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Nikon Coolpix S10 Concise Review

February 2007 | By Simon Joinson

Review based on a production Coolpix S10. Firmware Version 1.0

Announced in August, the Coolpix S10 is the latest incarnation of Nikon's 'twisting body' camera design that can be traced all the way back to the original Coolpix 900 in 1998, though - like the S4 before it - this one manages to squeeze in a big 10x optical zoom. Design tweaks aside, the S10's biggest enhancement over its predecessor is the inclusion of CCD-shift image stabilization (or Vibration Reduction, 'VR' as Nikon calls it), pretty much an essential for a camera with a zoom this big. The maximum ISO has also been boosted to 800 and there are a couple of interesting new features. The big zoom market is a crowded one, and truly compact models such as this have rarely impressed when compared to their bulkier 'SLR-like' cousins. Let's find out if the Coolpix S10 has what it takes to offer the ultimate 'pocket' super zoom, starting as ever with the headline features:

Headline features

  • 6.0million effective pixels
  • 10x optical zoom (38-380mm equiv.)
  • Swivel lens design
  • Image-sensor shift VR
  • Wide viewing angle 2.5" TFT screen
  • Two-mode VR (Vibration Reduction) system (lens-shift)
  • BSS (Best Shot Selector) identifies and saves the sharpest image automatically from up to ten sequential shots
  • Exposure BSS mode
  • 4cm macro
  • Face-priority AF
  • In-camera red-eye removal & 'D-Lighting'
  • 15 Scene modes
  • Pictmotion function
  • 16MB internal memory + SD card storage

Key specifications

Street Price • US: $350
• UK: £240
Body Material Metal

• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 6.18 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@ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 15/30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps (PictMotion)
• with sound
Lens • 38-380mm (35mm equiv)
• F3.5
• 10x zoom
Image stabilization Image-sensor shift VR (Electronic VR when shooting movie)
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus Auto
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • 30cm-infinity
• Macro: 4cm-infinity
Metering n/a
ISO sensitivity up to ISO 800
Exposure compensation n/a
Shutter speed n/a
Aperture F3.5
Modes • Auto
• 4 modes with Scene Assist
• 11 Scene modes
• BSS (Best Shot Selector)
• Exposure BSS
• Single
• Continuous
• Multi-shot 16 (approx 1.9fps)
Scene modes • Portrait
• Landscape
• Sports
• Night Portrait
• Party/indoor
• Beach/snow
• Sunset
• Dusk/dawn
• Night landscape
• Close up
• Museum
• Fireworks show
• Copy
• Panorama assist
White balance • Auto with TTL control
• 7-mode manual (Direct sunlight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Shade, Flash and White bal. preset)
Self timer 3 or 10 sec
Continuous shooting approx 1.6fps
Image parameters Color options
Flash • Auto
• Auto with red-eye reduction
• Flash cancel
• Anytime flash
• Slow sync
• Range: 0.3-5.4m (wide) / 1.0- 5.4m (tele)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch TFT
• 230,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB
• AV out
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • 16MB internal memory
• SD card compatible
Power • Rechargeable Li-ion battery EN-EL5
• AC adapter EH-62A
Other features • Best Shot Selector
• Interval timer
• In-camera red-eye removal (automatic)
• Face detection AF
• D-Lighting (shadow lightening)
Weight (no batt) 220 g (7.8 oz)
Dimensions 112.5 x 74.5 x 40.5 mm (4.4 x 2.9 x 1.6 in)

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2007 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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