dioramas and even time-lapse shots.

When in Playback mode, you can add different filters including the ability to make the entire frame black and white or highlight select colours. As with other cameras, you’ll be able to adjust the ISO and shutter speed according to your desire.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix S31
Photographs: nikon.com
Tags: ISO , S31

Prev     Next

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Further adding to the simplicity, the Settings are divided into Camera, Choose a Size and Change Sounds, which essentially lets you choose to silent shooting, the ability to change the shutter sound to something else entirely, changing resolution sizes and video settings, and just adjusting the data and brightness.

The camera even has support for various other languages, including Hindi and Bengali.

Overall, the interface is responsive enough but being in this budget, it does tend to slow down a bit.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix S31
Photographs: nikon.com
Tags: S31 , Camera

Prev     Next

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Specs and image quality

The Nikon Coolpix S31 features a 10.1 megapixel CCD sensor.

It features 4X digital zoom but is somewhat handicapped with only 3X digital zoom.

Focal length is between 4.1 to 12.3 mm with an aperture range of f/3.3-9.3. ISO range is between 80 and 1600.

It has a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second to a maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds.

An EXPEED C2 image CPU is also bundled to help with image processing. In terms of video recording, the device can record up to 720p video at 30 frames per second. Storage solutions include SD, SDHC, SDXC and USB cable connectivity. 

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix S31
Photographs: nikon.com
Tags: SDHC , SDXC , CPU , S31 , CCD

Prev     Next

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The battery on the device is capable of 260 shots.

As with most point and shoot cameras, the Coolpix S31 takes the best pictures in broad daylight.

Colour quality, image sharpness and contrast are all well balance, with enough details in shots even if you zoom in on the image. The camera is also fairly good at taking macro images (wide shots are a different story due to the focal length), although it suffers expectedly when it comes to low-light shots.

Going above ISO 400 means a fair bit of noise in the pictures.

Oddly enough, even in dark spots during the day-time, you’ll find the same noise. It’s not enough to become distracting but it is quite apparent.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix S31
Photographs: nikon.com
Tags: S31

Prev     Next

Nikon Coolpix S31: Should you buy it for Rs 6k?

Prev     More
Prev

More

Verdict

Make no mistake -- there isn’t a lot that differentiates the Nikon Coolpix S31 from other similar devices in the market. It’s certainly hard to warrant a recommendation even over its predecessor.

However, for the amount of punishment it can take, the price seems just about right.

Even better, you can take the device underwater and won’t need to worry about dust or physically dropping it. That’s not much one can ask from most cameras even more expensive than this one.

So if you’re ever vacationing or just heading out during the floods in Mumbai, there are worse options than the Coolpix S31.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix S31
Photographs: nikon.com

Prev     More