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Nikon Coolpix S1100pj review

Ben Pitt
3 Dec 2010
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
299
inc VAT

We like the idea of a projector-camera hybrid, but the reality is less appealing – the touchscreen is fiddly and image quality is poor.

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Specifications

1/2.33in 14.0-megapixel sensor, 4.0x zoom (28-140mm equivalent), 180g

Pico projectors are a great idea, enabling a handheld gadget to escape the confines of its dimensions and press a suitable surface into use as a spacious display. A digital camera’s LCD screen is fine for composing shots and making rough checks of new images, but the built in projector on the Nikon S1100pj means you can show them off to others too.

The projector’s 640x480 resolution is basic but it’s higher than the camera’s 460,000-dot LCD screen (if you’re wondering why the maths doesn’t add up, it’s because the 460,000 figure counts red, green and blue sub-pixels separately whereas the 640x480 resolution counts full-colour pixels).

The projector’s brightness is its main limitation. When held close to a wall to project a 3in image – the same size as the screen – it’s not much brighter than the LCD. Pulling back creates a larger but much dimmer image, although we found that in low household lighting it was still watchable at 20 inches across. Turning the lights off gave better contrast and let us project an even bigger image.

Nikon S1100pj front

This is Nikon’s second projector-cum-camera, and the increased projector brightness, up from 10 lumens on the S1000pj (see What’s New, Shopper 266) http://www.expertreviews.co.uk/digital-cameras/276073/nikon-coolpix-s1000pj to 14 lumens is clearly welcome. It can also be used as a PC display, connecting to your laptop via USB. We’re not sure who would use this feature, though – as a laptop screen will always be brighter and sharper.

We’re happy to see a move to HD video recording; there was a hint of noise in outdoor clips and more than a hint indoors, but overall the quality was excellent. There’s also an orientation sensor so portrait-shaped shots are rotated during playback – an important feature for use with the projector.