Nikon Coolpix S640 Review

November 12, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |


The Nikon Coolpix S640 is one of the fastest compact cameras currently on the market, quickly starting up and finding focus in good light and bad. An inexplicable 5 second delay after the S640 is powered on and a rather average feature set detract from an otherwise accomplished camera.

Nikon are pushing the speed of the S640, and it certainly doesn't disappoint in this regard. Focusing is on a par with most entry-level DSLRs, quickly locking onto the subject without too many misses. The S640 also bursts into life very quickly, although it's best to leave the camera turned on to avoid that puzzling 5 second "freeze". Other features are a little more mundane, with the versatile 5x optical zoom the pick of the bunch.

Image quality is very good, with more than acceptable results in terms of noise from ISO 100-800, although the faster settings of 3200 and 6400 aren't worth using. Chromatic aberrations are well-controlled, the 2cm macro is very useful, as is the built-in anti-shake system. Only a slightly under-powered flash and disappointing maximum shutter speed of 4 seconds spoil an otherwise appealing performance.

In summary, the Nikon Coolpix S640 is a simple-to-use point-and-shoot compact that won't leave you hanging around, being fast and clever enough to take sharp pictures of both static and moving subjects - exactly what most family snappers want from a camera.

4 stars

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