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Nikon Coolpix S3

alaTest has collected and analyzed 197 reviews from magazines and websites. Views about the screen and image quality are overall positive. The size and usability are also mentioned favorably. The low light performance and shutter get less positive views, while the exposure and value for money get mixed comments.

portability, usability, size, image quality, screen

performance, flash, responsiveness, shutter, low-light

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Nikon Coolpix S3 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 83/100 = Very good quality.

See all Nikon Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 197 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 58 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 58 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (64)

Expert review by:

Nikon CoolPix S3


The Coolpix S3 is a 6-megapixel camera that delivers high performance shooting power and image quality in a sleek and ultra-portable package. Like the Coolpix S1 and S2 before it, the Matte Black Metal-body Coolpix S3 boasts a 2.5" LCD screen and Nikon's

The Coolpix S3 has a lot of appeal to those wanting ease of use and good image quality in a very small package. It offers several unique features that distinguish it from the competition, including D-lighting, Red Eye Fix and Best Shot Selector. At a stre

Expert review by:

Nikon CoolPix S3


The Coolpix S3 packs a lot of features into its small case, including a 6.0-megapixel CCD with 3x zoom lens, and a large 2.5-inch LCD. Its build is solid, with no creaks, and has a pleasant heft. All the controls and features--with the exception of the SD

Rather soft corners in its images (unfortunately rather common in subcompact digital cameras)Oversaturated reds and blues (a liability if you like more natural-looking color)Skin tones can be rather ruddy looking, overly pinkSome image noise even at low I

Expert review by:

Nikon Coolpix S3 Digital Point & Shoot Camera


The Nikon Coolpix S3 digital camera is a slim, portable device designed to be carried anywhere you might encounter an opportunity to take a photo. At six megapixels it's nothing to sneer at and it also offers a range of features and functions which...

The time lapse movie mode was a riot and we caught everything from lilies unfolding in the morning sun to children building a crazy sand castle on the beach. Wonderful stuff. Forget about movie mode for a moment though, because the camera's main...

The camera is a truly slim design and certain sacrifices are currently necessary in order to keep the price reasonable. For example, the zoom lens does not protrude from the camera body-it's all internal-which a lot of people will like. On the other...


Expert review by:

Nikon Coolpix S3 6.4MP Digital Camera


Expert review by:

Nikon Coolpix S3


Nikon's third ultra-thin digital camera, the Coolpix S3 adds an extra megapixel and is extremely similar to the S1, featuring the same lens, 2.5 inch LCD, In-Camera Red-eye fix and D-Lighting functions. So is the Coolpix S3 worth that extra megapixel?...

Stylish and thin (Though most of these ultra-thin cameras look more or less the same) ; 2.5 inch LCD ; Battery level indicator ; Many scene modes ; Unique D-Lighting and Face Priority AF ; Built-in help and tutorials

Weak flash ; LCD lacks resolution ; No manual controls ; Buffer clearing not fast ; Some soft photos and redeye ; Small shutter speed range ; Movie mode doesn't impress me

The Nikon Coolpix S3 features the standard ultra-thin camera features; 6 effective megapixels, a 2.5 inch LCD and 3x optical zoom. Nikon has added some distinctive features though, such as D-Lighting, Face Priority AF and In-Camera Red-eye Fix.

Expert review by:

Nikon CoolPix S3


The successor to Nikon's Coolpix S2, the 6 megapixel Coolpix S3, is a camera that looks very similar to its predecessors with a lot of the same features, such as the Zoom-Nikkor Lens, 17 scene modes, and Nikon's BSS and D-Lighting features. Since I...

Looking at the camera itself, all the controls are well-situated, but it would have been nice had Nikon designed it so the S3 would be easy to use with one hand.

Consumer review by:

Nikon Coolpix S3


Impressively slim and well constructed, the Coolpix S3 is a veryu nice slim Coolpix model using a 3x Zoom Nikkor lens that uses Extra-low Dispersion glass elements and 6.0MP and a very vivid 2.5" LCD. There are 13 scene modes, covering from potratit...

Consumer review by:

Very disappointing


This replaced a 3-megapixel Minolta camera with a tiny screen that produced significantly better picture quality. The flash is either too bright or not bright enough. I bought this so I could put it in my pocket, but I will probably not go with such a...

Highly portable, easy to use

Poor picture quality, flash

Consumer review by:

Nikon Coolpix S3 (black)


This replaced a 3-megapixel Minolta camera with a tiny screen that produced significantly better picture quality. The flash is either too bright or not bright enough. I bought this so I could put it in my pocket, but I will probably not go with such a...

Highly portable, easy to use

Poor picture quality, flash

Consumer review by:

I do not recommend this camera


This camera is not what you would expect from Nikon. The auto focus is very bad. Too many pictures are out of focus. Very disappointing.

Size, fits in your shirt pocket

Focus Problem

Product Specifications

A smart-looking, easy-to-use camera with style and performance, the Coolpix S3 is built to travel. The slim, 19.7mm aluminum body is ultra-portable, but in this sleek body is a sharp 35-105mm 3x Zoom-Nikkor ED lens (35mm equivalent). With 6 megapixels of effective resolution the Coolpix S3 gives you enough detail to enlarge your images up to 16" x 20" and more. There's a large, bright 2.5-inch LCD monitor, eliminating the need for a viewfinder. Select functions by name or icon on the intuitive Graphic User Interface (GUI) and use the handy HELP button for easy-to-understand explanations of menu functions, in your choice of twelve languages. The Coolpix S3 is loaded with Nikon's famous in-camera features. D-Lighting to rescue insufficiently exposed shots; Face-priority AF to automatically focus on human faces for better portraits; In-Camera Red-Eye Fix to eliminate the dreaded red eyes; and Blur Warning to alert you when a shot has been compromised by camera shake, so you can shoot it again for better results. Seventeen Scene Modes make shooting fun and rewarding in many common shooting scenarios, including Underwater (with optional Waterproof Case). Just select the Scene Mode for the shot you want, and the camera automatically picks the optimal settings. Four Scene Modes feature Scene Assist, to help you compose your shots for best effects. You can shoot high-quality movies in four different movie modes, three with sound, plus a Time-lapse mode. This bundle includes Nikon Coolpix S3 Digital Camera, Digital Camera Accessory Kit, 256MB SD Media Memory Card, Deluxe Carrying Slim Case.

Audio Input



Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Nikon EN-EL8


Camera Format:35mm
Timer Functions:Self timer

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Built-in flash/None

Digital Camera

Supported Flash Memory:SD Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Back light / Beach/snow / Close-up / Copy / Dawn/dusk / Fireworks / Landscape / Museum / Night landscape / Night portrait / Panorama assist / Party/indoor / Portrait mode / Sports mode / Sunset / Underwater

Flash Memory

Form Factor:SD Memory Card
Storage Capacity:256MB


Model:S3/S3 Year 2000 Limited Edition
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Nikon/Nikon Coolpix

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/1.4/F/3.0-5.4
Max Focal Length:17.4mm
Min Focal Length:5.8mm/50mm
Optical Zoom:3
Type:Lens/Zoom lens


Color:Ivory white/Matte black

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.5"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):10.2 mm ( 1/2.5 ) / 10.2 mm ( 1/2.5" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:6Megapixel

Optical Viewfinder


Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:QuickTime
Digital Zoom:4
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Cool / Neutral / Saturation / Sepia / Vivid
Still Image Format:JPEG
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type: None