Nikon Coolpix S3 v Coolpix 4200

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by LurfysMa, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. LurfysMa

    LurfysMa Guest

    I had the 4200 for a couple of years. I got the S3 for Christmas. At
    first, I liked the S3 a lot better. It fits in a pocket a lot better,
    the view screen is much larger, the field of view is a bit wider, and
    it is slightly quicker between shots.

    But I am getting a lot more shots with blurry focus or under-exposure
    than I never got with the 4200. This is especially true when using the
    Scene settings such as the "Party / Indoors" setting.

    Is this because the camera is so small or am I doing something wrong?

    I realize that it's hard to tell if I am doing something wrong without
    seeing what I am doing. I guess I'm asking if the 4200 is a better
    camera than the S3? Or, if I need to learn a different technique to
    make use of its capabilities?

    What's the best camera available for family photos that is about the
    size of the S3?
     
    LurfysMa, Apr 3, 2006
    #1
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  2. With such a fully automatic camera, it's not likely you're doing anything
    wrong.

    Dunno about the S3, but that Coolpix 4200 is a heck of a good little camera.

    I bought a 5900 (later version of the 4200), liked that so much I added the
    slightly upscale 7900, and later bought a (discontinued) 4200 when a seller
    was closing them out at $139. Obviously I didn't need the 4200 but it makes
    a nice addition to my Nikon collection. My personal opinion is that the
    whole Coolpix 4200 family is darn hard to beat in the compact camera
    category.

    Most ultracompact cameras have somewhat limited flash capability, and that
    may be a reason for your underexposed shots indoors.

    I have the Pentax Optio S4i and S5z and like both of them very much. Both
    are actually a bit smaller than the Nikon S3. Both seem to me to have
    surprisingly good flash performance for ultracompact cameras. The S4i is
    discontinued but the S5z is still current, and checking prices just now I
    see Buydig.com has it at $152, which is an incredibly good price -- I don't
    remember what I paid for mine but it was well over that. Zoom range of the
    lens is 35-105mm equivalent, which is the same as your Nikon S3, but maximum
    apertures range from f/2.6 to f/4.8 which are larger than your S3 -- the
    smaller aperture Nikon lens might also be a reason for your underexposure
    problems indoors.

    You can read a full review of the S5z here:
    http://www.steves-digicams.com/2005_reviews/optios5z.html

    There's a very similar 6-megapixel version, the Optio S6, if you feel you
    really need that extra megapixel. For the considerable difference in price,
    personally I wouldn't bother. Five megapixels is plenty for general family
    photos, including enlargements up to 8 x 10 or so.
     
    John Falstaff, Apr 3, 2006
    #2
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  3. Can't of course say for sure; I wasn't there watching. However, does
    the "party / indoors" setting use the flash? If that's a "low light"
    kind of setting, it makes it much more important that the camera be
    held steady.
    No idea. There's such a *huge* number of cameras out there. The one
    I use, the Fuji F11, is nice, but has some compromises to get the very
    good low-light performance that I chose it for.
     
    David Dyer-Bennet, Apr 3, 2006
    #3
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