by Rob Williams on June 21, 2007 in Digital Cameras
Sylish cameras are nothing new, but Nikon takes sexiness in cameras to a new level with their S50c. It’s curvy, sleek, compact and feature-packed. It includes a huge 3.0″ LCD screen and offers 7.2 megapixel images. Is the smaller frame worth the slight lack of image quality?
Nature is one of the most popular subjects regardless of what kind of camera you own, and it’s a great test for checking the color and lens capabilities. So, I took a trip to a park near my house to see what the camera was capable of. I will let a few of the pictures speak for themselves. All can be clicked to view the original, unaltered full resolution image. Most are 1.5MB in size.
I am pleased with the image quality in the above photos. The color is gorgeous and quite accurate. One thing I noticed through a lot of shots was that the sky was over bright. It could be that the shutter speed was a tad slower than would have been preferred, or the angle I was holding the camera. It happened quite often though, but where it didn’t, the shots came out nice.
To show the capabilities of the zoom, here are four images which were taken from the same spot. The first was taken at 6mm, the second at 13mm, the third at 19mm and the fourth at 76mm with thanks to the digital zoom.
The maximum zoom is certainly nothing you’d want to take serious pictures with, but the result is still quite clear and could prove useful in many situations.
To further show the zoom capabilities and color representation, here are a few non-nature pictures taken of inanimate objects, including the S50c box itself. Something that doesn’t happen often is being able to see the tripod legs in the image. This is because the camera lens doesn’t extend at all.
Using the optical zoom, you will wind up with a pleasant result, although again at the max digital zoom, it’s grainy and fuzzy. Still, you could read a book with it, so its quality isn’t that bad. When cropped down, all of the images look fantastic. Note the black box as well, which is actually black, not near-black.
I regret not including more photos than I have, but I somehow misplaced most of what I had taken. Though, from what you can see, the camera offers good image quality for the incredibly compact size. I didn’t expect such nice results from a camera with a non-extendable lens.
Is it worth the money though, that’s the question. Currently, the camera retails for $280 and at that price, it’s not difficult to find other cameras with better quality images. However, all of those are larger than the S50c. Whatever quality is lacking here is solely because of its small frame, and to some people, the loss in quality will not matter as long as you can throw the camera in a pocket and forget about it.
I didn’t touch a lot on the features here, but there are a slew of them available. Feel free to read any of our previous Coolpix reviews as we discuss them more there, and all of those mentioned are available on the S50c. One aspect I didn’t touch on is WiFi capability. You can connect to your printer or computer and upload images. This is one feature I wish I had elaborated on, but will do so with our next Coolpix model that has the functionality.
Overall, this is a packed camera that’s worth your time if your goal is to get the smallest camera possible without sacrificing too much quality. If you are after the best quality for the money, you would be better off looking at other models.
- Good-quality images for the camera size
- 7.2 Megapixel images useful for those who need it
- Compact and sleek design
- WiFi Capability
- Battery life (130~ images)
- No viewfinder, therefore difficult to use in the sun
- Price/quality ratio
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