Nikon Coolpix S7c Review
Review Date: November 24th 2006
The Nikon Coolpix S7c is a slim and stylish compact digital camera with a distinctive "wave-surface" design. Features include a 7 megapixel sensor and 3x optical zoom lens equivalent to 35-105mm, whilst In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, Face-Priority AF and D-Lighting aim to intelligently improve your photographs. There's also a new High Sensitivity mode and ISO range of 50-1600 to help ensure that your pictures remain sharp even in low-light conditions. The Nikon S7c is one of a growing number of cameras to offer built-in Wi-Fi, which means that you can transfer pictures straight to your computer or a compatible printer without the use of cables. Continuing the ease-of-use approach, the S7c has a very large, high-resolution 3 inch LCD screen with 170 degree viewing angle, great for showing off your images to friends and family. Nikon have teamed up with a company called Muvee to bring you Pictmotion, which allows you to play back images as a slide show in combination with music and special effects. The Nikon Coolpix S7c certainly has that elusive "Wow!" factor, but is it also an effective camera? Find out now in our latest review.
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The Nikon Coolpix S7c has a 7.41 megapixel, 1/2.5 inch CCD which delivers 7.1 effective pixels. There are a range of image sizes (7M* High (3072 x 2304), 7M Normal (3072 x 2304), 5M Normal (2592 x 1944), 3M Normal (2048 x 1536), PC Screen (1024 x 768), TV Screen (640 x 480)) which are recorded as JPEGs. The camera's 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm lens on a 35mm format camera. The Nikon Coolpix S7c has a 4x digital zoom and there is an Electronic Vibration Reduction mode. The camera has 14Mb of built-in memory and it also supports SD Memory Cards (not supplied).
The Nikon Coolpix S7c offers an Auto exposure mode, High Sensitivity mode (up to ISO 1600), 4 modes with Scene Assist (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait) and 11 Scene Modes (Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night landscape, Close up, Museum, Fireworks show, Copy, Back light, Panorama assist). There's a Best Shot Selector option which will choose either the sharpest image or the best exposed image for you from ten sequential shots. The maximum aperture is f2.8 (wide) – f5.0 (tele) and the shutter speed range is 1/1500 - 2 secs. There are 6 ISO speeds ranging from 50 to 1600 and an Auto option. There are 5 different White Balance presets to choose from (Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, and Flash), plus an Auto setting and White Balance Preset. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV steps.
The Nikon Coolpix S7c has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (3 secs. or 10 secs.) and 3 different Continuous modes - Continuous (approx. 1.5fps) and Multi-shot 16 (16 images arranged in a grid as part of a single image) and Interval timer shooting (up to 1,800 images at intervals of 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, or 10 minutes). There are 5 colour options (standard, vivid, black and white, sepia and cyanotype). D-Lighting is a playback feature which fixes underexposed and backlit images without harming the properly exposed areas of the image, whilst blur warning tells you when a photo will be un-sharp (before you take it). The One-Touch Portrait Button on top of the camera automatically activates In-Camera Red-Eye Fix and Face-Priority AF modes.
The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 4cms at the telephoto lens setting. The camera offers 2 auto-focus systems - Center or Manual - and there is an AF assist lamp to help achieve focus in low-light situations. The built-in flash offers 5 different modes (Auto, Auto with Red-eye Reduction (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix), Flash cancel, Anytime flash and Slow sync.) and has a range of 0.3-2.6m (W) and 0.3-1.4m (T).
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor - there is no optical or electronic viewfinder. The Nikon Coolpix S7c has a 3 inch TFT LCD Display which has 230,000 pixels with brightness adjustment and 170-degree wide viewing angle. The Nikon Coolpix S7c supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0. The S7c offers wireless functionality, supporting the IEEE 802.11b/g standard with a range of up to 20m.
The Nikon Coolpix S7c can record movies at 640 x 480 pixels, 320 x 240 pixels at either 30fps or 15fps, or 160 x 120 at 15fps, all with sound. There's also a new Pictmotion mode for creative 320 x 240 pixel slide show movies at 15fps, and you can also record a Time-lapse movie at 30fps or a Stop-motion movie (both without sound). Electronic Vibration Reduction is available in the movie mode and video is recorded in the Quicktime format. The length of the video is only limited by the size of the memory card that you are using.
The Nikon Coolpix S7c's dimensions are 110.5 (W) × 60 (H) × 21 mm (D) mm, and it weighs 140g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, which has an approximate battery life of 200 shots. There is a plastic tripod mount and docking port in the centre of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a COOLSTATION, Dock Insert, Strap, USB Cable, Audio Video Cable, AC Adapter, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery and PictureProject CD-ROM. Note that you can only store 6 images at the highest quality JPEG setting on the 20Mb built-in memory. You will therefore need to invest in some memory cards to store your images on.
PhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Nikon Coolpix S7c have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.