|Nikon S3 - Well-organized menu structure
The menu of the camera, the well-organized structure and the use of it show to the fullest thanks to the large monitor. The 2.5-inch sized monitor is an excellent replacement of the optical viewfinder. Making a composition is accomplished in a blink of the eye and the photos are rendered very clearly. The well-organized structure of the menu is a joy to work with and it is greatly readable with a fine colour choice. Navigation is smooth and the selectable settings are very easy to understand. Extra information about the settings can be gained from the HELP function, indeed very handy. Nikon shows with this menu how easy it can be. Until this day I still get confronted with different menus, some manufacturers seem to have a different completely screwed up menu or 'improved' menu structure together with every introduction of a new camera. I really appreciate the way Nikon applies their menu in the Coolpix series of digital cameras. The interface is definitely a strong feature on the S3. It's even possible to choose from having the settings shown on the monitor in names or icons, very clever.
Nikon Coolpix S3 camera - Scene modes
Of course the Nikon connoisseur will recognize the famous pre-programmed scene modes. Some 15 scene modes have to lighten up the life of the photographer. On the back of the Nikon Coolpix S3, a separate button offers direct access to the scene modes. This large amount of so-called object settings make it possible to obtain a perfect setting in almost any situation. Whether the result is actually successful depends on the stability of the photographer, it can no longer be blamed on the settings! The auto mode knows how to handle virtually every situation, but the scene modes offer a more targeted solution for specific images. Nikon has been working on their software a lot lately in order to make it more intelligent. Four from the 15 scene modes are supported by a composition assistant. For instance choosing the portrait mode shows an extra screen with examples of an eventual composition and the option Face Priority AF. Face Priority AF uses an innovative technology to detect human faces in an image and focus accordingly to this information. In practice it's a great aid. This technique is not always correct, for example when photographing under difficult light circumstances but under normal circumstances it works surprisingly precise.
Nikon S3 - Built-in auto red-eye-correction
Besides the earlier mentioned supporting aids, the Nikon Coolpix S3 camera also features a built-in auto red-eye-correction function. This is a typical example of a piece of software we would have loved to have had years ago.
|It was rather odd. The true old 35mm cameras with their external flashes never caused any red eyes but the introduction of the internal flash introduced the phenomenon of red eyes at the same time. The following digital revolution didn't improve it. Only with developing the handy editing software like auto red-eye-correction (In-camera red eye removal) got rid off the annoying red eyes. The software will detect them automatically in an image and corrects them inside the camera. The images taken in practice prove that it works without a problem and it's almost a miracle that the camera detects red eyes, corrects them and stores the image without you noticing it.
Nikon Coolpix S3 - Internal optical lens
The Coolpix S3 features an internal optical lens with a 3x optical zoom range. Nowadays 3x is rather basic, but it's suffices for taking a nice portrait. The small lens is not very bright and has an average brightness of f/3.0 to begin with and f/5.4 at telephoto. Zooming into an object is carried out in quite small stops; from 35 - 105mm in six stops. If you want to capture a subject from very closely you can use the Macro mode (4 cm). Standard minimum focus distance is 30cm. Focussing is reasonable fast and precise. Thanks to the presence of an AF assist light, the precision of focussing is great.
Nikon COOLstation - Lithium-ion battery
The Nikon COOLstation is delivered with the Nikon S3. It's a docking station that charges the Lithium-ion battery of the camera directly when the camera is placed in the station. The same station lets you transfer images directly from the camera onto a computer. Moreover, the station can be connected to a television for viewing the images on a large size screen. The station works great in practice. Just place your camera in the station and the battery will start charging immediately. It means that you're always ensured of a camera that has sufficient power.
Nikon Coolpix S3 - Internal optical lens
The new Nikon Coolpix S3 does not surprise us. That is to say; the Nikon S3 just continues the tradition set with its predecessors the Coolpix S1 and S2. Operation remains on the same level, simple and straightforward. The menu, the navigation, the logically placed buttons and the intelligent in-camera editing software all add to the user-friendliness of the camera. Despite of the basically complicated editing software, application and integration are very successful. As a user you only notice the end result, application is left up entirely to the camera. A nice job!