New Nikon CoolPix cameras pack ruggedness and projectors

Nikon Coolpix P7100

Check out our full written review of the Nikon CoolPix P7100 digital camera.

Nikon has taken the wraps off of no fewer than six new compact Coolpix cameras, hoping to appeal to a broad range of photographers whether they want power and flexibility, easy-to-use fashion-friendly designs, a built-in projector, or a rugged camera that can keep up with their rough-and-tumble lifestyles.

At the top end is the Nikon Coolpix P7100, designed to appeal to more-serious photographers with a wide range of features and an emphasis on quality. The P7100 offers a 10.1 megapixel resolution, a 7.1× optical zoom, 3-inch tilting LCD display, and speedy powerup and image processing times. Folks used to DSLR cameras will appreciate two command dials for rapid navigation through settings, along with a low-noise night mode, built-in neutral-density filter, special effects modes (including the ability to defocus during exposure, along with cross processing), and zoom memory for getting back to precise zoom settings. The P7100 can capture 720p video, and a mini HDMI output enables users to put their creations on a big screen. Expect to see the P7100 for about $500.

Nikon Coolpix S8200

Next up, Nikon is rolling out the Coolpix S8200, featuring a 16 megapixel backside-illuminated sensor and a 14× optical zoom—all without getting any larger than its predecessor. The S8200 also features a target-finding autofocus function that enables the camera to automatically predict and focus on a subject, along with fast response and several continuous shooting functions that enable the camera to take up to five 16 megapixel shots at about 6fps, making it easy to capture action. The S8200 also features filter effects and 1080p HD movie recording; expect to see it for about $330.

Nikon Coolpix S6200

If you don’t need a superzoom, the 16-megapixel Coolpix S6200 might be for you: it’s tgot a 10× optical zoom, motion detection, lens-shift vibration reduction for low-light shots—and the ability to distinguish between when it’s being used hand-held rather than on a tripod for optimum response. The S6200 also sports built-in filter effects and can handle shooting 720p video; it should retail for about $230.

Nikon Coolpix S100

The fashion-forwward—for whom size and color is usually as important as features—might check out the Coolpix S100, which features a 3.5-inch OLED display, 16 megapixel resolution, backside-illuminated CMOS sensor, and a body just 18.1mm deep. If you want to impress your friends, check out the 3D photography function, that enables users to take two pictures and meld them together into a single 3D image. The S100 also sports filter effects and 1080p video capture: it’ll be available in six colors for about $300.

Nikon Coolpix AW100

If you live in the great outdoors—or just subject your camera to unusual amounts of torture—the Coolpix AW100 and Coolpix AW100s are both designed to resist dust, cold, and shock, and can operate up to 10 meters underwater. They also sport 16 megapixel resolutions (the sensor is backside-illuminated), 3-inch LCD displays, 5× optical zooms, 1080p video capture, and assisted GPS for geotagging photos: the AW100 also offers map display, while the AW100 sports an electronic compass. The AW100 and AW100s should be available for about $380.

Nikon Coolpix S1200pj

Finally, the Coolpix S1200pj might be the most specialized of the bunch: it offers a built-in projector that Nikon claims can project images up to the size of a 60-inch bigscreen TV at 20 lumens with contrast of up to 200:1—and the camera is also compatible with iOS devices, enabling users to project images from an iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch to project content of video from those devices. The S1200pj sports a 14.1 megapixel resolution, 5× optical zoom, 3-inch display, image stabilization—and users can hook it up to Windows PCs and Macs to project content or imagery. Expect to see the S1200pj for about $430.

Nikon says all six new Coolpix models should be available next month.