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Nikon Reviews: Best Nikon Compact Cameras

While Nikon is more known for their DSLRs, they have a few compact cameras often worth a look. Nikon point-and-shoots are a bit harder to judge without a full hands-on review--we've seen a few gems, but there's also a few that really didn't pan out.

Nikon offers compact cameras for nearly every budget, and it appears that Nikon's naming strategy tends to indicate price and level as well. The S-models ex. Coolpix S6500) are mid-line options. L models on the other hand are very basic with minimal features but a low price. The P tends to designate a more advanced camera with highlighting features like a larger sensor or a bigger zoom. AW designates their rough, waterproof models. The numbers following that can also indicate their level--for example the Coolpix S3300 has fewer features than the S6300. Numbers will also indicate when it was released, with the S6500 being newer than the S6300.

Be careful with the lowest budget options, they tend to be slow and snap pretty basic shots. Nikon's advanced options have recieved several decent reviews from us in the past, with the middle options being hit or miss. Here are Nikon's best compact cameras.

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Nikon COOLPIX S6300

Nikon's higher-end S-series models have really impressed in the last year or so. They are responsive and have the latest backside illuminated CMOS sensors. The S6300 is pretty compact for its impressive 10x zoom lens and offers key upgrades to...

Grade: C+ Price: $133.00

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Nikon Coolpix L610

The L610 looks to compete directly with Canon's SX150, both of which run on AA batteries and sport a decent zoom range. The L610's 14x optical zoom isn't much compared to the 20x zooms found on higher end compact zoom models, or indeed...

Grade: B+ Price: $130.00

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Nikon COOLPIX L30

We're pleased to see that Nikon is sticking with a 1/2.3" size sensor with their budget models, instead of shrinking it down to hit the right price point. What you will sacrifice for this price is speed, with just a 1.1 fps burst mode, th...

Grade: C+ Price: $120.00

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Nikon COOLPIX S3500

The Nikon S3500 adds another four megapixels to the previous model, but doesn't upgrade the CCD sensor size. Regardless, the 20.1 megapixel camera with a 7x zoom is still a decent choice for a a smaller, more affordable point-and-shoot. Nikon ...

Grade: B+ Price: $115.00

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Nikon Coolpix S33

The Nikon Coolpix S33 is hiding quite a few surprises for a budget camera. While users will find better quality with pricier models like the Olympus TG-3, there's not a whole lot of cameras with similar features for under $150.First off, the i...

Grade: C+ Price: $106.00

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Nikon COOLPIX S3600

Nikon's cheapest Coolpix S-line camera for 2014 still keeps the 1/2.3" sensor, though it switches over to a CCD style. It sports a nice 8x optical zoom with vibration reduction, though doesn't offer wi-fi at this price and has a small...

Grade: B+ Price: $101.00

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Nikon COOLPIX S3300

The S3300 and S4300 are essentially identical other than the S4300's larger 3-inch LCD. Both have 16 megapixel sensors and a useful 6x zoom with a 26mm wide-angle. The video, as you'd expect from a CCD sensor, is 720p. Unless you need the ...

Grade: C Price: $99.00

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Nikon COOLPIX S02

Sub-$200 cameras are very much a hit and miss. Nikon's September 2013 budget compact, the S02, is directed towards consumers looking for a trendy, pocketable camera. Except for the lack of wi-fi, the S02 operates very much like a smart phone with ...

Grade: B- Price: $99.00