Nikon COOLPIX S9700 Brief Review


This product was ranked



  • Zoom up to 30x with optical zoom and 60x with Dynamic Fine Zoom
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for instant photo sharing
  • Built-in GPS, mapping, Electronic Compass and Points of Interest (POI)
  • Full HD 1080p videos with stereo sound for dazzling movies
  • Release Date: 2014-02-27
  • Final Grade: 86 4.3 Star Rating: Recommended

Nikon COOLPIX S9700
16.1 megapixel 1/2.3” CMOS sensor; 30x optical zoom; Maximum aperture f3.7-6.4; Maximum shutter speed 1/2000; 5 fps burst mode; Contrast-detect autofocus; Lens shift and electronic vibration reduction; Macro mode for focusing as close as .4 inches from lens; Wi-fi; GPS; 3” LCD screen; Full HD video 1920x1080 at 30p; Manual modes; Lithium-ion battery rated at 300 shots
By Digital Admin, Last updated on: 4/16/2015

Hey! You should know that Nikon has released a newer version of this product: the Nikon Coolpix S9900.

Nikon's 2014 compact zoom, the S9700, looks to have an excellent set of features for the $350 retail price tag. The S9700 features the same 16.1 megapixel 1/2.3 sensor as Nikon's bulkier and pricer P520 and P600 ($450 and $500 retail, respectively). While the 30x zoom is smaller than the camera giant's extended zoom cameras, this one is small enough to fit in a pocket (note: we don't recommend storing cameras in pockets). This small shooter has a 5 fps burst mode for capturing action and wi-fi to share it almost instantly. Surprisingly, this $350 compact also includes manual modes. Like most smaller cameras though, there's no viewfinder. Overall, the camera looks to be excellent for the price.

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Add Comment
  • Picture
    Mary Wheeler

    I'm unimpressed by the many claims made for the S9700, having wrestled with some of its shortcomings for most of the past year. I've lost count of the times when I've heard the lens mechanism clicking away furiously inside my camera bag, as the camera tries to power up without any intervention on my part. On every occasion, I've been forced to eject and reinstall the battery at least once, and on several occasions I've had photos corrupted by the effort to recover from that ominous on-screen notification, "Lens error." I'm also irritated by the flash system, which appears very flimsy and that is remarkably easy to obstruct unintentionally. But what I find +really+ irritating is that I can't download photos to my high-end laptop, as the camera simply refuses to show up as a USB device; instead, to back-up photos while traveling, I have to connect the camera to my spouse's Microsoft Surface. So now, this camera mostly remains in my camera bag as a spare of last resort, gathering dust and a bad reputation, while I use something else because I simply can't trust the S9700 to be ready when my subject is. You've disappointed me, Nikon.

    Reply about 2 years ago
    • Picture
      Marie Garambois

      Hi Mary, I am experiencing the same kind of trouble with my own s9700. I am still trying to fix it and I saw your comment; I am wondering how you did get rid of the "lens error" message? I cannot seem to find a solution. I have been trying almost every trick I found on the Internet. Still I can connect it to my computer but this error message is driving me crazy. Thank you in advance for your help and for sharing.

      Reply over 1 year ago
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        Hillary Grigonis

        Hi Mary! A lens error usually means one of two things: The lens barrel may have been bumped (or if the camera was dropped) so it's no longer straight and getting stuck. You may be able to push on the lens a bit to fix it, but be careful you don't damage the camera further. The other common cause of a lens error is dirt or dust stuck inside the lens barrel (this one has happened to me before, at the Grand Canyon). Take a can of compressed air and blow it on the lens to try to dislodge it. I hope that helps!

        Reply over 1 year ago
        • Picture
          Marie Garambois

          Thanks for your message Hillary! I got mine repared, I had to send it back to Nikon and they changed the lense. Hopefully it will be working properly now.

          Reply over 1 year ago
          • Thumb 45 ai hillary 45x45
            Hillary Grigonis

            Glad you found a solution, thanks for visiting our site! Best wishes!

            Reply over 1 year ago
    • Thumb 45 ai hillary 45x45
      Hillary Grigonis

      Thanks for sharing, Mary!

      Reply about 2 years ago

Nikon Reviews

Nikon has long been one of the top manufacturers in the industry, and their products are still solid options today. The camera giant is continuously releasing new products with enhancements in image quality and performance.

It's hard to go wrong with a Nikon DSLR. With a different model available for every skill level from beginner to professional, Nikon's DSLR's have always been top notch. Their latest DSLRs have seen improved noise reduction, enhanced video quality and upgraded designs over cameras from just a few years ago.

Nikon made an interesting move in the realm of mirrorless cameras—instead of pushing for bigger sensors, Nikon instead has focused on speed. The Nikon 1 line cameras use a 1” sensor, which is larger than your average point-and-shoot but smaller than the Micro Four Thirds options. While the 1 line doesn't have much resolution, their cameras boast speeds upwards of 15 fps—no other mirrorless line currently comes close to that level of speed.

Nikon's compacts aren't as much of a sure thing as their DSLRs—some of their smaller cameras are quite impressive, while others are beaten out by competitors. We liked their higher end consumer point-and-shoots like the COOLPIX S6500, but be careful with their budget compacts. They offer quite a range of compact cameras, just be sure to read the reviews on the individual camera first.

Nikon offers a full range of cameras from tiny budget models to professional DSLRs. More often than not, if you go with a Nikon, you're getting a solid camera.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.