by Rob Williams on August 17, 2006 in Digital Cameras
We’ve taken a good look at a few Coolpix models in the past, but none were like this. The S6 is as sleek as they come, and can easily fit into any pocket for transport. Does it’s small size detract from it’s image quality?
This camera features many other options that I did not have time to get into, due to lack of total time with the camera. One great feature is the video quality, that can run at 30FPS at 640*480 resolution. I didn’t upload a test video this time around, because the quality is identical to that of the P3. To see the video from that review, right click here and save as.
There’s also an automatic mode that will detect the aspect of your shots, so you may end up with a vertical shot depending on what your subject is. Take that mini Eiffel Tower on the last page for instance. If you are taking a picture of something like that, or a person, the camera will assume that you will want the vertical aspect. I could not figure out how to turn this feature off, but I’m sure it can be done. Again, I didn’t have as much time with this camera as I do with others, so it could have been in plain sight without me realizing.
If you have the camera on you and need to keep a mental note, you are able to record your voice without video. There’s also a D-Lighting feature that helps turn darker photos light again, so they are more enjoyable to look at. That feature may as well have helped me with the above problem where I noted dark spots in pictures. This was one feature I did not realize until after the camera was out of my hands, however.
One of the best features about this camera is the fact that it includes a dock. You can plug it into your PC, and place the camera in it and grab pictures immediately. Whenever you plug the camera into the dock, it starts recharging. As far as I know, it even recharges while you are ripping the images off the memory card. If you place the dock on your desk, then it will even have more use, because you can scroll through the images on the camera, without draining your batteries. It’s really a great addition.
In the end, I actually enjoyed using this camera, for what it was. It didn’t deliver amazing photo quality, but for the small lens it is equipped with, it’s still rather impressive. As noted in the intro, this is not designed really for an intermediate user, but rather a novice who wants a quick point and shoot camera. Or if you are an intermediate photographer, then this camera may still be for you. It really depends on what your needs are. If you are heading out to take pictures of the rain forest, this is not the camera to bring with you.
The S6 currently retails for around $300, and to me it is and isn’t worth it. Like I said, it really depends on your needs and what you wish to use the camera for. If this camera is attractive to you, but don’t want to slap over $300, you may want to consider the S5. It’s essentially the same camera, only smaller due to it’s 2 1/2″ screen. It also retails for closer to $250.
If I were to go out right now and spend $300 on a camera, I would likely splurge an extra $50 and get a far better model, like the P3, which offers more features and better macro capabilities. But, that’s not as easy to fit into your shirt pocket, if that’s your goal ;-)
As it stands, I almost want to give the camera a 7 out of 10, but there are a few reasons why I feel an 8 is more reasonable. The camera is a small form factor for a specific reason, so I am not going to hold that against it. The picture quality is not as good as previous cameras we’ve reviewed, but that comes with the territory of being a smaller camera. $300 at that point seems like a high asking price for what the camera does. However, Nikon includes extras that other cameras don’t seem to, such as a charger & battery, in addition to the dock. Those add-ons alone can run you up $50 with another camera purchase. So as it is, you get what you pay for. If you expect higher quality, I recommend checking out another model.
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