Nikon Coolpix S1100pj review

A digital camera with a built in projector – it’s bound to impress, but for how long?

Price
£238

As mobile devices become increasingly capable, their biggest drawback is their tiny screens. Stick a pico projector inside, though, and the screen can be far bigger than the device itself.

There are various stand-alone pico projectors on sale from around 200, and Samsung is leading the charge for projector-phones. Meanwhile, Nikon is doing the same for cameras with the S1100pj. This second-generation model is both brighter as a projector (up from 10 to 14 lumens) and can take higher-resolution photos (up from 12 to 14 megapixels). More importantly for business users, as well as projecting photos and videos taken with the camera, it can connect to a PC or Mac via USB and duplicate the computer's desktop on the projector.

Ignore the projector and this is a typical mid-price camera that we'd expect to sell for around 150. There's a respectable 5x zoom range but the f/3.9-5.8 lens captures around half as much light as f/2.8 lenses. Meanwhile, the excessive 14-megapixel sensor resolution means that very little light hits each pixel.

The upshot of these two factors is noisy images. Outdoor shots were a little grainy, with an indistinct haze to subtle textures. Indoor shots were smudged and blotchy. The automatic mode restricted the ISO speed to 80-400 to avoid the worst excesses of noise, but this meant that suppressing the flash in low light resulted in blur due to camera shake.

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We didn't warm to the touch-screen interface, either. The layout is simple enough but it was a little unresponsive. Worst of all, the camera sometimes took a second or two to respond, but after repeated prods, the menu suddenly flew off in unexpected trajectories.

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