I spent some time with a Nikon compact camera, which is perfect for traveling: the Nikon Coolpix S9900. From the front it looks like an old analog camera of my father. I absolutely love the camera’s design, because back in the days, they had a good taste. But I’m a star in finding pretty things which ultimately turn out to be less functional it’s a gift! Does that apply to this camera? I have therefore tested the the S9900 for two weeks during my road trip and looked for something different than the design;-): suitability for travel bloggers. Is this camera something for you? And what’s my judgment?
Convenient rotatable screen
The camera has a folding and rotating LCD screen. That means you can make selfies of yourself and that’s also convenient for vlogging. You can see yourself on the screen and check whether you’re in on it or not. Nobody wants to discover later on you’re not in the picture, right? For me it was the first time in years vlogging (I used to do it for myself when I was traveling around the world). I had to get used to the camera and not to look at the screen. But you’re getting used to everything, even a camera.
The camera has GPS which gives you the ability to add locations to your photos, but also to track where you are at that moment. GPS / GLONASS / QZSS satellites keep your location accurately. You can track your route by storing up to 30 shooting locations on a world map. I have not used this myself, but it seems very convenient. I often haven’t got a clue of where I am. Not joking. From photos I often also don’t know where I shot it. Beach 1? 2? 3? For travel bloggers obviously convenient, but also for people who have a bad memory, like me.
WIFI! Rather a rule than exception for Millennials. The camera has wifi, which you, in combination with a smart device (such as your tablet or phone), can use with an an app – you have to download first. So you can transfer your pictures and it saves memory. I have an Eyefi memory card (also works with an app) so I have only used the app for this camera once. That worked fine.
The zoom (30x optical) of the camera is really WOW! I layed on the beach to shoot photos of the sea a few meters away and the quality was still great. So I could keep an eye on my surfing boyfriend and be jealous that he can catch waves without taking lessons. Why are guys always better in things?
Film in HD
With the hype around video, there’s no getting away for a blogger: we need to produce video. Were society previously inclined you’re special when you are a visually minded person, now we are all visually minded. Anyway, I (as a traveler) always loved film. I made the ugliest videos of the dumbest family parties. Luckily I never put them on Youtube. Do you want to put your videos on Youtube? Nowadays you’re expected to make Full HD movies (1080 / 60i). So Nikon has enough in-house to shoot a good quality video for Youtube. Very useful is the ability to pause a recording so you do not need to click on ‘stop’. Not that that’s a problem.
Not necessarily a function that only this camera has, but certainly convenient when traveling. The charger has a USB connection. You take the head of the charger, and ensure you’re having an USB cable with mini and micro connection with it. Most other devices also use USB, so it saves a lot of chargers to take with you in your bag! Too bad I have an iphone 5, which uses another type of cable.
Judgment day: camera for traveling?
The camera is definitely a must for traveling. The weight is much better than my DSLR camera, I get quite often sore shoulders. With my DSLR I can shoot, but I can’t make vlogs. The camera is easy to use. With some automatic scenes you’re always good to go if you don’t have a lot of time to get into the camera more deeply. There’s a timer to take pictures of yourself, but also a rotable lcd screen to shoot in the selfie position. The camera has wifi and glamour-retouch to edit your photos quickly and upload to your channels via the app. For good quality pictures and pictures with less light you would be better of using a DSLR camera, but that’s a whole other category of camera’s. It cuts away a lot of weight though.
Below are some more pictures and a Dutch spoken vlog to show the quality of videos. P.s. the black version of the camera looks more like a compact camera and the silver like an analog (from the front). Choose wisely.
Easy to use modes: auto, scenes, smart, portrait, short movie
Image sensor: 1 / 2.3-inch CMOS total pixels: approx 16.76 million
Lens: NIKKOR 30x optical zoom
Focal length: 4.5 to 135 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of a lens 25-750 mm camera format)
F-number f / 3.7-6.4
Memory: SD, SDHC, SDXC and internal memory (approximately 473 MB)
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 125-1600, ISO 3200, ISO 6400 (available in P, S, A or M)
Shutter speed:. 1/2000 to 1 second, 1/2000 to 8 seconds. (when ISO sensitivity is fixed at ISO 125 or 200 put in the position S, A1 M), 1/4000 sec. (maximum speed during high-speed continuous shooting), 4 sec. (Scene Mode Fireworks)
Camera Dimensions: 66mm x 112mm x 39.5
Colors: Silver and Black
Price: From € 329
Exposure: Manual or automatic
Optical Zoom: 25-750mm
Stabilization: optical, surprisingly good. Combination of Lens-shift VR and electronic VR camera shake when shooting action and even at full zoom.
Battery life of around 300 shots
What are your preferences for travelling: compact system or DSLR?