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..Equipment for Life.. since 2005.. Welcome to Equipian, our previews, views and reviews! enjoy!

Product Review 03: Nikon Coolpix S1

Casio are the first ones to introduce us to such a concept of a "card sized" digital camera that can fit nicely into our pockets with the Exilim. Since the Exilim became an international success, all the other manufacturer such as Sony and Fujifilm started developing theit own variant of such a product to compete in the market. Nikon is the newest addition to the rivalry with this stylish Coolpix S1.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The S1 is well designed and very intuitive to use. I has minimal buttons, and the menu system is both simple and logical (I haven't read the manual at all so far). Holding the product for the first time is a joy. It feels solid and the buttons have a nice touch. Out of the three colours available (Glossy Pearl White. Glossy Solid Black and Mat Silver), I chose the solid black. Silver was a bit ordinary and the white was too feminine. The drawback with the black is that it is VERY sensitive to fingerprints, and sometimes minor scratches can be easily seen.

FEATURES: I took the S1 with me for a weekend trip to Bangkok and I tried it in many different situations. This is actually my first handy digital camera. My last camera was a coolpix 4500 which was very bulky, it also had a very clumsy interface. So for a change, simple is simple! It was actually fun taking pictures with this camera. There are 2 main modes, AUTO and SCENE. AUTO is the "for dummies" point shoot, and the SCENE is for more specific usage. For the SCENE (which I used most of the time), you get 16 different settings ranging from "underwater" to "landscape". The S1 does not have a viewfinder but the LCD is large and bright enough for even the brightest sunshine.

IN USE: I find that the auto focusing can be a bit dumb sometimes. Although Nikon insist that the S! has many sweet spots for focusing, yet, in many situations, it focuses the wrong subject. Colours of the pictures are true, neutral, bright and clear (although I cannot do a comparison with any other cameras). I was most impressed with the night-shot portrait situations, since S1 found a right balance between brightness and shutter speed that both the background and the person in front came out perfectly (without any hand shaking blur even with the most non professional of photographer. With Full image size setting, I found that the writing time to the SD card a bit slow (I already bought a 66X card), about 3-4 seconds, until you can take a new shot.

the following are 2 shots one taken at night and one taken at daylight. Colours and vivid and images are sharp (images were compressed here):-

CONCLUSIONS: S1 is not a professional camera, but it is fun and cool to play with. It's very intuitive to use and the picture quality is very respectable when compared to other similar models on the market. Personally I'd choose Nikon over other brands such as Sony and Casio since Nikon will always be a proper camera manufacturer who really knows how to make a good one.

PROS: size, good looks, bright LCD, very intuitive, fun
CONS (consider it's a fun camera): slow SD writing time, not so good auto focusing
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12:34 PM

looks good. i better write my review too then. too bad the write time is so slow... are you sure there's nothing wrong with it? shouldn't take more than a second to write the photos... my camera takes about 0.7 seconds between shots... it can even do a burst rapid fire faster than that.    

5:25 AM

how much was the camera?    

11:34 PM


2:17 AM

the screen is so big! and the pictures look so dreamy    

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