Nikon COOLPIX S4000 12.0 MP Digital Camera - Plum Reviews

Nikon COOLPIX S4000 12.0 MP Digital Camera - Plum

117 ratings (5 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Very Good
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The camera that launched an Epinions drama...

Jan 13, 2011 (Updated Jan 23, 2011)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Battery Life:
  • Photo Quality:
  • Shutter Lag

Pros:Easy to use.  Takes good pictures and videos.  Easy to stow.  Rechargeable battery.

Cons:I don't like the touchscreen.

The Bottom Line: This camera is a good choice for those who need something inexpensive and easy to use.


A couple of months ago, my husband and I celebrated our eighth year of marriage.  In celebration of our anniversary, my husband presented me with a brand new Nikon S4000 Digital Camera to replace the Samsung camera I had been using for the past few years.  I am not much of a photographer, but I do often take pictures when I travel or to accompany some of my writing.  The funny thing is, I resisted getting a digital camera for years and now I don't know how I ever lived without it.  Not a week goes by that I don't pull out my camera for some reason or another and it sure is nice not to have to get film developed, especially when the film is full of bad pictures!  In any case, I was delighted to get this new camera and, for the most part, I've found that I like the Nikon S4000 a lot better than I did the old Samsung camera it replaced.  

What's in the box?


This camera comes with the camera, an EN-EL10 rechargeable lithium-ion battery, an EN-68P AC adaptable battery charger, a UC-E6 USB cable, an EG-CP14 Audio Video Cable, a handy wrist strap, a stylus TP-1, a User's Manual CD-ROM, and a Nikon Coolpix software CD-ROM. 


Things I like about the Nikon S4000


This camera has a very slender profile, which makes it easy to stow in my purse.  Unlike my old camera, the Nikon S4000 comes with a lithium ion battery pack and a charger, which eliminates the need to buy batteries.  My old camera ate up double A batteries like there was no tomorrow; whereas I can go weeks without so much as needing to charge my Nikon S4000.  

The Nikon S4000 is easy to use and takes beautiful pictures with 12.0 megapixels.  I can also use this camera to make short movies.  This camera has a zoom lens, which makes getting close up shots a breeze, although I don't really like where the control to the zoom lens is.  Nikon put it right next to the button that I push to take a picture instead of giving the zoom lens its own toggle switch.  This camera comes with an audio/video cable, so I can hook it up to my TV and look at pictures or watch home movies.  


I find that the shutter speed on the Nikon S4000 is vastly superior to what I dealt with when I was using my old Samsung.  The Nikon S4000 is much more responsive when I push the button to take a picture, so I don't miss as many action shots.  It's still not the fastest camera in the world, but I'm able to catch more with the Nikon than I could with my older camera.  


The Nikon S4000 can handle larger memory cards than my old camera could.  With the Samsung, I was limited to using memory cards no larger than 2GB.  If I tried to use a larger card, the camera wouldn't function.  My Nikon is currently outfitted with an 8GB memory card, so I can take and store a lot more pictures.  The Nikon S4000 is also widely available and priced very reasonably.  It's compatible with both Windows and MacIntosh computers; be sure to have at least 1 GB of free space before installing the software.      


Drawbacks to the Nikon S4000


While I do generally prefer this camera to my old Samsung, there is one aspect of using it that I don't like as much-- the touchscreen.  In order to do anything other than take a picture or use the zoom lens, I have to touch the screen on the Nikon S4000.  While the touchscreen is touted to be "sensitive" and "responsive", I can't actually describe it that way when I use it.  When I want to, say, switch from the automatic still photo mode to the movie mode, I have to touch the screen.  But rather than respond to my gentle tap, I usually have to stab at the touchscreen with some force in order to get it to respond.  And once I have switched the mode from still pictures to video, I find that sometimes it's hard to switch back again.  


Sometimes, when I'm trying to use this camera, I have terrible flashbacks to the days when I waited tables and had to use a poorly calibrated touchscreen computer to submit food orders.  Just like when I worked in the restaurant, I've found out that using a touchscreen that doesn't respond quickly can mean I miss out on money making opportunities.  In the restaurant biz, that means a patron might get mad when food takes too long; in the photography biz, it might mean I'll miss the perfect photo op.  Still, this camera takes good pictures and video and the sound quality is also pretty good.  The touchscreen is, at least for now, a minor annoyance.   


Image quality

As I mentioned before, I am not by any means a professional photographer.  Nevertheless, I have been mostly satisfied with the pictures I've taken with the Nikon S4000.  Most of the shots I've gotten have been clear and crisp, perhaps with the exception of the times I've tried to get too ambitious with action shots.  Since I mostly take still pictures, this aspect of using the S4000 has been satisfactory.  The colors in my photos are usually good, although if I use this camera in low light, sometimes the photos look like they have a bit of a yellowish tint.  I don't seem to have this problem when I take pictures in areas with more natural lighting.    


Warranty


The Nikon Coolpix S4000 comes with a one year limited manufacturer warranty for parts and labor.  However, the warranty states that using accessories that are not made by Nikon specifically for this camera may cause damage and will void the warranty.


Overall


Because I'm not much on trying to explain technical details of electronics, I'm going to wrap up my assessment of this camera now.  Those who are interested in the technical specifics of the Nikon S4000 can keep reading.  


Overall, I do like this camera.  It's easy to use, takes high quality photos and videos, and is small enough that it fits anywhere.  I don't have especially high standards for my cameras, nor do I have a lot of experience using the advanced features of digital cameras.  I freely admit that I'm not expert when it comes to this subject.  All I know is that this is a fine camera for an amateur or beginner photographer.  I do wish, however, that this camera didn't have a touchscreen, or that the touchscreen was easier to use.  I actually prefer the manual controls on my old camera, which were a lot easier to navigate accurately. 


Technical features 


To be honest, I probably don't use this camera to the most of its abilities.  I just take pictures and short films and don't care that much about all the technical gadgetry that comes with this camera.  But I know that some folks out there really like their technical specifications, so I've copied this list from Amazon.com for their benefit.  Please don't ask me to try to explain it!  I am not a techie.


Optical Sensor Resolution: 12 MP
Optical Sensor Technology: CCD
Optical zoom: 4 x
Maximum Aperture Range: F/3.2-5.9
Minimum focal length: 4.9 millimeters
Maximum focal length: 19.6 millimeters
Lens Type: Zoom lens
Optical Sensor Size: 1/2.3"
Included Flash Type: Built-in flash
Display Size: 3.000 inches
Light Sensitivity: ISO 100, ISO 800, ISO 400, ISO 200, ISO 80, ISO auto (80-400), ISO auto (80-800), ISO auto (80-1600), ISO 1600, ISO 3200
Image types: JPEG
Shooting Modes: Frame movie mode
Viewfinder Type: None

Product Features

12.0 megapixels for stunning prints as large as 16 x 20 inches
Bright 3.0-inch touch-panel LCD; 
Sensitive Response Touch Panel; 
Touch Shutter and Autofocus
4x wide-angle Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens
720p HD movie recording at 24 fps
4-way VR Image Stabilization System; 
Smart Portrait System

Epinions drama


For those who are the slightest bit interested as to what the title of this review is referring to, here's the scoop!  When I first got this camera, I was excited about it and immediately came to Epinions.com to see if anyone had written any reviews.  I found that one person had written a glowing review, but not of this specific camera.  In fact, she had reviewed about twelve Nikon products by copying and pasting the exact same review under about a dozen Nikon product listings.  I was disappointed, because I wanted to read an actual review of the S4000.  I rated her review of the S4000 off topic and left her a brief comment as to why I rated the way I did.  Next thing I know, this person went on a revenge rating rampage that involved quite a few other Epinions members over the course of a mid-November weekend.  It also spawned quite a discussion on the Epinions messageboard.  I will always affectionately think of my Nikon S4000 as the product that launched a major Epinions drama!  


For more information:  www.nikon.com


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 149
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Easy Enough for Anyone to Use

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