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Nikon CoolPix S630 - Nikon CoolPix S630

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

In fact, apart from its long zoom range and high resolution, the S630 is a bit lacking in other areas as well. The camera has three basic shooting modes, the main one being a full Auto setting in which all the menu functions are available, although these don't amount to much. It has a wide array of image size and quality options, but since high-capacity memory cards are so cheap most of these are pretty redundant. It has the usual array of white balance options, and ISO settings from 64 to 6400, although the two highest settings are restricted to 2048 x 1536 (3MP). It has only two metering options, matrix or centre-weighted; no spot metering. The drive options include continuous shooting and Nikon's usual Best Shot Selector feature, as well as a not-terribly-useful 16-shot mosaic and a slightly-more-useful interval timer.

Colour adjustment options are very limited, with only vivid colour, sepia, cyanotype (a blue tint), black and white and a low-saturation "pastel" setting on offer. There are a few AF mode options including face priority and a manual focus point selection, and the AF can be switched from single to full-time, although obviously this will have an impact on battery duration.

Most of these menu options are disabled in the other two shooting modes. These include the Scene mode, which offers the usual selection of scene programs for things like portrait, landscape, beach and snow, sunset etcetera, as well as a Scene Auto Selector, which chooses the scene program automatically with a fair degree of reliability. Most of the menu options are disabled in Scene mode.

The third shooting mode offer a further three choices. The first is a high-speed Sport Continuous mode, which shoots at an impressive-sounding 11 frames a second, but only for twenty frames, and only at a maximum resolution of three megapixels. I guess this is another of those "analyze your golf swing" features that some camera manufacturers seem to think we're all crying out for.

The second is a High Sensitivity setting, supposedly to reduce blur, but all it does is set the ISO to 800, which you can do through the main menu anyway. The S630 also has a Motion Detection feature in Auto mode which bumps up the ISO to increase shutter speed. Along with the Best Shot Selector and the actual mechanical VR, it gives Nikon's ever-creative marketing department a new number to print in the brochure: "4x anti blur". It's not quite a lie…

The final option is the smile-detection auto-shutter, which incorporates a "blink proof" setting that is supposed to prevent the camera from taking a photo if the subject is blinking, although I have to say that I found both these two settings to be very unreliable.

The S630 does offer a few extra features in playback mode, including D-lighting contrast correction for boosting shadow detail, and an Quick Retouch function that will attempt to improve contrast and saturation. I tried both of these features, and I wasn't massively impressed with the results.

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

Guest

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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