Nikon Coolpix S1200pj Overview
The Nikon Coolpix S1200pj is the company's third compact digital camera to feature a built-in projector, following in the footsteps of last year's S1100pj model. The projector allows users to display their still images and movies on flat surfaces such as walls and projector screens, and can be used not only to display images and movies on the camera, and as a tethered projector from an attached PC, but now also supports playback of stills, videos, and YouTube clips from Apple's iPhone, iPod and iPad devices via an included transfer accessory. (Note, though, that any sound also comes from the camera itself, and hence you can't use external speakers.)
The built-in projector in the S1200pj is now based around a DLP (Digital Light Processing) display with 20 lumen output and 100:1 contrast ratio, where the S1100pj used a 14 lumen LCOS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) display with 30:1 contrast ratio. (By way of comparison, the first-generation S1000pj offered only 10 lumen output and a 30:1 contrast ratio, and was also LCOS-based.) The S1200pj's new projector should offer 40% greater brightness than the S1100pj, and double the brightness of the S1000pj, along with significantly better contrast than either model. Acknowledging that a camera with a projector is likely going to be used in a darkened room, the S1200pj now has raised controls, some of them illuminated, making them easier to locate and use in the dark.
Looking beyond its attention-grabbing projector feature, the Nikon S1200pj retains the same 14.1 effective megapixel, 1/2.3-inch type CCD image sensor as its predecessor, which has a total resolution of 14.48 megapixels. It also retains the same Nikkor-branded 5x optical zoom lens, which offers 35mm-equivalent focal lengths from a useful 28mm wide angle to a 140mm telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from f/3.9 to f/5.8 across the zoom range. As well as true optical VR image stabilization, the Nikon S1200pj offers sensitivities as high as ISO 6,400 equivalent.
Another feature held over from the Nikon S1200pj's predecessor is its 3.0-inch, LCD display, which has a total resolution of approximately 153,000 pixels (460,000 dots, with each pixel comprised of adjacent red, green, and blue dots). This screen is the sole method of framing and reviewing images or movies, as there's no optical viewfinder on this model. The S1200pj's LCD also serves as an input device, thanks to a touch panel overlay. The Nikon S1200pj is capable of focusing as close as 1.2 inches (3 cm) in macro mode.
The Coolpix S1200pj offers not only still-image capture, but also a high definition 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) video capture mode with stereo sound recording. There's also a selection of special effects and filter effects functions that cater to artistic types who don't want to sit in front of a computer editing their photos, although a list of these modes wasn't available at press time.
Images and movies are stored on Secure Digital cards, including the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC types. The S1200pj also includes approximately 94MB of available internal memory, enough to capture a few of the most important shots, should you accidentally leave your flash card at home. Catering to transferring of images and movies to a computer, the Nikon S1200pj offers a USB 2.0 High Speed data connection, and there's also an HDMI high-definition video output. Power comes from a proprietary EN-EL12 lithium-ion battery pack, rated for approximately 220 shots on a charge, to CIPA testing standards.
The Nikon Coolpix S1200pj has dimensions of approximately 4.3 x 2.5 x 0.9 inches (107.0 × 63.4 × 22.6 mm) excluding projections, and weighs 6.6 oz. (186 g) including battery and SD memory card. The product bundle includes one EN-EL12 battery pack, both USB and video cables, an AC charging adapter, camera strap, and two software CD-ROMs: ViewNX 2, and PC-PJ Transfer.
The COOLPIX S1200pj will be available in the US market from mid-September 2011 in black or pink versions. Pricing is set at approximately US$430, some $80 above the launch price of the previous S1100pj model.