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Nikon CoolPix S1000pj review

Nikon CoolPix S1000pj
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £294
inc VAT

A camera with a built-in projector seems like a great idea, but image quality is nothing special and the projector risks being a short-lived novelty.


1/2.3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (28-140mm equivalent), 155g

We have a soft spot for cameras with unusual features, and there are few more unusual – and fun – than the Nikon CoolPix S1000pj. Inside its unassuming-looking shell lurks a projector that’s capable of creating a 40in image on the nearest available surface.

We’ve seen similar technology in mobile phone-sized micro projectors, using an LED lamp with a brightness of just 10 lumens. Building it into a digital camera gives it much more of a sense of purpose. The low brightness is a limitation, though, rendering it useless in natural light and restricting the picture size to around 12 inches under household lighting.

Still, for sharing photos and videos with friends, it certainly beats huddling around the 2.7in screen. The projector’s 640×480 resolution is impressive, as is the one-hour battery life, although bear in mind that the battery has to handle photographic duties too.

Operating the projector couldn’t be easier, with a dedicated button to activate it, a slider for focus and an infrared remote to avoid wobbles as you advance to the next picture. It’s a shame there’s no orientation sensor, and portrait-shaped photos are projected on their side.

Dedicated micro projectors cost from around £200, so it’s no surprise that the S1000pj is, in other respects, an unremarkable mid-price compact camera. Its controls are basic point-and-shoot fare and video recording is at VGA resolution.

The metal body looks smart and the 5x zoom wide-angle lens is welcome, but its f/3.9 aperture struggles in low light. Photos taken at high ISO speeds were seriously blotchy, so the flash is mandatory when shooting indoors. Outdoor photography was much better, but some noise was still visible and corner focus was a little soft.

This camera will dazzle friends and family, but perhaps only once or twice. We can easily imagine S1000pj owners boring others with slideshows of photos taken just moments beforehand. We’d rather just enjoy the moment, and use Picasa or Flickr to share our photos a few days later.

Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-140mm
Image stabilisation optical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
Maximum movie resolution 640×480
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 36MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 220 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
HDMI output resolution N/A
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier 5.6x
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables, remote control, stand
Weight 155g
Size 63x100x23mm

Buying Information

Warranty two years RTB
Price £294

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range auto
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controls none
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 3cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, spot, face detect
Metering modes multi, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer