Digital Cameras 2013

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Nikon Coolpix S4
Nikon Coolpix S4

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Extended Zoom Digital Cameras category.

Nikon Coolpix S4

We've given the S4 a grade of C-.

Editor's Review

A new twist on extended zoom, the Nikon Coolpix S4 can turn heads with more than just quirky packaging. The Nikon Coolpix S4 features a neat swiveling lens, with a powerful 10x optical zoom that will provide lots of potential for exciting panoramas and interesting angles. The D-Lighting function improves on photos before they even leave the camera, adjusting images suffering from lack of light or over saturation.


  • 6 megapixels
  • 10x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • Part Number: S4
  • UPC: 018208255337
  • Release Date: Sep 02, 2005

Shop for S4 Accessories

Nikon Coolpix S4 Reviews

Nikon Coolpix S4 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 1.0 out of 5
S4 - Blank Screen Disaster (UP — 08/04/2009)

I have an S4 for about 2.5 years. It was working fine, till one day i faced this blank screen problem. Searched the net and found-out that it is due to a manufacturing defect Nikon has. It happens to all S4/S10 inevitably.
Nikon should have done something about it. I will never buy a Nikon ever again.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Junk (AJ — 08/04/2009)

Called Nikon, found many people having same problem
Nikon won't do anything.
Buy a Cannon!!!!

  • 1.0 out of 5
worse than terrible (Barbara Norris — 07/07/2009)

the camera has taken a total of 330 pictures, and been in for repair of a blank screen twice. Now it is broken again. Nikon denies any problem.

  • 1.0 out of 5
No image appearing on the screen (Sudesh Kumar — 02/04/2009)

I already own a Nikon SLR FD75 7 is very happy with the results. Going by the reputation of Nikon I decided to buy the disital version viz. Coolpix S4 but am repenting ever since I bought this camera. Within months of purchasing this camera the screen went completely blank & had to sent this camera back to Japan for repairs which took atleast 3 months. The dealer said that this was the common problem being faced by numerous buyers. This year again the lens has been dsiplaced of its track & have sent it back to Japan for repairs. I have decided to never buy a Nikon digital camera in my life. I guess a Sony cybershot or Canon would have been a better choice.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Nikon failed on this camera (Alice — 12/15/2008)

I loved my Nikon CoolpixS4 camera because it took great shots and the 10x optical zoom was great. However, ever since August I cannot take pictures because the screen is black. Even though I can preview previous pictures on the preview screen, if I take a picture it just shows as a blank screen. I have contacted Nikon and they have advised me to send to them for repairs. One would think that if they are having such a problem with these cameras that they would do a recall and notify those of us who have registered with them when we purchased the camera. Very disappointed that I have to go without my camera for so long.

  • 5.0 out of 5
and it keeps on going (beverly — 12/12/2008)

by far one of the best cameras I have ever owned.

  • 2.0 out of 5
disapointed (Lynette Fortunato — 09/15/2008)

I get blurred pictures especially indoors. When I put the flash on automatic it won't stay changes to something else. Batteries don't last. Spent a fortune on batteries. Can't see the subject on the screen if you are in the sun. It's just black. I have gotton some good pictures but when I really want to it always gives me trouble. I have an old slr I never have trouble with and always get great pictures with but isn't light weight and small. I wish I could justify buying another digital camera. My husband gave me this one with the advice at a camera store. Very dissapointed.

  • 1.0 out of 5
worst piece (Anil Agrawal — 06/02/2008)

I purchased this piece two years before, the result for the first 6 months was very good, but suddenly, it started giving lots of trobles. I also got repaired it 3 - 4 times which cost me more than the camera. Now agian it is useless. I want to know if the company has any policy to replace the defective piece.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Blank Screen Nightmare (Tushar — 07/22/2007)

The CCD goes bust 2 days after the warrantly expires. I replace it, and it goes bust again .. never buy Nikon

  • 1.0 out of 5
Crap (R A — 05/17/2007)

The idea is good, but the camera is crap! Poor pictures and now no pictures. The lcd is black and will not take photos. Emailed Nikon - No reply!

  • 1.0 out of 5
Sorry I bought it...Coolpix S 4 (Charles Freitag — 04/08/2007)

I bought it just be for Christmas and it took decent pictures for 2 months and then I finally got around to download internal photos to computer... Still can't... Then the LCD went black and could not take pictures... It went back to Nikon service center and came back 5 weeks later with pulsating bright to dark LCD and blurry pictures... So back to Nikon service center... Only about 3 weeks gone this time... Had it home 1 day and took it back for the 3rd trip to Nikon service center with LCD viewing issues and still can't download internal pictures from memory...I would gladly take full refund and apply to upgraded camera... I wonder if I have any recourse at all?... Oh Yea, but another camera...

  • 4.0 out of 5
good buy (Roland — 02/03/2007)

I find this camera to be very good in the quality of pictures that I am taking. I have spent alot of time just taking pictures for the hell due to how good of a picture it deliveres. The only down side that I find is that a tripod is a must have with this camera due to its sensitivity to motion.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Blurry pictures... (siddharth shetty — 01/10/2007)

I echo the blurry pictures problem, I have have seen this occur repeatedly despite a good deal of experimenting with different modes the camera offers. In fact I was at the CES show which has very good indoor lighting, and yet I saw blurred pictures. In an outdoor setting this camera works well. The best thing about the camera is 2-part flexible design.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Very good camera- get bad rep (Alex Williams — 01/06/2007)

I read many reviews on this camera before buying it. Many I read did not speak highly of this camera at all. I heard alot of complaints about blurry pictures and indoor photos. It all caused me to almost not buy this camera.

At the time I wrote this, I have only owned this camera for 2 days. But in these 2 days I have extensively tested it. About 120 photos in all shooting in every condition that I felt my photo needs would encounter.
Day, night, indoor, outdoor, zoom, and no zoom.
Taking pictures of people and objects in all of these conditions.

It is my conclusion that this camera is highly under rated for the money. I bought it at Ritz for $199 with a free Epson Photo Mate printer. They give you the printer at the store, not some mail in deal. This is in part I'm sure because of the release of the S10. The S10 has image stabilization which is what everyone complained about the S4 not having.

The S4 takes very good pictures.
Indoor- the pictures are sharp. I could count the hairs on my dog in the photo I took of her.
It has a flash that will turn night into day. With most of the lights off in the house at night, I took pictures that were bright and vibrant.

Outdoor- the pictures looked great. Using the 10X optical zoom, I just used the BSS or "Best Shot" mode. Just hold down the button and the camera takes about 3 - 5 quick pictures depending on how long you hold the button. The software does a really good job of picking the least blurry shot.

I am not a "pro" photographer. I'm a point and shoot person. The auto feature works well for everything except the 10X zoom. To take these pictures, leave it in auto but turn on the BSS.

I suspect that most of the bad reviews this camera has gotten is for two reasons.
One- they did not try different options and features to see where they got the best results.
Two- RTFM (Read the Freaking Manual) don't just take it out the box and start snapping pictures. Take the time to learn the function and features.

It is not the best quality I've ever seen from a digital camera but what do you want for a point and shoot with a big lens for $200 - $250.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Worthless camera (Adrian Alvarez — 01/01/2007)

This camera was a gift from my wife and have used it just to please her, but the camera is worthless. I have own a couple of cameras including one of the first Kodak digital cameras, and a 5 mp Pentaxa and I have taken better indoor shots with the 2 mp Kodak. I have just messed up a Vegas vacation with this camera. It takes decent outdoor pictures but will not take an indoor picture without being blurred. Taking pictures outdoor is a gamble since there is no view finder. In sunlight, you cannot see the image in the screen. This camera really, really sucks!

  • 1.0 out of 5

I have only owned this camera for less then six months and its going back to Nikon for repair for the second time. First the zoom lens jammed and now the screen is black. We use this camera very little and only for family activities. The zoom is great and the pictures are good to fair in daylight and terrable at night. Do not make the mistake I made. I have owned much much cheaper cameras for years and had no problems. This camera is a ZERO.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Blurry pictures (Lorenzo Zonin — 11/28/2006)

Very disappointed by this problem. You take the pictures and then you have to erase them, even without zooming the pictures are blurry. A compact camera like this one should be used even without a tripod. 6 megapixel, and a 10X optical zoom for nothing. With tripod and sunlight the pictures are great...

  • 4.0 out of 5
Pros and Cons Apart...i still like it (Satrajit Basu — 11/21/2006)

As mentioned before,the lack of Image stabilisation, is the worst part about the camera....also i had many problems .....the cmera refused to take pic, then the display went blank, then the horizontal lines. i went it repaired...working fine until now...
it has a great macro, great zoom and the ubiqtious swivel lens. But a tripod is a must esp at nite.but the image quality i sgreta..and the best cam for this price,...dont use the built in scene modes...but my friends tell met that they find them great.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Cool cam but... (Manolo — 10/26/2006)

This camera is cool looking with the twisted lens. Built nicely, the camera looks it won't break apart! The only problem I had with this camera is that every picture I took, it had white horizontal lines all over the pictures! I had the camera for only 1 hour, then returned it to Bestbuy!

  • 5.0 out of 5
The best camera I have ever owned (Bob — 10/04/2006)

This has been the easiest camera I have ever used. I love the way I can take pictures at any angle and still see what I am taking pictures of. The quality is great and I like the strong zoom that most cameras in this same price do not have.

  • 4.0 out of 5
good but megapixel is low (mahmood jafaari — 10/03/2006)


  • 2.0 out of 5
Great Outdoors Cam (Henning -- Fargo -- ND — 09/28/2006)

The Cam is great for outdoor pics — but it truly sucks for indoor pics.. I need to reread the manual (I useually never read them in the first place) to see if I am missing something very important here — if not — it will be on Ebay shortly..

The cam is a battery hawk
The cam is slow at taking a picture and turning on...

  • 5.0 out of 5
awsome (Anthony Townsend — 09/20/2006)

Great camera

  • 5.0 out of 5
this rocks (hello — 09/16/2006)

this is the best, i owned it for two months, and then it got stolen but it is still the best

  • 4.0 out of 5
10X Optical Zoom Needs Tripod ! (A.R.Somvanshi — 09/13/2006)

Lack of view finder hurts in day light.At 10X optical zoom one needs a tripod which most of us know.I have 2 digital[one L1] and one film [Nikon F75] cameras.I am happy to own S4 with a tripod.At wide mode it has photographed crystal clear snap of pollengrains of Hibiscus rosa cinesis flower!I can send one if

  • 5.0 out of 5
best digital camera yet (paul franks — 09/11/2006)

this is my first digital camera ive been a 35 slr for years and thought i'd never change but i gave the nikon coolpix s4 a test trail well i was so surprised to see such wonderful pat urself on the back for a beautiful camera Ive always been a nikon slr fan ive owned 3 slrs over the years even though my first was a pentax thanks nikon for pushing me into the digital side.thanks paul

  • 2.0 out of 5
Very disappointed (Mark Nowotarski — 09/07/2006)

Reading some of the other reviews makes me wonder how a camera can get so many good ratings and bad ratings. My experience has be horrible. I can't seem to get a good indoors shot - so far I have messed up two weddings and a vacation. At first I contributed it to being my first digital camera, but I tried to stay patient and read and re-read the instructions figuring I was doing something wrong. Following all instructions to the tee and still get lots of red eye, lots of devils glare white eye and blurring on every indoor shot. Outside seems to work okay. After being so patient, I finally decided to return the camera at Circuit City but could not because their return policy is only 14 days (hardly time to check out a camera). Guess I am stuck with a useless piece of junk!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Try this before getting rid of this excellent camera. (Gary H Richardson — 09/03/2006)

Your first review about adding pistol gun sites caught my eye. I too have been on the verge of trading this excellent camera because it has been virtually impossible to take a picture in sunlight without a view finder. I have removed my sun glasses, mounted an LCD shade, worn a baseball cap and finally given up. Recently I try to frame some big item like a mountain ridge, watch for the focus light and pull the trigger. The final straw came when neither my wife nor her friend could see any image and take a decent picture. Then I read the pistol site review! Today my wife and I have been practicing siting along the middle of the top of the lens chamber. If our aim is carefully placed our bullseye is centered in the LCD frame! I suggest a try. We now plan to keep this camera because in every other respect it does all that we need and contains many updates over it's predecessor, our Nikon 950.

  • 5.0 out of 5
about blur and lack of viewfinder (Ray Peterson — 08/19/2006)

All highpower zooms need a tripod for a crisp picture. This camera might well use some pistol gun sights on the Lens body. Just glue them on. Following these two tips should make this camera about the best in its class!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great pocket camera but needs view finder (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Just got back from a trip to Europe and took over 400 pictures. I like everything about the camera except the display is impossible to read in sunlight at certain angles. A viewfinder would have come in handy.

The manual "party" setting and the sun set setting works great.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Blurry Pictures - Steady Hand (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have had the camera for 4 months and the outdoor pictures are fabulous HOWEVER the indoor pictures are blurry and grainy. Every time we take a picture at a party, wedding,etc. The pictures are blurry and have to be erased. I am returning the camera this evening.

On a side note, I love the way the camera loooks. I love that it is small enough to get lost in my purse. It has been handy in that sense to be able to capture pictures of my baby that I normally wouldn't have because the camera is always with us.

That said, the camera is not measuring up to it's appearance (as someone else mentioned).

  • 5.0 out of 5
Incredible ability for a pocket size camera! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I owned the Coolpix 990, so I'm spoiled as well as far as being in control of the shot, but guys and gals, I'm here to tell you . . . . . for a pocket size point and shoot to have a 10X zoom, is just awesome! I took a picture of the moon the other night at maximum focus and it came out like you were looking through a telescope! I did have to use a tripod, but I expected that anyway. So to rate it up for you . . . here goes :
pros : runs on double A batteries, small enough to carry in a pocket, 10X zoom capability w/out carrying around extra lenses, ability to fix photos with the camera before I even put them on the computer, red eye eliminator, twist design lets you get shots of yourself and other people, (You never have to ask someone to take a picture of you and your friend.) Macro shots to die for, 6 megapixels, what more could you ask for in a pocket size camera? Just the ability to twist the half of the camera alone makes it far superior to any other camera on the market in it's price range, and if you buy it from Circuit City you can spend an extra $127 bucks and get a 4 year replacement insurance that covers the camera even if you run over it with a car, get it wet etc. They will give you a new one! This is the ultimate camera for the traveler who wants great shots of people while people watching because the swivel lens allows you to take pictures of people without them knowing that you are taking a picture of them. It just looks like you are looking down at the camera instead. It's awesome for candid shots where you don't want to draw a lot of attention to your self etc. and great for those over the crowd's heads shots. You don't have to guess or hope that the shot comes out right because you can see the action going on no matter what on the 2 and a half inch screen / viewfinder. Yes, my 990 had a viewfinder, but I never used it at all, did you? It also doubles as a video camera only limited in video time to how many gigs of memory your card has. 1 gig card yields about an hour and a half of video. It can also be used as a tape recorder for meetings or school. My 1 gig card yields about 8 hours of talk time at a convention or class etc. If you are a camera geek with a desire to take those "Special" shots by tweaking the f stop and shutter speed - this camera isn't for you. You need to buy an old 990 on line or spring for a $800 dollar camera to get that kind of control. If you want an excellent pocket traveler camera, that you won't miss any shots with simply because you will carry it with you all the time and not feel weighted down, and yet have some of the abilities of the expensive jobs, then this is the ideal camera for you, hey give it a shot . . . if after a couple of days of using it you don't like it, you can always take it back! But I never will! I love mine! I hope this helps you with your buying decision.
Good luck!
-Brandon Stengel
Nashville, Tennessee

  • 1.0 out of 5
piece of junk (Beth Crouse — 04/20/2006)

I hate it! Blurred pictures over and over. My old hp digital with fewer pixels took much better pictures.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Not really pleased with camera ability. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The camera has some good features I was looking for such as very good optical zoom (x10), good megapixels, compact size, uses AA batteries. The camera takes some good pictures in daylight. But I was rather dissappointed with some shortcomings of the camera for example the absent of an anti-vibration/ image stabilisation facility, a limited ISO range of up to ISO 400 only, and the inability of the movie mode to use the optical zoom facility (except being able to zoom first and then use the digital zoom ). I was wondering whether NIKON can upgrade the camera engine to the latest that NIKON have and that would be compatible with the Nikon S4 that can overcome some of the shortcomings being mentioned. I would be interested to hear from NIKON.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Works great as a travel camera. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

If it had a wireless remote and remote flash it would be perfect for family trips. 10x optical zoom compact camera. This camera was perfect for a trip to Asia. Easy to find batteries, massive zoom. If I wanted to spend 2x the price and get a bigger camera for controls that are not used, I would have bought a different camera. Viewfinder is pointless on a swivel lens. Get in the 21st century please.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Nikon S4 (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera is excellent, the zoom is outstanding and the photo quality is very clear. We are planning a Trip to Italy and I wanted a camera with a larger optical zoom than the standard 3x and in a compact model and this is the only camera out there that fits the bill. Highly recommend it...

  • 4.0 out of 5
not bad - need manual override (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I travel alot for business and love the swivel lens! I have had the Nikon Coolpix 990 and the SQ. Use them so much I have just worn them out. I need the ability to take photos with out flash in not GREAT conditions. This camera registers "a shake" easily, probably because Im using the telephoto so much. The BSS feature comes in handy to correct this problem. Love nearly everything about this camera, except I wish it had manual overide for times I want to be creative. Off hours on a trip when sight seeing I want to adjust aperature or shutter speed and there just isnt anyway to do this unless you use the scene options, and they are restrictive someone who understands how to use a basic 35 mm camera/. Overall a great camera, just want to overide auto features.

  • 2.0 out of 5
No optical view finder (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

If this camera had an optical viewfinder, it would be a great camera with a super zoom. Unfortunately you can't see the LCD screen in sunlight. Almost lost half of our vacation pictures. We had to return it.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Not great (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Probably will return this camera. Needs a viewfinder and image stablization especially with zoom. Most pics are somewhat grainy at best resolution. It's such a cool design but isn't measuring up. I'm still playing with the controls hoping I'm missing the trick.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Good zoom but no manual controls (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I was very impressed with the 10x zoom.
LCD is large and bright.
The camera is nice and compact so it fits easily in a pocket.
Joystick control button is hideously difficult to use. It is very easy to make a wrong motion with it.
But the killer is there are no manual controls. This camera is fully automatic. I MUST be able to control aperature and shutter speed independently. I MUST be able to control focus manually. My Nikon Coolpix 990 just died for the fourth time so I'm looking for a replacement and I had high hopes for the Nikon Coolpix S4 but it does not measure up to the 990.
This camera is only suitable to someone who wants to point and shoot. I can't understand why Nikon would cripple an offering like this. Now I will wait until after the Holidays to buy a new camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
GREAT! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is so far the best camera I have EVER worked with!