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Nikon CoolPix S550 review




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Last month I reviewed the Nikon CoolPix S600, a high-spec 10-megapixel ultra-compact camera near the top of Nikon's premium S series. Today I'm looking at the next model down in the line-up, the S550. Although it looks very similar and also has a 10-megapixel sensor, it is a very different camera in a number of ways.

The CoolPix S550 is one of a new generation of Nikon premium ultra-compacts that started with the launch of the S500 in June last year. The range, denoted by triple-digit numbers, now stands at eight models, ranging from the ultra-slim 7.1-megapixel S200 to the 12.1-megapixel S700. The S550 is toward the top end of the range in terms of specification. As well as its 10.0-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor it features a 5x optical zoom lens with a focal length range equivalent to 36-180mm, a 2.5-inch 230k wide-view monitor and electronic image stabilisation at slow shutter speeds. Additional features include face detection and the new must-have, smile detection shutter release.

High-spec ultra-compact cameras with longer zoom lenses are becoming a lot more popular of late, and the S550 has to compete with the likes of the new Casio Exilim EX-Z100, another 10MP camera which has a 4x zoom with 28mm wide-angle (£170), the impressive-looking Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170, which has 10.1 megapixels, 5x zoom with 28mm wide-angle and optical image stabilisation (£170), the even more daunting Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500, which has 10MP, a 5x zoom Leica lens with 25mm wide-angle and optical image stabilisation (£240), and of course the 10MP 5x zoom Canon IXUS 970 IS (£230). The CoolPix S550 is priced at around £200 on the high street, but can be found for as little as £160 by shopping around online, which sounds a bit more reasonable, even though it lacks mechanical image stabilisation.

Adrian Ellis

November 15, 2008, 3:41 pm

could you tell me the differences between the s550 and the s560 apart from the bigger screen and the price because I want to buy one but I don't know which help!

Adrian Ellis

November 16, 2008, 3:26 pm

please someone im really stuck and i want 2 buy a camera tomoro

Geoff Richards

November 16, 2008, 5:29 pm

Adrian - I'm not sure there's much in it really. I haven't used either but here are the specs:



It would appear the S560 is the newer model but the specs are subtly different. Slightly bigger screen is welcome but the battery life takes a small hit as a result.

If you're set on one of these two then I'd buy on price - I actually even found the S560 for less than the S550!

Of course, if you're just after an ultra-compact for under 𧶀 then here is our list of highest-scoring models:


Good luck with your research.


November 1, 2009, 8:01 pm

Say... Buying this camera, the CoolPix S550 now in november 2009 in 100$ with delivery and 2 years warnety is a good buy?

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