Nikon Coolpix S800c Camera Review

January 2, 2013

A few weeks ago I shared with you about the two Nikon cameras that I received for review from Best Buy:  The Nikon Coolpix S01 review I did a few weeks ago, and the Nikon Coolpix S800c.

I shared with you how I was so excited to receive these cameras, since my previous point-and-shoot camera had gone missing during my toddlers ‘throw away’ stage.

But I also had to admit: that I did not like either one of these cameras very well.  The S800c was the least favorite camera I reviewed: Ill explain more below.

Nikon Coolpix S800c

This camera has the greatest concept.  It’s LIKE a smartphone – but it’s a camera.  It has Wi-Fi, an Android platform, and allows you to integrate your social media life and your photography life seamlessly.

What this camera lacks though, way outweighs the great concept.  I have to admit: it was a good first try.  Really. But I would not recommend this camera to many people.  In all honesty – I’ve seen MUCH better quality photos from my iPhone than from this camera.

I do have to preface: I am an iPerson. I have tried a few other Android products before and very much disliked them – Mostly because I find the system complicated and not very user-friendly. 

The a few of the basic design flaws I noticed:

  • There is no ‘external’ battery charger.  The battery only charges by way of USB cord from the wall or your computer to the camera, which holds the battery. Dislike
  • The battery can be inserted backwards, and the door closed.  This lead to me waiting 4 hours impatiently for the camera to charge – only to realize the battery was in backwards and not charging at all.Backwards Battery
  • The battery life is very small for a ‘smart-camera’ with Wi-Fi capabilities. When running Wi-Fi and using the camera and apps, there is approximately 4 hours of battery life.
  • When you power down the camera – it really goes into standby mode.  Granted, it warns you: but I didn’t realize that this meant it was essentially ‘running’.  This lead to several moments where I thought I had a camera – only to turn it on and it’s dead. Dislike
    After several minutes of playing with the camera – I realized the biggest flaws:  Low light picture taking quality.
    I have a very bright living room – with 6 overhead flood lights and two wall mounted lights.  The room is bright enough to take a picture on a cloudy day without flash with my iPhone.  However, I could not take a successful picture with the S800c.  It either was far too dark/blurry, or had terrible flash wash-out and/or red-eye.  These pictures were all taken within minutes of each other with both the S800c and the iPhone 4s.  Bad indoor pictures

iphone indoor pictures

After a few days of playing with it, It started acting up.  The camera was freezing on me – and therefore making me pull the battery out and place it back in again to start over.

I brought the camera to Best Buy.  I *really* wanted to love the camera, and I figured surely I was doing something wrong.Geek-Squad-Logo

The guys at the support center counter were very helpful. They also called in the camera expert, who explained the camera a bit better to me.  They showed me that I had 11 applications running, and that was bogging down the very weak Gingerbread version of Android. They could not for the life of them understand why they used such an old, slow version of Android for something that’s intended to be quick and responsive.

They showed me how to kill the apps that I was not using, and a few other features that I could play with to try and take better pictures.

Low Memory

Ultimately – I got overly frustrated with the camera taking poor pictures of my toddlers even in the day time.  And because every time I wanted to use it, it was dead – I ended up not using it very often – it sat on my dresser for weeks without being touched.

Then, when I came to write the review (about a month ago) I turned the camera on to try it again.  One LAST chance to talk to you about this camera in a more up-beat manner. 

But…. The screen was dead.

The camera turned ON, I could hear it working – and it would even “snap” a picture and send it to my computer via Wi-Fi (with my Eye-Fi SD card), but it wouldn’t show anything on the screen. 

At this point I decided it was time to start looking for a better camera.  I went back to Best Buy, where this wonderful camera expert girl showed me around the cameras so I could pick out the best option for us.  She was very helpful in me making my decision based on my needs and uses for the camera.  Picking a new camera

I *highly* recommend that you use Best Buy when you’re making a costly purchase like a camera:  Not only do they stand behind their sales with expert staff to help you out when you’re having troubles, they also have a great return/exchange policy. I also always recommend their 3 year geek squad warranty – so should something go wrong (like it did here) they would repair or replace the camera for you, hassle free.  I can only imagine the trouble I would have gone through had I purchased this camera online – and finding that I didn’t love it and then it breaking.  Yuck. 

Not only that, but Best Buy is currently continuing their price-match policy with all major retailers, including major online retailers like Amazon and Newegg.  If you find a better price, just let them know – they will price match it!

I was given this camera for review as part of the Best Buy Blogger program. All opinions are 100% my own and in no way influenced by compensation.


  1. Very thorough review! Too bad their first try was with a weak operating system like that. Maybe with enough reviews like this their 2nd version will rock.

  2. Jennifer Hedden says:

    I really like the idea of the camera being like a smartphone. But if you can’t take a decent picture or if the system isn’t running smoothly it would not be very useful. I also do not like how the battery can be inserted the wrong way and the door still close and any camera I would want would need to have a longer battery life than 4 hours. Thank you for the honest review!

  3. Sounds like Nikon has some bugs to work out. Thank you for helping people avoid headaches with your honest review! I love Nikon and I bet they will release a newer version of this camera that works better. Skip this one for now, folks 🙂

  4. Bummer that the Nikon didn’t work out so well. I love anything Android based and my dad got me the Samsung which I’ve been loving! Best Buy is awesome and their Geek Squad even better! =)

  5. Heather Houseknecht says:

    I have always used Cannon and had great luck! But “point and shoot” cameras are tough some days…and more advanced cameras take too much time. Thank goodness for Geek Squad. That is something I may have to try!

  6. Karen Medlin says:

    Thank you for the review! I was looking at this camera last week and wasn’t sure if I wanted to upgrade to a Nikon.

  7. Thanks for the good review. I sure wouldn’t want this one. Charging????

  8. Alicia Keen says:

    i love my coolpix

  9. Rich Hicks says:

    I have an earlier model of the coolpix and happy with it. This one has so many new features like the wi fi that I love. Makes transferring pics so much easier.

  10. Gina Brickell says:

    Well, that kinda ruined my day.. I was hoping this would be an excellent camera because we’re in the market to purchase one and I have seen commercials on this one and thought it would be super convenient.. Almost like a mini computer at my fingertips.. No need to upload pictures to get them to facebook etc.. Bummer.. I’m sorry you had to go through all of that though.. Hope you DID find something MUCH better!

  11. Tami Vollenweider says:

    I think this camera wouldn’t be for me. It seems a little,to complicated for me to operate!She did a great review about it,but it’s not for eveybody

  12. kelly nicholson says:

    i have a nikon..i love it!

  13. Carolyn A Colley (Griffith, Smith) says:

    So cool, I like it, my son would love this more than I do.

  14. judy gardner says:

    my nephew knows much more about this kinda thing than i do! thanks for your candid review – i will warn him not to make this purchase.

  15. Thanks for a great review. I’ve been wanting to get a new camera and this is one I was considering. I think I’ll look into something different now.

  16. Thanks for this honest review! Sounds like there are some issues that need to be fixed with this, specially the charging problems.

  17. bill elliott says:

    I have been looking for a new camera for my wife. I look at quite a few, but after reading your review I have found the one I want, the Nikon Coolpix. Thanks you very much for the great review.

  18. vickie couturier says:

    I would love to have this camera,I need one badly an hope I can get one this year

  19. I got a Canon sure-shot a couple of years ago for Christmas at has been great as a “learning” camera (my first digital). But recently, I have been looking at getting a better camera, especially as my job as an activities director means that I am taking pictures in low light, on the move and and the fly. No real time to wait for that “perfect moment” or ask for a do over. Thanks for a very honest review. This will be one camera I can cross of my list.

    We love the Geek Squad at Best Buy. My mom has had to have the new computer she bought there replaced 3 times. And with Geek Squad, they take care of transferring all her documents and financial information from computer to computer with no hassle. They are worth every penny you spend on them.

  20. Matt Stringham says:

    I was wondering how these new “smart” cameras would be. thanks for the review and helping me to save on a wasted purchase!

  21. Carrie Phelps says:

    Definitely a few flaws! I love your honest review of this product and look forward to more of your reviews!

  22. Amy Green says:

    My mom-“shutterbug”-would looove this camera. Birthday idea!

  23. Great review! Thanks for sharing your experioence.

  24. Amy Orvin says:

    Cool camara. I like the design!

  25. jamie braun says:

    thanks for the HONEST review! thats why i love best buy… they have great customer service

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