Bought a Nikon CoolPix S9200, somewhat unhappy, looking for alternatives

Discussion in 'What Camera Should I Buy?' started by jwerner74, Dec 26, 2012.

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  1. jwerner74

    jwerner74 New Member

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    Recently we bought a Nikon CoolPix S9200 to replace an aging Kodak V550 that we have been very happy with, but is only now starting to have performance issues.

    The biggest complaint we have with the Nikon is that the recharge time for the flash (which seems to be required for most indoor shots with this camera) causes us to miss many good shots of our kids (ages 1 & 4), plus the S9200 seems to be just a little too advanced for our skills and what we're trying to get out of our pictures. My wife is exclusively a snapshot person, and although I dabbled with an SLR in the film days, I never truly mastered it. I do tend to play around with some of the settings and effects that the S9200 offers, but usually to less than stellar results. So I'd categorize myself as a snapshot person that occasionally aspires to use some advanced techniques. The missing shots thing is extremely frustrating, and since we're still within our return window on the S9200, we're thinking about exchanging it for something else, and looking for suggestions. So to run down my checklist of what I'm looking for:


    Small, pocket sized. To give several points of reference, our old V550 is what we considered perfect size, the S9200 is about as big as we'd want to carry around.

    Megapixels: 8 is sufficient, but the ability to shoot more if I know I will make a big enlargement would be nice
    Optical Zoom: 5 is sufficient, but more would be nice
    Image Quality: 9
    Exposure Modes: Would be nice, but 98% of the time we use auto mode.

    General Usage:
    Mostly snapshots of the kids (ages 1 & 4), primarily indoors (ie flash will sometimes be required). Mostly handheld shots, and since I don't have the steadiest hand, image stabilization that works well would be nice.

    Would prefer Canon or Nikon, as I know people that have had good experiences with them. We were also very happy with our Kodak camera, but obviously that's no longer an option. The real biggie here is quick recovery time between shots, whether that be by virtue of a fast memory-write time (I do have a 1-HS card) or quick flash recharge, is important because with small kids, shots come & go very quickly.

    Also, at the expense of wearing out my welcome as a new poster, I'd like to ask about syncing software. Even though I'm well-versed in the capability to stick the card in the computer & drag the files into a folder on the OS, we prefer to transfer images with syncing software for a number of reasons (wear & tear on the camera door to remove the card, we don't always delete images off the card after transfer, so we can show them off later on the camera, etc). We used Kodak Easyshare with our V550, and minus a few quirks (occasionally transferring files to the OS but not actually putting them in the Easyshare database, etc), it worked good enough. I tried out Nikon's View NX2 with the new camera, and it has a few features I really like, such as the ability to automatically copy transferred images to a backup location (like a portable hard drive) as they're transferred, and to automatically place the transferred images into folders that are named with the date the pictures were taken, rather than when they were transferred. A couple things I don't like is that the software doesn't seem to have a "tray" where I can stage photos for upload to Facebook and other web services, or for placing print orders, and I also have not been able to get it to transfer images from any media that wasn't loaded into my Nikon camera. And it won't even look for pictures on a CD, or the local hard drive (not sure if NX2 keeps a database like Easyshare does, but my aim in "transferring" pictures that are on my hard drive (but outside of my designated "pictures folder" is to have them run through the automatic backup, and automatically indexed into folders by date taken). So if someone could suggest a decent 3rd party syncing software, or tell me if I'm just missing something with NX2 (the same goes for the frustrations I've noted with the camera itself, perhaps we're just doing something wrong), I would really appreciate it.

    I apologize for the long-winded first post, but I wanted to give as much info as I could to help the members make informed suggestions. Thank you in advance!
  2. Andy Stanton

    Andy Stanton Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Your Nikon S9200 takes about 4 seconds to recharge the flash - that's a pretty long time to wait if you have people moving around. All small Nikons have a similar flash delay.

    You might do better with a small Canon. I purchased the Canon Elph 110 HS a few weeks ago and I've been very happy with it. It's quite small, but the buttons are big enough to easily manipulate and it's very quick - slower when the flash is on but faster than your Nikon. It has good image quality overall, including in low light. It has a back-illuminated CMOS sensor which helps its low light image quality so that a flash rarely needs to be used. It's an extremely simple camera to use but the menu gives you lots of options if you want to try them out. It only has a 5x zoom, which is your minimum requirement.

    As far as Canon's picture software is concerned I can't help you as I don't use it. I use the free program Irfanview (
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