Nikon Coolpix S10 Concise Review
The S10 has five white balance presets (daylight, incandescent, fluorescent, cloudy, and flash) in addition to the default automatic setting and a manual (custom) white balance option. In our tests the auto white balance struggled with dim artificial light (like most cameras), producing a strong cast (although to be fair the AWB actually did better than most compact cameras in incandescent lighting). The most annoying thing about the S10's white balance is how poorly the preview image reflects the image as it is eventually captured - all the examples below actually looked perfect on-screen (in live view and record mode).
|Auto White Balance||Fluo (FL1) Preset||Auto White Balance||Incandescent preset|
|Fluorescent light - Auto white balance poor,
Preset white balance average
|Incandescent light - Auto white balance good,
Preset white balance average
Ever since the earliest Coolpixes Nikon has offered excellent macro capabilities, a tradition continued by the S10. As is common the closest focus is only available at the wider end of the zoom, where you can down to a shooting distance of 4cm. You can actually zoom in a little at the 4cm focus point, allowing you to capture an area of between 3.5 and 5cm across. At the long end of the zoom you can't focus as close, but you can still capture a fairly small area (just over 6cm across), with a lot less distortion - pretty impressive.
In all cases there is fairly strong corner softness (curvature of field) and some visible chromatic aberration at the wide end, but for 'real world' shots you really need to be looking for problems to see them.
- Click here for wide macro test chart (at 38mm)
- Click here for wide macro test chart (at 72mm)
- Click here for tele macro test chart (at 380mm)
Resolution is similar to the other cameras in this class, and roughly in the middle of the pack if you take 6 megapixel cameras as a whole. As you move towards the very highest frequencies there is fairly strong moiré visible, but we struggled to find any evidence of it in real-world shots.
|Click here for the full resolution test chart||
resolution 1200 LPH
resolution 1250 LPH
Distortion and other image quality issues
The S10 exhibits moderately high distortion at the wide end of the zoom - 1.3% barrel distortion (click here for test chart), which doesn't get much better until you are approaching the mid-zoom point. On a more positive note there is only the slightest measurable distortion (0.2% pincushion) at the telephoto end (click here for test chart).
Like so many cameras the S10's output is something of a mixed bag. Taken as a whole the results give few real causes for complaint; they are generally well-exposed, in focus and with accurate, natural color. Compared to most 'point and shoot' models the output is a little 'flat', and shots at longer focal lengths in particular benefit from a little contrast / saturation and sharpness boost. This is no bad thing if you're prepared to do the post-processing, but is perhaps not best suited to the presumed target market.
Looking a bit closer the compromises in producing such a small camera with such a big zoom range become more obvious. The lens shows visible distortion and suffers from fairly strong curvature of field, meaning it's impossible to get the center and corners in focus at the same time (though of course this will be a problem only if you are shooting flat things). There is some mild corner softness visible in many shots, some purple fringing and an overall lack of biting sharpness (the noise reduction at ISO 50 smears very fine low-contrast detail and the lens isn't producing world-class results).
We also found the focus at the long end of the zoom to be a little unreliable, though this is as much a problem of focus speed as it is of focus accuracy. Don't try and shoot anything that's moving at full telephoto - it'll be long gone before the S10 finds its mark. We saw occasional problems with flare, again at the long end of the zoom, and the S10, inevitably, suffers from some highlight clipping in bright, contrasty scenes, something not helped by the tendency to slightly overexpose in such situations.
To put this all into perspective many of the problems mentioned above fall firmly into the 'nit picking' category, and most (focus issues aside) won't be an issue for the typical user viewing the photographs at standard print sizes or reduced to fill a computer screen. But if you are someone who isn't happy unless your camera produces output that stands up well to close scrutiny at anything approaching a pixel level the S10 is going to disappoint.
|Antz by Deadfisheye|
from Animated Film Title
|The Ladder - Fort Worth Museum of Modern Art by RJD13|
from Lookin' Up!
The Fujifilm X-H1 takes its place above the previous range-topping X-T2. What does the new camera bring to the table, and what kind of photographer is it designed for?
Tiffen has joined the monopod market with the new Steadicam Air. The Steadicam Air is a three-section carbon fibre model that uses a gas spring and foot pedal close to the base to quickly and easily adjust the monopod's height.
Kodak Alaris is resurrecting yet another film photography product. Kodak's T-Max P3200 high-speed B&W film—which the company says can be push processed to ISO 25,000—is officially coming back in March!
ProGrade Digital is new brand of memory cards aimed at professional photographers and demanding amateurs. Here's what sets ProGrade apart, and why the company believes it can compete with the big guys.
Sigma announced pricing and availability for its much-anticipated 14-24mm F2.8 Art lens today, revealing that the ultra-wide zoom will begin shipping mid-March for $1,300 USD.
A recent breakthrough means the future could include sensors that perfectly describe the light in the scene, offer new computational possibilities and give film-like latitude in the highlights. And yet we may never see them in cameras, says father of the CMOS sensor, Professor Eric Fossum.
The Tokina FíRIN 20mm F2 FE AF is a followup to the MF version released in 2016, which adds (you guessed it) autofocus capabilities. Optically, the two lenses are identical.
The VMC-MM2 release cable allows owners of Sony's ultra-compact RX0 to sync the sort-of action camera with a Sony alpha (or Cyber-shot) camera and capture photos and video simultaneously.
Sony just released a new wireless flagship flash for E-mount with guide number 60. The HVL-F60RM offers "high-power flash output, reliable continuous performance and advanced control features with integrated radio control options."
The Opera 50mm F1.4 FF is a full-frame lens for Nikon and Canon mounts, while the FíRIN 20mm F2 FE AF for Sony E-Mount replaces the FíRIN 20mm F2 FE MF announced in September of 2016.
Two veteran sports photographers share stories and tips from photographing the Olympics, as well as other high-profile sporting events throughout history.
We've added the Panasonic GX9 to this buying guide to to place its specifications and features in context, alongside its competition. When our full review is complete the camera will be considered for an award.
Tamron has announced a full-frame 70-210mm F4 tele-zoom, boasting moisture-resistance, a minimum focus distance of 0.95m/37.4in and up to 5 stops of stabilization – all for $800.
Details are thin at this point, but the 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD will offer "superb optical performance" and a moisture-resistant construction.
The Pentax K-1 Mark II promises less noise than its predecessor and offers a cool new Pixel Shift mode that lets you leave your tripod behind. Find out what's changed - and what hasn't.
Ricoh has announced an updated version of its K-1 full-frame DSLR. The Pentax K-1 Mark II gains an additional 'accelerator' processor that enables improved image processing as well as a handheld version of its Pixel Shift Resolution mode.
For a limited time this summer, current K-1 owners will be able to send their cameras in for a circuit board replacement, essentially upgrading to a Mark II. They'll even get a Mark II logo swapped in on the front of the camera.
Panasonic has continued to develop its organic/CMOS image sensor tech, and the latest breakthrough is big: an image sensor that can shoot 8K at 60p, boasts incredible dynamic range, and has global shutter capability.
Services like Copypants and Pixsy help anybody find copyright infringers, send take-down requests, and quickly demand licensing fees and damages. But do these automated systems also open the door to prolific copyright trolls?
The new 5x4-inch field camera was designed by UK photographer and custom camera maker Steve Lloyd, and it promises to be lightweight, easy-to-use, unique, affordable and upgradable... as well as a bit funky.
AP photographer A.M. Ahad captured this video that shows how tourist 'travel photographers' will stage scenes in an attempt to capture award-winning images.
Camera accessory manufacturer Really Right Stuff is relocating. The company is moving its headquarters from California to Utah, citing rising costs and promising 'expansion on every level' as a result of this move.
Fujifilm's new X-H1 sits above the X-T2 in the company's X-series APS-C lineup. At the X-H1's launch in LA last week, we sat down with the camera's product manager, Jun Watanabe, for a detailed look at the new camera.
The so-called 'Prosthetic Photographer' uses AI to continuously scan the environment for 'ideal' scenes. When it sees one, it uses electrodes to zap the photographer, forcing them to press the button and take the shot. It's an... interesting idea.
A helicopter pilot and his student claim a civilian drone was the cause of their crash landing last week. If their story is confirmed by an ongoing investigators, this incident would mark the first time that a drone has caused an aircraft crash in the US.
Lensrentals' Roger Cicala just tore down the Sony a7R III to see just how much Sony did (and didn't) improve the camera's weather sealing over its predecessor. The results are a "good news, bad news" deal.
Popular Science takes a look at the glass and tech that Canon packs into its 59-pound, $200,000+ broadcast lenses that are currently being used at the Olympics.
Samsung just set a new solid state storage milestone with its new 30TB SSD, the Serial Attached SCSI PM1643. This monster was built for enterprise use, but we can't wait to see this tech trickle down to consumers.
The third Excellence in Performance (XP) lens from Samyang, the XP 50mm F1.2 for Canon full-frame cameras is meant to resolve over 50MP for photography and easily capture 8K resolution for video.
On this week's episode of The New Screen Savers from the TWiT Network, DPReview Science Editor Rishi Sanyal talks with host Leo Laporte and co-host Megan Morrone about some of the newest tech trends in smartphone cameras.