As the technology for digital cameras continues to evolve, new models being put out by the likes of Sony, Canon and Nikon are stretching the envelope. Model sizes are shrinking, on board processors are getting more sophisticated and new features like automatic editing are making sure pictures turn out crisper and more life like. Nikon?s latest entry in the ultra-slim arena, the Coolpix S1, is one of those which look to leave an impact.
The Coolpix S1, priced at $379.95 and due to hit store shelves in April, is an ultra-slim 5.1-megapixel camera which looks very sexy on the outside and has a set of features which give it that same glamorous feel within. The camera is a mere ?-inch thin, housed in an aluminum-alloy body and weighs just 4.2 ounces without the battery and memory card. It sports a bright 2.5-inch color LCD and uses a 3x Zoom-Nikkor ED Glass lens, which has an equivalent focal range to that of a 35-105mm lens in 35mm format. Also in the mix is a 4x digital zoom.
At the top of the Coolpix S1?s roster of interesting features is a new ?Face Priority AF? function. This feature, according to Nikon, will allow a user who has selected portrait scene mode to have the camera automatically sense a human face?s presence within the frame so that an accurate focus can be set accordingly.
Another cool on board function of the Coolpix S1 is ?In-Camera Red-Eye Fix?, which will automatically detect and correct red eye problems in most typical situations. In LCD viewing, this ties in well with Nikon?s new ?D-Lighting?, which compensates for insufficient flash or too much black lighting. This compensation will bring a balanced exposure as the picture is displayed in Playback mode.
Also standard on the Coolpix S1 is a ?Blur Warning?, which gives the photographer an alert when the photo has been compromised by the camera or a shake of the hand.
Those who like scene modes will most likely find one amongst the 17 the Coolpix S1 has to offer. Among the more interesting modes are an underwater setting, which Nikon says should be used in conjunction with the camera?s not included waterproof case, and a voice recording mode to add sound to specific photos. There?s also a ?Scene Assist? function for four of the modes, which will guide the user to getting the best out of the shot.
Other photo shooting specific features of the Coolpix S1 include 256-segment ?Matrix Metering? with center-weighted, spot and spot AF metering, choice of single AF or continuous AF, and ?White Balance Bracketing? paired with 7 manual white balance settings.
Memory and battery options on the Coolpix S1 give this camera some great on the go time without the need to recharge or dump photos to a computer. The rechargeable battery, according to Nikon, is capable for going upwards of 200 shots. On board memory is set to 12MB, with an internal SD card slot allowing that to be grown by even greater leaps and bounds.
Nikon has also worked at trying to make their user interface friendlier. The scrollable menus common to so many digital cameras can now also be viewed as icons. For those that don?t understand what a particular selectable function does, a new ?Help Button? is provided to access an explanation.
There are also these features of the Coolpix S1 which some may find useful: world time function, multiple playback options (single, 4 and 9 segment thumbnails, slideshow and 10x magnification), direct camera to printer support through PictBridge compatible printers, picture viewing on a television or monitor and a 15 fps video with sound recording mode.
The Coolpix S1 comes standard with a docking station that can handle USB transfers of photos and recharge the camera at the same time, Nikon photo management software, wrist strap, USB and AV cables, rechargeable battery and AC adapter.