Nikon Coolpix S500 Review

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Review posted 6/18/2007

Introduction & Physical Views

Click on the Coolpix S500 to take a QuickTime VR tour

Building on the success of the Style Series of digital cameras, Nikon is has introduced the Coolpix S500 and S200. Boasting 7.1 megapixels, a 3x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens, VR Image Stabilization technologies, and sleek metal bodies, these cameras offer high performance and exquisite design. Both cameras feature a classic camera design as the lens extends from the camera's body when the cameras are turned on; the S200 is constructed from brushed aluminum and the S500 from stainless steel.

In addition the S200 and S500 feature several imaging innovations designed to encourage carefree shooting for the consumer. The S200 utilizes Electronic Vibration Reduction (e-VR) Image Stabilization, a feature that electronically overcomes camera shake for sharper results. For greater vibration control, the S500 features Optical VR Image Stabilization, a feature that compensates for camera shake ensuring sharp images at shutter speeds up to three times slower than would normally be possible. Both the S200 and S500 have High ISO capabilities; the S200 up to 1000 and the S500 up to ISO 2000, ideal for capturing images in low-light situations. On the S200, the e-VR Image Stabilization feature is activated by utilizing the camera's easy-to- use menu system. The S500 features a new Anti-Shake button, located on the top of the camera, which activates high ISO, VR and Best Shot Selector (BSS) at the same time to produce clearer results in low light or at telephoto zoom settings.

For framing, image sharing, and menu navigating, the S200 and S500 have bright, high resolution 2.5 inch LCD monitors with an anti-reflective coating, easing the composition of photos, even in direct sunlight. These cameras also have a 16:9 aspect ratio option, making them perfect for sharing images via a high-definition television.

In order to simplify the picture taking process, Nikon has incorporated a new menu interface into the S200 and S500, employing illustrated help dialogs for easy navigation and mode selection. This menu also provides direct access to Nikon's triad of Image Innovations; in-camera functions for enhancing or correcting images including:

  • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™: automatically detects and corrects red eye, a common problem that occurs in flash photography.

  • Face-Priority AF*: automatically finds and focuses on a persons face within the frame, providing sharp focus to produce clear, crisp portraits wherever the subject is positioned in the frame.

  • D-Lighting: in playback, the user selects and creates a copy of images with excessive backlight or insufficient flash illumination, adding light and detail where necessary.

On the S500, these features can be activated by pressing the One-Touch portrait button, located on the top of the camera, or selected in the scene modes in the S200.

Both the Coolpix S500 and the Coolpix S200 come bundled with Nikon's exclusive PictureProject software. The PictureProject software is powerful and user-friendly and makes transferring, organizing, editing and sharing photos a snap. Both cameras are SDHC compatible and utilize the new ultra-compact EN-EL10 rechargeable Li-ion battery.

Coolpix S500 Features:

  • 7-megapixel effective CCD imager
  • Nikkor 3x optical zoom lens (35-105mm in 35mm equivalent)
  • Nikon's Optical lens shift VR (Vibration Reduction) system
  • Compact, durable and lightweight body
  • Exclusive Face Priority AF makes taking incredible portraits easy
  • Large 2.5-inch LCD color monitor with anti-reflection coating
  • Automatic exposure and 16 pre-programmed Scene modes
  • Sensitivity settings up to ISO 2000
  • 640x480 @ 30fps movie mode w/sound, length limited only by memory card capacity
  • Built-in flash with auto, fill, slow sync, and red-eye reduction
  • Nikon's D-Lighting automatically brightens dark images in playback mode
  • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™ automatically fixes most instances of red-eye in the camera
  • 26MB internal memory and SD memory card slot
  • USB connectivity, PictBridge direct-print compliant
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery and Battery Charger included

The COOLPIX S500 ships with Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL10, Battery Charger MH-63, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14, Strap, PictureProject CD-ROM, and is available now with an MSRP of US$299.95.

Physical Views

Nikon Coolpix S500

Nikon Coolpix S500

Nikon Coolpix S500Nikon Coolpix S500

Nikon Coolpix S500

Nikon Coolpix S500

Nikon Coolpix S500

The Coolpix S500 compared to a standard CD disc.

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Features & Controls Page

Coolpix S500 Specifications

Effective pixels: 7.1 million
CCD: 1/2.5-inch type (7.38 million total pixels)
Image modes: 3072 x 2304 (High: 3072*/Normal: 3072), 2592 x 1944 (Normal: 2592), 2048 x 1536 (Normal: 2048), 1024 x 768 (PC: 1024), 640 x 480 (TV: 640), 3072 x 1728 (16:9)
Lens: 3x Zoom-Nikkor; 5.7-17.1mm (35mm [135] format picture angle: 35-105mm); f/2.8-4.7; 5 elements in 5 groups; digital zoom: up to 4x (35mm [135] format picture angle: 420mm)
Focus system: Contrast gradient TTL
Focus range (approx.): 1ft 8in (50cm) to infinity. Macro close-up mode: 5.9in (15cm) to infinity
LCD monitor: 2.5-in., 230,000-dot, TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating
Storage media: Internal memory (approx. 26 MB), SD memory cards
Movie With sound: TV movie (640) at 30fps, small size (320) at 30fps/15fps, smaller size (160) at 15fps; without sound: time-lapse movie at 30fps, stop-motion movie
Vibration Reduction (VR) Optical lens shift VR (Image Stabilization)
Built-in flash: (W) 1ft. 8 in. to 24 ft. 7 in. (0.5 to 7.5m), (T) 1 ft. 8 in. to 13 ft. 1 in. (0.5 to 4.0m)
Flash modes: Auto, Auto with Red-eye Reduction), Flash Cancel, Forced Flash and Slow sync.
Interface: USB, Audio/Video output (NTSC or Pal)
Supported languages: Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, German, English, Finnish, French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai
Power requirements: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL10 (supplied), AC Adapter EH-62D (optional)
Battery life (approx.): Approx. 180 shots with EN-EL10 battery (based on CIPA standard)
Dimensions (WxHxD): Approx. 3.5 x 2.0 x 0.9 in. (88 x 51 x 22mm) excluding projections
Weight (approx.): 125g (4.4 oz.) without battery and SD memory card
Supplied accessories*: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL10, Battery Charger MH-63, USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14, Strap, PictureProject CD-ROM *Supplied accessories may differ by country or area.
Optional accessories: AC Adapter EH-62D, Leather case
PictureProject System Requirements OS: Macintosh: Mac(R) OS X version 10.3.9; 10.4.x, Windows: Windows(R) Vista (32 bit), Windows(R)XP Home Edition/Professional, Windows(R) 2000 Professional pre-installed models
Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer

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