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Nikon Coolpix S3600 Review -- First Impressions

by Dave Pardue
Preview posted: 01/07/2014

Nikon S3600 review - front quarter view

Coming in at the middle spot of what Nikon calls their "Budget Friendly Cameras" line, the Coolpix S3600 is the successor to last year's Coolpix S3500 and boasts a few notable upgrades.

Moving up to an 8x optical NIKKOR lens (from 7x) it shares additional features with its predecessor such as up to 4x digital zoom, a 20.1-megapixel 1/2.3" CCD sensor, a 230K-dot LCD and 1280 x 720 HD video at 30p. With the longer zoom, maximum aperture drops from a range of f/3.4-6.4 on the S3500 to f/3.7-6.6 on the S3600.

Also new is a feature Nikon calls Dynamic Fine Zoom, which is said to improve image quality for the first 2x of the digital zoom. The company doesn't say how this is achieved, but it sounds conceptually similar to Sony's Clear Image Zoom, which works using pattern matching algorithms to boost the quality of the digital zoom's interpolation. In other words, it makes smarter guesses.

Burst shooting performance is reported to be the same at up to 6 shots at 1.1 fps. Lens shift VR remains from the predecessor for still shots, while the S3600 adds Electronic VR for enhanced vibration reduction while shooting video. The S3600 comes with 18 Scene Modes which allow for enhanced assistance for maximizing image quality in varying shooting situations and incorporates Nikon's Smart Portrait System and Target Finding AF for enhanced detail and sharpness.

The S3600 uses a rechargeable lithium-ion battery rated at 230 shots per charge and supports SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. The camera includes 25MB of internal memory as well. Connectivity options include a USB port and composite A/V outputs.

The Coolpix S3600 will be available from February 2014 for a suggested retail price of US$139.95 and will be offered in silver, black, pink or blue.

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