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Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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While I was at the camera shop trying out the new Pentax K10D DSLR, here:

Pentax K-10D testing

My main intention being there was because I am after a compact pocket digital camera for my gf on Valentine's Day. Yes I know, I just bought a video camera for her last year as a Christmas present, here:

Panasonic Video Camera

But she needed a pocket camera so that she can carry them around during parties and stuff. So I set my budget, nothing more than $400 and I was introduced to a million choices available in the market. In compact digital camera categories, I have choices like:

- Canon PowerShot SD600 (IXUS 60)
- Olympus FE-190
- Samsung Digimax S800 (reviews are S730, the S800 comes later with 8mp)
- Pentax Optio S7
- Panasonic Lumix FX3

All were good but not impresive.

The Canon was a bit outdated, and they are over-rated and hence, leading to over-pricing despite their specifications, and age, but due to their flagship IXUS brand, they still hold up their price. The LCD screen is small, but has no protection screen. The photo quality is average, not the best but they have slightly more manual functions flexibility.

The Olympus is out, because it is using XD memory card instead of SD memory card. The photo quality is average and do not stand up to the value.

The Samsung could have been my choice, as it is using SD memory card, and uses 2x AA batteries as its source of power and it is pretty small in size. However, the weight and the smaller screen held it back from my top choice.

The Pentax offered an incredibly compact and strong build construction. However, the problems lies with the poor photo quality, the 'lag' occured on the LCD screen when you move it around, the annoying details of the LCD screen in order to save power. Then there is the poor auto WB of the photos.

The Panasonic is not attractive at all, that is just it.



I would love to buy the Sony T9/T10 but with their ridiculous pricing, the requirements such as; it only accepts SONY Memory Stick, which is annoying because they are not generally cheap to purchase! So the Sony are out, the main reason consumer are paying so much for the not-the-best-camera for Sony is because of its brand name.

So I stumbled accross this cool little thing:

The Nikon Coolpix S9



It has the slight hint of the Sony styling, except for the slide-down lens cover (which also acts as the power switch)



This is a really small pocket and compact digital camera. It is not only cool but elegance, and stylish at the same time. All the buttons are properly integrated to continue the smooth lines of the Nikon Coolpix S9. Even the control buttons are so small, take a look at the zoom buttons!



It is so small you can basically slide in into any pockets, and it still weights nothing compared to other camera.



It is using SD memory card, and the screen are marvelous, big and bright and sharp due to the fact that they removed the view finder.

There is no rocket-science function on this camera. It is simply a point-and-shoot camera, but at the size of half the slice of sandwich bread. It has the most basic functions with ISO up to only 400, but you wouldn't want to use that because the picture will be too noisy.

It does however, have SCENES mode, so you can choose from the dozen different selections given. One cool factor is the Face-Detection function button on top of the camera. It helps to detect the face are with the given focus area in the screen, however, I cannot find any proper use for that.

The battery life might not be that impresive, so are the photo quality. But bear in mind, this is a pocket camera, it is an instant point-and-shoot camera which starts up in only a few seconds and shut down in less than a second including the shutting the lens cover.

This is the main reason you get a camera like this, because they are small and easy to carry around, and you are not taking professional images, otherwise, you would be carrying a DSLR, the same thing applies to the battery life.

Here are the photo qualities (without flash):





Not the best I must admit, but pretty good for 'auto' mode.

And for the price of just $329, and for a total bill of $385 for the camera package + 1GB 133X speed + pouch + 24months extended warranty (total 36months), it is a bloody good deal.

This will be a good Valentine's present for me gf :) and I am pretty sure she will like it and god damn, she now has more electronics gadget than I do. But I get to use them anyway!

Posted on: 2007/2/8 10:09
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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guess what?
I was checking out the same thing !
hahaha been looking through the net for reviews and reading and reading and reading them from different sites.

pretty cool stuff!

I was considering either Nikon compact S series or Casio's popular award winning Exilim models.

Posted on: 2007/2/8 11:01
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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Sorry, I forgot to mention that I tested out the Casio's Exilim model as well, and guess what?

Don't buy it, it is over rated and I don't know what awards are you talking about, but I cannot find anything good about the camera except for its exceptionally good build construction.

It may have a little more functions but it does not perform as well. The WB of the images are awful, so is the screen, it is slow, and the images preview are very slow either, eg. it takes 2 seconds to fine sharpen the photo when viewing through the LCD screen, even with highspeed SD card, which is annoying to me.

Get the Nikon, no regrets, although the battery may not last as long as the rest of the other models, but that is what it is for, pocket camera for easy point-and-shoot reason.

Posted on: 2007/2/8 11:19
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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ah okok.. how about the exilim super anti-shake or something like that. i read alot of site saying thats their selling point in the camera.

Nikon coolpix, I was interested in their wireless techonolgy stuff. i wonder how handy it is. compact cam with wireless.

so much better than Sony T series.

Posted on: 2007/2/8 11:31
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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The Exilim super anti-shake is basically useless. Don't ever think they works like the optical image stabiliser like those SLR lenses. The functions works in compensation mode, you get anti-shake but it has to compromise to compensate for it.

Nikon Coolpix P1 with wireless wi-fi technology is a bad camera :(

But, you wouldn't need the wireless function, cause they are a trouble to use and doesn't function proper as it should, even those models from Canon Ixus 50.

Posted on: 2007/2/8 16:45
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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heht he Nikon S9 has built in VR (vibration reduction) technology like those in the Nikon lenses.

As for my Canon S2 which has IS (image stabilizer). I still think its a total rip-off and it doesn't work.

Posted on: 2007/2/8 17:44
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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Dont trust those IS or VR or whatever bull that came in the paper, they are useless and don't work.

I am not sure if the S9 has the VR or something similar but earlier I took photo under exposed and it was blurry; didn't see any VR working (if there is any), but the camera was smart enough to know that the photo was blur, and ask me:

Image is blurry, save image?

Yes No


Damn smart I tell you , so smart it annoys me because I have to choose yes or no each time this happen.

Posted on: 2007/2/8 20:09
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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haha most of the compact nikon cam got the "yes or no" option thing when the image turns out blur.

but sometimes through the human eye judgement, I don't really see its blur. maybe a tiny bit but i think its acceptable in anyway.

For the canon compact camera IS, it has an option to turn the function on or off.

Posted on: 2007/2/8 21:56
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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Just a thought of it actually make me like that special warning message.

Because in normal occasion where you take photos and view it through the small LCD screen, everything look just perfectly fine, but when you actually transferred it to your computer, then you will notice that the images are not really that perfect.

So with the blur detection, at least you know your image is not perfect even though it looks fine from the preview LCD.

Posted on: 2007/2/9 6:58
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Re: Nikon Coolpix S9 - Ultra Compact D. Camera
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Just found out some pretty cool function in this little tiny camera.

It has an on-camera cropping function, and will automatically save it as another image in the memory card.

Then there is the brightness/contrast adjustment, labelled as D-Lighting which self-adjust the level for you and also automatically save as a new image in the memory card.

Then there is the BSS mode, when switch on, the flash will be disabled, and the camera automatically sets itself to longer shutter speed + larger aperture according to the low light condition. The BSS function is only used when taking photographs under low light condition without firing the flash. When shutter is released, the camera will take a couple of shots ranging from 2 to as much as possible (10), while you hold the camera, and during that time, the camera will automatically choose the best / combine all the information gathered from the number of photos taken to produce the best image out of them, without having it blurry.

This is the first time I saw this function, it may have appeared in other cameras before but this is certainly the first for me

However, I realised that this camera takes a fair bit of time to process the images before they are saved into the memory. I have since upgraded the 'Super High Speed' card to the new Sandisk Ultra II which is much faster than the Super High Speed card and has eliminated all the lagging problem.

Posted on: 2007/2/21 6:33
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