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Nikon Coolpix S4

By dpreview staff on Sep 1, 2005 at 06:05 GMT

Nikon has today announced its first swivel lens cameras since the Coolpix SQ in February 2003, in the shape of the Coolpix S4 which is reminiscent of the legendary E9xx series. Looking slightly more stylish in silver than its ancestors, the six million-pixel S4 boasts a 10x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens as well as the D-Lighting function, a 2.5-inch LCD, in-camera red-eye removal and face-priority AF. Other features of note include AE-BSS, which selects the best relative exposure from a series of shots, plus a 4cm macro mode. The Coolpix S4 will be available at the end of this month priced €399.

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The compact digital camera with 10x zoom performance and a swivel design that covers all the angles

Nikon Coolpix S4

Nikon Corporation has demonstrated its innovative credentials with the introduction of the COOLPIX S4, one of the new “S series” of highly portable COOLPIX cameras.

A stylish camera designed for active people, the COOLPIX S4 packs a high megapixel count, a large LCD monitor and zoom capability into a swiveling body that allows independent movement of the lens and LCD sections.

The COOLPIX S4 features a 10x Zoom-Nikkor lens whose versatility in composition takes it beyond other cameras in its class. Its outstanding 38-380mm performance (35mm equivalent) gives the user the freedom to capture everything from extreme close-ups to architecture and landscapes, with the added advantage of being swivel mounted so pictures can be taken from imaginative and exciting angles.

The swivel capability means you can shoot from the waist or overhead, and is great for composing high quality self-portraits. The COOLPIX S4 delivers the imaging capability of 6.0 effective megapixels too, producing quality shots that remain impressive even when considerably enlarged.

Despite offering such stunning imaging performance, the COOLPIX S4 is designed to fit comfortably in the hand, with the swiveling section neatly enclosing and protecting the powerful zoom lens and a zoom lever located on the top of the body for easy operation.

The COOLPIX S4 also features a new grip design that boosts the user’s confidence when shooting. A large, bright 2.5-inch LCD makes it easy to compose pictures and simple to play back the results on the spot. The S4 is designed to be highly portable, with a slim 37mm depth and a light weight of 205g.

The COOLPIX S4 makes it possible to improve recorded images in-camera with a range of unique Nikon functions. Available in Playback Mode, the ingenious D-Lighting function enables the user to ‘rescue’ shots taken with insufficient flash or excessive backlight. The user simply has to select the image in question and D-Lighting automatically creates a copy, but with enhanced detail and lighting wherever necessary.

In Portrait Mode, the COOLPIX S4 offers the handy Face-priority AF function, which can detect the presence of a human face in the shot. Once detected, Face-priority automatically achieves sharp focus on the face, producing pleasing portraits no matter where the subject was positioned in the shot.

There’s also the benefit of In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, which automatically detects the unfortunate red-eye effect that can occur when taking portraits with flash, resulting in better quality portraits and more confident use of flash. The COOLPIX S4 is equipped with a useful Blur Warning function, too. Alerting the user whenever a shot may have been compromised by camera shake, it provides a chance to take another image before the opportunity passes.

Taking fun and convenience further, the COOLPIX S4 can be powered with a pair of AA-size batteries, which are widely available around the world in alkaline, lithium or other forms, making the camera well suited to travel. There’s also a selection of four Movie Modes offering up to 15 frames per second performance. Three of these modes also record sound, while the fourth is a Time-lapse movie function that allows the capture of action taking place over extended periods.

A choice of 16 Scene Modes simplifies shooting in a wide range of common situations, allowing the user to select the icon that most closely matches the desired shot, then let the COOLPIX S4 select the optimal settings automatically for pleasing results. Four of these Scene Modes come with the added advantage of Scene Assist, which helps the user to achieve better composition. There’s also the Voice Recording Mode, which is highly useful in meetings and lectures (as well as a range of other circumstances) and can record up to 5 hours of sound when used with a 256MB SD card.

The COOLPIX S4 makes printing easy, too, thanks to its PictBridge compatibility, which allows the camera to be connected directly to compatible printers to produce photographs without the need for a computer. The camera offers USB connectivity, making it swift and easy to transfer data to computers and other peripherals. Furthermore, the COOLPIX S4 comes complete with Nikon’s versatile PictureProject software so images can be edited, organized and shared simply using a wide range of easy-to-use functions.

Nikon COOLPIX S4 Feature Highlights

Amazing 10x optical zoom performance
Equipped with a powerful 10x Zoom-Nikkor lens, the COOLPIX S4 offers far more compositional freedom than other compact cameras. In fact, delivering outstanding 38-380mm performance (35mm equivalent), it makes it easy for the photographer to capture a much broader range of subject matter — moving in for tightly composed portraits, zooming further out for stunning shots of architecture, or pulling right out to capture the full beauty of expansive scenery.

Dynamic swivel design
Not only is the lens of the COOLPIX S4 incredibly powerful, but it is also housed within a unique swiveling body that allows the lens to be directed independently of the LCD monitor. As a result, it provides new potential for taking pictures from a more imaginative range of angles — shooting from the hip, shooting from overhead, and allowing the photographer to point the lens and the LCD monitor in the same direction simultaneously to achieve self-portraits with more accurate composition.

Easy to carry for go-anywhere convenience
The COOLPIX S4 is ideal for carrying and using virtually anywhere. Compact dimensions and a lightweight make it comfortable to hold in the hand and easy to carry. It’s also compatible with AA-size batteries, which are widely available around the world in alkaline, lithium and other forms, making it an excellent choice of camera to take when traveling.

Large, bright 2.5-inch LCD
The COOLPIX S4 is also equipped with a large, easy-to-view LCD that makes it easy to compose shots with clarity and play back the results right away. And because it’s so large and bright, it makes navigation of the menu much simpler too.

The power to improve pictures in-camera
Equipped with a selection of unique Nikon functions, the COOLPIX S4 even makes it easy to enhance recorded images in-camera. Available in Playback Mode, the D-Lighting function lets users improve images taken with insufficient flash or excessive backlight, creating a copy with automatically enhanced light and detail wherever necessary. Available in Portrait Mode, the ingenious Face-priority AF function has the power to detect faces within the frame, achieving sharp focus automatically no matter where the subject is located in the shot. The COOLPIX S4 also features In-Camera Red-Eye Fix. A welcome function when taking portraits at night, it corrects for the annoying red-eye effect sometimes caused by flash to produce better portraits in low light.

Nikon COOLPIX S4 Other Features

  • Highly portable dimensions of 111.5 x 68.5 x 37mm (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.4 in.) (W x H x D)
  • Minimized weight of approximately 205g (7.2 oz.) (without battery and memory card)
  • BSS (Best Shot Selector) identifies and saves the best exposure automatically from ten sequential shots
  • AE-BSS selects the best relative exposure from a series of shots
  • Macro mode lets the user compose as close as 4cm from the subject
  • Approx. 13.5MB internal memory ensures that you get the shot even when you are without an SD memory card
  • Time zone function makes it easy to set the camera’s clock to local time, regardless of where you are in the world
  • 4x digital zoom takes you even closer
  • Single AF and Continuous AF are selectable in Movie Mode
  • Choice of White Balance: Auto with TTL control, 5-mode manual (Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy and Flash) and Preset
  • Playback options: Single, 4- and 9-segment thumbnail, Slideshow
  • Built-in flash: features settings for Auto, Red-eye Reduction by pre-flash (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix), Anytime flash, Flash cancel and Slow sync.

Nikon Coolpix S4 specifications

Sensor

• 1/2.5" Type CCD
• 6.4 million pixels total
• 6.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes • 2816 x 2112
• 2048 x 1536
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 15 fps
• 320 x 240 @ 15 fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15 fps
• Without sound
File formats

• Still: JPEG
• Movie: MOV
• Sound: WAV

Lens • 38 - 380 mm (35 mm equiv) 10x optical zoom
• F 3.5
Image stabilization Movie only
Digital zoom Up to 4x
Focus Contrast-detect TTL AF
AF area modes • Center
• Multi
• Auto
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 30cm (12 in) to infinity
• Macro: 4cm (1.6 in.) to infinity
Metering 256-segment matrix metering
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 EV steps
Exposure bracketing No
Shutter speed 2 - 1/1000 sec
Aperture F3.5 - F13.6 in five steps
Scene modes

• Auto
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Sports
• Night Portrait
• Party/Indoor
• Beach/Snow
• Sunset
• Dusk/Dawn
• Night Landscape
• Close up
• Museum
• Fireworks Show
• Copy
• Back Light
• Panorama Assist
• Voice Recording
• BSS (Best Shot Selector)
• AE-BSS
• Blur Warning

White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Incandescent
• Fluorescent
• Cloudy
• Flash
Self timer 10 secs
Continuous shooting • Approx. 1.3fps
• Multi-shot 16 (16 frames 1/16 in size)
Flash • Built-in
• Range: 0.4-3.0m/ 1 ft. 4 in. – 10 ft
• Modes: Auto, Auto with Red-eye Reduction (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix), Anytime Flash, Flash Cancel and Slow sync
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 110,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• AV out
• DC in (AC adapter supplied)
Print compliance • PictBridge
• Exif
• DPOF
Storage • SD card
• 13.5 MB internal memory
Power • 2x AA batteries
• Charger available
Weight (no batt) 205 g (7.2 oz )
Dimensions 112 x 69 x 37 mm (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.4 in)
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