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Nikon CoolPix S630 - Nikon CoolPix S630

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


The S630 is also a little lacking in overall performance. It starts up in just over 1.5 seconds, and shuts down again in just over two, which is quick enough, but in single-shot mode it is quite slow, with a shot-to-shot time of approximately 3.2 seconds. In continuous shooting mode it isn't much better, shooting a frame every two seconds, accompanied by an alarming hissing whine from the autofocus system, which is automatically set to full-time AF in continuous mode.

Nikon has made a lot of progress with its compact camera AF system over the past year or two. It used to be a major weak point, but the AF in the S630 is very good. It focuses quickly and accurately in almost all lighting conditions, even at long zoom settings in quite low light, although the rather weak AF assist lamp does limit it to a range of around two metres in really dark conditions. The built-in flash is nice and powerful, with an effective range of about five metres and good frame coverage at wide angle.

Image quality is generally very good. Colour reproduction is excellent, and the matrix light metering is usually accurate and reliable, and copes well with most lighting conditions, including strong backlighting. The quality of the 7x zoom lens is also good, with minimal distortion, good corner sharpness and minimal chromatic aberration. However despite the quality of the lens, the 12MP resolution of the sensor and the relatively low compression ratio of the highest quality setting, the images still look slightly soft. I still don't think there's any advantage to 12MP over 10MP.

Another area where Nikon has made improvements is noise control, and the S630 can produce excellent image quality up to 400 ISO, and usable prints from 800 ISO. Even at 1600 ISO images are OK if you just want them for a website, but 3MP shots at 3200 and 6400 ISO do look a bit grim. Overall though the S630 is capable of producing good photographic results in a wide range of lighting situations.


Although it's a bit expensive for a point-and-shoot automatic, the Nikon CoolPix S630 does offer excellent handling, Nikon's impeccable build quality, a big 7x zoom and very good picture quality. It copes well with most lighting conditions, and is ideal for holiday snaps and social situations. Performance is a bit slow, and it lacks some of the latest features, but it's a nice camera to use and takes good pictures.

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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