Why Buy the Nikon Coolpix S610?
One big plus point about the Coolpix S610 is its very fast start up time. At 1.16 seconds between turn on and taking a picture this is one of the fastest digital cameras around.
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|Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)|
Overall sharpness of this picture falls below average. The centre section is the sharpest part of the shot, but focusing soon falls away. Sun glare is also a serious problem for the camera with lots of detail lost in the lightest areas of the shot.
|Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)|
The distance in this scene proves to be a step too far for the Coolpix S610. The right hand side of the shot is out of focus. One difference between a number of compact Nikon digital cameras, including the Coolpix S610 and other brands is the lack of a multi point focusing option. When this option is available the improvement in sharpness is noticeable for my landscape test shots. Darkness also creeps into the corner of the shot.
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|Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)|
As is the case in the second outdoor test sharpness falls away rapidly as the scene becomes more distant. Again I believe this is because the auto focus is only locking onto closer areas of the scene.
|Outdoor 4 (Building)|
The Coolpix S610 does a better job of locking onto the brickwork in the building. Even so sharpness is still below average as you move away from the centre.
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Move close in and the focusing problems disappear. This is a much better photo. Colours are good and the there are no problems with sharpness at all. The Coolpix S610 clearly finds this type of shot much easier to handle.
|Indoor Portrait with Flash|
As I don't use really dark conditions for my indoor portrait test most cameras are able to avoid red eye. The Coolpix S610 does have a problem with red eye in my tests, with the amount of red eye being substantially more than I'm used to seeing. Otherwise the flash unit does an excellent job of spreading light throughout the picture.
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|Indoor Portrait without Flash|
This is one of the better indoor tests without using flash. Definition levels are some way above average and there is less noise in the photo than I am used to seeing.
I like the colours in my test shots. The combination of colour and light is usually more or less spot on with the Nikon digital cameras I test.
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The macro shot is o.k. without being anything special. If you are serious about macro photography then you will need to look for something better than this camera. If all you are looking for is a few close up snaps here and there then the Coolpix S610 should be able to do what you are looking for.
ISO 400 and ISO 1600 - At higher ISO settings the Coolpix S610 produces a fairly typical result. Noise creeps in early, but the colours do not break up in the way they can do with some other cameras.
Overall - There is some disappointment with my test shots taken at distance. So a lot will depend on the type of photos you take most of the time. For general portrait shots and other close in work this camera does a good job.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times - The time take for a single shot was impressive at 0.22 seconds. Five shots took 10.72 seconds. Results were similar with flash with a single shot taking only 0.49 seconds and five being that bit slower at 19.74 seconds. This is one of the fastest digital cameras around to turn on and take the first picture at 1.16 seocnds.
Style - This is a fairly standard pocket camera. Nikon have added some gentle slopes to stop it from looking to boxy. It is available in red, blue and silver.
Dimensions - 94 x 57 x 22.5mm
Weight - 125g
Batteries - Lithium ion. Nikon estimate the battery should take up to 290 shots between charges. Nikon supplies a battery and charger as standard. Where it Could Improve -
Memory Cards - Nikon have built in a generous 45mb of memory. This is enough for a good test run of around 20 photos. The Coolpix S610 is compatible with SD and SDHC memory cards.
Ease of Use Rating - Very Good. This is a straightforward digital camera. You should find the menu system easy to read and with not too many features to find your way around. There is also help text available to guide you through the menu.
Points I Like - Ease of use - start up times - help text
Photographing distant scenesAlternatives -
Other pocket sized cameras with a wide angle lens include the Panasonic DMC FX150.
David Tymon's verdict -
The Nikon Coolpix S610 is not the most flexible digital camera around. If you are shooting landscape shots you can get some improvement if you use the landscape scene mode. It is a shame this camera struggles with more distant scenes as I have few complaints with other, closer in photos and the shutter lag and start up times are impressive.
David Tymon works with Cameras.co.uk