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The S230's overall performance is a bit on the slow side. It takes nearly three seconds to start up, and about two and a half to shut down again. In single-shot mode it has a shot-to-shot time of approximately four seconds, which is very slow for a premium camera. There is a continuous shooting mode in the sports scene program, but its shooting rate is erratic and quite slow. It shoots the first three frames quickly enough, but then slows down to about 2.4 seconds per frame.

The AF system is excellent, focusing quickly and accurately in almost all lighting conditions despite the lack of an AF assist lamp, and the exposure system is just as good, coping well with unusual lighting, including strong backlighting. The face recognition system is also good, detecting faces even in quite poor light conditions, or when turned partly away from the camera.

The overall image quality is quite good, although there are a few problems. The lens produces a lot of distortion at wide angle, and although there is the Distortion Control feature it still suffers from extensive corner blurring even when this is switched on. Colour reproduction is excellent, but dynamic range is only about average for its class, capturing some shadow detail but blowing out bright highlights. Noise control is also a bit shaky. There is some colour mottling even at the lowest ISO setting, and copious quantities of hot pixels from 800 ISO upwards, but it still shows a good level of detail even at this setting, although 1600 and the maximum 2000 ISO look like the picture has been hit a small localised blizzard.


The Nikon CoolPix S230 is attractively designed, and it is certainly well made, but the trendy touch-screen interface can't hide the fact that this is actually a very average camera. It suffers from slow performance, a very limited range of features including lacklustre zoom range and surprisingly poor lens quality, especially considering its relatively high price.

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March 26, 2009, 10:16 pm

It keeps amazing me that Nikon can make such incredible SLRs especially in the last couple years, but can't make even a competitive compact or P&S camera. Do they have completely different technical teams on each product category? How can they be so good at in camera noise reduction on an SLR but a compact looks snowy like that at "relatively" low ISOs? Even their flagship P6000 gets trounced by the Panny LX3 and Canon G10. Pathetic. They need to step up or take their ball and go home.


January 4, 2010, 3:37 am

I dont normally write on these review sites but I feel I must tell you about my experience with this camera.

I currently have a 5 year old Nikkon E4200, (4.2 Mega Pixels) I thought it was getting on a bit so I would treat my to the newest Nikkon. I bought the S230 and used it to take pictures of my new daughter when she was born.

All the pictures were grainy and out of focus, I have since tried it on all different settings etc over the last month and I conclude by saying this is the worste camera I have ever born.

I have since got my money back and I am sticking to the old camera.

After researching more on the net it turns out I have been dupped into thinking the higher the Mega Pixels the better the picture quality!.

Please dont be suckered into buying this great looking camera with the fantastic touch screen as the picture quality is TERRIBLE!

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