Nikon Coolpix S2700 Review

March 1, 2013 | Gavin Stoker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon Coolpix S2700 is a brnad new addition to the Style range of entry-level compact cameras, boasting a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, 6x optical zoom, slim 20.7mm body, 720p HD video recording and a 2.7 inch LCD screen. The affordable Nikon 2700 features a multitude of automatic modes to make picture taking easy including motion blur reduction, in-camera retouching and subject tracking auto focus. Priced at around £69.99, the Nikon Coolpix S2700 is available in silver, red, purple, blue and black and two models with line art.

Ease of Use

At one time if you were considering buying a compact point and shoot digital camera you might not have automatically considered Nikon. For a DSLR yes, but for a value-for-money pocket snapper no. Not because Nikon’s efforts were at all bad, but just because there was so much choice to be had elsewhere. However thanks to recent sponsorship of teen soap Hollyoaks in the UK, placements in pop videos and a truckload of new low-priced announcements, not to mention the claim that its S3300 (recently upgraded in the S3500) was Europe’s best selling compact, and it appears Nikon is making an effort to place the brand at the forefront of our minds - even when we don’t want an interchangeable lens camera.

The latest Coolpix S2700, announced at CES at the start of the year, is, in being part of its ‘Style’ series, a not unattractive example of where it’s currently at as far as the lower end compact goes. It offers a 16-megapixel resolution from a 16.4 megapixel 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor plus wide-angle 6x optical zoom providing a 35mm equivalent focal range of 26-156mm. The latter doesn’t place it into jack-of-all-trades travel zoom territory, but rather that of pocket friendly snapper - in terms of both price and dimensions. Maximum lens aperture is an unremarkable f/3.5, with minimum (macro) focus a fair 5cm.

Size wise, the S2700 is roughly the width of a credit card, and is only slightly taller in height, whilst being a slender finger’s width (officially 20.7mm) in depth. Overall dimensions without projections are a trim 94.8x57.8x20.8mm. In a nutshell it will slot comfortably and unobtrusively into your palm or any trouser or jacket pocket or purse for that matter. It unsurprisingly comes in a range of colours to attract both sexes, including black, red, blue, plus pink and purple with twisty, twirly ‘line art’ motif. Add a price tag of a pocket money friendly £69.99 (via Argos in the UK) and, save from the fact that it doesn’t feature the wireless capabilities of the S6500 announced alongside it at CES (also 16MP), it would appear you cannot go far wrong if you’re wanting a budget offering that hasn’t been whacked with the ugly stick.

Happily, apart from the top plate buttons feeling a tad plastic-y and motion JPEG format HD video resolution being a slightly less than full strength 720p (commensurate with the price being asked), the metallic finish faceplate (of our light blue sample) and solid feel rear plate doesn’t automatically signal that unreasonable corners have been cut to bring the S2700 in at this price.

Reasoning that this snapshot is going to be used for portraiture in the main, Nikon has included hand-holding features like ‘smile timer’, a ‘blink proof’ mode, skin softening, and no fewer than eight ‘glamour retouch’ options for those preferring a digital makeover to the surgeon’s knife.

Other features not traditionally made available in this lower price bracket include light sensitivity up to ISO3200, plus rechargeable lithium ion battery, and subject tracking auto focus, whilst here the image processor is of the basic Expeed C2 variety. You’ll be unsurprised to learn therefore that the S2700 isn’t the fastest camera in the west (or east for that matter). For example we got the message that the camera was still writing the image when we tried to review it almost immediately after capture. At this price, though, it is possible to put up with a lot of such niggles.

Nikon Coolpix S2700 Nikon Coolpix S2700
Front Rear

Outwardly then, the Nikon Coolpix S2700 doesn’t automatically resemble a budget camera; indeed we were surprised to discover it was the price it is. JPEG-only photos or video are composed and reviewed via the 2.7-inch, 230k resolution LCD offering five levels of brightness adjustment, which swallows up two thirds of the backplate. Light sensitivity for image captures stretches from a reasonable ISO80 up to ISO3200, which isn’t bad (on paper at least), when most snapshots in this price bracket at one time happily stopped at ISO1600.

With the camera deploying contrast detection auto focus, face priority and subject tracking are also included. Continuous shooting is an unremarkable 1.3 frames per second, although Nikon also offers its Best Shot Selector option and a 16 multi shot mode as further options.

The manufacturer has seen fit to include 42MB of internal memory with the S2700, though obviously a better bet is to invest in an optional SD/SDHC/SDXC media card that slots in next to the rechargeable EN-EL19 lithium ion battery at the base, offering a modest but perfectly acceptable for its class 210 shots from a full charge. Or, alternatively, one hour of video shooting.

Let’s take a closer look at the Nikon Coolpix S2700 itself then. From the front of the S2700, its attractive silver finish retractable zoom lens dominates proceedings, encircled by an equally eye catching chrome lens surround. Top right of the lens is a small porthole for an AF assist lamp/self timer bulb, whilst over at the top left of the lens is a narrow lozenge shaped bulb for the internal flash. This is set just sufficiently in, and far enough away from the camera’s edge, to avoid a forefinger inadvertently straying in front.

The narrow and slightly rounded top plate of the S2700 has similarly pared controls back to the basics. Set into a thin chrome strip we have a small power button next to a raised and larger shutter release button, surrounded by a regular zoom lever with front facing lip to allow for easier purchase under the pad of your forefinger. Though the power button is set level with the top edge, we found it easy to unexpectedly activate the camera when gripping it in one hand to try and slide open the card and battery compartment at the base.

Intentionally press the power button however and the rear LCD blinks into life with the lens extending to maximum wideangle setting in all of two seconds, which gives us no reason for complaint. Squeeze the shutter release button down halfway and a mere moment later AF point/s highlight in green with a bleep of confirmation that you’re ready to take the shot. Do so and a full 16-megapixel resolution JPEG is committed to memory in two to three seconds.

Nikon Coolpix S2700 Nikon Coolpix S2700
Front Top

Like the rest of the sleek and simplistic S2700, the backplate is fairly straightforward and conventional in layout, though there’s no shooting mode dial anywhere to be seen. Instead we just get an incongruous button marked ‘scene’ that provides access to said shooting modes. There are four to choose from. The choice includes: Auto mode, the 19 strong collection of scene modes, including ‘scene auto selector’ option, plus a selection of digital filters comprising ‘soft’, nostalgic sepia, high contrast monochrome, high key, low key and selective colour. The last shooting mode option is one for Nikon’s ‘smart portrait’, which offers smile and blink detection settings along with a skin softening option. The degree of said softening can also be user controlled, with the option to select from high, normal or low.

Immediately to the right of the ‘scene’ button is a dedicated playback control of the same size, and above this pair, top right of the camera back, is a more prominent button for kick starting the recording of video clips. This upright lozenge shaped control has a raised plastic surround to avoid accidentally jogging it into action in the process of handling the S2700. Press the video button and after a brief moment’s wait the standard 4:3 aspect ratio display narrows with black bands top and bottom to provide a 16:9 widescreen format image, upon which video recording commences. Disappointingly, but not wholly unsurprisingly given the low cost of the camera, the optical zoom cannot be used during video recording - the automatic fallback is a digital variety, which obviously progressively degrades the shot as you zoom/crop in. But at least the option is there.

Another immediately familiar feature of the back plate is the multi directional control pad for tabbing through and then effecting settings with a subsequent press of the central ‘OK’ button. Ranged around the circumference of this are settings for controlling the flash (a broader range of options than most rivals offer at this level in auto flash, auto with red eye reduction, flash off, forced flash and then slow sync flash), exposure compensation (+/- 2EV), accessing macro mode, and finally the self timer (the standard two or ten seconds options).

Bottom left and right of this control pad, and the final two buttons on the S2700’s back, are for ‘menu’ and ‘delete’. Press the former and we’re provided with access to a stills shooting menu, a video shooting menu and a set up menu.

The stills shooting menu allows resolution and compression level to be set as its first and foremost user option. It’s also within this menu we naturally manually select white balance and ISO settings. Although the latter options run up to ISO3200, it’s here we discover that ISO3200 is only accessible if you don’t mind a resolution drop to a maximum four megapixels. Also selectable here are a range of colour options. With standard colour being the default setting, the others are vivid colour, black and white, sepia - and more unusually still, cyanotype, not that the audience for this camera is going to have the faintest idea about what that refers to. Auto focus modes can also be tweaked within this menu, the options being single or full time AF.

Nikon Coolpix S2700 Nikon Coolpix S2700
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Moving on to the movie menu, and here we get the ability to select from the two auto focus modes again, plus shoot either 1280x720, 640x480 or 320x240 pixels clips. More unexpectedly again. there is a wind noise reduction setting.

The third and final option of the set up menu offers the expected ability to alter the welcome screen, time and date, and switch AF assist or the digital zoom function on or off (the default setting for both being ‘on’). Naturally we can also format the card in use if wished.

Whilst the left hand side of the camera - if viewing it from the back - is devoid of any features save for a couple of holding screws, the opposite edge features a lug for attaching a wrist strap, and that’s it.

The bottom of the Nikon Coolpix S2700 then is where we find a means of attaching a USB cable hidden under a small, centrally located rubber flap. As a result the screw thread for attaching the camera to a tripod is shunted over to a far edge, whilst at the other side we find a sliding cover protecting the joint battery and card compartment - as touched on earlier in the review. As the slot for the removable SD card is right up against the catch for the protective cover, we found it made retrieving the media card more fiddly than should be. In a nutshell it’s tricky to get your fingers in close and tight enough to get a decent purchase on the card and to be able to easily pull it clear for use with a card reader - but this is another minor grumble.

Whilst we have relatively few gripes about how the Nikon Coolpix S2700 handles and operates, how does it fare when it comes to imaging performance? Click forward to our next section to find out…

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

Given the relatively small sensor, the high-ish pixel count and the low price tag attached to the Nikon Coolpix S2700, on a clear, bright day the picture quality isn’t at all bad for a modest pocket snapshot. In fact it can be distinctly impressive in its crispness of detail and overall clarity, if you overlook the likes of converging verticals at maximum wideangle setting, instances of pixel fringing between areas of high contrast, occasional blown highlights and the odd bit of image blur resulting from camera shake/hand wobble - which we’d expect of most any point and shoot compact, to be fair.

In terms of low light performance we’re beginning to first notice a grittiness to shadow detail at ISO800, though this is by no means ruinous and is only really noticeable if actively looking for it. At ISO1600 the performance isn’t significantly worse either, though we are noticing a softening to edge detail and an overall smudging effect. There’s a colour shift and an even grittier and simultaneously washed out appearance at ISO3200 setting, but again this is no worse than we’d expect of any snapshot camera. Actually, it might even be slightly better. Indeed, if we’ve one conclusion to draw as regards the shooting performance of the S2700, it’s that it is very much better than expected. At this price we weren’t expecting miracles, but the Nikon certainly holds its own.


The Nikon Coolpix S3000 has sensitivity settings ranging from ISO 80 to ISO 1600 at full resolution, with ISO 3200 available at reduced resolution.

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)


Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix S2700's 6x zoom lens provides a focal length of 26-156mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.




Here are two 100% crops - he right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are slightly soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can't change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)


Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon Coolpix S2700 shows some purple fringing in areas of high contrast, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)


The Nikon Coolpix S3000 allows you to get as close as 5cms to your subject, in this case a Compact Flash card.


Macro (100% Crop)


There are five flash modes on the Nikon Coolpix S2700. They are auto, red-eye auto, flash off, flash on and slow sync.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (26mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (26mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (156mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (156mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. Red-eye wasn't a major problem.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)


The Nikon Coolpix S2700 is hardly the ideal tool for night photography, as the longest shutter speed is 4 seconds in the Fireworks Show scene mode and you cannot set it manually. The shot below was captured at a shutter speed of 1 second at ISO 800.


Night (100% Crop)

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Coolpix S2700 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

Product Images

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Front of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Front of the Camera / Turned On

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Isometric View

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Isometric View

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Rear of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Top of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Bottom of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Side of the Camera


Nikon Coolpix S2700

Side of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Front of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Memory Card Slot

Nikon Coolpix S2700

Battery Compartment


Even though the Nikon Coolpix S2700 is ‘just’ a point and shoot camera, as it costs just a penny shy of £70 in the UK it’s hard to be disappointed with what’s lacking - or even its slight operational niggles, like deployment of a digital zoom only in video mode, the fact that the media card is hard to retrieve from its slot and you can inadvertently switch the camera on in the process of trying to do so. The pictures we got from the camera were better than expected, and indeed better than we have any right to demand at this price.

With official GfK industry sales figures constantly telling us that smartphones are eating into the lower end of the compact market, it is slightly surprising however that the major manufacturers like Nikon are still maintaining such comprehensive point-and-shoot ranges with very little to differentiate from one low cost model to the next. But if the Nikon S2700 is anything to go by, then news of this market’s demise is, perhaps, as they say, ‘greatly exaggerated’ and there could very well be life in the old dog yet.

In short the Nikon Coolpix S2700 is the very best digital camera this reviewer has handled at such a low asking price. Take into account the caveats mentioned above before purchasing and it seems hard to imagine how anyone could be disappointed - save for fellow retailers at the fact that the ‘stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap’ Argos chain has been given first dibs on sales of this model in the UK.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 5


*Based on CIPA Standards for measuring life of batteries.
**When recording a single movie.

Product name COOLPIX S2700
Type Compact digital camera
Number of effective pixels 16.0 million
Image sensor 1/2.3-in. type CCD; approx. 16.44 million total pixels
Lens 6x optical zoom, NIKKOR lens
Lens focal length 4.6-27.6 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 26-156 mm lens in 35 mm [135] format)
Lens f/-number f/3.5-6.5
Construction 5 elements in 5 groups
Digital zoom magnification Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 624 mm lens in 35 mm [135] format)
Motion blur reduction Motion detection (still pictures)
Autofocus (AF) Contrast-detect AF
Focus range [W]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity, [T]: Approx. 1.0 m (3 ft 4 in.) to infinity Macro mode: Approx. 5 cm (2 in.) to infinity (wide-angle position) (All distances measured from center of front surface of lens)
Focus-area selection Face priority, auto (9-area automatic selection), center, manual with 99 focus areas, subject tracking
Monitor 6.7 cm (2.7-in.), approx. 230k-dot, TFT LCD, and 5-level brightness adjustment
Frame coverage (shooting mode) Approx. 98% horizontal and 98% vertical (compared to actual image)
Frame coverage (playback mode) Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical (compared to actual image)
Storage - Media Internal memory (approx. 42 MB) SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
Storage - File system DCF, Exif 2.3, and DPOF compliant
Storage - File formats Still pictures: JPEG Sound files (Voice Memo): WAV Movies: AVI (Motion-JPEG compliant)
Image size (pixels) 16M (high image quality) [4608 x 3456(fine)] 16M [4608 x 3456] 8M [3264 x 2448] 4M [2272 x 1704] 2M [1600 x 1200] VGA [640 x 480] 16:9 [4608 x 2592]
Shooting Modes Auto, Scene (Scene auto selector, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Night landscape, Close-up, Food, Museum, Fireworks show, Black and white copy, Backlighting, Panorama assist, Pet portrait), Special effects, Smart portrait
Continuous Shooting Single (default setting), Continuous (up to 6 images are taken at a rate of about 1.3 fps), BSS (Best Shot Selector), Multi-shot 16
Movie HD 720p (default setting): 1280 x 720/approx. 30 fps, VGA: 640 x 480/approx. 30 fps, QVGA: 320 x 240/approx. 30 fps
ISO sensitivity (Standard output sensitivity) ISO 80-1600 ISO 3200 (available when using Auto mode)
Exposure - Metering mode 256-segment matrix, center-weighted (digital zoom less than 2x), spot (digital zoom 2x or more)
Exposure control Programmed auto exposure and exposure compensation (-2.0 - +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
Shutter Mechanical and charge-coupled electronic shutter
Shutter speed 1/2000-1 s 4 s (when scene mode is set to Fireworks show)
Aperture Electronically-controlled ND filter (-3.3 AV) selection
Aperture range 2 steps (f/3.5 and f/11.5 [W])
Self-timer Can be selected from 10 and 2 second durations
Flash - Range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto) [W]: 0.5-4.0 m (1 ft 8 in.-13 ft) [T]: 0.5-2.0 m (1 ft 8 in.-6 ft 6 in.)
Flash control TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
Interface Hi-Speed USB
Data Transfer Protocol MTP, PTP
Video output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
I/O terminal Audio/video (A/V) output; digital I/O (USB)
Supported languages Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power sources One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (included) AC Adapter EH-62G (available separately)
Charging time Approx. 2 h 30 min (when using Charging AC Adapter EH-70P and when no charge remains)
Battery life *1 - Still pictures Approx. 210 shots when using EN-EL19
Movies (actual battery life for recording) *2 Approx. 1 h when using EN-EL19
Tripod socket 1/4 (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 94.8 x 57.8 x 20.8 mm (3.8 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.) (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 125 g (4.5 oz) (with battery and SD memory card)
Operating environment - Temperature 0°C-40°C (32°F-104°F)
Humidity 85% or less (no condensation)
Supplied accessories Camera Strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19 (with battery case), Charging AC Adapter EH-70P, USB Cable UC-E6, ViewNX 2 CD
Optional accessories Battery Charger MH-66, AC Adapter EH-62G, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14

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