Nikon Coolpix S3 review LetsGoDigital
Member of DIWA Awards LetsGoDigital Online Magazine - Your Online Magazine for Digital Imaging
Nikon Coolpix S3 Digital Camera Preview
S3 Coolpix - Page 1/8
Monday 10th October 2005
Written by Dennis Hissink
Just before the IFA 2005 kicked off, Nikon introduced a new series of digital cameras. Amongst them the Nikon Coolpix S3. This stylishly designed digital camera is carried out in various colours. We have had the white version in the office for a few days. The sample we show extensively in this preview is however a so-called pre-production sample which means that no conclusions can be given concerning image quality and other quality aspects. But we wouldn't want to keep this new Nikon S3 camera from you and therefore we offer you this preview to let you get acquainted with this newly born sibling of Nikon: the Nikon Coolpix S3 digital camera. The Nikon S3 digital camera has a beautiful exterior and the compact size makes the S3 camera extremely suitable to be carried around with you wherever you go. The high resolution of 6 Megapixels, packed in a housing of 19mm thick and an internal optical Nikkor lens with a range of 35-105mm and of course last but not least, the beautiful 2.5-inch format monitor, make the Nikon Coolpix S3 a surprisingly versatile digital camera. This Nikon S3 preview will give you an idea of the possibilities and functions the Coolpix S3 carries inside its attractive housing.
Nikon CoolPix S3 Stylishly designed digital camera
Nikon CoolPix S3 Stylishly designed digital camera
Nikon S3 Storage media
Nikon S3 LCD monitor
Nikon CoolPix S3 Storage media Nikon CoolPix S3 LCD monitor
Nikon CoolPix S3 Storage media Nikon CoolPix S3 LCD monitor
Nikon, alike many other brands, has focussed almost totally on the Secure Digital (SD) memory card as storage medium. The SD card is available in various different types at which speed and storage capacity make the difference. For the Nikon S3 camera's preview I used the SanDisk Ultra II SD Plus memory card. The SanDisk Plus card has a unique feature as you can see from the product shot. It kind of breaks in two, after which a USB interface is freed. The SD Plus card can be inserted in a free USB port directly from the camera without the need for cable or card reader. Pictures made by the Coolpix S3 can also be stored in the internal memory. But as soon as a memory card is inserted, this latter one will get priority. To be able to format the internal memory, the memory card has to be removed from the camera's memory compartment. The side of the camera carries a small cover, hiding the memory compartment. Taking into consideration the resolution of 6 Megapixels and the size of the files, a minimum storage capacity of 256MB (80 images in the highest resolution) is required.
Many of us have been noticing for a while now that the optical viewfinder on compact digital cameras is more not than often used when photographing. Especially at big events you'd see photographing people quite obviously not staring through the viewfinder of the camera anymore, but you'd see them standing up straight, arms stretched forward, eyes focused on the small LCD screen. Nikon has already once experimented with a digital camera lacking a viewfinder but the media fell over the brand straight away, with comments of how this so-called indispensable item could be lacking on a Nikon camera. Of course we have to realise that the quality of the LCD monitor wasn't that great at that time. The Nikon Coolpix S3 is not equipped with an optical viewfinder but features a 2.5-inch sized LCD monitor. It not only is delightful to the eye but the practical use of the menu, the joy of rendition and the effortless composing of a composition benefit from this monitor. It features a resolution of 110.000 pixels and the brightness can be adjusted.
Charging the battery Placing the battery Internal flash
Nikon CoolPix S3 Charging the battery
Nikon CoolPix S3 Internal flash
Nikon CoolPix S3 Charging the battery Nikon CoolPix S3 Placing the battery Nikon CoolPix S3 Internal flash
The Nikon S3 camera comes with the Nikon MV-11 COOL-station. This station has to be connected through the A/C adapter. You can then place the camera in the station and the battery will start recharging immediately. This easy to use system enhances the user-friendliness of the camera. During recharging the battery, a green battery-indicator will keep on blinking next to the monitor. When it stops blinking the battery is fully charged and the Coolpix S3 may be removed from the station. The ease of use is enhanced because of the possibility of placing the camera directly on the station in stead of having to look for the charger, remove the battery etc. Also it ensures you that the battery will be fully loaded.
Firstly it is necessary to load the delivered battery and to place it in the camera. Slide the lid to open it, place the battery the correct way, and close the cover. The battery compartment of the Nikon S3 digital camera is equipped with an orange battery lock. This orange battery lock will jump forward as soon as the battery is placed and locks it in its place. A perfect way of keeping the battery in its place and it also prevents the costly Lithium-ion battery to fall out of the compartment when opening it.
The S3 digital camera is equipped with a small built-in flash. The camera features five flash settings: auto, auto with red eye reduction, flash off, fill in flash and flash with slow shutter speeds. The camera will automatically fire a flash in auto mode when there is insufficient light and at the same time the camera will enhance the (ISO) sensitivity. The small flash has a limited effective light range of 1.4m in tele mode. The minimum distance necessary for exposing the entire composition evenly is 30cm.
Dennis Hissink - LetsGoDigital Online Magazine
Optical zoom Assistance illuminator
Nikon S3 Optical zoom Nikon S3 AF assistance illuminator
Editor's comment:
"The Nikon Coolpix S3 is a logical step from the last model, the Nikon Coolpix S2. Nikon has lifted the resolution to 6 Megapixels and therefore leaves the 5 Megapixels behind and with it the lower resolution class. At this moment, various manufacturers do have a stylish designer camera in their assortment with resolutions ranging from 5 to 8 Megapixels. The concept of the Coolpix S-series seems to have settled in strongly and I may say: the design is very successful. The size is ideal for taking the camera with you in your smallest sized pocket. Personally I find the Nikon S3 the perfect combination of Design and Ease of use, with an excellent size LCD monitor and a beautiful and user-friendly design at the same time. What more do we want...?"
Nikon S3 Optical zoom Nikon S3 AF assistance illuminator
One who is holding an ultra flat digital camera in his hands for the first time, would not expect to have an optical zoom available. Thanks to new innovative lens techniques it has become possible to equip a camera like the Nikon S3 with an internal optical zoom. Also because of these new techniques the 3x optical Zoom-Nikkor lens does not extend outside the camera anymore. Together with the digital zoom function the camera offers a total zoom range of 12x. The small zoom lens is protected by a protecting-lens-slide.
Next to the optical lens a small LED is positioned carrying a double function: self-timer indicator and AF assistance illuminator. This latter one will be activated automatically when the S3 camera is used in a dimly lit environment. The release button must be pushed half-way down. This aid comes in very useful and it helps the Nikon Coolpix S3 focussing more precisely, or focussing full stop. The AF assistance illuminator has a maximum range of 1.9m up to 1.1m. This function is not available in combination with certain specific modes like fireworks, night landscape etc.
Product gallery : Nikon Coolpix S3
User review :  Nikon CoolPix S3
Nikon CoolPix S3 - next page >
Magazine Frontpage
Latest news Headlines
Digital Cameras
Digital Camera Compare
Digital Camera Reviews
Digital SLR lens