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When seeking an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera, you know you’re going to have to give up a few features that you’d like to have. But you don’t want to give up too much, especially in key areas such as resolution count and optical zoom lens measurement. And this Nikon Coolpix S7000 review shows that you can find versatility in a low-priced camera. Another great budget-friendly model is the Sony DSCW800/B – Best Budget Compact Camera. If you like this camera, you’ll love our recommendation for the best digital camera.
The price of the S7000 varies quite a bit by the retailer, but it usually can be found for less than $250 and sometimes as the best digital camera under $200. At this price point, it’s a good deal as the S7000 has a 20X optical zoom lens. Having a thin camera with such a big zoom lens is great, because it provides quite a few options for setting up your photographic scenes. The Coolpix S7000 has some drawbacks, which is common for an inexpensive point-and-shoot camera, but it still compares favorably against its similarly priced competitors.
WHY THIS IS A TOP PICK: Great versatility, thanks to an impressive 20X optical zoom lens.
Summary: Although the Nikon Coolpix S7000 has some drawbacks, having a 20X optical zoom lens in a camera that has a low price and measures only 1.1 inches in thickness is a significant advantage.
Price: $276.95 from Amazon
Available: February 10, 2015
What We Liked
What We Didn’t
The Nikon Coolpix S7000’s key feature is its 20X optical zoom lens, which is a strong option in a camera that measures only 1.1 inches in thickness. Most cameras with large zoom lenses require a much larger camera body.
When compared to my Nikon Coolpix L840 review, the S7000 can’t quite match the L840’s 38X optical zoom lens, but the S7000 is much thinner, allowing it to easily fit in a pocket or purse. The large-bodied L840 won’t even fit in a huge pocket, as it’s shaped more like a DSLR camera.
Related: Discover more with our Nikon Coolpix P100 review
The S7000’s other design features are relatively standard when compared to other point-and-shoot cameras. This Nikon camera does offer a mode dial, which makes it easier to use the camera by allowing for a quick selection of the desired shooting mode. Unfortunately, the buttons on the back of the S7000 aren’t larger, as they’re almost too small and too tightly set to the camera body to be used comfortably.
Nikon provided Wi-Fi and NFC wireless connectivity with the S7000, which makes it easy to share your photos with others and with social media sites. However, because the battery lifespan of this point-and-shoot camera is below average, using these wireless connection options will drain the battery even more quickly. I’d recommend purchasing a second battery if you want to have the ability to use Wi-Fi regularly with the S7000. For another Wi-Fi-enabled device, check out our Campark X25 Native 4K sports action camera.
For the most part, image quality is good with the Coolpix S7000, as the camera produces realistic colors and sharp images. You’ll sometimes find with inexpensive point-and-shoot cameras that the colors look overprocessed, but that’s not a problem with this Nikon model.
You are limited to shooting in the JPEG image format with the Nikon S7000 — rather than shooting in the more precise RAW image format — which is common in a beginner-level camera. Another aspect of the S7000 that’s common in point-and-shoot cameras — special effect shooting options — are plentiful in the S7000, making this digital camera a lot of fun to use. It has a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 seconds during high-speed continuous shooting and 4 seconds for 18 total scene modes (ie. fireworks). There’s even a panoramic mode, allowing you to shoot extremely wide rectangular images.
Related: Read the Nikon P7700 review
Compared to a Nikon Coolpix S9900 review, both cameras have 16 megapixels of resolution and a similar-sized image CMOS sensor with a sensor size of 1/2.3 inches, which results in image quality that is nearly identical to the two Nikon cameras. But the S7000 has a significantly lower price than the S9900.
When using the S7000 in a low-light shooting situation, you’re probably going to want to use the tiny embedded flash unit most of the time. Although this Nikon point and shoot model does allow for an ISO setting of up to 6400, using an ISO higher than 1600 will result in excessive noise and incorrect colors in your photos. Most inexpensive cameras have even worse performance levels in low light though, so the S7000 is actually a slightly above-average performer in this area.
One aspect of the Nikon S7000 that I didn’t like was the placement and size of the movie recording button on the back of the camera. Nikon gave the S7000 a large thumb pad area on the back of the camera, squeezing a tiny oval-shaped movie button next to it. But the movie button is set so tightly to the camera body and is so small that it’s difficult to press when you’re in a hurry, meaning you may miss the beginning of a video recording while you’re trying to press this button successfully.
Once you can press the movie recording button properly, you will find that the Nikon S7000 does a better than average job in terms of recording movies. You can record full HD movies at speeds up to 30 frames per second.
The Nikon S7000’s battery life is a little below average versus other basic cameras. You can expect between 150 and 200 shots per battery charge, which means you might not be able to shoot for an entire day without needing a battery charge at some point.
When considering the Nikon Coolpix S7000 vs. Canon PowerShot SX610, you’ll find that the Nikon point-and-shoot camera has a better burst mode performance than the SX610 from Canon. But the Canon SX610 has a 50% greater battery lifespan than the S7000 (according to manufacturer estimates).
Photographers considering the Nikon Coolpix S7000 need to be aware of its strengths and limitations, ensuring that this model’s strengths will meet your needs. The best feature of the S7000 is its 20X optical zoom lens, which is great to find in an extremely thin camera. Versus other inexpensive point-and-shoot models, the Nikon S7000 provides above-average image quality, especially when the lighting in the scene is good, and being able to shoot full HD video is always a plus. Note that this camera uses SD/SDHC/SCXC storage types, which you’ll also find on other cameras including the Nikon D7500 and the Canon Powershot Elph 190 IS digital camera.
But the Nikon Coolpix S7000 manual control features are limited. You won’t be able to shoot in full manual control mode, as you can with more advanced models. Then again, those considering the S7000 probably are inexperienced photographers who will be better served with a fully automatic camera. So the large zoom lens and good image quality of the Coolpix S7000 will appeal more to these types of photographers than the lack of manual control features.
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