Despite the fact that the Nikon Coolpix S1 is mainly based on complete automatic operation, there are still some settings possible with which you can influence the end result. At first, when mentioning settings, you will think of aperture, shutter speeds, white balance etc. But Nikon tried something different, namely in-the-camera image editing by software. The exclusive Nikon D-Lighting technology is integrated in the S1 offering great ease of use. How often does it happen that an image is taken with shaded areas and bright areas in the same picture? D-Lighting function will correct these images automatically. You have to set the camera in playback mode after the picture is taken, select the picture and activate the D-Lighting function. The Nikon Coolpix S1 corrects the image by adding light and detail to the dark areas of the image while leaving the well-exposed areas as they are. It sounds simple, and that is exactly what it is, the function is a valuable feature, and gives the camera a surplus value, showing what software is capable of!
Nikon S1 camera - Continuous shooting
The Nikon Coolpix S1 is not specifically designed for action photography; still the camera offers continuous shooting with a speed of 1.8 frames per second. Remarkable is the fact that the Nikon S1 features a shutter speed range of 2 - 1/350, not exactly a wide range! In practice I used the continuous shooting with a SanDisk Extreme III Secure Digital memory card and continuous shooting is really possible with a limitation of 25 images in the highest resolution and the lowest compression. More about this in the next chapter. Just keep on pressing the release button and the Nikon S1 keeps shooting high resolution images of 5 Megapixels with a consistent speed. During the shooting the buffer is emptied, and if you stop pressing the release button, the last few images are stored on the memory card. These images are taken without using the flash. The camera is very much limited as far as speed is concerned when shooting images using the automatic flash, bear in mind that the camera needs 4-5 seconds to recharge the internal flash!
Nikon Coolpix S1 - PictBridge supporting printer
If you want to print your images immediately you can connect the Nikon S1 directly to a PictBridge supporting printer. This in fact is very handy because you don't need a computer anymore to connect the camera to a printer. In fact, many crucial edits take place in the camera, for example the red eye correction and the D-Lighting function, so Nikon already took care of this part of the editing. The use of a computer therefore is limited when preparing printing of your images.
Nikon Coolpix S1 - Four movie modes
Besides taking still images, the Nikon Coolpix S1 is also capable of capturing moving images with sound. Four movie modes are available to choose from: TV mode, for VGA (640x480) resolution, 320x240, 160x120 and an Interval movie function, that captures images with intervals. During capturing a movie it is possible to use the optical zoom which gives the movie experience a surplus value! The image speed is 15 images per second. The video clips are stored very quickly on the memory card, within a second after ending recording it, the video clip is stored on the card.
Nikon Coolpix S1 - Functions
The Nikon S1 features a large number of automatic programs and quick buttons. The quick playback button is ideal to quickly check a captured image even though the camera is set to the record mode. The programs work out smoothly and seem to be adjusted to each other. The buttons are placed on the right spot and the logic behind the functions is obvious. You'd forget that photographing also exists of settings like aperture and shutter priority etc. The white balance can be adjusted through the menu of the Nikon Coolpix S1. The effect of the adjustment of the type of white balance is shown immediately on the monitor which is very useful. The automatic white balance functions well, only in surroundings with an overload of artificial light, it is necessary to switch over to the specific white balance otherwise colour cast will occur. Once correctly adjusted a neutral colour rendition is realised in no time.
Nikon Coolpix S1 - ISO and Macro
Colour rendition is clear and true to life with fine contrast. Noise values are fine up to 200 ISO, at 400 ISO noise is clearly visible. The ISO range consists of 50, 100, 200 to 400 ISO. Nowadays one can get more out of it, similar digital cameras in the same category feature ISO sensitivities of 800 with a better signal/noise ratio. The Nikon Coolpix S1 also has a macro function of 4 cm. The images are clear, the edges tend to have a slight blur, but this is quite common. Capturing macro images you have to take into account the fact that the flash could be activated automatically which means that at a distance under 30cm you will get an over-exposed picture. It should be possible to standard disable the automatic flash when activating macro mode, still offering the possibility to activate it if required, shouldn't it?
Nikon S1 digital camera - Adjustments
The Nikon Coolpix S1 is mainly intended to automatically carry out most functions. There are diverse settings that influence the end result, the exclusive D-Lighting function for example, but also settings for white balance or exposure compensation. The user doesn't get bugged with typical photographic settings like shutter priority or light metering methods, and to be honest it is agreeable. The Nikon Coolpix S1 is meant for simple and effective shooting; user friendliness and ease of use are top priorities and as a manufacturer you should remain clear and not fill up such a camera with all sorts of functions that are of no interest to the target group, something that Nikon understood very well!