Nikon Coolpix S9300

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Superzoom faceoff: Canon PowerShot SX260 HS versus Nikon Coolpix S9300

Canon PowerShot SX260 HS Digital Camera (Black)[NOTE: If you're looking for the Sigma 50-500mm lens review, click here. Sorry about that]

As impressive as improvements have been across the board in point and shoot cameras over the last few years, none have made greater strides than the superzooms. Formerly more of a novelty and avoided by anyone serious about performance or image quality, new models are finally worth serious consideration for anyone needing to isolate subjects with a small, light camera. For this project I borrowed a Nikon Coolpix S9300 and a Canon PowerShot SX260 HS and carried both around for a few weeks as my point and shoot camera. I knew that neither would live up to the speed or image quality of my personal favorite point and shoot, the Canon PowerShot S100, but of course that isn’t the point. These models have amazing zoom ranges, and actually cost less. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found… Read more »

Canon Powershot SX260 HS: Superzoom day at the Zoo

Despite the low light inside the Gorilla exhibit, the Canon SX260 did a good job of capturing expressions, even through the glassLorrie and I spent yesterday scouting out the current exhibits at the Bronx Zoo for the B&H photo walk we are leading in the morning. It was fun, but since we wanted to cover the entire zoo we were moving quickly and didn’t have time to shoot as much as we would have liked. Since I’m in the middle of doing a face off of the new “super-zoom” point and shoots from Canon and Nikon I figured I’d spend the day shooting with the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS. After getting back to our friends’ apartment, I reviewed the images and found a lot to like, and a little disappointment… Read more »

Does your camera really need Scene modes–like the Food mode on the Nikon Coolpix S9300?

Racks of ribs on the smoker using the Nikon Coolpix S9300 Food modeOkay, as a professional photographer I’m supposed to be addicted to Raw files, massive workflow, and eschew the many scene modes on my cameras. However, sometimes, when I’m shooting JPEGs on a points and shoot those modes can be a really handy shortcut and allow effects that can’t be equaled by post-processing JPEGs after the fact. And when I review cameras, the modes are definitely fair game, as they get used a lot. Well, I’m also a foodie, so I was intrigued by the new “Food” mode on the Nikon Coolpix S9300. Given the millions of pictures of restaurant and home-cooked meals posted to Facebook daily, the Food mode would seem to have a natural market. So I had to dig in and see what it actually does. At the same time I figured I should review the Scene Modes on the Canon PowerShot SX260 HS that I’m also reviewing. The process made me rethink my natural aversion to the proliferation of Scene modes – at least for point and shoots… Read more »

How much telephoto do you need? Get ready for a Super-zoom Smack Down!

The tiny Canon SX260 and Nikon S9300 nearly disappear compared to the Nikon D700 and Nikon D7000 rigs with their tripods. So it is tempting to wonder how much serious telephoto work can be done with a pint-size super-zoom. We'll find out and let you know!The idea of a point and shoot that can take great telephoto images is really appealing. But over the years I’ve been underwhelmed by their performance. I’m a much bigger fan of no compromise models like the Canon S100, which offer excellent images over a limited zoom range than of the super-zooms I’ve reviews, like the Canon SX240. But kind words about the new Canon PowerShot SX260 HS by my friend and former editor Michael Miller convinced me to take another look. The Canon PowerShot SX260 competes directly with the new Nikon Coolpix S9300, so I decided to do a real hands-on field test of both of them. Of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone, so we’ve decided to go all the way, pitting the SX260 and S9300 (unfairly) against a Nikon D7000 paired with the Sigma DSLR super-zoom lens the Sigma 50-500mm f/4.5-f/6.3 HSM lens, and against the full-frame Nikon D700 with Nikon’s flagship 200-400mm f/4 VR pro lens. So for the next month here at Cardinal Photo we’ll be shooting with all four cameras and taking careful notes… Read more »