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Nikon Coolpix S01 Assessment | PCMag

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Not counting spy cameras, the Nikon Coolpix S01 ($179.95 direct)($94.98 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window) is likely one of the smallest point-and-shoots that you will ever see. It sports activities a 3x zoom lens, a 10-megapixel CCD sensor, and a touch-screen interface, and its operation is totally automated—so that you need not know something about digital camera features to make use of it. Apart from the lovable issue, it’s kind of of a troublesome promote, particularly when you think about that it is not quick, has a finicky touch-screen interface, and that our Editors’ Selection compact digital camera, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150( at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window), captures higher images and is not that a lot greater than the S01. Nonetheless, in case your funds is restricted, the Coolpix S01’s value is definitely compelling.

Design and Options
The S01’s most hanging function is its tiny measurement. It measures simply 2.1 by 3.1 by 0.7 inches (HWD) and weighs a meager 3.4 ounces. One of many smaller conventional point-and-shoots we have examined, the Olympus VR-340($249.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window), appears large as compared at 2.4 by 4.1 by 1.1 inches in measurement and 6 ounces. The S01 is out there in silver, purple, white, or pink.

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If you wish to take management of your digital camera and modify the ISO, aperture, shutter velocity, and different settings, the S01 just isn’t for you. It operates in a purely automated vogue—the one factor you possibly can actually management is whether or not or not the flash fires. And, in case you flip the flash off throughout taking pictures, it would change again to automated as quickly as you energy down the digital camera.

The lens is a 3x optical zoom design, protecting a 29-87mm discipline of view when it comes to 35mm pictures. Its aperture begins at f/4.1 and dips to f/5.9 when zoomed all the way in which in, so anticipate to make use of the digital camera’s flash when indoors. Its prime ISO is 1600, however in case you apply any zoom will probably be onerous to get a pointy photograph in regular indoor lighting, even at that prime sensitivity.

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The digital camera’s LCD is simply 2.5 inches in measurement, and its decision is barely 230k dots. It would not look dangerous, although it is not as sharp because the 460k-dot 3-inch shows present in competing cameras just like the Samsung DV300F($175.00 at Amazon)(Opens in a brand new window). The show is touch-sensitive, and you will want to make use of it to toggle between nonetheless and film recording, and to regulate the few choices the digital camera does allow you to change—particularly the flash output, the self timer, publicity compensation, and the colour mode (referred to within the menu as “Particular Results”). Out there shade modes embody the default look, a black and white mode, a sepia tone, barely over-exposed high-key pictures, and barely under-exposed low-key pictures. There is a touch-sensitive Residence icon to the suitable of the LCD that brings up the digital camera’s menu.

The LCD is not probably the most responsive contact display screen that I’ve used. It’s a bit sluggish, and though its design is capacitive, I generally needed to press a bit to get it to register enter. This appeared to be an issue primarily within the corners, however a number of of the on-screen controls—together with the scroll bar for the menu and the icon to allow or disable the flash—are situated in corners.

You may hearth the shutter by tapping the rear show, however it’s kind of finicky. Typically the digital camera lets you choose a degree on which to focus and meter, however different instances it would solely focus within the heart of the body. I discovered that the main focus was much less dependable when utilizing the contact methodology as in comparison with the normal shutter button—the digital camera captured fully out-of-focus photographs on multiple event when utilizing the contact methodology, however was all the time in focus when utilizing the bodily shutter.

Efficiency and ConclusionsNikon Coolpix S01 : Benchmark Tests
The S01 is sluggish. It requires a prolonged 3.4 seconds to begin and hearth a photograph, information a mean shutter lag of 0.6-second, and at greatest can hearth off a photograph each 1.6 seconds. The shutter lag is prolonged, however the true problem is that it is inconsistent. In some situations the digital camera fired in as rapidly as 0.2-second, however different check photographs required waits of 0.9 seconds, and at one level it took virtually 2 seconds for the digital camera to fireside after tripping the shutter. Our shutter lag check often yields constant outcomes—we use the digital camera to shoot an analog stopwatch on a pc display screen—and most lag instances solely fluctuate by 0.05 to 0.1-second from shot to shot. The S01 is not the one sluggish digital camera round, the Samsung DV300F is quicker to begin and shoot at 2.1 seconds, however information a 0.5-second shutter lag and makes you wait 1.5 seconds between images.

There isn’t any approach to management the ISO on the S01, and beneath our lighting system the digital camera defaulted to ISO 200, greater than the digital camera’s base ISO setting of 80. This possible damage its Imatest(Opens in a brand new window) sharpness rating. The S01 recorded 1,527 traces per image top at this setting, shy of the 1,800 traces required for a pointy photograph. Nook and edge efficiency was an element, as the middle rating approached a formidable 2,283 traces. Imatest calculates the ultimate rating utilizing a center-weighted algorithm, and a few noticeable shade fringing and fuzziness on the leftmost and rightmost two columns of our 9-column check chart positively introduced the general rating down.

Imatest can also be used to test for picture noise at every ISO setting. Beneath our lighting setup, the S01 reverted to ISO 400. It recorded 1.4 % noise right here, which is simply shy of our 1.5 % cutoff for unacceptable noise ranges. Picture element appeared fairly good right here, however inferior to it did at its lowest ISO 80 setting, which the digital camera defaulted to when taking the broad shot of our check scene. The Olympus VR-340 does a greater job—it information 1,733 traces at its widest angle, but in addition suffers from softness on the edges and corners of the body.

Given the dearth of taking pictures controls, evaluating the S01 to a very good mobile phone digital camera is extra applicable than placing it head-to-head with competing compact digital cameras. The S01’s picture sensor is smaller than these in commonplace point-and-shoots–it is 1/2.9 inches in measurement, the place compact cameras use a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor in an iPhone 5 is smaller nonetheless, 1/3.2 inches measured diagonally, however is pretty shut in measurement to that of the S01.

I grabbed a number of photographs with the S01 and my iPhone 5 at a brightly lit restaurant. Shut examination favored the S01, however simply barely. The S01 is a CCD sensor, which typically carry out greatest at decrease ISO settings, the place the iPhone makes use of a CMOS sensor, which deal with greater ISO sensitivities higher. One space the place the S01 trounced the iPhone was when it comes to the standard of flash pictures—the Coolpix has a devoted, albeit small, flash module, which supplied pretty even lighting, even when taking an in depth shot. The iPhone’s tiny LED flash was incapable of doing so when focusing shut.

The S01 information video in 720p30 high quality in QuickTime format. The standard is totally acceptable in good mild. It is easy on playback, though does seem to stutter a bit when recording. Adjusting the optical zoom is disabled when taking pictures films, however a digital zoom is out there. That zoom is something however easy—it jumps forward in a uneven vogue—so use it with care. There’s just one port on the digital camera, a proprietary USB connection that doubles as a charging port. The battery and reminiscence are inner—you are capable of retailer greater than 3,000 images within the S01’s 7.3GB of inner reminiscence.

The Coolpix S01 is impressively small and rings up at lower than $200, however other than the lovable issue, it is not a very compelling digital camera. It is aimed toward shooters who wish to think about the content material of their images, not the settings required to seize them. Its flash efficiency and modest zoom ratio beat these of even the very best mobile phone cameras, however in case you’re not utilizing the flash the standard of the S01’s pictures simply edges out these of the iPhone 5. If you happen to’re in search of a compact digital camera that provides you with higher outcomes than your telephone’s digital camera there are good cheap choices just like the modestly priced Olympus VR-340 ($100), or the dearer Sony Cyber-shot DSC-WX150—which inspired us sufficient to win an Editors’ Selection award. The S01 has some room for enchancment—a greater contact display screen, sooner, extra constant efficiency, and the flexibility to set the digital camera to recollect settings would go a good distance in making it a greater product.

Extra Digital Digicam Critiques:


  • Insanely small.

  • Cheap.

  • 7.3GB inner reminiscence.


  • No guide taking pictures controls.

  • Finicky touch-screen interface.

  • Low decision show.

  • Inconsistent shutter lag.

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The Backside Line

The Nikon Coolpix S01 is an impressively small digital camera aimed toward shooters who follow Auto mode—however you are able to do a lot better within the funds digital camera realm.

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