After years of repetitive digital cameras with similar specs on all levels, Nikon has released a truly radical, if not the novelty, the digital camera that demonstrates just how far technology has advanced in a few short decades. Though at first glance it might seem that the Coolpix S1000pj is just another small square camera, a quick foray through the menu will reveal one huge feature: a built-in pico projector, which can display videos and pictures taken with the camera onto any surface.
Whether you’re in the market for a new camera and looking to update to the latest and greatest in camera technology, or you’ve been waiting for just such a feature as this, read on to find out whether or not the Coolpix S1000pj digital camera with an embedded projector is right for you.
The S1000pj features a design very similar to the rest of the short Coolpix product line. The body is slim and completely square, with the normal top controls (mode dial, power button, shutter button, etc.), front lens, flash, and microphone, a tripod slot on the bottom, and an LCD with menu buttons on the back.
The front of the camera features a brushed metal faceplate, presumably for extra durability, while the rest of the case is matte painted. The back of the camera is somewhat simplistic and bland; the LCD is left-aligned, and five buttons are available with standard digital camera controls (menu, play, erase, etc.).
First, the simple features. The Coolpix S1000pj from Nikon has a 12.1-megapixel sensor, which is adequate for large photo prints and posters. The lens is a wide angle, allowing users to take 16:9 photos that will fit new monitor and TV resolutions. The S1000pj has a built-in Five-way VR Image stabilizer, with is a combination of both electronic and optical stabilization that keeps photos crisp, clear, and blur-free. The ISO range goes up to a very nice 6400 ISO, which gives it an excellent range of abilities for night shots (though graininess may be an issue).
While those specs are nice, the real feature everyone wants to know about is the project. According to NikonUSA, the projector as a brightness of up to 10 lumens, which isn’t exceptionally bright. The max projection image size is a respectable 40-inches from up to 6 feet away. Running the projector continuously will result in a battery life of approx. 1-hour, so don’t envision using this camera for impromptu movies on the camp night. Likewise, the projector has a resolution of only VGA (640 x 480) so it won’t be adequate for viewing the quality of the pictures you’ve taken (in regards to professionals).
This camera is, in most ways, no different from every other camera. It has a 12.1-megapixel sensor, which is unnecessarily high for the average photographer. The specs are average-stabilization, standard modes, etc. The feature that makes this camera remarkable is the projector which, unfortunately, is little more than a toy given its specs. While I’m glad to see pico projectors being implemented into modern gadgets (and will be especially happy to see them implemented into mp3 players), it isn’t of much use for those who could get the most use from it-professionals who need to view their images on a large scale in the field.
This is, of course, opinion and nothing more. For a camera as unusual and out of the normal as the Coolpix S1000pj, I recommend heading to your local retailer and giving it a test-run. In the meantime, Nikon does deserve congratulations on demonstrating the potential uses of this new, fantastic technology.