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Nikon CoolPix S710 - Nikon CoolPix S710

By Cliff Smith

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

As a top-of-the-range model, the S710 has plenty of features. It has full auto, program auto, shutter and aperture priority and full manual exposure, as well as smile shutter, 16 scene mode programs, auto scene selection, sound recording and a video mode. However it does lack some other useful features, such as spot metering, an interval timer or any sort of adjustable colour control. The video mode is limited to 640 x 480 at 30fps, rather than the HD video capability of some of its rivals, and the digital zoom which is all that is available when shooting video is stepped and jerky.

The control layout is pretty straightforward, but the S710 is blessed/cursed with a rotary dial that also doubles as a D-pad. The rotary part of it is used for main mode selection, as well as adjusting exposure values in the manual modes, while it functions as a D-pad for menu navigation with secondary button functions for flash mode, self timer, macro mode and exposure compensation. I found this control to be quick and responsive, but also rather fiddly for my large fingers.

The camera features automatic red-eye correction; however this cannot be turned off. It also features Nikon's D-Lighting function, which brightens shadows in high-contrast shots, but this can only be applied in playback mode after the picture has been taken, and does introduce a lot of image noise into the darker areas of treated pictures. The other playback mode options are much more limited than some other recent compacts, offering only a basic slideshow function, print tagging, rotation, copying or resizing to very low resolutions.

One unusual feature is the S710's maximum sensitivity of 12,800 ISO. This is one of the highest ISO settings on any digital camera, and certainly unexpected on a 14.5MP camera, however it is limited to 3.0MP resolution. It could be useful when shooting in very low light with no flash, but the image quality at this setting is pretty terrible. I'll come back to this later.

The S710 also features Nikon's VR optical image stabilisation, and this does work very well. I was able to take shake-free shots at wide-angle at 1/10th of a second, and at full zoom at 1/25th of a second, which is very good.

Beaky69

December 10, 2008, 6:34 pm

Is 'chromatic abberation' the same as purple fringing in high-contrast areas of the image? If so, the photo showing corner-sharpness shows plenty of it! (unless it's a compression artefact?).

Ed

December 10, 2008, 6:52 pm

Chromatic aberration is a general term for various colour altering effects that can occur due to a poor lens. One of which is purple fringeing and, yes, there is some in that photo. Not a lot though.

theimer

December 10, 2008, 9:50 pm

As far as I know, while looking very similar, purple fringing and chromatic aberration are competely different phenomena. Purple fringing is a sensor-based effect, caused by a charge overload leaking from one CCD-element to its neighbouring ones. On the other hand, chromatic aberration is in fact a optics-related effect, caused by different refractions of the different colours of light passing the lens.

AndyfromVA

December 11, 2008, 2:40 am

What a crummy camera. I think your scores are too kind. I'd give it a 4 for image quality, value and overall.

Cliff Smith

December 12, 2008, 12:22 am

Here's a tutorial I wrote on chromatic aberration: http://www.trustedreviews.com/...

reflux

March 20, 2009, 9:25 pm

Im interested in this camera and was wondering if you anyone knows anythin about the shutter priority mode. Usually nikons have a 'firework show' mode, which at night you can take a pic of fireworks or cars on a motorway at a low shutter speed of 4secs.





So i wanted to know if you can set the shutter priority on this camera for use during the day and at night? And what is the longest time the shutter will stay open for?

john somer

July 8, 2010, 5:12 am

We purchased this camera 08.11.2008.from Harvey Norman computer Super store aspley QLD Australia. My Wife taken about 50 photos the photos quality was excellent. June 2010 she wanted to take a photo of our Great grand Child and find the camera inoperable, showing a message "lens error" i returned the camera to the Store where I been told "have to pay $49 for estimate and what ever is the repair cost. I have contacted NIKON, where I been told "the repair would cost over $200 for a camera used only 6 to 7 Times taking about 50 photos. Thank you Nikon. Thank you Harvey Norman.

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