Nikon Coolpix S9100 extends an 18x zoom from a compact body capable of 1080p

We heard from Nikon on the topic of high-end point-and-shoot cameras, it was touting Full HD video and a backside-illuminated 12.1 megapixel CMOS sensor on its S8100. Well, here comes the S9100, still possessing those goodies, but now it's attaching them to a lens capable of 18x optical zoom -- a feature you'd usually expect to find on shooters far bulkier than this pocket-friendly portable.

ISO sensitivity can stretch up to 3200 (only 800 in automatic mode), there's a 1050mAh battery helping power the 3-inch, 920k-dot rear-mounted display, and you'll also probably want to know that the 1080p movie mode records sound in stereo and ticks along at a healthy 30fps.

Our brief time with the S9100 revealed it to be a typically well built little shooter, although we did notice zooming it backwards and forwards is a fairly slow affair -- which can grow into something of a nuisance when you've got such a massive zoom range -- while the tripod mount is way off to the left of center. We're sure Nikon has thought that decision through and balanced the camera's weight appropriately, however. Sales around the world begin on March 17th, with local pricing set at $330, €348 and £300 in the major markets.


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