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Nikon Coolpix S3500

20.1-megapixel digital camera with 7X optical zoom (Orange)

2 Reviews

Item # 054S3500D

This item is no longer available.

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Our take on the Nikon Coolpix S3500

At such a great price, you might expect the Nikon Coolpix S3500 to be a no-frills camera. But don't sell this ultra-slim point-and-shoot short. From the detail you'll capture with its 20.1-megapixel sensor to the increased range its 7X optical zoom lens provides, you'll realize just how inadequate those smartphone cameras are. Even if you're only interested in taking candid shots of friends and family, the S3500 can help you improve your photos. Check out Nikon's Smart Portrait system, which minimizes red-eye, alerts you when your subject may have blinked as you snapped the shot, and even lets you retouch photos to smooth blemishes.

More than meets the eye

At such a great price, you might expect the Nikon Coolpix S3500 to be a no-frills camera. But don't sell this ultra-slim point-and-shoot short. From the detail you'll capture with its 20.1-megapixel sensor to the increased range its 7X optical zoom lens provides, you'll realize just how inadequate those smartphone cameras are. Even if you're only interested in taking candid shots of friends and family, the S3500 can help you improve your photos. Check out Nikon's Smart Portrait system, which minimizes red-eye, alerts you when your subject may have blinked as you snapped the shot, and even lets you retouch photos to smooth blemishes.

Perhaps you're mostly interested in documenting your kids' antics. Ever notice how hard it is to keep them in focus when they never stand still? That's why Nikon developed Subject Tracking, so you can keep moving subjects in focus for sharp-looking photos. And Motion Detection can even adjust the camera's exposure settings on the fly to help you better capture moving targets. Not only will your still shots look great — this little camera lets you bring home clear high-def movies, too. Just a single press of the "record" button and you're ready to start capturing fleeing moments on video before they're gone.


    • 20.1-megapixel effective recording
    • 7X optical zoom (up to 4X digital zoom)
    • 2.7" LCD screen (230,000 dots)
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
    • 35mm equivalent focal length: 26-182mm
    Special Features:
    • high-definition movie mode (up to 720p resolution)
    • scene auto selector automatically recognizes the type of shot you compose and adjusts camera settings to your shooting environment
    • face priority autofocus and blink alert for better portraits
    • smile mode automatically snaps the shutter when the camera detects a smiling subject
    • in-camera automatic red-eye correction and retouching
    • 20 scene modes include Back Light, Close Up, and Sports
    • motion-detection recognizes fast motion and automatically increases shutter speed and sensitivity (ISO) for sharper photos
    • optical image stabilization reduces blur from shaky hands
    • built-in flash
    Connections and Dimensions:
    Supplied Accessories:
    • rechargeable lithium ion battery and charging station
    • USB cable
    • wrist strap
    • software CD-ROM

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital camera (orange)
    • EN-EL19 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7V 700mAh 2.6Wh) in a plastic case
    • EH-70P AC adapter (DC output: 5V 0.55A)
    • 59" USB cable (Type A USB on one end and proprietary USB connector on other end)
    • Wrist strap
    • ViewNX2 software CD-ROM
    • Reference Manual on CD-ROM
    • Quick Start Guide
    • Warranty Programs sheet
    • Important Safety Instructions (for AC adapter)

    Nikon at great price! Small, high pixels, good battery life

    EdA, Kingsport, TN


    Nikon Coolpix S3500 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (2 Reviews)

    Great value!

    EdA from Kingsport, TN on 11/20/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Nikon at great price! Small, high pixels, good battery life

    Pros: Value, performance

    Cons: None

    CoolPix For Real

    aprilN from greenfield, in on 6/5/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is a truely NICE camera, well worth the money spent, pictures turn out amazing! Gotta get you one

    Pros: 20megapixels = better print quality

    Cons: none that i have found yet


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    LCD Screen Size 2.7"
    Adjustable-angle LCD No
    Wi-Fi No
    Touchscreen No
    Waterproof No
    GPS-enabled No
    Lens 35mm Equivalent 26-182mm
    Optical Zoom 7x
    Digital Zoom 4x
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Manual Focusing No
    Manual Exposure No
    Built-in Flash Yes
    HDMI Output No
    Internal Memory 25 MB
    Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Sensor Size 1/2.3" CCD
    Megapixels 20.1
    Image Stabilization Optical
    Highest Resolution 5152 x 3864
    4K Video No
    Video Resolution 1280 x 720
    Width (inches) 3-15/16
    Height (inches) 2-3/8
    Depth (inches) 0-7/8
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 4.6
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

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

    Recording Features

    2.7" LCD Monitor: The Nikon Coolpix S3500 has a 2.7" TFT LCD monitor featuring approximately 230,000 dots, an anti-reflection coating and a five-level brightness adjustment. The LCD monitor has approximately 98% horizontal and vertical coverage in both the shooting mode and playback mode. There is no separate viewfinder on the camera.

    Image Sensor: The Coolpix S3500 features a 1/2.3" CCD image sensor with a total pixel count of approximately 20.48-million pixels. The effective pixel count is 20.1-million.

    Optics: The Coolpix S3500 digital camera uses a 7x Zoom-NIKKOR ED VR glass lens for superb image quality. Every aspect of the lens manufacturing process is controlled by Nikon. The Nikkor lens is designed for the specific camera and image sensor combination. The lens has a 4.7-32.9mm focal length that is equivalent to a 26-182mm lens in 35mm photography. Coupled with the 4x digital zoom, the camera's total zoom capability is 28x. The angle of view is equivalent to that of approximately 728mm lens (35mm format).

    Vibration Reduction: The Nikon Coolpix S3500 offers Vibration Reduction (VR) to reduce blurring caused by camera shake when shooting. The camera uses the lens-shift method of Vibration Reduction.

    File Formats: The Coolpix S3500 records still images in JPEG format. HD and SD movies are recorded in AVI format (Motion JPEG-compliant). You have a choice of seven still image size options and three movie options:

    • Still Images:
      • 20M: 5152 x 3864 (high quality 1:4 compression ratio)
      • 20M: 5152 x 3864 (standard quality 1:8 compression ratio)
      • 10M: 3648 x 2736 (1:8)
      • 4M: 2272 x 1704 (1:8)
      • 2M: 1600 x 1200 (1:8)
      • VGA: 640 x 480 (1:8)
      • 16:9 12M: 5120 x 2880 (1:8)
    • Movies (Frame Rate 30 fps):
      • HD 720p: 1280 x 720
      • 480: 640 x 480
      • 240: 320 x 240

    Recording Media: The camera uses SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards to record still images and movies. In addition, the S3500 has a built-in 25MB internal memory for saving images.

    Shooting Modes: You can choose one of the following shooting modes:

    • Auto Mode: A "point-and-shoot" mode with some user adjustments to suit the shooting conditions and type of shot you want to capture.
    • Scene Mode: You can manually or automatically select a scene mode with settings optimized for the shooting situation: Scene Auto Selector, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Close Up, Food, Museum, Fireworks Show, Black & White Copy, Backlighting, Panorama Assist, and Pet Portrait.
    • Special Effects Mode: You can choose from the following six effects: Soft, Nostalgic Sepia, High-contrast Monochrome, High Key, Low Key, Selective Color, Pop, Super Vivid, Painting, Toy Camera Effects 1 & 2, and Cross Process.
    • Smart Portrait: When the camera detects a smiling face, you can take a picture automatically without pressing the shutter-release button (smile timer). The Skin Softening option can smooth the skin tones in faces.

    Continuous Shooting: In the continuous shooting mode, you can select in the menu from the following options:

    • Single: One picture is taken each time the shutter-release button is pressed.
    • Continuous: Takes up to 6 pictures at about 1.1 frames per second while the shutter button is held down. Image size is set to 5152 x 3864.
    • Best Shot Selector: Camera captures up to 10 images while the shutter release is held down, and the sharpest image in the series is selected and saved.
    • Multi-shot 16: Camera takes 16 shots at about 30 fps and arranges them in a single image of 5M 2560 x 1920.

    Color Options: With the following color options, you can make colors more vivid, or save images in monochrome:

    • Standard Color: images in natural color
    • Vivid Color: to achieve a vivid "photoprint" effect
    • Black-and-White: save images in black-and-white
    • Sepia: save images in sepia tones
    • Cyanotype: save images in cyan-blue monochrome

    Self-timer: The camera is equipped with a 10 second and 2 second timer for self-portraits. In addition, the camera can use face detection to detect human faces, and automatically release the shutter when a smile is detected (Smile Timer).

    AF Area Mode: You can select between the following AF Area Modes to determine where the camera focuses.

    • Face Priority: When the camera recognizes a face (front view only), the camera will focus on the face automatically. The camera can recognize up to 9 faces depending on shooting and exposure mode. This is the default setting.
    • Auto: The camera automatically selects the focus area (up to 9) containing the subject closest to the camera.
    • Manual: You can manually select one of 99 focus areas in the monitor. This method is handy when the intended subject is not positioned in the center of the frame, and is relatively still.
    • Center: The camera focuses on the subject in the center of the frame.
    • Subject Tracking: For taking pictures of moving subjects. The camera moves the focus area automatically to track the registered subject within the frame.

    Macro Mode: Macro mode is used for taking pictures of objects as close as 2". This feature is best for taking close-up pictures of flowers or other small subjects.

    Focus Lock: The Focus Lock feature is used to focus on off-centered subjects in the frame while shooting in Center AF mode.

    AF-Assist Illuminator: If lighting is poor, the AF-assist illuminator may light to assist the focus operation when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. The illuminator has a range of about 6'-2" at the maximum wide-angle position and 4'-11" at the maximum telephoto position. You can turn this function on or off.

    Blink Warning Function: The Blink Warning function is available when you are shooting in Face Priority mode. When the camera detects that one or more human subjects may have blinked, the blink warning screen is displayed. The subject is framed by a yellow border, allowing you to check the picture and decide whether or not to take another picture.

    Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps.

    ISO Settings: Sensitivity is the measure of how quickly the camera reacts to light. The higher the sensitivity, the less light needed to make an exposure. The camera features the following ISO settings:

    • Auto: Sensitivity is set to ISO 80 when there is sufficient lighting, and raises the sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 1600 when lighting is dim.
    • Fixed Range Auto: Select from two ranges in which the camera automatically sets the sensitivity: ISO 80-400, or ISO 80 to 800.
    • Manual: Sensitivity is locked at the set value: ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, or 3200.

    White Balance: You can set the White Balance to Auto, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, or Flash. You can also choose Preset White Balance and use a neutral-colored object as a reference to set the white balance under unusual lighting conditions.

    Built-in Flash: The Coolpix S3500 has a built-in flash with a range of 1'-8" to 13' (Wide angle) and 3'-4" to 7'-1" (Telephoto). You can choose from the following flash modes:

    • Auto: Flash fires automatically when lighting is poor.
    • Auto with Red-eye Reduction: Pre-flash fires before main flash to reduce red-eye effect.
    • Flash Off: Flash will not fire, even when lighting is poor.
    • Fill Flash: Flash will fire whenever a picture is taken.
    • Slow Sync: Auto flash combined with slow shutter speeds.

    In-Camera Red-Eye Fix: If the camera detects red-eye after the pre-flash has fired, advanced red-eye reduction processing is used to further reduce red-eye, slightly increasing the time required before the next picture can be taken.

    AF Modes: When shooting still images or movies you can choose between two auto-focus modes:

    • Single AF: The camera focuses when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway and locks at this position during recording.
    • Full-time AF: The camera constantly adjusts focus, even when the shutter-release button is not pressed.

    Voice Recording: Audio voice memos for pictures can be recorded over the camera's built-in microphone and played back over the unit's built-in speaker. Memos can be up to 20 seconds in length, and are stored as WAV files.

    Play, Edit and Print Functions

    Copy: You can internally copy images and voice recordings between the camera's internal memory and an inserted SD card.

    Slide Show Playback: View pictures in the internal memory or on the memory card in an automatic slide show with 2, 3, 5, or 10 seconds between pictures. If desired, you can loop the slideshow so it will continuously play. Maximum slide show duration is 30 minutes without operation.

    Thumbnail Playback: During playback, you can view multiple thumbnail images (4, 9, or 16) at a time. While these "contact sheets" are displayed, you can use the multi-selector to highlight individual pictures. Highlighted pictures can be deleted, if desired.

    Calendar Display: This feature displays a calendar allowing you to select and view pictures taken on the same date.

    Playback Zoom: During playback, you can enlarge a still image up to 10x. Once the image is zoomed, you can use the multi-selector to scroll around to non-visible portions of the image. You can record a new picture of the cropped image by pressing the shutter button.

    Rotate Image: Recorded pictures can be rotated 90-degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise on the unit's LCD screen.

    Editing Picture: You can use the Coolpix S3500 to edit recorded pictures in-camera and store them as separate files. You can choose from the following editing functions:

    • Quick Effects: You can apply the following effects: Pop, Super Vivid, Painting, High key, Low key, Toy Camera Effect 1 & 2, Cross Process (red, yellow, green, blue), Soft, Fisheye, Cross Screen, Miniature Effect, High-contrast monochrome, Sepia, Cyanotype, and Selective color.
    • Quick Retouch: Quick Retouch can be used to easily create retouched copies in which contrast and saturation have been enhanced.
    • D-Lighting: D-Lighting can be used to brighten dark or backlit subjects. While playing back an image, you can select the D-Lighting function, apply it, and save the corrected image without harming the properly exposed areas of the image.
    • Glamour Retouch: The camera recognizes faces in pictures and creates a copy with softer facial skin tones.
    • Small Picture (Resizing): You can create a small copy of a recorded image. The copy will be stored as a JPEG file with a compression ratio of 1:16. You can choose from the following sizes: 640 x 480 (suited to television playback), 320 x 240 (suited to display on web pages), or 160 x 120 (suitable for email attachments).
    • Crop: Create a copy containing only the portion visible in the monitor.

    Multi-Language Menu: You can choose from 34 different menu display languages including English, Spanish or French.

    Printing Pictures: You can print pictures stored in the internal memory or on the memory card by using the Print Set option in the playback menu. Using DPOF (Digital Print Order Form), you can designate which images to print, and how many copies to print. Pictures can be printed as followed:

    • Printer or Photo Lab: insert the memory card into a printer, or take the memory card to a digital photo lab (images stored in the internal memory need to be transferred to a memory card prior to printing).
    • PictBridge-compatible Printer: connect the camera to a PictBridge-compatible printer via USB cable
    • Transferring to Computer: transfer the images to a computer before printing them via USB

    Battery Information

    Power Requirements: The Coolpix S3500 is powered by a supplied rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (EN-EL19). The battery is charged in the camera using the supplied EH-70P AC adapter and UC-E6 USB cable. The supplied rechargeable battery will last up to approximately 220 shots or 50 minutes of HD movie recording on one charge. A fully-exhausted battery charges in about 2 hours 40 minutes.

    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 the length of time specified in the Auto Off menu. The time limit for the Auto Off mode can be set to 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 30 minutes.

    Inputs and Outputs Notes

    USB/Audio-Video Output: The camera features a single proprietary jack for connecting the supplied AV or USB 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 supplied AV cable. The USB interface is USB 2.0 Hi-Speed compatible. The video output is NTSC or PAL compatible.

    Supplied Software

    Software Suite CD-ROM: The supplied ViewNX 2 CD-ROM contains the following software:

    • Nikon Transfer 2: to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer
    • ViewNX 2: for viewing your images and movies on the computer
    • Nikon Movie Editor: for basic editing of transferred movies.
    • Panorama Maker: for creating panoramic images from the camera's recorded still 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
    • Macintosh: 10.6, 10.7, 10.8

    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 verify what’s in the box, 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.