Nikon Coolpix S800c : The world's smartest camera?

Consumer Reports

Nikon Coolpix S800c
Nikon recently announced the Wi-Fi-enabled 16-megapixel Coolpix S800c basic camera—the first camera on the market that runs Google's Android operating system (version 2.3). Among other things, this means you can customize and expand the set of features on your camera. I've used the camera for a couple of days, and here's what I've found.

Wi-Fi, Android OS, and apps.

The heart of what makes the Nikon Coolpix S800c unique is that it can download any app from Google Play, the Android app store. When I tried this, I first had to jump around in the menus to make sure the camera was connected to Wi-Fi (there's no 3G or 4G connectivity). But once connected, downloading apps and setting them up was a breeze. I added Facebook and Instagram, and I was able to post photos to both directly from the camera.

MORE AT COnsumer Reports

I also downloaded some free photography and multimedia apps, including Photoshop Express (for editing photos), Make it 3D Free (for creating 3D images), and Lapse It (for creating time-lapse videos). My favorite app, though, was AndroMedia, which let me create a slideshow with photos, video, and my own music. In many ways, this app more fully realizes the promise of editing photos, audio, and videos on a mobile device that I first saw on my iPhone 3GS a couple of years ago.

Camera features, photos, and video.

Although the S800c has a touch screen for accessing menus and controls, it still has some physical controls, including a shutter button and a small zoom toggle around the shutter button. It also features a 25mm wide-angle-capable lens, which lets you capture a broader vista in group photos and landscapes, as well as a 10x optical zoom, which is long for a camera of this size. (It's a little thicker than most subcompact cameras, but it's just 1.1 inches thick.) Unlike most cameras, this model has a generous amount of onboard storage: 2GB, some for apps but mostly for storing photos and video.

(See also: iPhone 5: What to expect)

The S800c produced still shots that appeared crisp and vibrant. Videos looked decent, with good color fidelity and saturation, but I found that although I could zoom while capturing video clips, the camera didn't refocus on the fly. It also didn't adjust to changes in lighting. That means the focus and exposure is locked, so if say, you move from bright light to dark, or your subject moves toward you, the video doesn't adjust.

Coolpix S800c

Interface, ergonomics, and help.

The large 3.5-inch OLED touch screen looks very clear and sharp while you're shooting or playing back images or videos. Although menus and the layout of the apps and settings look similar to what you see on most Android smart phones, the structure seems less linear. But those who are used to smart-phone interfaces will get up to speed quickly.

Bottom line.

So just how smart is the Coolpix S800c? It's a groundbreaking camera. It gives third-party companies the opportunity to create apps that could take the camera in directions Nikon itself hasn't imagined.

This does not make it a flawless product. For example, when I put the camera through its paces, the battery ran out quickly. And according to the manual, this Coolpix can shoot just a paltry 140 shots or capture just 40 minutes of video, before it has to be recharged. So if buy this camera, you'll want to get an extra battery or two.

We'll have more on the Nikon Coolpix S800c's image quality and other performance tests shortly, when our lab tests are completed.

Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Recommended for You

  • Family Heartbroken After 4-Year-Old Is Killed by New Dog Dropped Off Minutes Earlier

    The owner reportedly dropped the dog off less than an hour before the attack.

    Inside Edition
  • Woman who pushed husband out of high-rise window found dead in prison

    An Oklahoma woman convicted of second-degree murder for shoving her hubby out of the window of their high-rise apartment was found dead in her prison cell on Monday, officials said. Amber Hilberling, 25, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence for the 2011 death of Joshua Hilberling was officially pronounced dead at 5:33 p.m. at the Mabel Bassett Correctional Center in McLoud, OK, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. The medical’s examiner’s office will determine Hilberling’s cause of death, but the woman’s parents who spoke exclusively to KTUL-ABC 8, said that medical staff told them that the death was being treated as a suicide, according to the news channel. Hilberling’s stepfather, Bryan Whitlock, who said he spoke to Hilberling the night before, told KTUL that there is “no way” his stepdaughter’s death was a suicide.

    New York Post q
  • You Need To Read These Stories About Marshawn Lynch From His Former Seattle Teammates

    Just watch his episode of Running Wild with Bear Grylls for proof of all of this. The Seattle Times caught up with a few guys on Seattle’s roster and asked for their favorite Marshawn stories. My first week here, we were outside on the field, and I was talking to Justin Forsett.

  • Phil Collins Witnessed Princess Diana’s Affair and 7 More Shocking Revelations From His Memoir

    In his new memoir, 'Not Dead Yet,' Phil Collins shares shocking stories about Princess Diana and Prince Charles, Adele and more — read Us Weekly's top revelations!

    Us Weekly
  • Michael Bloomberg nails the 'greatest conundrum' America faces today

    Former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg attempted to explain the sentiment of Donald Trump’s supporters, noting that many would be “flipping hamburgers” after they lose their jobs to technology. “One thing that has to be said here is Donald Trump really does represent 40% to 45% of this country. Indeed, this explains why manufacturing activity is up even as manufacturing jobs falter.

    Yahoo Finance
  • Our 16 Favorite Products From Amazon's Amazing One-day Beauty Sale (17 photos)

    Dry skin and tired eyes plague every traveler, and finding the right beauty products to bring along on the road can be a treacherous task. But today, youre in luck, because Amazon is having a flash sale on some great brands. The online retailer is offering a variety of luxury beauty items from favorites like Stila, Perricone MD, and Jouer at 20 percent off with our semi-exclusive promo code: LUXMAKEUP20. Just enter the code at checkout for a discount on one eligible item, valid until midnight on Oct. 25, 2016. Not sure what to choose? Scroll on for some of our favorite travel-friendly choices from the sale.

  • Doctors thought he just had jock itch. Then it spread.

    Late Friday afternoon on Dec. 4, 2014, Stephen Schroeder was waiting to board his packed flight from Philadelphia to Las Vegas for a much anticipated long weekend with his son when his cellphone rang. On the line was an unexpected caller: his doctor, reporting test results sooner than Schroeder had expected. Listening intently, Schroeder was flooded with disbelief as he struggled to comprehend what he was hearing. Using the lip of a trash can as a writing surface, he scribbled notes on the back of his boarding pass, making the doctor spell out each unfamiliar word. Then he sent a terse text to his wife, who was at their home in the Philadelphia suburbs, and got on the plane. Onboard, Schroeder,

    Washington Post q
  • Principal brutally beaten after telling teen to remove headphones

    The principal at a lower Manhattan high school was beaten to a pulp by a student on Monday when he told the teen to remove his headphones, sources said. Principal Matthew Tossman of Manhattan Early College School for Advertising, which is inside Murry Bergtraum High School, spotted 18-year-old Luis Penzo with his headphones blasting in the hallway around noon, according to police sources. Tossman asked Penzo to turn down the music, and Penzo refused. Then, when Tossman tried to remove the headphones, the 18-year-old student cold-cocked the principal. Penzo continued to pounce on Tossman, socking him several times in the face, causing swelling and lacerations around both of the principal’s eyes.

    New York Post q
  • Teen Girls Arrested After Video of Assault on Man, 62, Appears on Facebook

    Two girls, one 14 and one 15, are accused of assaulting a 62-year-old man who told them to get off his lawn.

    Inside Edition
  • A Redskins Coach Exposed His Wiener To Fans When He Whipped It Out To Pee On The Sideline

    One Redskins coach, however, decided to go full Nick Novak and pee on the sideline during Washington’s game on Sunday against Detroit. Ben Kotwica, Washington’s special teams coordinator, grabbed a cup, walked away from the action, and went to the bathroom. If you’d like to see the uncensored picture, Deadspin has your back.

  • The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Is Losing Its Showrunner

    It can be hard to pinpoint what makes a late-night show work so well with audiences, but The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon seems to have cracked the code. Over the last few years, the series has become one of the most popular late-night offerings, consistently dominating in the ratings season after season. While much of this has to do with the charisma of the man in front of the camera, it's important to remember those behind the scenes as well. With that in mind, it now seems The Tonight Show has suffered a major loss, as showrunner Josh Lieb has officially left the series. After serving as the late-night series' showrunner for several years, Josh Lieb has decided to step down from The

  • World Series of Poker player lectures another about being a bully

    Poker is generally a quiet game with occasional banter, but Englishman William Kassouf just doesn’t shut up.

    Sporting News
  • Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal open up about Novak Djokovic's recent struggles in tennis

    Sporting legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have opened up about Novak Djokovic's recent run of poor form in tennis, admitting that while the Serb is "going through a crisis" they feel that the sport is less important as compared to what life has to offer. The number one ranked player in the world Djokovic, recently revealed that loss of desire and love for the sport was behind his struggles following his incredible success on court at the beginning of the season. Federer and Nadal who have experienced ups and downs in their careers understand what the Serb is going through but have revealed that life is more important than the sport.

    International Business Times ONC UK q
  • Marco Rubio suffers for Trump endorsement as he is booed by Latino crowd in Florida

    Republican Florida senator Marco Rubio has been booed off stage by a crowd of Latino voters in his home state. Rubio appeared at the Calle Orange festival event in Orlando, which is aimed at the Puerto Rican community, intending to be met by a crowd of his Latino supporters.

    International Business Times ONC UK q
  • Oops! She Did It Again — Britney Spears’s Bra Top Came Undone at Her Las Vegas Performance

    Whether she’s carrying a seven-foot boa constrictor seductively across a stage, giving us the height of millennial fashion in a coordinated denim gown with Justin Timberlake, or simply displaying her unparalleled ability to Google Image search corn, it seems the singer has got it all under control.

  • 'Nothing short of a miracle' how kids survived suicidal bridge fall with dad, police say

    "When the officers found the children -- conscious and alert -- it's nothing short of a miracle, that's for sure," said Captain Christopher Depuyt with the Pequannock Police Department.

    WABC – NY
  • Mom Pleads To Save Her Nearly 300 Pound 11-Year-Old Daughter

    Miranda and her mother Julie have come to The Doctors seeking guidance and help to transform their eating habits in hopes of reversing their health issues. Miranda says the bullying from other kids has become a “daily routine” for her. Miranda, who has struggled with her own weight over her life, explains that they have attempted to change their eating habits, but admits she doesn’t know how to fix the issue.

    The Doctors TV
  • Ex-attorney general sentenced to jail, then cuffed in court

    NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, once a rising star in state politics, left a courtroom in handcuffs on Monday after getting a 10- to 23-month sentence for a retaliation scheme a judge linked to her all-consuming ego.

    Associated Press
  • Missing your Galaxy Note 7? Xiaomi’s Mi Note 2 will help you get over it

    The Xiaomi Mi Note 2 is official, and it wants to take the place of the Galaxy Note 7 on the world stage, thanks to a version made for international buyers. The big-screen phone looks great and has plenty of tech inside.

    Digital Trends
  • Rihanna's Backup Dancer Has Been Found and Is Now Receiving Medical Treatment

    Rihanna's backup dancer Shirlene Quigley has been found after she was reported missing earlier this week.