As promised, the enhanced Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector makes stills and video clips more vibrant on the Nikon Coolpix S1200pj than on previous versions. The built-in speaker is predictably tinny, and the battery's only rated for up to one hour in projector mode - typical for a battery-powered pocket projector - so don't expect to kick back and enjoy Avatar any time soon.
However, once the lamp warms up, images are bright, colours are decent and contrast levels are well maintained. The projected image starts to appear dull and 'thin' once you move five or so feet from the surface you're projecting onto, but the picture's much livelier close-up.
How does it fare as a camera? Operationally, it's fine when treated as a point-and-shoot. The move away from a touchscreen is a welcome one - we've yet to see this implemented effectively in a Nikon compact - but there's still little in the way of manual controls. Changing ISO, white balance, flash settings and adding exposure compensation is about the sum of it. Even then, only the latter is available in all auto modes. There's also relatively little shooting information presented during playback as well, which can be problematic when trying to judge exposures.
The options are equally as limited when shooting movies with the Nikon Coolpix S1200pj. That's not necessarily a bad thing, though, because the results are pretty good without the need for manual intervention.
Full-time autofocus (AF) is offered, and in decent light there are only slight dropouts in focus as you zoom. Single AF is recommended for quieter filming locations, since the stereo microphones can pick up clicking and whirring sounds from the S1200pj's autofocus system and capture them on video (the focus motor is noisy, even when shooting stills).
The zoom is smooth, but tends to drift beyond the point where you stop adjusting the zoom ring - you'll need to bear this in mind when you're framing start and stop points.
Sensitivity runs from ISO 80-6400. There's also an Auto ISO setting and a two-tier Fixed Range Auto option, where you can restrict the camera to choosing from either ISO 80-200 or ISO 80-400. The reason that ISO 200 tops out the former setting becomes clear when you start analysing results at 100%. As you'd expect, ISO 80 and 100 offer sharply defined images. At even ISO 200, noise and softening is noticeable, and at ISO 400 edges deteriorate, textures start to look processed and fine detail becomes lost.