Nikon Coolpix S6300 Digital Camera Review$199.95
Ease of Use
Shooting with the Coolpix S6300 is a strictly automatic affair, and given the target market that's not a surprise. The camera does everything for you here, though you can change the focusing distance (to allow for macro shots), set the self-timer, change flash options, and adjust exposure compensation by plus or minus two stops.
Buttons & Dials
The S6300's button layout is about as minimal as you can get without resorting to touchscreen control. Up top are the on/off button as well as the zoom ring and shutter release. On the back you'll find several more buttons. The uppermost button provides direct access to video recording. Below it are shooting mode and playback buttons, and below that is the four-way control pad/rotary command dial, which surrounds the OK button. The four directional buttons double as direct controls for flash, timer, macro, and exposure compensation. Finally, below this cluster are the main menu and trash buttons.
Effects, Filters, and Scene Modes
There are a total of 19 scene modes included with the S6300, ranging from traditional options like portrait and landscape to more esoteric choices like food, fireworks, backlighting, panorama, and 3D photography. The latter isn't true 3D, but simulates it by taking two photos at slightly different angles, replicating the positioning of the human eyes. The images must be played back on a 3D-compatible HDTV or monitor. In addition to the 19 scene modes, there's a "Scene auto selector" mode that tries to intelligently pick the appropriate scene mode by analyzing your subject.
There are also six art filters, including a soft focus effect, sepia, high-contrast monochrome (black and white), high key, low key, and selective color. The chosen effect is previewed in real time as you compose your shots.
The main menu is divided into three tabs: Shooting, Movie, and Setup. Each tab contains a vertical list of adjustable settings, and the submenu for each of these can be reached either by pressing right or hitting OK. Generally speaking, the menus are simple to use and well laid out. Visually they're a bit dated, but at this price point you really can't be too picky.