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Reviews

Nikon Coolpix S1100pj review

A digital camera with a built in projector – it’s bound to impress, but for how long?

Price
£238

As mobile devices become increasingly capable, their biggest drawback is their tiny screens. Stick a pico projector inside, though, and the screen can be far bigger than the device itself.

There are various stand-alone pico projectors on sale from around 200, and Samsung is leading the charge for projector-phones. Meanwhile, Nikon is doing the same for cameras with the S1100pj. This second-generation model is both brighter as a projector (up from 10 to 14 lumens) and can take higher-resolution photos (up from 12 to 14 megapixels). More importantly for business users, as well as projecting photos and videos taken with the camera, it can connect to a PC or Mac via USB and duplicate the computer's desktop on the projector.

Ignore the projector and this is a typical mid-price camera that we'd expect to sell for around 150. There's a respectable 5x zoom range but the f/3.9-5.8 lens captures around half as much light as f/2.8 lenses. Meanwhile, the excessive 14-megapixel sensor resolution means that very little light hits each pixel.

The upshot of these two factors is noisy images. Outdoor shots were a little grainy, with an indistinct haze to subtle textures. Indoor shots were smudged and blotchy. The automatic mode restricted the ISO speed to 80-400 to avoid the worst excesses of noise, but this meant that suppressing the flash in low light resulted in blur due to camera shake.

We didn't warm to the touch-screen interface, either. The layout is simple enough but it was a little unresponsive. Worst of all, the camera sometimes took a second or two to respond, but after repeated prods, the menu suddenly flew off in unexpected trajectories.

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