11 Of The World’s Top Rated Nikon Coolpix Cameras & Buyer’s Guide

I bet you don’t remember the time when cameras used film to take pictures, and you had to bring your film to a developer to get printed photos. Well, that was before the advent of digital cameras. Nikon was one of the early adopters of digital camera technology.

 The Nikon Coolpix series of digital compact cameras goes back to 1997, looking at the Coolpix line-up is like looking at the history of the digital camera as it transitioned uncommon curiosity to a must-have accessory.

The most recent line-up of Coolpix is met to fit the various niches of digital camera users. Join us as we review the latest Coolpix models that are designed to cater to any budget and fit any lifestyle.

Our Top Pick

Our top pick is the Nikon Coolpix A10, the flagship of the flagship A series. It has all the features you could want in a semi-compact digital camera, and it is up to date with the latest technology.

Reviews of Coolpix models

Coolpix A10

The Coolpix A10 is the latest Nikon offering in its Coolpix A series—essentially an updated Coolpix A, it is the proud flagship of the Coolpix brand.

Key features

  • 1-megapixel CCD image sensor
  • 720p HD video recording
  • 7-inch bright QVGA LCD Display
  • Uses rechargeable batteries

What we like about this Coolpix

We like the fact that the Coolpix A10 refines the best aspects of the Coolpix A into a lighter package despite having the same size. We also like how it’s priced reasonably for a camera that takes stunning pictures. For most people, the image quality of the Coolpix A10 suffices, who needs an expensive DSLR camera if the Coolpix A10 can get the job done for a fraction of the cost.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

We don’t like the fact that the Coolpix A10 struggles to take pictures of a subject that is in motion. The old joke about flash photography applies to the Coolpix A10 as well— the subject must stay still for about 5 seconds for a proper picture taking.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Affordable price
  • HD video recording

Cons

  • Poor image quality if the subject is in motion
  • Uses AA batteries

The Coolpix A10 is an updated version of the Coolpix A that serves as the flagship model of the Coolpix product line. Overall, it is a great camera for someone who wants a specialized device for taking pictures but does not want to spend on a DSLR.

Overall Rating – 4.5 of 5

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Coolpix W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera

The Coolpix W300 is a rugged, waterproof digital camera that can go anywhere you dare to go. Whether you like diving or mount climbing, the Coolpix W300 can keep up with you.

Key features

  • Waterproof, freezeproof, shockproof, and dustproof—truly an outdoorsman’s camera
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording
  • Time-lapse videos, Super lapse videos
  • GPS locator
  • Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity options
  • Can survive temperature extremes

What we like about this Coolpix

We like the Coolpix W300 because it is rugged and can go on adventures with you. We also like the impressive 4K Ultra HD recording that comes in this durable package.

The GPS locator is a big plus since the owner of the Coolpix W300 is likely walking the road less traveled. Nothing like a GPS device that can help the owner in case he gets lost. Finally, we like the direct USB charging, so it is easy to charge it anywhere.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

We don’t like the high price tag for the Coolpix W300. While we like all the features, there are cheaper alternatives that may not do everything the Coolpix W300 can do. None the less, the high price tag might discourage would-be buyers.

Pros

  • Direct USB Charging for convenient charging anywhere
  • GPS tracker
  • 4K Ultra HD recording
  • Wifi connectivity

Cons

  • The high price may discourage potential owners
  • Can be a bit bulky

The Coolpix W300 is ideal for people who are adventurous and want to get the most out of life. The Coolpix W300 can keep up with you wherever you go and allow you to take great pictures and videos.

Overall Rating – 4.5 of 5

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Coolpix B700

The Coolpix B700 is a powerful compact digital camera that can substitute for a DSLR for most applications. It integrates Near Field Connectivity (NFC) for optimum connectivity.

Key features

  • Built-in wifi connectivity
  • Near Field Connectivity (NFC) built-in
  • In-Camera image editing modes
  • Superlapse capability allowing fast-paced video
  • X60 Zoom capability

What we like about this Coolpix

We are intrigued by the NFC capability of this camera. This new technology is like a next-generation Bluetooth. We like how the Coolpix B700 can do everything the average photographer would want with a DSLR. You can also edit your photo on the camera without having to upload it to a computer.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

We are not a fan of the price. The Coolpix B700 retails for just shy of $500, and this might turn off a lot of amateur photographers because it would be a hefty investment. At 2.1 pounds it is a little on the heavy side, too.

Pros

  • NFC capability
  • Expansive in-camera picture editing features
  • Powerful X60 Zoom

Cons

  • The high price tag can discourage some buyers
  • A bit heavy for a non-DSLR camera

If you have a desire to do high-quality photography, but you aren’t willing to invest in a DSLR Camera, the Coolpix B700 is the camera for you. It can do a lot of what you’d expect from a DSLR for a more affordable price.

Overall Rating – 5 of 5

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Coolpix L840

If you are looking for a good substitute for an expensive DSLR that can take shots on the go, then the Coolpix L840 is the right camera for you.

Key features

  • X38 optical zoom telephoto lens with Vibration Reduction™
  • 16MP lowlight CMOS image sensor
  • 1080p Full HD video recording with stereo sound
  • NFC technology for instantaneous sharing

What we like about this Coolpix

The zoom on the L840 is about average for its class at X38, but what sets it apart is the Vibration Reduction™ feature which minimizes the effect of your hands shaking when you are taking pictures on the move. We like the NFC option and the ability to take high-quality 1080p videos.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

The Coolpix L840 has plenty of great features, no doubt, but at close to $400, it is a bit pricey. We are not a fan of the lack of aperture settings because of this limit the value of the Coolpix L840 when it comes to taking action shots

Pros

  • NFC functionality
  • 1080p video recording
  • Vibration reduction

Cons

  • High price
  • Lack of aperture settings

The Coolpix L840 is a good substitute for a DSLR for the price-conscious buyer who wants to take shots of life in action. The Vibration Reduction™ feature helps when you are taking pictures on the go.

Overall Rating – 4 of 5

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Coolpix S6900

When you need a point-and-shoot camera for everyday use, the Coolpix S6900 is there for you. Photography doesn’t get much simpler than this.

Key features

  • X12 Optical Zoom
  • Vari-angle display and a built-in kickstand
  • 1080p Full HD video recording
  • 19 scene modes
  • Target finding autofocus
  • NFC and Bluetooth connectivity.

What we like about this Coolpix

We like how the Coolpix S6900 is essentially a point-and-shoot camera meant for casual use. It’s for the casual photographer, and so all its features are optimized for convenient use. We also like the vari-angle display that allows us to see exactly what photographs will be taken by the Coolpix S6900. We do like the NFC connectivity of the Coolpix S6900 as well.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

We are not a fan of the price of the Coolpix S6900. Since the Coolpix Style series is for casual everyday use, it is a bit difficult to accept that it is in the same price range as more advanced high-performance models from the same manufacturer.

Pros

  • NFC connectivity
  • Vari-angle display
  • 1080p Full HD video recording
  • Point-and-shoot optimization
  • Compact size is easy to handle

Cons

  • High price for a point-and-shoot camera
  • It has durability and reliability issues

The Nikon Coolpix S6900 is a handy, compact digital camera meant for everyday use. It has all the bells and whistles you would expect from a digital camera, but if you need more advanced features, you probably want to look into other Coolpix lines.

Overall Rating – 3.5 of 5

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Coolpix P1000

A DSLR masquerading as a normal semi-compact digital camera, the Coolpix P1000 can give your DSLR a run for its money at a lower cost.

Key features

  • 24mm – 3000mm optical zoom, the most powerful zoom lens ever mounted on a Nikon Coolpix
  • Dual-detect image stabilization for rock-steady photography and excellent lowlight capacity
  • Time-lapse and super lapse shooting for great video recording
  • 4K Ultra HD video recording with HDMI output, stereoscopic sound, and Hot-Shoe accessory
  • A comprehensive manual to maximize the performance

What we like about this Coolpix

The Coolpix P1000 is the worthy flagship of the Coolpix performance line up. It is a DSLR Camera in all but in the name. It has a powerful zoom lens and the ability to take 4K Ultra HD videos. We like the performance of the Coolpix P1000 and the fact that it can double as a 4K Ultra HD video camera. It takes excellent pictures and videos. The incredible zoom is great for wide-angle photography.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

The feature-laden Coolpix P1000 comes at a hefty price, at almost $1,000 most casual photographers will balk at the price. The lack of NFC capability shows that the Coolpix P1000 is an older design that is due for an update. At higher zoom levels the image quality degrades quite a bit. Also, at 3.12 pounds, the Coolpix P1000 is a hefty camera to carry around.

Pros

  • 4k Ultra HD video recording
  • X83 Zoom capability
  • Dual detect image stabilization technology

Cons

  • No NFC connectivity
  • High price
  • Camera is heavy
  • Image degrades at high zoom

The Coolpix P1000 is a DSLR camera in all but name. It is a powerful camera that can do almost anything a DSLR can do, be prepared to pay a premium price for it.

Overall Rating – 5 of 5

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Coolpix B500

With the proprietary Nikon Telephoto lens, you will feel as if you had a full-featured DSLR in your hands. The Coolpix B500 will do all the adjusting for you. All you have to do is point and take great pictures.

Key features

  • 16 Megapixel Camera with BSI CMOS sensor
  • X40 Optical Zoom lens
  • 3-inch 921K Dot Tilting LCD
  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording
  • Bluetooth and NFC connectivity

What we like about this Coolpix

We like the Bluetooth and NFC connectivity. It shows that Nikon is working hard to stay up to date with the latest trends in connectivity options for electronic devices. The Coolpix B500 is a full-featured camera that does everything an amateur photographer needs from it.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

We don’t like the fact that this Coolpix seems to have trouble taking pictures when the lighting is less than ideal.

Pros

  • Ease of use, it is virtually a point-and-click camera
  • Bluetooth and NFC connectivity
  • Tilting LCD allows you to take selfies

Cons

  • The processor has trouble taking pictures in less than ideal lighting conditions
  • Zoom feature is ineffective when lighting is poor

The Coolpix B500 is a full-featured semi-compact Digital Camera. It is rugged and light, so you can bring it to places where you can’t bring your DSLR.

Overall Rating – 4 of 5

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Coolpix L340

The Coolpix L340 is a point-and-shoot camera with all the capabilities that an amateur photographer will want. Due to its affordable price point, it is great for those who want to learn photography but don’t want to spend too much on the hobby.

Key features

  • X28 Optical Zoom and X56 Dynamic Zoom
  • 2 Megapixel CCD sensor
  • HD 720p video recording
  • Built-in flash

What we like about this Coolpix

The Coolpix L340 is affordable since it is an older model. Be on the lookout for sale at your local store or Amazon as retailers offload their stock. The 20.2 Megapixel CCD sensor is above average for its generation, and it remains above average among the cameras in its price point. It is a camera meant for someone who wants more than what a basic compact camera can do but does not want to overspend.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

We don’t like that this Coolpix uses AA batteries because disposable batteries are bad for the environment. It would have been better if this used its rechargeable battery. Also, we noticed that the sound when recording video can easily distort.

Pros

  • 2 Megapixel CCD sensor is above average
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Uses AA Batteries which are bad for the environment
  • 720p video recording is behind the times
  • Distorted video sounds

The Coolpix L340 is showing its age and lacks some of the more recently developed features like NFC. But for someone who wants a dedicated camera to practice with, the L340 will do a good job at an affordable price.

Overall Rating – 3 of 5

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Coolpix P900

A camera’s hefty price can make you balk and look for other alternatives, but there are features that you might be willing to pay a premium for, especially if you value creativity above all else. The Coolpix P900 has such features, and whether you want to pay that price, well, we’ll leave it up to you.

Key features

  • 20 Megapixel lowlight CMOS image sensor works great even in low light conditions
  • X35 optical zoom with lens-shift vibration reduction
  • 3-inch tilting TFT-LCD display for image composition even for unique angles
  • Wifi, Bluetooth, and NFC enabled.
  • Remote shooting with SnapBridge App

What we like about this Coolpix

Most digital cameras have a tough time taking pictures in low light conditions. The Coolpix P900 has no such issues, and we like that. We also like the multiple options of connectivity such as wifi, Bluetooth, and NFC. Remote shooting allows for group pics with the owner of the camera included.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

We don’t like the fact that the Coolpix P900 does not have a touch screen, which makes it quite a bit behind the times. It retails for close to $600, which means it is a bit on the pricey side.

Pros

  • Adopted to take pictures in lowlight conditions
  • Tilting TFT-LCD display
  • Remote shooting enabled
  • Multiple options to connect with other electronics

Cons

  • High price
  • Lack of touch screen
  • Pictures of bright lights taken at night don’t register properly

The P900 is for the serious cameraman who knows that it takes a special camera to take special pictures. With its hefty price tag, only the truly dedicated will invest in a P900

Overall Rating – 3.5 of 5

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Coolpix S9900

The Coolpix S9900 is a pocket-sized camera with Full HD 1080p videos with Vibration Reduction, wifi, and NFC. It even has onboard GPS in case you lose your way. It even comes with a swiveling display in case you need to take shots from an unusual angle

Key features

  • X30 Zoom telephoto lens with Vibration Reduction™
  • Vari-Angle display
  • 0-inch 921K dot LCD
  • Wifi and NFC enabled

What we like about this Coolpix

We like the fact that the Coolpix S9900 has GPS functionality, which means that it can be used as a backup locator if the owner gets lost. The Vari-Angle display allows the user to take shots from obtuse angles. We also like the Vibration Reduction ™ feature that improves image quality when adjusting the zoom. Add in that it is only 0.64 pounds and very compact, and you have the perfect pocket-sized camera in our book.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

The Coolpix S9900 lacks creative shooting options which would benefit from its excellent zoom and digital zoom features. Also, it takes below-average quality photographs when shooting in lowlight conditions.

Pros

  • Vari-angle LCD
  • Wifi and NFC enabled
  • The telephoto lens has Vibration Reduction™
  • Easy to use
  • Has GPS built-in

Cons

  • Poor quality photos in low light conditions
  • Pictures blur when taking pictures of a moving subject
  • Lacks creative shooting options

The Coolpix S9900 is a small wonder packed with great features for its size and price point. A worthy addition to the Style line up of Coolpix 

Overall Rating – 4 of 5

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Coolpix B600

The Coolpix B600 is great for those who want more than the average from their semi-compact digital camera.

Key features

  • X60 Optical Zoom with X120 Dynamic Fine Zoom
  • 16 MP camera with low light sensor
  • Full HD 1080p videos with hybrid VR and stereo audio
  • 19 scene modes and 36 creative effects
  • Integral wifi and Bluetooth

What we like about this Coolpix

We like that the Coolpix B600 has above-average X60 Optical Zoom and X120 Dynamic Zoom, which is better than most other cameras in its class. The number of creative modes and creative effects is a big plus for those who want to take Instagram-worthy pictures. After you take these magnificent images, they can be uploaded to the internet easily thanks to the integrated wifi and Bluetooth on the Coolpix B600.

What We Don’t like About This Coolpix

We are not a fan of the lack of NFC options on the Coolpix B600. Nikon has to get with the modern world and make NFC standard on its cameras.

Pros

  • Above-average zoom for its class
  • Many creative scenes and effects for ‘gram-worthy shots
  • Wifi and Bluetooth Ready

Cons

  • Lack of NFC features
  • The camera has problems taking shots of moving objects

The Coolpix B600 is great for those who want more than the average from their semi-compact digital camera. At its price-point, it is a reasonable buy for someone who already has experience with a lower-tier digital camera.

Overall Rating – 4 of 5

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About Nikon and Coolpix

The Nikon Coolpix series is a family of digital compact cameras manufactured by Nikon. Nikon is a pioneer in the digital camera industry, and the Coolpix was Nikon’s attempt to cash-in on the mainstreaming of digital cameras. From the first Coolpix 100, introduced in January 1997, to the Coolpix A10, introduced in January 2016, the Nikon Coolpix is an expression of the quality and expertise of the brand.

History of Nikon and Digital Cameras

Nikon created one of the first digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, the Nikon NASA F4 which was used by NASA for its Space Shuttle program. When NASA developed the NASA F4 in 1991, little did anyone realize that the technology would revolutionize photography.

 

NASA was a natural first customer of the DSLR because the photographic film was unsuited for use in space.

The film is composed of transparent plastic film which has a base coat of gelatin emulsion. The gelatin contains tiny light-sensitive silver halide crystals. Cameras work by exposing the film to light, when the film is exposed to light, the gelatin and the silver halide reacts to the light and form a “negative” of the image. The developer then used chemical processes to the transpose the “negative” from the film into a useable photograph.

In space, numerous forms of radiation can ruin the film. Unless specially shielded, the film can be bombarded by X-rays, Gamma rays, and other cosmic rays that will spoil it and make it useless for photography. Imagine a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Scan while the subject person is carrying a metal object, and you get the idea of how the film is impractical when taking pictures in space.

Since the film is essentially a “negative” of the radiation that enters the film, there is no way to scrub the contamination from the image.

By comparison, the sensor for a digital camera “takes” a picture, and this picture can be filtered digitally to remove unwanted aspects of the picture. The electronic image can be filtered and fixed to obtain a useable picture.

Thus, it was only natural that NASA would need a DSLR type camera. Nikon stepped up to the plate.

Once DSLR technology was made available for NASA, it was not long before the DSLR became available to civilians. At first, Nikon partnered with Kodak to adopt DSLR technology into pre-existing Nikon camera bodies. By 1999, Nikon released the Nikon D1 SLR for the consumer market.

Although the D1 was somewhat inferior to the standard 35mm lens SLR, it was a pioneer in the industry because it was affordable for professional photographers to buy and practice their art. The D1 was the beginning of the end for film-based SLR cameras with professional photographers.

The D1 was inexpensive enough for professional photographers to take a risk with it, but it was the Coolpix series of digital cameras that kicked-off the revolution for the casual photographer. Coolpix may not have all the features of a DSLR, but they were meant to be used by casual users who may not want to spend so much time working out the wonders of a digital single reflex camera. Instead, Coolpix’s intended audience is likely to point and click.

The first Coolpix came out in 1997, but the brand didn’t take off for several more years. During this period, digital cameras were superior to cellphone cameras. In the race for megapixels, the Coolpix was better than all but the most expensive contemporary cellular phone cameras.

For instance, when the Coolpix 100 and 300 came out, they had a 0.3 Megapixel lens. Back then, the Nokia 5110 was popular, and it had no camera. Today, the top-of-the-line P510 has an 18 MP lens. While this is not impressive and inferior to some high-end smartphones, the Coolpix P510 is affordably priced— a fraction what a high-end smartphone would cost.

The growth of digital photography was a boon to the Coolpix line as more and more people loved the chance to create crisp, beautiful pictures that they could store and later upload to their social media pages.

Today, Nikon manufactures a DSLR, for professional photographers, and the Coolpix lines for more casual users.

Coolpix Models

Coolpix is the mass-market brand of Nikon meant for casual photography. The current product line-up is divided into the A-series, All-Weather Series, B, Series, Life Series, Performance Series, and the Style Series

Coolpix A Series

The Coolpix A series are essentially downscaled DSLR cameras. First announced in March 2013, the A-series is the first mass-market brand that employed the DX (APS-C) sensor. It remains the flagship brand for the entire Coolpix line-up.

Among its cool features is the Program/Shutter priority/Aperture-priority/Manual (PSAM) mode. As befitting a camera trying hard to be a DSLR, the menus for the Coolpix A series similar to the one fitted to a DSLR camera.

The Coolpix A series is meant to fill the consumer niche for two groups of people; The first group is those who want to engage in professional photography but do not have the means to purchase their DSLR camera. The second group is those who demand the very best from their digital camera. Both are adequately served by the Coolpix A series.

All-Weather Series

As the name suggests the All-Weather series of Coolpix cameras are meant to endure the harshest of conditions. The All-Weather series is designed to be waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof the all-weather series cameras are for the adventurer in you.

Did we mention that the All-Weather series can go diving with you? Yes, it is so waterproof that you can use it shots of corals and other sea fauna. It is meant to go places where more fragile cameras will not go. The rugged design can handle rough usage that could break lesser cameras.

Coolpix B Series

The most recent pair of Coolpix, the B500 and B700, integrate near field communication (NFC) in addition to other staples like SD card storage, video recording, and ISO 6400 high sensitivity. The Coolpix B series uses a CMOS active pixel sensor for high fidelity shots.

While we are expecting the A-series to receive an update soon, the B series currently boasts the highest megapixel sensor in the Coolpix series. However, the A and B series both have the highest pixel count in the photos they take.

NFC is a new development as far as communication technology is concerned. One of the exciting possibilities it that your Coolpix B series can communicate with others properly set up devices without the need for intervening protocols. For example, if a printer has NFC, your Coolpix B series can print photos without needing to be plugged in.

Life Series

The Coolpix life series of semi-compact digital cameras are designed to cater to the needs of people who want to take professional-looking photographs without requiring them to develop the skill sets of a professional photographer.

Designed for beginners and casual photographers, the Coolpix life series will give you good results anytime. It sets itself apart from competitors by having enhanced zoom. For example, the Nikon Coolpix L100 has a zoom of X15 while near competitors could only go up to X5.

A unique feature of the Life series is that they can use AA batteries, whereas the most common types of digital camera have an integral battery. The use of AA batteries means that owners of the Coolpix life series should probably carry spare batteries with them just in case the ones currently loaded die. Better yet they should have rechargeable AA batteries which are better for the environment in the long run.

Performance Series

The performance series prides itself with each model having a superzoom camera with X42, X82, and even X125 Zoom! The performance series compact digital cameras are feature-packed and a bit on the heavy side. After all, the massive zoom capacity of the performance series requires top quality lenses to delivery.

This series is great for people with a knack for long-range photography. Perhaps amateur paparazzi will benefit from the ability to take shots of celebrities from a safe distance. It is also great for people who do nature photography because they can take pictures of wildlife from a very long distance.

Style Series

The name says it all—the Style series is designed to appeal to the general audience who want to have a stylish compact camera. Besides, these are some of the smallest and lightest models in the Coolpix product line.

All the models in the Style series resemble the compact disposable film cameras that those of us who are old enough to remember film-based cameras used. However, instead of using film, the Coolpix Style series stores pictures in an SD card, making it easy to transmit to a computer and then to a printer.

The compact size makes the Style series Coolpix easy to keep and carry around. It is convenient to have, and easy to pull out if the opportunity to take great pictures comes up.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it, the Coolpix product line in all of its glory. The best Coolpix seems to depend on what use you would have for it.

For the casual user who does not have much use for advanced features and wants a no-frills straight up camera, the style series fits the bill. For someone who needs pictures taken from a safe distance, the incredible zoom of the Performance series will work wonders. Then those who want to experiment with the nascent NFC technology may want to try out the Coolpix B series which seamlessly integrates NFC technology with the camera.

No matter which model you choose, we hope this guide has helped.

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