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Nikon Coolpix S01 Digital Camera Review

The Nikon Coolpix S01 is a compact camera which is smaller than the size of a credit card. Daniel Bell reviews.

| Nikon COOLPIX S01 in Compact Cameras
Nikon Coolpix S01 Digital Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S01 (4)

The Nikon Coolpix S01 is an extremely small camera, as you can see from the picture below next to a can of diet coke. In terms of width and height, it is smaller than a credit card. It is available in red, pink, black, white and silver, with 7.3Gb of internal memory, for £129.95.

Nikon Coolpix S01 Digital Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S01 (2)

Nikon Coolpix S01 Features

The ultra-compact S01 has a 10 megapixel CCD sensor and 3x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 29-87mm, ideal for group shots and portraits. To reduce the effect of camera shake there is motion blur reduction, with ISO available up to 1600.

The S01 is kept simple and therefore only has Easy Auto Mode with Auto Scene Selector. When shooting images and videos you can add a special effect, such as sepia or monochrome. In playback you can add filter effects such as toy camera, soft, fisheye, miniature and more.

The 2.5 inch touch screen has an anti-reflective coating with large menu icons and the ability to change the home screen to one of your own pictures. The S01 is so small, there's no room for a memory card, so Nikon have provided 7.3Gb of internal memory, enough room for 3000 pictures. You just need to connect your camera via USB to your computer. This will also charge the camera, or you can use a wall plug.

Movies are recorded in 720p HD which can be activated by pressing the screen.

Nikon Coolpix S01 Digital Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S01 (7)

Key Features

  • 10 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 3x optical zoom (35mm equiv: 29-87mm)
  • Motion blur reduction
  • 2.5 inch touch screen with anti-reflective coating
  • 7.3Gb internal memory
  • 720p HD movie recording
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 5cm minimum focusing distance
  • Range of special effects and filters
  • Available in black, white, red, pink and silver
Nikon Coolpix S01 Digital Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S01 (5)

Nikon Coolpix S01 Handling

The S01 is the perfect sized camera to fit in even the smallest of handbags or trouser pockets, it is clearly designed for taking out with you when with friends. To save space there isn't a tripod socket or many buttons. You get a home button on the rear, with playback, on/off, shutter release and zoom rocket on the top. This leaves room for a decent sized screen. The menu system is very simple, with only one shooting mode available. It is navigated using the responsive touch screen.

The battery has a CIPA rating of 190 shots, we were unable to accurately determine if it was able to take this amount on one charge as it was regularly plugged in to download photos. Keep doing this and the battery life won't be an issue anyway.

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.

Shutter Response   0.125 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.7 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.1 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   3.2 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.0 secs

There are no continuous shooting modes available.

Nikon Coolpix S01 Digital Camera Review: Nikon Coolpix S01

Nikon Coolpix S01 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 S01 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images tend to be well exposed with colour reproduction also quite good. Portraits have good skin tones and are free of red-eye.

Nikon COOLPIX S01 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is OK, but not good enough quality if you want to print them large. The camera is certainly aimed at those who share on social networks, for which the images will be fine. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 5cm, this allows for a fairly decent macro shot.

Nikon Coolpix S01 Digital Camera Review: ISO1600 | 1 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm
ISO1600 | 1 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm

ISO Noise Performance - You're not able to control the ISO setting on the S01, but we've taken a number of shots at varying ISO's throughout the review which you can see. The image above is at the highest ISO of 1600. You can see noise in the images at ISO 250, with images at ISO 400 a little soft. They are softer still at ISO 640 with some detail lost with quite a lot of detail lost at ISO 1600 which is visible on the above thumbnail.

Nikon COOLPIX S01 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - The white-balance is another setting you can't adjust on the S01, but the AWB copes really well, particularly under our studio lights.

Nikon COOLPIX S01 Other sample images

The first three pictures above show the performance in outdoor conditions, with the final one indoors.

Nikon COOLPIX S01 Digital filters

Digital Filters - The S01 has four special effects which you can use during recording, with examples of each above.

Video - Videos are recorded in 720p, with an example below. Video quality isn't bad, but you can't use optical zoom during recording.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix S01 is a fairly unique camera. It's priced at £129.95 so it's not one of the cheaper cameras around, but it does have 7.3Gb of internal memory which saves you some money on memory cards. Other similar cameras are the Kodak Easyshare Mini M200 and Samsung ST30.

Nikon Coolpix S01 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix S01 clearly isn't designed to be the best camera in the world but it is the ideal camera for those who are keen on their tiny gadgets or who want to carry a camera in their tiny handbag etc. Images aren't of a good quality, but they'll look fine if you're sharing them on sites such as Facebook. The Nikon Coolpix S01 will struggle to appeal to those which decent cameras on their smartphones, but we're sure it'll have an appeal to some looking for a small camera.

Nikon Coolpix S01 Pros

Really tiny body
Good amount of built-in memory
Very easy to use
Available in a range of colours

Nikon Coolpix S01 Cons

Images aren't of good enough quality for large prints
A little expensive


Nikon COOLPIX S01 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent29mm - 87mm
Optical Zoom3x
Image Sensor
Pixels10.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)3648
Pixels (H)2736
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.9 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.5in
Screen resolution230,000 dots
Touch ScreenYes
Min Focus5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest1sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 1600
White balance
  • Auto
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPSNo Data
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • Internal
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeBuilt-in rechargeable Li-ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA rating)190shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, Charging AC Adapter EH-69P, USB Cable UC-E16

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Photographs taken using the Nikon COOLPIX S01

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josa 10 25 Czech Republic
26 Oct 2012 4:20PM
Real bad...OK for kids.

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