The Bottom Line
My Coolpix S1100pj review shows a few nice features that go beyond the projector, such as a touch screen LCD.
The S1100pj's photography features are good, but they don't justify this camera's $349.95 MSRP. It's the touch screen LCD and projector that provide a good value in this model.
- Built-in projector is a very interesting option and works well
- Camera design looks great with unique color options
- Touch screen LCD is sharp and bright, even in sunlight, and includes shutter control
- Camera exposure is really accurate most of the time
- Camera is very easy to use, thanks to various scene modes, "smart" auto mode, and touch screen LCD
- Image quality is only average to slightly above average
- If you don't need the projector feature, price is a little high
- It would be nice to have the option of a directional button for working through menus
- You may notice some focus or camera shake problems in low light on occasion
- Resolution: 14.1 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 5X (28-140mm)
- LCD: 3.0-inch, 460,000 pixels, touch screen
- Maximum image size: 4320 x 3240 pixels
- Battery: Li-ion rechargeable
- Dimensions: 4.0 x 2.5 x 1.0 inches
- Weight: 6.4 ounces (with battery and memory card)
- Image sensor: CCD 1/2.3 in.
- Movie mode: 720p HD video
Guide Review - Nikon Coolpix S1100pj Review
With the Coolpix S1100pj, the overall image quality is about average to slightly above average. There really isn't anything consistently wrong with the S1100pj's image quality, but there isn't anything that stands out, either.
Outdoor photos are well exposed, but the colors just seemed a little flat sometimes. The camera's small, built-in flash seems to work pretty well, and flash photos are also well exposed.
Occasionally, you'll notice some focus and camera shake problems with this camera, especially in low light, indoor photos. If you're shooting these types of photos with the S1100pj, take a little extra time to be certain your photo is sharp before you move on to the next subject. In outdoor photos, the camera's focus is good nearly all of the time.
The macro focus mode with the S1100pj actually works very well, and I did not notice any focus problems in my macro tests.
The S1100pj also did a nice job of setting the proper exposure in automatic mode nearly all of the time, even finding details in shadowed areas very well.
The S1100pj's 5X optical zoom lens doesn't have a smooth movement, and it's difficult to "stop" the zoom at the exact magnification you need.
The S1100pj's touch screen LCD (measuring 3.0 inches diagonally) isn't as big as you'll find with some other cameras, but it is very sharp and bright. In fact, it was easy to view outdoors in bright sunlight ... and I still had the LCD brightness set two steps below the highest level.
With its touch screen, the S1100pj is very easy to use. Nikon included 17 scene modes, and the camera includes a "help" mode where you can see explanations of each scene mode, if needed. Additionally, Nikon included the ability to manually adjust one setting with a slider bar while using a scene mode, which is handy.
The camera's built-in projector works surprisingly well for a small unit. Nikon says the projector will work at a distance up to 7 feet. It will work over that distance, but you need a very dark room. Over a distance of a few feet, the S1100pj's projector works well even with some light in the room. The output image is about 0.3 megapixels in resolution, so it isn't the sharpest image, but it's still a pretty cool feature to have available.
However, you will notice that the camera's rechargeable battery drains pretty quickly if you use the projector a lot.
I like the look of the Coolpix S1100pj, as the camera looks as if it has two lenses. One of the "lenses" is the projector, of course, but it gives the S1100pj a unique look.
One design aspect I did not like was the lack of a four-way button for controlling on-screen menus. Some touch screen LCDs occupy the entire back panel of a camera, leaving no room for buttons. Nikon included a few buttons alongside the LCD on the S1100pj, but there are no directional control buttons. It sometimes would be easier to work through the menus or select a scene mode if you could use buttons instead of the touch screen.