The Nikon Coolpix S6600 was announced in August 2013 and is a compact camera with a vari-angle screen - ideal for taking perfectly framed self-portraits as well as shooting high up or low down. It also has a 12x optical zoom lens and 16 megapixel sensor. It is available for around £190.00
Nikon Coolpix S6600 Features
The Nikon Coolpix S6600 has a 16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and a 12x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-300mm. To help keep your images sharp there is optical image stabilisation.
The S6600 has an auto mode which automatically adjusts the cameras settings for the detected scene. There are also a number of scene modes, easy panorama and special effects. When shooting portraits you can use Glamour retouch which applies digital make-up such as blush or concealer as well as whiten eyes, redden cheeks, whiten teeth and much more.
The camera also has built-in Wi-Fi so you can transfer your pictures and videos to smartphones and tablets, then share them on social network sites. The vari-angle screen makes it easy to shoot from any position, high up or low down.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound.
16 megapixel BSI CMOS sensor
12x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-300mm)
Optical image stabilisation
2.7 inch 460k dot vari-angle TFT LCD monitor
Full 1080p HD video recording
ISO 125 - 6400
2cm minimum focusing distance
Easy Panorama mode
Available in red, black, purple, white and pink
Nikon Coolpix S6600 Handling
The Nikon Coolpix S6600 looks and feels like a typical camera - the vari-angle screen doesn't make the camera feel much bigger or heavier and you can certainly carry it in your pocket easy enough. You can also turn the screen to face the camera to reduce the chances of it being scratched when not in use. The screen size itself is a little small as many cameras at least now have a 3.0 inch screen.
To make room for the screen on the rear the playback the playback and scene mode buttons are on the top of the camera with the on / off button, zoom rocker and shutter release. On the back of the camera are the movie record, menu and delete buttons as well as a d-pad which allows you to use the menus. The d-pad also gives quick access to the flash, self-timer, exposure compensation and macro modes.
The menu system is easy to use with all the writing in quite a large font. The screen is easy to view from an angle - of course you can adjust the angle of the screen, which is handy if the sun is pointing directly at it. If you flip the screen over you can use it to take a self-portrait. Nikon has included a gesture based method of controlling the camera in this situation. You hold you palm over the screen, and a circle appears which can be dragged to one of the four available options which allow you to adjust the zoom or take a picture / video. It works, but is a little temperamental.
The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to transfer images to a smartphone or tablet and use your mobile device as a remote release, with a preview appearing on the screen. It is easy to use, but if your battery is low you're not able to switch the Wi-Fi function on. You need to download the free Nikon app and connect both devices using Wi-Fi.
Battery life is rated at 150 shots according to CIPA test results, which is quite disappointing. You're going to need to charge regularly or carry a spare. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting - H
Continuous Shooting - L
Continuous Shooting - H: 120 fps
Continuous Shooting - H: 60 fps
Continuous shooting H & L both record in full resolution with the 120 fps and 60 fps modes restricted to VGA and 1 megapixel sized images only. Using the 60 fps mode we were only able to record at 30 fps.
Nikon Coolpix S6600 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.
Nikon Coolpix S6600 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with excellent colour reproduction. Portraits have decent skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash. The night landscape mode gives you the option to choose handheld or tripod - the shutter speed is increased when shooting handheld.
Nikon Coolpix S6600 Lens test images
Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail throughout at both ends of the lens, with purple fringing barely noticeable. In the darker areas of the images, detail isn't as good. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 2cm which allows for a decent macro shot to be taken.
Nikon Coolpix S6600 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 100 and 200, but a little does appear at ISO 400 causing softness. Noise increases a little at ISO 800, but it is ISO 1600 where it is significant, however detail doesn't overly suffer. Although there is more noise at ISO 3200, image quality isn't terrible, but ISO 6400 produces a very noisy image.
Nikon Coolpix S6600 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - The Auto White Balance (AWB) performs fairly well under the incandescent lights, with a slight colour cast visible. The incandescent preset takes a better shot. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB performs extremely well, the fluorescent preset has a strong magenta cast.
Panorama 180 | 1/1250 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 360 | 1/1000 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125
Panorama mode - You can shoot 180° and 360° panoramas - detail is good and they are well stitched together.
Nikon Coolpix S6600 Digital filters
Digital Filters - The S6600 has five colour options to choose from, or you can apply one of a number of filters, we've included a number of examples above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Video quality is good - you can also use the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
The addition of a vari-angle screen means the Nikon Coolpix S6600 is quite expensive, you can get cameras with a similar set of features without the screen for less money. If the screen is an appealing feature to you, the rest of the camera doesn't really disappoint, except for a couple of niggling issues. The gesture control doesn't really work well and is probably unnecessary anyway. The flash also takes ages to charge and the battery life is quite short. Other than that, image quality is good and there are plenty of useful features such as fast continuous shooting, Wi-Fi, panorama mode and filters.