Nikon Unleashes Seven New Compacts, Sets Sights on Wi-Fi and GPS


Nikon just overhauled its entire compact/superzoom lineup, so we thought we’d give it a go at a broad overview. New camera models are the Coolpix P520, L820, AW110, S9500, S9400, S5200, and S31; and all of them are trying to compete with your smartphone by offering a mix and match of great zoom, Wi-Fi connectivity and GPS.

Not all of them are worth mentioning in detail, but we’ll hit the highlights in the next couple of paragraphs.


The P520 superzoom (above) is at the top of the heap, offering 42x zoom coupled with an 18.1-megapixel sensor, a 3.2-inch articulating screen, built-in GPS, and compatibility with Nikon’s WU-1a Wi-Fi adapter. It’ll run you $450. Next up in terms of noteworthy-ness is the 18.1MP S9500 (top), boasting a true compact form-factor with 22x zoom, built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, and a price tag of $350.


For the rugged, action-adventure types, the followup to the AW100 (creatively enough, the AW110) pictured above outstrips its predecessor in all things tough. For $350 it can go 60ft underwater, be dropped from 6.5ft in the air, and it won’t freeze until the temps drop bellow -14-degrees Fahrenheit. It sports 16MPs and, of course, it too has Wi-Fi and GPS built-in.


The rest are basically cheaper versions of the previously mentioned cameras. The 16MP L820 (above) is a 30x super-zoom downgrade from the P520 for $280; the 10MP CCD S31 is a less-rugged, more family-friendly version of the AW110 for $120; the 18.1MP S9400 is an 18X, Wi-Fi-bereft version of the S9500 for $300; and finally, the S5200 is the bottom end of the S-models mentioned, offering 16MPs, 6x zoom and built-in Wi-Fi for $180.

Here are a few pictures of those last three:




If any of those caught your eye, you can read more about them in the official Nikon press releases for the new S-series cameras, the AW110, the P520, and the L-series cameras (including a couple we didn’t mention) at their respective links.

  • Ryan Oliver


  • Jim

    18mp on that size sensor. You might as well paint the scene. Blotchy crap photos. At least there is wifi, if you are willing to wait about a minute for each photo to transfer. If it’s all about sharing, stick to 10mp with decent image quality. That way you have non watercolour looking shots at full res and nice looking shots when transferred at a smaller size. As for the previous post saying ‘Yawn’ I completely agree. :)

  • Mike

    “Blotchy crap photos.”

    And you have evaluated a production model?
    Didn’t think so.

  • Jason

    Tiny tiny sensors with huge MP…sounds like a crap combination to me. No wonder Nikon has failed to release anything remotely interesting other than DSLRs in the past. Why even bother?

  • Jim

    Show me a photo from any compact with 18mp on a 1/2.3″ sensor that doesn’t look blotchy at 100%. Didn’t think so. :) the tech simply isn’t there yet. The best I’ve seen, which surprised me are some shots from Canon using 14mp on that size sensor. That’s if it sticks to max iso 200.

  • Jim

    I just had a look at your website. Stunning photos! I notice you mentioned only having jpegs with your underwater camera. Have you tried CHDK? It gives you the option to shoot raw with most Canon cameras.

  • Brent Webber

    why didnt they update the zoom on the P520 to take on canons 50x zoom..ill wait till they update the zoom again before buying it

  • Mike

    Here is a sample from Nikon, and their samples always suck.

    Here is a shot from a Sony DSC-TX200, another 18mp cam with 1/2.3 sensor.

    The resulting images are nice, that is what matters. Frankly, who cares about images at 100%? I only care about the final image, not how good it looks at 100%. The Nikon D800 often looks worse than a D700 at 100%, but that not relevant, at least not to me. When you print or display an image online you fix the display size. The higher sampling of the D800 looks better than the D700, even at higher ISO.

  • Mike

    Thanks Jim, appreciate it. I haven’t tried CHDK, but do know about it. Might be worth a look though I’m just tempted to upgrade my compact to the Sony RX-100. Granted, it has a massive 24mp on a tiny sensor but the painterly effect may be nice ;)

  • Wagner Goldberg

    ugly ugly ugly ugly ugly ugly and ugly