Nikon Coolpix S9100 Review

by Jeff Keller, DCRP Founder/Editor

Originally Posted: October 3, 2011

Last Updated: October 16, 2011

The Nikon Coolpix S9100 ($329) is a compact camera that packs a whopping 18X zoom into a remarkably small package. Other features include a 12.1 Megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, optical image stabilization, a high res LCD, Full HD video recording, and more bells and whistles than one could possibly need.

Read on to find out if the Coolpix S9100 is the travel zoom camera that you've been looking for!

What's in the Box?

The Coolpix S9100 has an average bundle for a compact camera. Inside the box, you'll find the following:

  • The 12.1 effective Megapixel Coolpix S9100 digital camera
  • EN-EL12 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • AC-to-USB adapter
  • Wrist strap
  • USB cable
  • A/V cable
  • CD-ROMs featuring Nikon ViewNX 2 and User Manual
  • 24 page Quick Start Guide (printed) + full manual on CD-ROM

The Coolpix S9100 has a 74MB of memory built into it, which holds 17 JPEGs at the highest image quality setting. That holds just 12 photos at the highest quality setting, so you'll want to pick up a memory card right away. The S9100 supports SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards, and I'd suggest a 2GB card for still shooters and maybe 8GB for movie buffs. A high speed (Class 6 or higher) is recommended for optimal performance.

The S9100 uses the EN-EL12 lithium-ion battery for power. This battery holds 3.9 Wh worth of energy, which is on the lower end of average for cameras in this class. Here's how the camera compares to other compact ultra zooms in terms of battery life:

Camera Battery life
(CIPA standard)
Canon PowerShot ELPH 510 IS * 170 shots
Casio Exilim EX-ZR100 * 450 shots
Fuji FinePix F600EXR * 300 shots
Nikon Coolpix S9100 * 270 shots
Olympus SZ-30MR * 200 shots
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS10 * 260 shots
Samsung WB700 220 shots
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V * 300 shots

* Full HD video recording

Battery life numbers are provided by the manufacturer

The Coolpix S9100's battery life numbers are almost exactly the group average. If you need an extra battery, do note that a spare, Nikon-branded EN-EL12 will set you back around $38, though generics can be found for less.

The Coolpix S9100's battery is charged internally, over a USB cable. You can use an included AC-to-USB adapter to charge, or just plug the camera right into your computer. Don't plan on charging when you're in a hurry, as it takes almost four hours to fully charge the battery. A faster external charger is listed in accessory section below.

There are just three accessories available for the Coolpix S9100, unless you count replacements for what came in the box. They include:

Accessory Model # Price Description
AC adapter EH-62F From $24 Power the camera without draining your battery.
Battery charger MH-65 From $25 Charge the EN-EL12 in a fraction of the time that the USB charger takes.
Leather case 13059 From $20 Protect your investment in this compact leather case.
Prices were accurate at time of publication

Nikon includes their ViewNX 2 software suite with the Coolpix S9100. This will transfer your photos from the camera to your Mac or PC, let you edit them, and them share them via e-mail, photo/social networking websites, or prints. ViewNX is quite capable, and beginners will find it easy-to-use.

The manual for the Coolpix S9100 is split into two parts. In the box there's a 24 page "Quick Start Guide" in the box, which is enough to get you up and running. For more details, you'll have to load up the full manual, which can be found in PDF format on an included CD-ROM. The quality of the manuals is better than average -- it's too bad that you have to load it up on your PC to read it, though. Documentation for the included software is installed onto your computer.