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Nikon Coolpix S31

10.1-megapixel waterproof digital camera with 3X optical zoom (Blue)

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  • Nikon Coolpix S31

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  • Nikon Coolpix S31

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Item# 054S31L
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Nikon Coolpix S31

by David Brown
Nikon

Today's point-and-shoot cameras make great pictures easier than ever

From baby's first steps, to that dream vacation in the islands, these cameras make it easy to capture life's greatest hits. Today's cameras have helpful automatic features, like face detection and scene recognition that make shooting more foolproof than ever. And they all have plenty of megapixels for detailed photos that stay sharp, even when you enlarge and print them.

Family fun in the sun (or the water)

You probably wouldn't turn a five-year-old loose with a digital camera. Unless it's the Nikon Coolpix S31. Let the little ones snap away while you sit back and relax. It's waterproof, shockproof and dustproof, so every member of the family can pass it around without you worrying what might happen to it. Your son brings it into the sandbox? No problem. Your daughter drops it in the pool? No problem. But don't let your kids have all the fun. Bring it to the beach, out in the rain and anyplace you'd think twice about bringing a less durable, more expensive camera for great-looking photos.

Not only is it tough, but the Coolpix S31 is incredibly easy to use. Easy Auto mode adjusts exposure settings so you don't have to. Just point, shoot, and check out the results on the crystal-clear display. It has five brightness settings, so you can be sure to see your photos even in the bright sun — poolside or oceanside. You can even play slideshows right on the camera, a fun activity after you've turned the S31 over to your kids for a while.

Highlights:

    Specifications:
    • 10.1-megapixel effective recording
    • 2.7" LCD screen (230,000 dots)
    • 3X optical zoom (up to 4X digital zoom)
    • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 29-87mm
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
    Special Features:
    • waterproof to depths of 16.4 feet
    • shockproof up to 3.9 feet
    • dustproof
    • high-definition movie mode (up to 720p resolution)
    • electronic vibration reduction minimizes blur from shaky hands
    • macro mode lets you get as close as 2 inches from your subject for extreme close-ups
    • adjustable-brightness display for reviewing photos outside
    • scene modes and creative editing let you add pre- and post-shot effects
    • face detection and smile timer for portrait framing and automatic shutter release when subject smiles
    • built-in flash
    Connections and Dimensions:
    Supplied Accessories:
    • rechargeable battery and AC charging adapter
    • cleaning brush
    • USB cable
    • wrist strap
    • software CD-ROM
     

    Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Features and Specs
    General
    LCD Screen Size
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    2.7"
    Adjustable-angle LCD
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    No
    Wi-Fi
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    No
    Touchscreen
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    No
    Waterproof
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    Yes
    GPS-enabled
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    No
    Lens 35mm Equivalent
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    29-87mm
    Optical Zoom
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    3x
    Digital Zoom
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    4x
    Filter Diameter
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    N/A
    Manual Focusing
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    No
    Manual Exposure
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    No
    Built-in Flash
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    Yes
    HDMI Output
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    No
    Memory
    Internal Memory
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    26 MB
    Memory Media
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    SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Image
    Effective Megapixel Count
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    10.1
    Total Megapixels
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    10.34
    Image Stabilization
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    Digital
    Highest Resolution
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    3648 x 2736
    HD Video Recording
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    1280 x 720
    Dimensions
    Width (inches)
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    4-3/16
    Height (inches)
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    2-9/16
    Depth (inches)
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    1-11/16
    Weight With Battery (ounces)
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    6.6
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty
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    1 Year
    Labor Warranty
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    1 Year
    Product Research
    What's in the box?

    Download owner's manual

    • Digital camera (blue)
    • EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion battery (3.7V 1050mAh 3.9Wh) with plastic terminal cover
    • MH-65 Battery Charger (DC output: 4.2V / 0.7A)
    • 6.5' AC power cord
    • 2' USB cable (UC-E16) with a USB type-A connector on one end and a proprietary connector on other end
    • Wrist strap
    • Cleaning brush
    • Nikon ViewNX2 Software on CD-ROM
    • Reference Manual on CD-ROM
    • User's Manual
    • Warranty Programs sheet
    • Important Notices on Waterproof
    • AC Cord Requirements (for MH-65)

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Features
    Play, Edit and Print Functions
    Battery Information
    Inputs and Outputs Notes
    Software

    Recording Features

    Overview: The Nikon Coolpix S31 can go anywhere with you. Built to withstand trips to the pool or playground, it is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof. It has a big 2.7" LCD monitor, a 3x wide angle zoom lens, and a 10.1 MP image sensor for shooting still images and HD movies.

    2.7" LCD Monitor: The Coolpix S31 has a 2.7" TFT LCD monitor, featuring approximately 230,000 dots, and an anti-reflection coating. The LCD monitor has approximately 97% horizontal and vertical coverage in the shooting mode and approximately 100% coverage in playback mode. There is no separate viewfinder on the camera.

    Image Sensor: The Coolpix S31 features a 1/2.9" CCD image sensor with a total pixel count of approximately 10.34-million pixels. The effective pixel count is 10.1-million.

    Optics: The Coolpix S31 digital camera uses a 3x Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens for superb image quality. The 4.1-12.3mm lens has an angle of view equivalent to that of a 29-87mm lens in 35mm photography. Coupled with the 4x digital zoom, the camera's total zoom capability is 12x. The angle of view is equivalent to that of an approximately 348mm lens (35mm format).

    Waterproof-Shockproof-Dustproof: The S31 is designed for extreme conditions:

    • Waterproof: rated equivalent to IEC/JIS waterproof class 8 (IPX8) for shooting images underwater at a depth of 5 meters (16.4 feet) for up to 60 minutes.
    • Shockproof: rated compliant with MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock (drop test from a height of 3.9 feet onto a 2 inch thick plywood panel).
    • Dustproof: rated equivalent with JIS/IEC protection class 6 (IP6X)

    Vibration Reduction: The Nikon Coolpix S31 offers Electronic Vibration Reduction (VR) and Motion Detection. Vibration Reduction reduces blurring caused by camera shake when shooting. Slight hand movements causes blurred photos, especially when shooting at slow shutter speeds or when zoomed in.

    Recording Media: The Coolpix S31 uses SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards to record still images and HD movies. In addition, the S31 has a built-in 26 MB internal memory.

    File Formats: The Coolpix S31 records still images in JPEG format. HD and SD movies are recorded in AVI format (Motion JPEG compliant). You have a choice of three still image size options and two movie options:

    • Still Images:
      • 10M: 3648 x 2736
      • 4M: 2272 x 1704
      • 2M: 1600 x 1200
    • Movies (30 frames per second)
      • Large (720p): 1280 x 720
      • Small (640): 640 x 480
    Note: The maximum movie length for a single movie is 29 minutes or 4 GB file size.

    Flexible Buttons: The S31 has four Flexible Buttons down the left side of the monitor. You can select items in the shooting mode or playback mode according to the icon in the display adjacent to each button.

    Shooting Modes: Using the camera's Flexible Buttons, you can select a shooting mode that is suited to the scene. You can select:

    • Point and Shoot: The camera automatically determines the scene and selects the optimal settings, allowing you to take pictures with ease.
    • Using the Flash: Select from Auto Flash, Always Fire Flash, and Flash Off. Flash range is 1'-8" to 11' in Wide Angle and 1'-8" to 6'-6" in Telephoto.
    • Self-timer: The camera is equipped with a 10 second self-timer for self-portraits or to prevent camera shake caused by pressing the shutter release button. With the Smile Timer activated, the camera can detect human faces and automatically release the shutter when a smile is detected.
    • Scene: After choosing a shooting scene or effect, the camera automatically optimizes the settings for the selected scene. Choose from: Shoot Close-ups, Shoot at Intervals, Take a Series of Pictures, Mirror, Create a Diorama effect, Photograph food, Shoot under water, Photograph Fireworks, and Take Soft Pictures.
    • Decorate: Add a frame around your images when taking pictures. Seven different frames are available.
    • Change Colors: Select Brighter/darker, More Vivid/less vivid, or Highlight colors.
    • Settings: You can select Change Sounds, Choose a Size, or Camera Settings

    Movie Button: The S31 has a dedicated Movie Record button on the top of the camera to let you start recording movies at any time.

    Play, Edit and Print Functions

    Playback Menu: You can view photos one at a time in full frame, or in a Thumbnail Playback of 7 images along the bottom of the screen (the currently select image is displayed in the top 3/4 of the monitor). You can also zoom in to magnify a single image up to 10x. When playing back movies, you can pause/resume, rewind/advance, and adjust volume. Other playback menu options include:

    • Have Fun With Pictures: Select playback functions such as Exchange Messages, Picture Play and Make Photo Albums
    • View: Select from Favorites, Slide Show (still images), or View Movie (movies)
    • Erase: You can delete current, selected, or all images
    • Settings: Selections include More Playback Options (view by date or view favorites), Print Order/retouch, and Camera settings (Welcome Screen, Date and Time, or Brightness).

    Battery Information

    Power Requirements: The Coolpix S31 is powered by the EN-EL12 rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (supplied). The battery is charged using the supplied MH-65 Battery Charger. The supplied rechargeable battery will last up to approximately 260 shots or 2 hours of movie recording on one charge. A fully-exhausted battery charges in about 2.5 hours.

    Auto Off: When the camera is operated on battery power, the Auto Off mode will automatically turn off the monitor to reduce the drain on the batteries if no operations are performed for a while. If no operations are performed for another 3 minutes, the camera turns itself off.

    AC Adapter: The camera can be powered using ordinary household AC current with the optional EH-62F AC adapter.

    Inputs and Outputs Notes

    USB/Audio-Video Output: The camera features a single proprietary jack for connecting the supplied USB cable or an optional Audio Video cable. This one output allows you to download your photos to your computer or printer via USB using the supplied USB cable, or view your photos on a TV using the optional EG-CP14 Audio Video cable. The USB interface is USB 2.0 Hi-Speed compatible. The video output is NTSC or PAL compatible.

    Software

    ViewNX2: The Nikon ViewNX 2 software is provided on CD-ROM, and contains the following applications:

    • ViewNX 2: (consists of three modules below)
      • Nikon Transfer 2: to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer
      • ViewNX 2: for viewing, editing and printing your images
      • Nikon Movie Editor: for basic editing of transferred movies
    • Panorama Maker: for creating a single panorama photo using a series of separate images.

    System Requirements: The supplied software will work with the following Windows and Macintosh Operating Systems:

    • Windows: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
    • MAC: OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8
     

    Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

    Quick impressions from the Lab

    Comment by Zak Billmeier Staff Writer - Creative,

    The perfect camera for young kids

    Written by Zak Billmeier, Staff Writer - Creative, on 11/4/2013 1:45:00 PM

    I gave this camera (in cute yellow) to my 4-year-old as a gift. She had been using an old camera of ours, but it was a more advanced model and she was inadvertently throwing switches and hitting buttons she didn't need. This Nikon camera is one of the simplest cameras available, making it perfect for a little kid to use.

    There are a few key reasons why this camera works well for the younger kids:

    • It has only two buttons on the top, one for shooting movies and one for stills.
    • Its lens does not have to power out when you turn the camera on, something my daughter's hand was always blocking on her hand-me-down model.
    • It is waterproof and shockproof.
    • The lens is in the middle, so a two-handed grab does not result in a finger blocking the lens.
    • You can choose from cute themes, fun little slideshows, funky frames, and some other accents that are interesting to a child (mine likes that she can set the shutter sound to tweet like a bird).

    Image quality? It's OK, think more like camera phone quality. But that's OK for a young kid. I've gotten some pretty decent shots just playing around with it, too. If you're looking for a camera to give to a kid, it's hard to beat this one. My daughter loves hers.

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    Nikon Coolpix S31 Reviews

    Average Customer Review:

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    5 out of 5

    Awesome kids 1st camera

    Written By TheToy and CandyLady, Petoskey, MI on Tuesday, December 03, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    The Nikon Coolpix S31 is the best choice for a responsible child age ranging from 6-14 first camera. It is waterproof , shock proof, drop resistant, sand proof and even and has video camera on it. The battery goes forever and recharges easily. It is so awesome! I got one for my daughters 7th Birthday and she loves it. It is a wonderful camera for child who are learning to take care of expensive items. Way better than the 'toddler' cameras that are out there because it takes great pictures and it dependable for younger hands. :) Yay! for Nikon!!!
    Pros:
    It is waterproof , shock proof, drop resistant, sand proof and even and has video camera on it. The battery goes forever and recharges easily.
    Cons:
    None.
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     
    5 out of 5

    Coolpix S31 rocks!

    Written By AlvinJ, Kissimmee, Fl on Tuesday, September 17, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    This camera is perfect for my needs. Immediately tried it out in our pool. It was simple enough to pass around for everyone to use. Took great pics and videos. I cant wait to take it on my upcoming cruise, very satisfied. Quality i expected from Nikon!
    Pros:
    Waterproof, simple, good quality for the price!
    Cons:
    Wish it floated but not a big deal!
    2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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    5 out of 5

    Great Camera for Kids and Others

    Written By CameraCarl, Twin Cities, Minnesota on Monday, August 26, 2013
    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
     
    I bought three of these cameras for my grandchildren ages 4-9. They love them and are taking lots of pictures. The cameras are supposed to be water proof and shock proof so I thought they would be perfect for kids who are sometimes less than careful. It has been over two weeks and so far no problems. They love the animated figures that you can program to dance across the images when viewing them in a slideshow.
    Pros:
    Shock and water resistant (so far)
    Cons:
    None yet. I do wish the camera had a neck strap instead of just a wrist strap.
    3 out of 3 people found this helpful
    Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
     

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    For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Nikon Coolpix S31, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_054S31L/Nikon-Coolpix-S31-Blue.html ).