Nikon Coolpix S1200pj Review

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Review posted 4/17/2012

Quick Take
Pros

  • Awesome projector for sharing with friends and family; all you need is a flat surface to project onto
  • Easy to use and carry
  • Captures nice 14-megapixel photos
  • Versatile zoom
  • Lens-Shift Image Stabilization
  • High-quality 3.0-inch LCD
  • 720p HD video capture
  • Dedicated video recording button allows recording anytime
  • Acceptable noise levels from ISO 80-1600
Cons
  • No full HD video option
  • ISO 3200 and 6400 show a ton of imager noise
  • No external battery charger
  • No HDMI outout
  • No AV cables
  • Projector drains battery quick
  • Expensive
Bottom Line
While the S1200pj is heavy on the wallet at $429.95 USD, it offers great performance, image quality, and plenty of easy to use exposure options. The projector feature makes the camera worth the extra coin over other compact cameras with similar features, just watch your battery level when using the projector a lot. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
S1200pj_BK_front34l_lo.JPGFile this under something you may never have realized you wanted, but once you'll see one in action, it may just become your favorite new toy...

Nikon's S1200pj is one of six new Coolpix cameras debuting last September.  Steve's had a rare opportunity to get hands on time with each of them.  The S1200pj is the third generation "pj" camera (behind the S1000pj and the S1100pj) and features a 14.1-megapixel CCD sensor, a 5x wide angle optical zoom lens, and a 3.0 inch VGA screen.  

All of those features are nice, but here's what really makes the S1200pj a fun toy: it has a built-in 20 lumen DLP projector with a 100:1 contrast ratio. Since it's third gen technology, the S1200pj has really improved in terms of brightness and projector performance (the S1000pj only had a 10 lumen DLP projector).  Watching your 720p HD movies or photo slidehows is a snap thanks to the projector, which has a focus knob right on the back of the camera to make sure the picture is sharp.  If the room is dark enough, and you pull back about six feet from whatever surface you're illuminating, you'll get the equivalent of a 42" inch screen; the max is 60" at ten feet. In testing this out on a pre-production model of the S1200pj, the projector functionality couldn't really keep up with a lit room, but in the dark situations (like a bar or restaurant), this could be a lot of fun and look pretty good too.

Included with ever S1200pj will be an adapter cable to connect the camera's projector to any iDevice (iPhone, iPod, iPad).  It allows you to control the projector from you iDevice, and not only can you view videos and photos from the camera itself, but you can also watch movies and photo sideshows stored on said iDevice 

Nikon Coolpix S1200pj Features:

  • 14.1 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x wide angle optical zoom (equivalent of 28-140mm in 35mm)
  • 3.0 inch LCD screen (460K pixels)
  • 720p HD movie recording
  • A built-in 20 lumen DLP projector with a 100:1 contrast ratio
  • Included iDevice adapter (or iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads)
  • Easy Auto exposure control
  • Smart Portrait System (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, Face-Priority AF, Smile Mode, Blink Warning, and Skin Softening)
  • EPEED C2 Digital Image Processor
  • Battery Life: 220 shots (still) or 1h of projection
  • Dimensions: 4.3 x 2.5 x 0.9 inches (107 x 63.4 x 22.6 mm)
  • Weight: 6.6 ounces (186 g)
  • SD memory card slot accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC

Nikon is shipping the Coolpix S1200pj with an MSRP of $429.95 USD. See our buy box below for the most current online pricing.

Additional Product Views:

S1200pj_BK_back.JPG

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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