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Nikon CoolPix S710

Over the past couple of months I've reviewed a number of Nikon's recent compact and ultra-compact cameras, including the superb CoolPix S560, and the good but expensive S610c (although the non-WiFi S610 is about £30 cheaper). Today I'm taking a look at the big brother of these two cameras, the 14.5-megapixel CoolPix S710.

Announced in August this year, the S710 is the flagship model of Nikon's luxury ultra-compact S-series. It features a 14.5MP 1/1.72-inch CCD sensor, a 3.6x zoom lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8-5.6 and optical lens-shift image stabilisation, and a 3.0-inch 230k dot wide-view monitor with an anti-glare coating. It competes directly with Canon's IXUS 980 IS (£238) and Panasonic's Lumix FX150 (£232), and at £232 it matches them both closely in price. I hope to review both of these cameras very soon.

The S710 is a good looking camera. It has an all-aluminium body, and is available in black, titanium or silver. A burgundy red colour is also shown on Nikon's website, although that is probably not available in the UK.

The body design is so understated it's almost plain, in that way that only expensive luxury gadgets can get away with. It is relatively large for an ultra-compact, measuring 92.5 x 57.5 x 24mm, and at approximately 170g fully loaded it is quite heavy too. You could carry it in a shirt pocket, but you'd certainly know it was there.

The front panel of the body is slightly bowed, and the smooth brushed finish of my silver review sample proved to be quite hard to grip securely. There is an indented thumb grip area on the back of the camera, but it doesn't help much. It's hard to hold the camera one-handed and operate the zoom control at the same time.

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