Nikon Coolpix 3700: Test and Review

our this camera to 3.2 megapixels, Nikon gave up the CompactFlash cards in favor of Secure Digital cards, smaller, they have contributed to its pocket size. The 3700 also produces beautiful photos Fort 3x optical zoom, its macro views taken exceptional capabilities and few thoughtful features, such as voice-activated timer. This unit offers exactly everything you expect little automatic. However, it lacks the features that look the most discerning photographers: it does not allow manual control of shutter speed, aperture, ISO sensitivity or development.

The brushed metal casing of ultracompact Nikon Coolpix 3700 is stylish. It weighs only 141.7 grams and offers a good grip. However, it is difficult to put together the index finger on the trigger and the thumb on the zoom switch. In other respects, the controls are very well designed and a few minutes to master.

To navigate the menus and activate frequently used functions, the Coolpix 3700 has a joystick with pressure rather than the usual Four-way rocker button. Handling this controller is safe and accurate. Pressing up lets you choose one of four flash modes, another down toggles Macro mode. Facing left, it starts the timer to the right and it cycles through the exposure compensation values. Pressing selects the highlighted option.

Other commands are arranged equally sensible. Well designed, the on / off switch consists of a ring which surrounds the trigger, so there is no risk of inadvertently actuate. Near the eyepiece is the key dedicated to the display: a pressure causes the appearance of the screen of display options, including a grid to align the elements of the composition. A simple flick with your thumb can rotate the command dial with precision modes to access the configuration menu, the picture options, video capture and voice recording. Each mode is a simple menu that can be activated using a button housed between the wheel and the joystick. In playback mode, accessed by pressing the button in the center of the dial, the joystick is used to scroll through images and zoom switch to zoom. The key illustrated by a dustbin is the only other major order, it allows to delete photos.

Once turned off, the lens retracts and an integrated protective cover closes over him. No diameter allows you to add filters or other accessories.

Obeyed the voice

As automatic dedicated an apparatus, the Coolpix 3700 does not even allow basic control of aperture and shutter speed setting, the camera automatically selects the exposure time, which ranges from 4 to 1/3000 s. Furthermore, Nikon has no plans for more experienced photographers, it has no manual focus. The only pictures of the recording format is JPeg. He can only hope that the fully automatic modes and programmed the 3700 select the appropriate settings, but it is not that serious. After all, it only includes aperture settings f / 2.8 and f / 4.9. Moreover, although sometimes slow, the autofocus works well for catches of normal and macro views. The camera adjusts the exposure compensation, but not the ISO sensitivity.

Available both for taking individual view that burst, the manual mode offers a limited number of additional controls. Choosing a preset white balance is possible and to designate an AF area, opting for a resolution and one of the two compression levels and adjust the sharpness of the image. Another option of manual mode: the Best Shot feature Nikon. It allows up to 10 photos, after which the Coolpix 3700 automatically chooses the sharpest and removes others.

The scene modes provide enough customization options to satisfy most amateur photographers. They include presets Portrait, Party / Indoor, Night Portrait, Beach / Snow, Landscape, Sunset, Night Landscape, Fireworks, Museum.

The focal range of 35-105 mm (equivalent of a 35mm camera) 3X optical zoom is wide enough for photos inside and exploitable for telephoto shots. In macro mode and when the zoom is halfway, the lens may make the development up to 4 cm from the subject.

The Nikon retardant is THE fun feature of 3700. It offers a choice of three levels of sound sensitivity and it can trigger the photo by a hand clap, a cry, a firecracker or other noise. If you prefer not to use the voice command, you can set the timer so that the camera takes a picture after a period of 3 or 10 seconds.

In video mode, the Coolpix 3700 can record on unr video card with a resolution of 640×480 pixels and 30 frames per second. The inauguration of views at regular intervals can capture 1800 images separated by intervals ranging from 30 seconds to 1 hour. The 100% audio mode also allows to achieve up to 5 hours of voice recording that, although metal is nevertheless acceptable.

Weak burst

Overall, the Nikon Coolpix 3700 produced average performance. Even with the assist lamp, the autofocus has been a bit slow in low light conditions, resulting in a delay of the terrible shutter about 2 seconds. It was only 0.6 seconds in brighter and more contrasting conditions where the lamp was not necessary.

The switch-on time of the device is acceptable, 3.6 seconds. The interval between each shot proved satisfactory on him but unimpressive: 1.3 seconds in normal times and 2.8 seconds with flash.

Taking burst is not the highlight of the Coolpix, you have only two options. The unit can take up to five photos at a rate of about 1.6 frames per second (fps), if you are willing to settle for three shots, the 3700 is then able to double its pace.

The screen is 3.8 cm net and reveals a slight ghosting or minimal jolts with moving subjects. You can adjust the brightness, but the LCD is still difficult to read in strong daylight.

For a handheld device to 3 megapixels, the Nikon Coolpix 3700 has produced a satisfactory quality but not exceptional photo. Our test shots showed very saturated colors and realistic skin tones. However, when we took pictures with flash in dark conditions which cause dilation of the iris, red eyes caused problems. Compared with the best photos taken by cameras in its class, those of 3700 were somewhat less clear, especially towards the edges of the image.

On pictures taken in bright conditions, situation in which the Coolpix 3700 always chooses ISO 50 sensitivity, noise levels were low. In dark conditions, the camera increases sensitivity up to ISO 200, but it significantly amplifies the noise. As you can not manually adjust the ISO sensitivity or exposure, use a tripod for example can improve the sharpness, but does not automatically reduce noise under low light. We found a slight barrel distortion was particularly visible in photographs containing rectangular objects near the edges of the image.