Home Technology GadgetsLab GadgetsLab: Nikon Coolpix S3700

GadgetsLab: Nikon Coolpix S3700

Specifications:

  • Effective Pixels: 20.1MP
  • Lens: Nikkor lens with 8x optical zoom
  • Display: 2.7-inch TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating and 5-level brightness adjustment
  • Storage Media: SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory card, and SDXC Memory Card
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Ion
  • Dimensions: 95.9x58x20.1mm
  • Interface: USB 2, Wi-Fi

What’s Hot:

  • Compact, lightweight, and easy to carry around
  • Capable 8x optical zoom lens

What’s Not:

  • LCD screen could be better
  • Slow shutter

Whether you’re going on a road trip with friends or just heading over to hang-out spots in the metro, having a camera is the perfect companion to help keep the memories safe. Sure, smartphone cameras can produce quality images but there is still something about dedicated cameras that makes people break into smiles once the lens points at their way. We recently got our hands on the Coolpix S3700, which is one of Nikon’s newest point and shoot produce, and took it out for a week-long spin.

Design: (3.5)

Nikon was generous enough to lend us three cameras for our road trip in Tanay, from that pool, I was assigned the Coolpix S3700. When the camera was handed to me, the first thought that entered my mind was: “When was the last time I got to use a point and shoot digital camera?” It probably hasn’t been that long, but it nonetheless caused waves of nostalgia to flow over me. Getting my hands on a camera immediately made me want to go snap-happy on everything.

The Nikon Coolpix S3700 is a compact camera that is very light to hold, but has enough heft to it so it doesn’t feel like a toy. It comes enclosed in a glossy metal body, and is offered in blue, red, black, silver, pink, and blue line art. The rear of the camera, on the other hand, is made out of plastic. Given its miniscule footprint, it can easily slip from your grip if not properly handled. There is an eyelet for handstraps, however our unit didn’t have one so I held on to it like my life depended on it, particularly while crossing a bridge at Daranak falls. Also on the camera’s back are a 2.7 inch display, and buttons for navigating around the many options available through the screen. Situated atop the snapper is an on/off button, alongside the shutter release button, zoom control, and Wi-Fi button.

Hardware: (3.5)

The Nikon Coolpix S3700 manages to fit an 8x optical zoom lens, optical image stabilisation (OIS), and a 20.1 megapixel CCD sensor in its compact frame.

The meat to the potatoes of a camera is its lens, and the Coolpix S3700 boasts of a wide-angle, 8x optical zoom lens that is armed  with Vibration Reduction (VR) OIS. This benefits those with shaky hands as it helps reduce juddering in low light shooting or when optical zoom is in use. Elsewhere, an imaging sensor of 20.1-megapixel rounds out the S3700.

Serving as the viewfinder, and basically what you’ll only be looking at the entire time is a 2.7-inch display with a low 230k dot resolution. Powering the functions of the S3700 is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

User Experience: (3.5)

As it probably isn’t the first time you’ll be using a digital camera, you’ll be happy to know the same rules apply to getting familiar with the various features of the S3700. The camera ships with different modes available for use right off the bat, namely Scene (Auto), Effect, and Smart portrait or Auto mode depending on what best fits the shooting condition at hand. For up close or medium shots, the smart portrait mode has options such as skin softening, foundation makeup, soft, vividness, brightness, as well as smile timer and self-collage. The UI is simple and easy to navigate, no complications here.

Camera manufacturers of today aren’t solely contending with other brands of their own kind but also with mobile phone brands. This competition resulted to the addition of smart connectivity features to the traditional point and shoots, the S3700 has a dedicated Wi-Fi that allows users to connect the camera to your smartphone via the Nikon Wireless Mobile Utility app. Unfortunately, the short time I had with camera did not allow me to use this function so I quite comment on how this feature fares.

We easily got to test the camera’s responsiveness and durability with the varied scenery we had to capture in Tanay. For the first few photos, the whole process—capturing images and writing images to the memory card—was, but with images filling up the allocated memory, it started to show signs of slowing. This is an indicator that you might want to empty the storage out on occasion.

The whole of our trip to Tanay was mostly during the day and outdoors, with mostly good light in most of the shots, so images came out vividly-colored and generally sharp. The determining point was when we shot indoors, and surprising the camera delivered even without the use of its flash.

Click to enlarge sample photos:

Also noteworthy is the camera’s macro mode. Without a hitch, it locked on subjects close to the front of the lens, with more than decent output.

The camera is also capable of recording 720p videos with mono sound, along with optical zoom option whilst recording.

Value: (4.0)

All in all, the Nikon Coolpix S3700 is a capable point-and-shoot that carries out tasks well in most situations. It impresses with well-exposed images with just the right punch of vibrancy.

Bottomline:

If you’re looking to purchase an easy to carry and use camera that produces quality images in most conditions, the Nikon Coolpix S3700 is worth a look.

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