Point and shoot cameras tend to blur together, so instead of listing them all separately, like their own God's gift to amateur photographers, here are the four S (for "style") series CoolPix cameras Nikon is introducing tonight, and their raisons d'être, plus a gallery of them striking various poses a bit lower down.
• CoolPix S210 - Thinner than its predecessors at 18mm thick, with 8MP and electronic vibration reduction, the S210 comes in plum, graphite black, blue, and brushed bronze. The key here is compactness of body and of price: $180.
• CoolPix S520 - Step up from the S210, this slightly larger camera reads similar in specs, but with optical image stabilization rather than the electronic kind. You'll pay extra for better pictures; included in the $230 camera's intelligent scene modes is a high-ISO mode one optimized for food. (Yours or someone elses—totally your call.)
• CoolPix S550 - A sidestep to the S520, this one also costs $230 and comes in plum, blue and graphite black, but has 10 megapixels instead of 8 and no optical image stablilizer. It does have two cool tricks, however. Smile recognition (already seen in cameras from Sony and others) means it snaps when your subject smiles. The more unusual blink warning system automatically suggests you retake shots where someone's eyes are closed. Pretty crazy stuff—definitely our favorite in the lineup.
• CoolPix S600 - This is the high-end performer, a 10 megapixel with 4x wide-angle zoom lens and optical image stabilizer (aka "vibration reduction") that'll cost you $300. It comes in slate black, has the fastest start-up time of any camera in its class (says Nikon) and has an Active Child Mode for getting the fast moving kids. (Yes, grammar sticklers, it probably should be "Active-Child Mode" but nobody asked us, now did they?)
Overall, it's a fine lot of cameras, but I'm not quite taken by the color choices. While I can dig the black and especially that brushed bronze, I do not think I'll ever be down with the plum. No sir. See for yourself in the gallery below. [Nikon]
NIKON'S NEW COOLPIX S-SERIES ARE AS STUNNING AS THE PICTURES THEY TAKE
Nikon is pleased to introduce the new COOLPIX S210, S520, S550 and S600 to its Style Series line of compact digital cameras. The super thin, just 18mm, (less than 3/4-inch) COOLPIX S210 offers 8 effective megapixel resolution, a 3x Zoom-NIKKOR glass lens, Electronic Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization technology, and a quality-crafted aluminum body. The S210's slim, elegant camera design comes in an array of color options such as plum, graphite black, cool blue, and brushed bronze, delivering high performance and ease-of-operation.
The slim, ergonomic COOLPIX S520 boasts a streamlined profile, 8 effective megapixels, a 3x Zoom-NIKKOR lens, Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization, and a quality-crafted aluminum body. Style-conscious consumers will love the S520's design, in addition to the latest Nikon technologies that make this camera compact, easy to use, and capable of capturing breath-taking images. Additionally, the S520 adds the "Food Mode" to its existing scene modes. Food Mode allows for users to capture beautiful close-up images of food at high ISO settings in restaurants or other locations where flash photography is not permitted.
The COOLPIX S550 elegantly packs high performance and advanced functions into an ultra-compact body. The S550 boasts 10 effective megapixels of sharp resolution, a 5x Zoom-NIKKOR lens, and Electronic Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization and two new modes that enhance portrait photography: Smile Mode, which automatically triggers the shutter when the subject smiles, as well as Blink Warning, which displays a warning message when the subject has blinked. The COOLPIX S550 will be available in an array of new colors - plum, cool blue and graphite black - allowing consumers to not only express themselves with their photos, but with their cameras as well.
A standout in the slim-compact camera category, the COOLPIX S600 features an astonishingly fast start-up time, advanced functions, outstanding photographic performance and a slim and stylish body. Boasting 10 effective megapixels, a 4x wide-angle 28-112mm Zoom-NIKKOR lens, Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization and the fastest start-up time for any camera in its class, the COOLPIX S600 is perfect for consumers who want stunning photos and an equally stunning camera. The COOLPIX S600's all-metal body will be available in ultra-cool Slate Black. For capturing action shots or fast moving kids, the COOLPIX S600 adds an Active Child Mode to the 14 existing scene modes that are standard in COOLPIX cameras.
The new COOLPIX S-Series cameras will be available nationwide beginning March 2008. The S210 will retail for 179.95**, the COOLPIX S520 and S550 will retail for $229.95**, and the S600 will retail for $299.95**.
** Estimated selling price listed is only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.