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Nikon COOLPIX S570 12.0 MP Digital Camera - Pink
(5 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
A small full-featured camera at a good price!
Jun 29, 2010 (Updated Jun 29, 2010)
Review by psimon
Rated a Very Helpful Review
It was time for my son to graduate from Middle school. We needed to come up with a gift and were struggling what to get a 13 year old. Finally it hit us... a digital camera. Something that could last him a while and would be memorable for him as a gift we gave him, as well as memorable in that it would create additional memories as time went on. We ended up settling on the Nikon Coolpix S570.
Recommend this product?
The major features include the following:
- 12Mp; make prints as large as 16" x 20"
- 5X Optical zoom, 4X Digital zoom
- 2.7" High resolution LCD display
- Up to ISO 3200, allows for low light shooting
- Smart Portrait system; includes skin softening feature, smile shutter, blink warning, and red-eye fix within the camera
- Image stabilization; minimizes shake for sharper results.
- Video: can record in 640x480 mode
- Dimensions: 3.6"x2.2"x0.8"
- Weight: 4.2oz
- Colors: black, blue, red, pink.
Those are the basic features. There are plenty more. As you can see by the size, the camera will fits easily in a shirt pocket. It is small and lightweight. My son is, like I said, 13 years old. the camera fits perfectly in his hands. For perspective, I am 6' tall, with appropriately larger hands. I find it a little small to deal with. I like a larger camera to hold, but I can use this with very little difficulty. Kids and those with smaller hands will have no difficulties at all managing with it.
The controls are well laid out. The zoom and shutter control are easily accessable and easily manageable. The screen, being 2.7", is large and bright. Neither my son or I had any problems with the display outside in direct sunlight. It was always easy to view.
I wanted a camera that could grow with my son. This camera will do it. In the beginning, it has become nothing more than a smart point and shoot camera. As a budding photographer, that's all he needs. As he gets more experienced, there is plenty within the camera to work with. The ability to change the effective ISO setting up to 3200 means he will be able to shoot in very dim light and still get respectable results. The display can be set to deliver very basic information about your shot, or it can be set to provide every detail available, such as shutter speed, f-stop, ISO rating, etc. Much more than the average user will want... but it's there if you ever do.
As soon as we got the camera, I charged the battery. I suspect it was partially charged out of the box. Within 2 hours, the battey was at full charged. We opened the door on the bottom of the camera, popped in the battery and a memory card (see below regarding memory) and off went my son to try out the camera. With a 30 second explanation of where the power, shutter and zoom controls were, he was off and shooting. Like I said, if you do nothing else, you can use the camera as a very smart point and shoot camera. Adults that like to tinker will get to play with the other features. Right now, he is happy just to shoot. As time goes on, as he or we get more curious how to do things, we will be using the manual, but if you know anything about cameras, you can start shooting immediatly without touching the manual. I guess, in reality, thats what you want in any product... the ability to use it quickly becuase its functionality is obvious.
One thing I have suggested to him is that he never use the digital zoom. Here is the rational for that.... If you are shooting in the 12 Mp mode (or even the next image size down, which is 8 Mp) you are collecting a lot of data in each image. Consequently, even when you zoom in optically as close as you can, there is still a lot of image there. When you bring that image to your computer at home, you can then choose to either use the entire frame as shot, or use software to zoom in even further and get closer to a point of interest. If, however, you use the digital zoom within the camera, all you ever have is that close-up image and there is nothing you can do to get the surrounding area back. I realize it is personal choice, but I would rather have the larger frame and have the choice to crop it later, as opposed to only ever having the cropped image. Personal preference!
My son loves playing with the Movie mode. He can make movies and download them to his laptop and edit them, put them together, and make interesting short flicks. Works very well.
The resulting pictures are fantastic. The images are extremely sharp, the colors are well balanced and there are no color fringes or distortion in any of the pictures shot so far. We have not had to readjust any of the colors or contrast to date. My son has only shot in a less than perfect lighting situation a few times, but in those there was no grain and the pictures and colors still came out great.
The controls are laid out well. The top of the camera has the power, shutter and zoom controls. The back of the camera has the large display, the Menu button for all of the options, a multi-selector ring, and a playback button for the videos. The speaker for audio associated with the videos is back there as well. The side has the connector to allow you to play back your camera output through your TV, a very nice feature.
As I mentioned in the specifications, the camera is very light.... just 4oz. It almost feels like you are holding nothing. This is good as it makes it easier to hold your hand steady for shots. It feels well built, like all Nikons do. All of the seams are perfect and the finish of the camera is very high quality.
The image stabilization software, depending on conditions and your physical abilities can be very helpful. It allows you to be a little nervous or shakey, yet still get a perfect picture.
You will need to purchase a memory card for the camera. It does not come with one. It uses standard SD memory cards, available pretty much everywhere. The camera will accept, depending on the brand of memory, up to a 16Gb card. That will give you 1000's of pictures. Most likely you will get something in the 2-4GB size. More than plenty for a week's vacation.
The camera comes with software to download the pictures from the camera to your computer. Since my son has a Macbook, we decided to use the iPhoto software and get the pictures into his computer that way, so I can not comment on the included software. Within iPhoto, the prints look great.
There was minimum shutter lag; maybe around .5 seconds. Outside, without flash, it seemed almost immediate for the shot to be taken. Inside was a different story because the flash had to fire and then the shot taken and then recharge. I have seen this in many cameras so it is, for lack of a better term, standard. Even with the flash, the shot was close to the shutter press... it was just a hair behind the button pressing, but again, that is because of the flash. Has it been important in the shots we have taken so far? No. Has it ruined any of the shots we have taken? No. Are we happy with the results? Yes.
So far we have only printed 4"x6" prints. We have both printed them at home as well as sending a few out (using Snapfish.com). Either way, the prints are stunning. Vivid, clear photos. The contrast and brightness were perfect in about 99% of the prints. there were just a couple that we tweaked to our liking. Some might have said we didn't need to do that and that the came out perfect to begin with. Just our own artistic taste to tweak them. Bottom line... this camera puts out gorgeous prints!
The battery that came with the camera seems to have a pretty long life. The longest my son has gone without recharging the battery is about 150 shots, both indoors (with flash) and outdoors. No recharging was required for that many pictures. I am not sure how long it really could go, but I would think 150+ shots on one charge is pretty good.
If I were to find any flaw with the camera, it is that it requires a proprietary battery as opposed to AA or AAA batteries. I like being able to run into a drug store, if needed and get another battery quickly if the original dies. In fairness, I have seen extra batteries on eBay and Amazon for under $10 which I could charge and have at the ready.... I just prefer the standardization of the AA type batteries. Again, it's just a personal preference. As you can see, it didn't stop me from buying the camera!
If you look around, you can get this camera for not much more than $140. I got it on a sale through Staples where they through in a 2Gb memory card, case and extended warrenty for $150.
If you are looking for a well-built light, yet full featured little camera, the Coolpix S570 certainly fits the bill. Being a Nikon, you know it comes from a camera company with a reputation for quality products. The S570 certainly meets that criteria. It's compact, well built, and does a great job... what more could you ask!
Read all comments (4)
Amount Paid (US$): 140
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Flexible Enough for Enthusiasts
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