Nikon Coolpix S4 Review

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Nikon Coolpix S4

Record Modes & Screens

AUTO record mode screen display. The Zoom indicator displays briefly whenever the Zoom is operated. The upper right icon indicates there is a SD card in the camera. The "6M*" icon indicates the image resolution is 6-megapixels at High quality. Flash is set to Auto and will fire when needed and there's 149 pictures remaining at the current image resolution.

Nikon Coolpix S4

When you half-press the shutter release the autofocus is locked and the exposure is calculated and set. If autofocus was successful the AF dot icon is green, if it fails it is red and blinks.

Nikon Coolpix S4

Record menu options:

    Image mode - 2816 High (6M), 2816 Normal (6M), 2048 Normal (3M), 1024 PC screen (1M) or 640 TV screen (VGA)

    White Balance - Auto, Custom WB, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy or Speedlight

    Exposure Compensation - Override the metering by +/-2.0EV in 1/3EV steps

    Continuous - Shooting mode: Single frame, Continuous, Multi-Shot 16 or Interval (time-lapse) shooting

    BSS - Best Shot Selector: On or Off (Shoots up to 10 frames and then automatically saves the best [sharpest/clearest] one)

    Sensitivity - ISO speed: Auto, 50, 100, 200 or 400

    Color Options - Standard, Vivid, Black-and-white, Sepia, Cyanotype

Nikon Coolpix S4

When the Menu option is set to "icon" then this is what the menus look like.

Still Image Sizes / Uses

Nikon Coolpix S4

Nikon Coolpix S4

Pressing the 4-way selector "up" changes flash modes, "right" enables self-timer and "down" enables macro focus mode. You set these options via onscreen popups as shown above.

Nikon Coolpix S4

Scene mode options include: Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Portrait, Party/Indoors, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Close Up, Museum, Fireworks, Copy, Back Light, Panorama assist and Voice Recording.

The Portrait, Landscape, Sports and Night Portrait modes each have another sub-menu of further choices.

Nikon Coolpix S3

Portrait - Face Priority AF mode actually detects the presence of a human face in the frame and focuses on it. Some of the other portrait scene modes have onscreen framing guides to help you properly position your subject for the desired effect.

Nikon Coolpix S4

Help Guide - When you are making a menu selection you can press the Help button (telephoto zoom) to display a brief explanation of the mode or option. This can just about eliminate the need to carry the instruction manual around with you.

Nikon Coolpix S4

Macro focus mode allows you to focus on subjects as close as 2.5 inches (6cm). Without leaving macro mode the camera can focus all the way out to infinity. That's a U.S. quarter dollar coin almost full frame!

The secret to Nikon's macro focus mode is to move the zoom lens to the point where the flower icon turns green instead of white, you can now focus as close as possible (it does pay to read the manual every now and then...)

Nikon Coolpix S4

Voice Recorder mode lets you record monaraul audio up to the amount of available memory. With a 512MB card that already had a number of pictures stored on it, there's still room for 5 hours of audio recording.

Nikon Coolpix S4

Movie mode screen display. You can record QuickTime MOVie clips limited in length only by the amount of remaining available memory. Sound is recorded with the moving image. You can capture 640×480, 320×240 or 160×120 size video at 15fps. The Electronic VR feature will help eliminate a lot of camera shake - it isn't an optical stabilization system but it does work well.

The optical zoom can not be used during movie recording - it can be preset before recording begins. If you zoom during recording you will be using the digital zoom feature and it degrades the image quality noticeably.

Nikon Coolpix S4

Movie mode menu:

    Movie options - TV movie 640, Small size 320, Smaller size 160, Time-lapse movie

    Auto-focus mode - Single or Continuous AF

    Electronic VR - Vibration Reduction: On or Off

Nikon Coolpix S4

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