Nikon Coolpix S6600 Review

4.0
October 22, 2013 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality


Noise

Low ISO images from the Nikon Coolpix S6600 look nice and smooth with no evident noise even at full magnification. To digress, they're a little over sharpened, but aside from that, there's good rendition and smooth primary colours. ISO 200 also looks good, although we can't help think that it's more down to noise reduction software than the performance of the back-illuminated sensor technology.

Salt & pepper noise starts to show through around ISO 400 but it's not detrimental to the photographs and at normal viewing distance, it's completely unnoticeable.  Edges start to break down at ISO 800 with primary colours starting to become muted and darker areas beginning to blend any detail as noise reduction software ups the ante.

What we have noticed is the distinct lack of colour noise in these images. We can cope with black & white noise because it's manageable to our eyes. There's is a little in the mid-tones at this setting, but it's not too bad. At ISO 3200, colours are starting to merge, detail begins to get lost in the “painted” look of noise reduction and white speckles begin to appear in darker areas.

The S6600 has an ISO hi setting. It's equivalent to ISO 6400, but won't have been regulated by the International Standards Organisation (ISO). Therefore, they can't label it ISO 6400. All but the strongest colour has been washed away by noise reduction, coloured blobs are aggressively trying to invade lighter areas and edge definition is all but a fleeting memory. At normal viewing distance, the pictures look as though they have a slight white noise cast to them.

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

 
 

Focal Range

The focal length of the Nikon Coolpix S6600 in 35mm terms is 25-300mm. These samples below illustrate the wide-angle and zoom extremes of the lens.

25mm

300mm

File Quality

There are two resolution options on the Nikon Coolpix S6600 for the top setting. You can use 16 megapixel or opt for the 16 megapixel *. The star represents a higher quality image by compressing less of the JPEG and losing less information as it saves to the card. The resultant files are larger with more detailed. The large file we recorded with 7.3Mb in size, while the 16 megapixel image without the * icon next to it was 3.85Mb in our test.

Fine (7.30Mb) (100% Crop) Normal (3.85Mb) (100% Crop)

Sharpening

In our tests, we noticed that the shot of the eye had a lot of detail missing and that was taken at highest resolution on the lowest ISO setting. Sharpening certainly helps with increasing definition of thin lines, such as eyelashes, but if there's a degree of noise in the picture, it gets exacerbated.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberration is present on the Nikon Coolpix S6600. It's normally seen at the extreme edges of the frame, but we did find evidence of it at more central locations if the contrast was hard enough.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

   

Chromatic Aberrations 3 (100% Crop)

 
 

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix S6600 has a close-up focusing capability of two centimetres. We would say centre sharpness covers around 65-75% of the frame which is pretty good.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

At wide-angle, there's noticeable vignetting without flash and adding flash doesn't get rid of it. At full zoom, all vignetting disappears and using flash stabilises the ambient light while complimenting it.

Forced Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Forced On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Forced Off - Telephoto (300mm)

Forced On - Telephoto (300mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

The Nikon Coolpix S6600 has a standard red-eye reduction option in the flash menu found on the back of the camera. We didn't get red-eye anyway, while using the flash normally, so the use of the red-eye reduction feature is moot in our test.

On

On (100% Crop)
   

Auto/Red-eye Reduction

Auto/Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

When taking night pictures, you can either select auto and control the ISO, or choose the night scene mode. If you select the latter, you can choose between hand-held and tripod supported, Hand-held selects a faster ISO to freeze the image, while the tripod option will use ISO 125. Therefore, the results from the test were roughly similar.

It does look as though the auto mode has a cap at 1 second exposures. The Night scene mode managed a slightly longer exposure with all the rest of the settings identical. Because of a 1.6sec exposure of a 1sec a little more information is available in darker areas.

Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)

   

Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, review, compact, 1080p, wide-angle, 16 megapixel, hdmi, nikon, wi-fi, wireless, full hd, wifi, coolpix, cmos, 10fps, 25mm, 12x zoom, vari-angle, bsi, 300mm, hdr, swivel, 2.7inch LCD, flip-out, articulate, ariculating, Nikon Coolpix S6600 Review, free-angle, s6600, swivelling

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