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Nikon Coolpix S200 Digital Camera Review

Nikon Coolpix S200 Digital Camera Review - Rebecca Bradley takes a look at Nikon's Coolpix S200, the ultra slim, ultra lightweight and stylishly designed compact with plenty of features enabling high quality, carefree snapshots.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Nikon Coolpix S200
Price : £179
Rating :
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With Nikon's Face Priority AF technology and Electronic Vibration Reduction system (e-VR), the S200 is an ideal choice for those looking for a lower priced compact with a few extra features.

Nikon Coolpix S200 Specification Nikon S200 Front

 

  • Sensor: CCD – 7.1Mp
  • Image Size: 3072 x 2304
  • Optical Zoom: 3 x
  • Lens Range: 38 – 114mm, f/3.1-f/5.9
  • Focusing: Auto Face Priority
  • Macro: 10cm
  • White Balance: Auto, Preset, Daylight, Incandescent, Florescent, Cloudy, Flash
  • ISO Range: Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000
  • Exposure: Auto
  • Monitor: 2.5in LCD with anti-reflective coating
  • Movie Mode: Yes
  • Scene Modes: Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Beach/snow, Sunset. Dusk/dawn, Night landscape, Close up, Museum, Fireworks show, Copy, Backlight, Panorama assist.
  • Storage: SD card
  • Batteries: Li-ion Battery pack
  • Video Output: Yes
  • Size/Weight: 91 x 56 x 18mm – 125g
  • Transfer: USB
Nikon Coolpix S200 Modes and features
ISO settings of the S200 range from 50 to 1000 and scene modes offered here include Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk and Dawn, Night Landscape, Close-up, Museum, Fireworks, Backlight and Panorama assist. Phew!

As well as these, there is a shooting mode, which is the equivalent of the Program mode allowing the user to change settings such as White Balance and ISO. One-touch portrait is also an option in the mode menu and presets the camera to detect and focus on the subject's face, as well as reducing red-eye and softening the skin tones. Additionally, the Hi ISO mode is an option, which can be used for shooting under low light conditions and will select a suitable ISO of anything up to 1000 to reduce camera shake and subject movement.

Another interesting feature of the S200 is the Best Shot Selector. This is a function which will take up to ten photographs at once, which are then stored in a temporary memory. The best shot is selected by the camera in terms of data information and transferred to the memory card. White balance options of the S200 include a preset mode, Daylight, Incandescent, (for use with tungsten lighting), Florescent, Cloudy and Flash.

 

Nikon Coolpix S200 Build and handling
The build of the S200 is extremely slimline and compact at 91 x 56 x 18mm and only 125g. Despite that it doesn't feel flimsy, and is sturdily built with an attractive aluminium outer casing.
Buttons on the back of the camera are neatly arranged and not cluttered in any way. There is the Zoom Rocker at the top, a joypad with functions for Anti-Shake Reduction, Flash, Self-Timer, Exposure Compensation and Macro, with four buttons places around this for Playback, Mode Menu, Main Menu and Delete. On the top of the camera is simply the power on button and shutter release and on the bottom of the camera are the tripod bush and compartments for AV connection, card and battery - all of which are easily accessible.
Menus of the S200 are well organised and fairly easy to use, although may be more difficult for the first time digital camera user.
 

Nikon Coolpix S200 Flash options
The working range of the flash is 0.6 to 5.4m at wide angle and 0.6 to 2.8m at telephoto. Options offered here include Automatic flash which fires automatically when additional lighting is required, Automatic with Red-Eye Reduction, Flash Off for situations where flash is not permitted, Fill-in Flash for when some areas of the picture require extra lighting, and Slow Sync which is used for illuminating the main subject of the image.

Nikon Coolpix S200 Performance
In the colour chart test, the blues appear slightly brighter, as is the case with all compacts, but not to a great extent, and the reds appear slightly lighter. Aside from this, the accuracy of colour rendition is impressive, with brown, yellow and green colour mixes all bearing a good resemblance to the colour chart. The landscape shot however did show some evidence of colour fringing and detail loss around the area where the trees meet the skyline, and there are also darker areas in other dark/light areas.
 
 
The One Touch Portrait mode is utilised in the portrait shot, with not the most pleasing of results. The skin tones are softened but to the extent which the subject's face look out of focus, and there is some loss of detail in the hair and eyebrows. The skin tones do appear warm, however, and there is no evidence of red eye. The second portrait test, taken in regular Portrait Mode gives much more pleasing results, with good detail and a sharp, clear result all round.
Tests in the Macro mode produced good results with good, sharp detail rendition even at close distances. While the camera specifications claim to focus as close as 10cm, I found the S200 to focus perfectly well at distances of 6-8 cm.
Colour Chart The colour chart test provided good colour rendition and even the blues, which are usually a lot brighter in compacts showed a good likeness to the tones in the colour chart.

Portrait Shot

The portrait shot, taken in one touch portrait mode, warms the skin tone slightly but the results are almost too soft resulting in a blur effect.

Portrait

This snapshot, taken in portrait mode
shows good rendition of detail and has
soft skin tones without producing redeye.

Macro Shot
The Macro shot of this flower shows
good detail and sharp results even as close

as 10cm.

Landscape shot

The landscape shot shows good detail in
most areas of the subject although
there is some significant colour fringing in
the area where the skyline meets the
landscape and where there is a light to
dark contrast between colours.
Nikon Coolpix S200 Noise Tests
The ISO50 and ISO100 tests are extremely sharp and clear, as would be expected, and the areas in the petals and centre of the flower are extremely detailed. By ISO200 some noise is starting to appear and at ISO400 there are some artefacts appearing in the grey card area. Between ISO400 and ISO800 the decline in quality is very clear and there is detail loss in most areas of the picture, and at ISO1000 all parts of the image are grainy and the quality of the image is poor as is evident when looking at the background.

ISO50

The ISO50 Test

ISO100

The ISO100 Test

ISO200

The ISO200 Test

ISO400

The ISO400 Test

ISO800
The ISO800 Test

ISO1000
The ISO1000 Test

 

Nikon Coolpix S200 Verdict
The S200 has some interesting features and produces some good results as a point and click camera. It is also stylishly designed and compact enough to take just about anywhere. Colour renditions are generally every accurate, and the macro mode produces some good results. Overall, a good quality camera with a good value and affordable price tag.

Nikon Coolpix S200 Plus Points:
Slimline and compact design
LCD panel easy to view in sunlight
Good results in macro mode

Nikon Coolpix S200 Minus Points:
Noise appears quickly in ISO tests
One touch portrait mode slightly too soft focus

FEATURES

HANDLING

PERFORMANCE

OVERALL

The Nikon S200 costs £179 and can be purchased from the ePHOTOzine shop here .

All product images in this review were taken with the Canon EOS 400D.

 

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix S200

SouthwoldGigJake with sparklerT FrameLone DuckIf I said you had ....Lucie's LocketLooking for something...it's always a fairy tale..Freezing a memoryI'm standing on a bridge..Periwinkle BlueBallerina in the fogWhen the lights go on againLetting off Steam
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