Nikon Coolpix S2500 Review

May 27, 2011 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 5Mb.

We found the sample shots taken with the Nikon Coolpix S2500 to be very nice. They show nice colours, they're sharp and clear. Noise is controlled nicely up until ISO400 where it takes a dramatic turn for the worse. Primary colours are saturated nicely, especially reds. Sky blue also comes out nicely while brighter colours such as yellow doesn't get any interference from any other colours. Earthy colours such as brown and forest greens also look good, while on the other hand, subtle colours and mono tones are also recorded realistically.


The Nikon Coolpix S2500 has sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 80 to ISO 3200 at full resolution. At low ISO there's no evidence of noise but the image does start to smooth out at ISO200 which shows that noise reduction has kicked in. Still, it does a good job because it can't be seen. Towards the mid levels, coloured specks start to interfere with darker areas and more of the image is smoothed out. Noise becomes more aggressive at ISO800 with harsh purple blobs kicking into the mid-range colours. At the higher levels there's definite colour discolouration all over the picture making subjects lose their potency and this becomes even more so at ISO3200.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)


ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)


ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)


ISO 3200 (100% Crop)



Images straight out of the camera are pretty sharp but do benefit from sharpening in an editing suite such as Photoshop. We used Adobe Photoshop CS4 for this test and the standard setting was enough to give the pictures that little bit extra.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Focal Range

With a 4x optical zoom, the focal rage of the Nikon Coolpix S2500 is 27-108mm in 35mm terms. The zoom motor is fast, responsive and goes in 8 steps.



File Quality

There are two 12 megapixel settings on the Nikon Coolpix S2500 digital compact camera. The top one has a star next to it and compresses less meaning a larger file size. In fact a typical image at this setting is 5-6Mb. In our test knocking it down to the 12 megapixel setting without the star produced images of around 3Mb.



Chromatic Aberrations

In a bid to reduce chromatic aberration, or colour fringing, Nikon fit an ED lens element to their cameras which is a great idea. It's designed to reduce the problems associated with colour fringing and in most cases it works well. Sometimes it's easy to get mixed up with colour fringing and lens flare. In most cases, the lens copes well with colour fringing but there are severe instances where it fails.

Example 1 (100% Crop)


The macro facility of the Nikon Coolpix S2500 has a close focusing distance of 8cm. We did get occasions where the camera would confirm focus but was blatantly out of focus.

Macro Shot

100% Crop


There are 5 flash modes on the Nikon Coolpix S2500 and they're accessed by pressing up on the navigation pad on the back of the camera.  They are auto flash, flash with red-eye, forced off, forced on and slow synchro.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (26mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (26mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (130mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (130mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

When shooting portraits, there's a mild amount of red-eye circling the catchlight in auto flash mode. Switching over to the red-eye reduction reduced it a little.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)


There's no aperture or shutter speed control on the S2500, so the only thing we could do to test the long exposure is to reduce the sensitivity to ISO80. At this setting, we could only get a 1 second exposure but it does look nice.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)


Anti-shake on the Nikon Coolpix S2500 is completely automated, there's no on or off button. The only way we could control it was using the ISO to steady the image.


Off (100% Crop)



On (100% Crop)

Backlighting Mode

The S2500's Backlighting mode expands the dynamic range of the image, as shown below.