Demand for compact cameras has suffered because of the rise of smartphones. However, Nikon says its latest model offers superior picture quality thanks to the size of its lens, as well as the opportunity to install photo-editing apps and other software.
A statement from Nikon said the combination of the camera’s wi-fi connectivity and new software would make it easier for users to upload their shots to social networks.
“Just like a smartphone or tablet device, the camera has the opportunity to run camera-specific photo and video applications, yet enables the various benefits of shooting with a camera,” it added.
“The S800c provides access to a vast world of applications for games, productivity and personal communication/email, including Nikon’s photo storage and sharing site.”
The device is being marketed for $350 (£220), making it about half the price of top-end Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the HTC One X – but one analyst said Nikon might struggle to take advantage of the fact.
“The challenge for the camera manufacturers at the lower end is that smartphones have become so capable, so a product like this may just be too late to the market,” said Martin Gill, principal analyst at Forrester Research.
“In most developed countries mobile phones are now ubiquitous and smartphone use is rapidly becoming mainstream as well.
“People carry them wherever they go, so a point-and-shoot camera will only ever be an add-on product they would also have to take with them.”
The S800c features the Gingerbread operating system and houses inbuilt Wi-Fi to connect to the Google Play market. Any app can be downloaded and used with the camera, including Nikon’s own MyPictureTown app and other photography based apps.
Built-in GPS for tracking and logging locations is also included.
Other specs include Full HD video recording, 8.1fps continuous shooting, 1.7GB of internal memory for pictures/videos and 680MB for applications. The camera is also compatible with SD/SDHC cards.
A 16-million pixel CMOS sensor is joined by a 10x optical zoom lens and a 3.5 inch OLED touchscreen. Sensitivity settings of up to ISO 3200 are also available, along with Nikon’s own automatic vibration reduction technology to counter the effects of camera shake.
The Nikon Coolpix S800c price is £379.99 / $349.95 and will be available from the end of September in white or black.