Soooo... after testing the Nikon S31 for a while I can finally tell you what it really is and isn't!
First of all, my first (blue) S31 stopped working after 3 days in Fuerteventura, which was quite a bummer since I was so smart to not take an extra camera with me, except my dear Polaroid. He would go on and off, but he just refused to take anymore pictures. Luckily, I just bought him a few days before my trip, so when I got back I went to Saturn (the small sister of Mediamarkt) and they agreed with me that this was totally unacceptable, and gave me a new one right away.
After my dilemma of choosing the color the first time, also this time I spent again half an hour deciding whether I'd take the yellow or the white one (which was initially my first choice)... I'm sorry guys, I'm a blonde!! Eventually the summer feeling of the yellow one won :)
I know this might sound quite stupid to you, and of course I will never let the color of the camera influence my decision of the model, but if there are different options within the model, I think it's quite important you don't get noxious by looking at your camera's color!
First of all, here are some above the water pictures:
For above the water pictures, the quality is okay if you have good light (which means daylight), but nothing exceptional. Actually, if I'd have to describe this camera in one word, it would be the perfect HOLIDAY camera.
Anyway, this being said, I'll tell you more about the design. The starting screen is quite childish with a dancing panda bear, flowers and co, which kind of gives away the original target audience of kids and teens. Though, if you look further than the design, it gives you a simple, no-nonsense navigation through the menu and the few options it offers.
Of course, the main reason you'd buy this camera, is because you want to take pictures underwater, while snorkeling or just having fun in the pool. Diving is not an option, since it's only capable of going 5 meter underwater. For this purpose, this camera is just perfect, especially if you take into account that it costs less than 100 Euro! I had great fun spotting fish and fixing them on photographs, I can honestly say it gave that little extra to my beach vacation.
One important thing: the quality of the pictures depends on 2 factors, that are not always as easy:
you should have a good focus: you can focus by pushing the button half in, but then again, you should be able to take the picture just after it, without moving, to keep your focus. Not always as easy while snorkeling, since you're moving with the waves... And, let's assume the fish aren't frozen as well!
the water should be as clear as possible, which often involves not too much waves neither. This is also not always the case of course...
So, to show you the difference, here are some pictures of 2 different vacations, two different kinds of water and in the end two different photo qualities as well...
First of all, here you have Fuerteventura. It's quite windy over there, as the name already tells, and the water is not really perfect for snorkeling. Anyway, there are some beaches with reefs where you can find quite some fish, so I gave it a try. As you'll see,the fish are not so colorful here, so that also influences the contrast of the pictures:
And, here are some pictures from Rhodos, where there are almost no waves and the water is really calm and clear. These ones are all taken in Anthony Quinn's Bay, one of the best beaches of the entire island, and one of the cleanest ones. As I said, this clearly reflects on the picture quality.
So, here you go! I hope you guys now have a good idea what this compact camera can do for you :)
Personally, I highly advise it as an allround holiday camera, above and under the water surface.