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Nikon CoolPix S630 review




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In moments of uncontrolled vanity, I sometimes delude myself into believing that what I say about camera design in my reviews somehow has an effect on the people who actually design them. One thing I have droned on about at some length is the idea that cameras need to be comfortable and secure to hold. There's no point having a tiny camera crammed with all the latest gizmos if it slips out of your fingers like a bar of soap every time you try to take a picture.

Well perhaps Nikon's designers were listening after all, because the new CoolPix S630 compact has an unusual curved shape with a large textured thumbgrip area on the back, and is one of the most comfortable-to-hold compact cameras on the market.

The specifications are pretty impressive as well. It has a 12-megapixel CCD with sensor-shift image stabilisation, a 7x zoom f/3.5 - f/5.3 lens equivalent to 37-260mm, a 2.7-inch 230k LCD monitor and a strong half-metal, half-plastic body, available in a range of colours, although in the UK it's only black or red. Overall build quality although the zoom control is a bit jerky.

The S630 is a pretty expensive camera, currently selling for around £250, which puts it on the same high shelf as other luxury compacts such as the new Canon IXUS 990 IS (12.1MP, 5x zoom, £379), or the Sony Cyber-shot W270 (12.1MP, 5x zoom, £299). While its longer zoom range and lower price might make the S630 look like good value by comparison, bear in mind that both of those rival models feature HD video recording, while the Nikon is limited to VGA at 30fps.

Isaac Sarayiah

March 14, 2009, 2:14 pm

Hi. Can you do a review of Nikon's P90 which has just been released?

jeff Falco

March 17, 2009, 9:55 am

so zenereffect what do you think about its competitor the olympus Stylus 7000


May 22, 2009, 8:11 am

small & black, sleek & stylish, lovely curves, easy to use...

very sexy camera baby, yeah!

HOWEVER, it shoots rather mediocre pictures. i was quite let down actually, especially considering it's a Nikon.

a significant number of shots are out-of-focus, even though the AF-assist locked-on to the subject, and despite the fact that vibration reduction and motion detection are both enabled.

also, what you SEE is NOT always what you GET. that is, frame composition does not match-up precisely with what is shown on the LCD preview screen; the resultant image file is often askew, from what was originally displayed on the preview screen. so framing a 'perfect' shot is hit'n miss with this camera. point... and hope for the best.

white balance is not always correct, especially when the flash is activated; there is often a slight greenish hue to flash pictures, kinda like the shot was taken under fluorescent lighting, without WB correction.

image quality (resolution) of the LCD preview screen is nothing to rave about either... but hey, i'm picky about those kinda things.

most important though - picture quality is not exactly stunning or anything, definitely doesn't live up to Nikon's otherwise high standard for great looking pics. the S630 is absolutely not what i was expecting from a Nikon camera... this Coolpix S630 is nice to look at, but it's beauty is only skin-deep. hard to believe that it's got all those megapixels and a Nikkor lens... yet, it takes 'OK' pictures.

OH, and did i mention... i'm disappointed.

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