Nikon Coolpix S6 Review
Review Date: July 5th 2006
The Nikon Coolpix S6 is a slim and stylish compact digital camera with a distinctive "wave-surface" design. The Nikon S6 is one of the few 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 S6 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. Rounding off the entertainment angle, 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. More standard features include a 6 megapixel sensor, 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. The The Nikon Coolpix S6 undoubtedly looks great, but is it also a good camera? Find out in our latest review.
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The Nikon Coolpix S6 has a 6.2 megapixel, 1/2.5 inch CCD that delivers 6.0 effective megapixels. There are a range of image sizes (High (2816x2112*), Normal (2816x2112), Normal (2048x1536), PC (1024x768), TV (640x480)). Images are recorded as JPEGs. The camera's 3x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 35-105mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. The camera has 20Mb of built-in memory - it is not supplied with an SD Memory Card.
The Nikon Coolpix S6 offers an Auto exposure mode plus 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 also a Best Shot Selector option which will choose either the sharpest image or the best exposed image for you. The maximum aperture is f3.0 (wide) – f5.4 (tele) and the shutter speed range is 1/500 - 2 secs (maximum of 8 secs in Night Landscape scene mode). There are 4 ISO speeds ranging from 80 to 400 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 S6 has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (3 secs. or 10 secs.) and 2 different Continuous modes - Continuous (approx. 2.2fps) and Multi-shot 16 (16 shots at approx 2fps, arranged in a single picture). 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 Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 4cms at the telephoto lens setting. There is a choice of 4 different metering systems - 256 segment Matrix, Center-Weighted, Spot and Spot AF Area. The camera offers 2 auto-focus systems - Center or Manual with 99 focus areas - 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 S6 has a 3 inch TFT LCD Display which has 230,000 pixels with with 5-level brightness adjustment, 170-degree wide viewing angle and 97% scene coverage. The Nikon Coolpix S6 supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0. The S6 offers wireless functionality, supporting the IEEE 802.11b/g standard with a range of up to 20m.
The Nikon Coolpix S6 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 (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 S6's dimensions are 100.5 (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 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 S6 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.