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 image sensor is a bit smaller at 1/3.1 when most point-and-shoots use a 1/2.3. That said, the sensor size is similar to what's inside the iPhone 5 and 6. You won't want to make large prints from this camera, but based on the specs and the older S32, users should expect an image quality somewhere in the realm of the iPhone. Since the S33 is waterproof to 33 feet and shockproof to 5 feet, it's a good option for taking places you don't want to bring an expensive smartphone. Or, considering the large controls and simple interface, this also makes a good durable camera for kids.
On to the surprises. It's common to see budget models with paltry 1 fps burst speeds, but the Nikon Coolpix S33 has a 4.7 fps burst. It's certainly not the greatest, but is excellent for the price and should be sufficient for most users. That's coupled with a 1/2000 maximum shutter speed, which again, isn't bad for the category. And while most budget cameras tend to shoot 720p video, the S33 can shoot 1080p HD footage at 30 fps.
The Nikon Coolpix S33 won't get users shots on the same quality as the Olympus TG-3, Ricoh WG-4 or Nikon AW120, but sits at about half the price. By comparison, Panasonic's budget option, the TS30, is about $30 more and has that larger 1/2.3 inch sensor, but just a 1.3 fps burst mode and a 23 feet depth rating. Before buying any budget model though, we reccommend looking at older models that have dropped in price because of a newer model, which often offer better specs, like the Fujifilm XP70. The S33 looks excellent for the price, well-suited for heading places a smartphone can't, good for families on a budget, or as a camera for kids.
The Nikon Coolpix S33 will be released on March 5, 2015 in white or blue for a list price of about $150.