Monday, February 5, 2007

Nikon Coolpix S10 review

The S10’s stand out feature is its curvaceous waveform bodywork that looks extremely nice and is actually rather nice to hold as well. But the first impression I had out of the box, was, well, cheap! It’s an all-plastic model and it lacks the tough-as-teak tactile feel of its predecessors. In fact the silver livery is also very easy to mark, which was a tad disappointing.

The attractive if somewhat fragile bodywork aside, handling is very nice indeed. The curvy design making the camera sit neatly in the hand making the camera nice to hold and use, even when the 10x optical zoom lens is swivelled round through its 270-degrees of arc. Two controls sit on the lens section of the camera, Nikon’s version of CCD shift anti shake is activated by a press of the VR button and Face Priority AF, which automatically detects and follows peoples faces in the frame. Both are quick to use and get at. However, as with other Face AF systems I’ve looked at, it is quite slow at tracking moving subjects.

VR on the other hand works a treat providing around 3-stops of equivalent exposure. The back plate hosts the large 2.5-inch screen, a four-way joystick-style control for scrolling etc and the menu, delete, mode and shooting or playback buttons. Menus are straightforward and simple to understand with an excellent colour coding system and large fonts. However, the addition of the joystick style controller (as opposed to a larger four-way job button) can be a bit hit and miss in use (selecting the wrong direction when scrolling for example) but necessitated by that excellent large screen.

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