Nikon Coolpix S30 Digital Camera Review, Sample Photos, Videos, Family Camera Testing in NYC

The new Nikon Coolpix S30 digital camera has an enduring simplicity to it that I think many people on the hunt for both a durable but extremely easy to use point and shoot would appreciate. Nikon says this camera is “designed for the family,” and I would have to agree. The Coolpix S30 is waterproof, shockproof, easy to navigate and use while still offering several high-quality features.
Main features of the Nikon Coolpix S30 include a 10.1 megapixel CCD sensor for high-quality photos, a 3x optical zoom wide-angle NIKKOR glass lens, a 2.7 inch bright LCD screen to compose and view your stills/videos and 720p HD movie recording with sound. It is waterproof to up to 3.0m/10ft, which means you can take it underwater whether you are at the beach or poolside (or if you are prone to spills!). It is also shockproof to 0.8m so no need to worry if it gets dropped once or twice and suffers from a few pangs here and there, it won’t break easily!

Additionally, the feel and weight of the camera makes it very easy to hold and shoot with. There is a grip for your thumb on the back of the camera to offer even more easy handling and stability while capturing photos or movies. Its design is pretty basic which makes it simple to understand even at first glance and it comes in 4 cool colors – pink, blue, white or black. It also takes 2x AA batteries.  Another bonus is that this camera is extremely affordable, it is one of the least expensive new point-and-shoots currently on the market.

I’ve tested many budget point-and-shoot digital cameras in the past and never have I seen a menu quite like the one in the Nikon Coolpix S30. When first turning the camera on, you will see 4 color coded icon options on the left hand side with corresponding dedicated buttons on the camera body. These buttons will allow you to access the following menu options Colors, Decorate, Style and Sound. These buttons are used to control most menu options. The zoom control is on the right, with a middle on/off button on the top and simple to use shutter release and video start buttons either side. The camera is not only shockproof and waterproof, it has some clever design touches such as tiny feet on the screen corners so that if the camera is placed on it’s back, the screen should avoid scratches as well.

Wide Angle 3x Optical Zoom NIKKOR Lens
Starting with the first menu option: Change Colors (Red) – Colors lets you change exposure compensation, saturation and hue. The second menu option is Decorate (Yellow) – Decorate lets you apply 1 of 5 decorative borders. The third is Scene (Green) – Scene lets you choose from 1 of 10 scene modes including 5cm Macro Mode (a quality feature for such an inexpensive point and shoot!) The fourth menu option is Sounds (Blue) – which choices of your camera can make while shooting like tweeting birds or a dog barking! When you scrolling down, there is a secondary menu with screen options that are: Flash mode, self-timer, image size, movie AF, then the final screen is Setup. Flash mode (auto or off). Self-timer options are 10s, or smile timer. Size lets you choose: 10m, 4m or 2m. Movies 720p or VGA. Movie AF: Single or Full Time AF. Setup options include electronic VR, date stamp, as well as battery type.

Below are sample images taken with the various menu modes and options:


Point-and-Shoot Style
Change Colors – Selective Color (Green)

Change Color – Red, Black and White, Blue
Decorate Border
Decorate Starburst

Soft Style
Macro Mode IMG01
Macro Mode IMG02

Using 2 alkaline AA batteries I was able to take over 225 shots before the battery went flat. This is quite good and should mean that you can go a long way without running out of power, with the potential for better battery life with Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries or lithium batteries. Another benefit of AA batteries is that they are readily available worldwide.

The Nikon Coolpix S30 is a waterproof camera that is easy to use and designed to survive being dropped and generally treated in a less than ideal way. This makes it ideal for families or those with small children, especially as it’s design makes it very easy to use. The camera is good value for money and while it does not feature many controls, it should keep the point and shoot user happy with bright colorful photos that will be good for web use or prints. Flash performance is good and the camera has a very good macro mode making it worth looking at, particularly if you want to be able to lend your camera to your kids without having to worry about it.

I dipped the camera in the water fountain in  Bryant Park, NYC to test how the camera takes pics underwater. The pictures came out clear and I added a few special effects to some of the photos as well.

Point-and-Shoot Style
Underwater IMG01


Underwater IMG02
Underwater – Blue Color Added Afterwards

Underwater- Fisheye Effect Added Afterwards

I also really like the idea of small children being able to record videos and photos. I think it would be a great starter camera and a cool way to see the world the way your child sees it as well!

The Nikon Coolpix S30 is the cheapest waterproof camera available with optical zoom. If you are interested in purchasing you will need to buy a memory card for it and perhaps a camera bag or case to keep your camera extra safe and protected. 

For pricing and availability, you can go to our online store or visit our retail location in Midtown, Manhattan.

- The Nikon Coolpix S30 Digital Camera

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