Compact zoom cameras are the hottest in the camera market right now, with each company has at least one compact long zoom cameras in their line-up. This time we got the Nikon Coolpix S8000 which Nikon claims is the thinnest 10x optical zoom camera in the current market and we think they are right. Let's take a closer look at this capable compact shooter.
In short, the Coolpix S8000 is not a speed monster but not as slow as the other compact zoom like Olympus Mju9010
Design The Nikon Coolpix S8000 despite its long 10x optical zoom is indeed slim for a compact camera. Comparing it to another compact zoom from Sony, the DSC-H55, the Coolpix S8000 is definitely slimmer. The body has a good build quality and ergonomic design. The front and the sides have silk-metallic finish while it has dark-plastic finish at the back. Its size is enough to fit into jeans pockets and portability is not an issue. Nikon did a good job here as it has made as thin as many non-compact zoom camera. It may not offer as good a grip as the bigger and sturdier Sony DSC-H55 but we did not really have much to complain about while using either one or two hands.
The camera does not sport the touchscreen but a 3-inch LCD. Shortcut keys are adequate and are laid out on the right side which includes buttons for one-touch video recording, shooting mode, playback, four-way directional keys( with a rotating wheel to make controls and navigation smoother), menu and delete function. Following its tradition, Nikon did not include the mode dial to switch shooting modes; this definitely requires more digging into menu than cameras which offer one. There is also an LED light and built-in speaker grille at the back. The top has a pop-up flash which pops up automatically depending on the flash setting - there is no need to have a manual pop-up button. Stereo-mic holes, power button and shutter release are conveniently located on the top. The side has a miniHDMI port sealed with a flap cover and a charging port at the bottom.
The Coolpix S8000 has a two-tab interface which is easy and simple to navigate. The 3.0-inch provides a clear and sharp view to the contents. It packs 921k pixels which is one of the sharpest and crispiest screens we've seen in a compact camera. Outdoor visibility and viewing-angle were good. Overall, our impression on its usability and design were quite positive.