Nikon Coolpix S6100 Overview
An update to last year's S6000 model, the Nikon Coolpix S6100 keeps up with the Joneses by switching to a 1/2.3-inch CCD image sensor, whose effective resolution has been increased just slightly from 14.2 to 16.0 megapixels, an increase in linear resolution of just 7% (which equates to another ~300 columns and ~200 rows of pixels). The new sensor is still coupled with the same Nikkor-branded 7x optical zoom lens. The S6100's lens offers actual focal lengths ranging from 5.0 to 35.0mm, which equates to 28 to 196mm on a 35mm camera - a useful wide angle to a moderate telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from f/3.7 to f/5.6 across the zoom range. Ordinarily the S6100 can focus on subjects as close as 20 inches (50cm) at wide angle, or 44 inches (1.1m) at telephoto, but in macro mode this range is reduced to just 1.2 inches (3cm).
Images and movies are framed and reviewed on a 3.0-inch, 460k dot TFT LCD panel with anti-reflective coating and 5-level brightness adjustment, a nice upgrade from last year's 2.7-inch, 230k dot panel. The new display's resolution equates to around 153k pixels, with each pixel comprising separate red, green, and blue dots. It also now includes a touch panel overlay, allowing for it to serve double duty as an input device.
The Coolpix S6100 offers sensitivity ranging from ISO 80 to 1,600 equivalents under automatic control, and as high as ISO 3,200 controlled manually. The S6100 offers 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) movie recording. The Nikon S6100 stores images on Secure Digital cards, including the latest SDHC and SDXC types, or in a not-so-generous 20MB of built-in memory. Data transfer to a computer is catered for with a USB 2.0 High Speed connection. Power comes from an EN-EL12 lithium ion rechargeable battery, said to be good for 210 shots on a charge to CIPA standards, unchanged from the predecessor camera.
The Nikon Coolpix S6100 ships from March 2011, priced at around US$200 -- some $50 cheaper than the S6000. Body colors include silver, black, red, and violet.