Nikon Coolpix S32 Review

September 5, 2014 | Matt Grayson | |

Image Quality

The Nikon Coolpix S32 has a top resolution of 13 megapixels and produces image sizes of around 6.5Mb in size.

Noise

The Nikon Coolpix S32 doesn't have manual over-ride on the ISO settings, so we had to improvise by adjusting the available light and forcing the ISO up. Sadly, it's not an exact science so the settings are only as near as we could get.

ISO 125 images look very sharp and well detailed. Looking at the pictures at normal viewing distance, which highly likely how they'll be viewed, we couldn't see any noise evident. Zoom in to full magnification, though, and colour noise is already noticeable. That's quite disappointing and it only gets worse. By ISO 360, edge quality is starting to deteriorate and while small pockets of colour noise threaten the picture, most of it is kept at bay.

At ISO 800, colour has been suppressed in a bid to reduce colour noise invasion. Black & white noise rules over the darker areas and mid-tones which breaks up sharp edges even more. ISO seems to maintain the results of ISO 800 while being more responsive to low light.

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 140 (100% Crop)

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ISO 360 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

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ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
iso1600.jpg  

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix S32's 3x optical zoom lens has a focal length of 30-90mm in 35mm terms.

30mm

90mm

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Sharpening

Because noise affects the images at such an early stage, any additional sharpening simply exacerbates the issue.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

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nikon_coolpix_s32_sharpening_before2.jpg nikon_coolpix_s32_sharpening_after2.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The images from the Nikon Coolpix S32 are affected by chromatic aberration. We found it on contrasting edges away from the centre of the frame.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

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Chromatic Aberrations 3 (100% Crop)

 
chromatic_aberrations_3.jpg  

Macro

The closest focusing distance of the Nikon Coolpix S32 is 5cm from the subject to the front of the protective glass. Image quality fall off happens quite fast, but isn't too steep.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

We noticed previously that the flash is situated directly over the lens. This is to benefit you when using flash underwater so that it doesn't cast any strong side shadows and gives as evenly spread light as possible. It also works above water with barely any vignette appearing on the plain wall. Once zoomed in, there's no vignette at all.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (30mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (30mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (90mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (90mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Red eye is thankfully non-existent because the Nikon Coolpix S32 doesn't have a red-eye reduction facility. Well, it does, but it's an automatic feature. You can't switch it on or off yourself.

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

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Night

The Night scene mode is designed to get a photograph of the scene in low light and will raise the ISO in order to get the result. In our test images, it used an ISO 1600 sensitivity rating which allowed it a 1/15sec shutter speed. That's still not slow enough, so we had to rest the camera on something.

Using the Auto mode, the camera dropped the ISO, but only by one setting to ISO 800. It therefore used a slightly slower shutter speed of 1/4sec.

Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)

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Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

night_scene.jpg night_scene1.jpg