Summary

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8/10

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Nikon Coolpix S570

I've reviewed a lot of low-cost digital compact cameras over the past couple of months. Some have been Very Good, some have been Very Bad, but most have been in that middle-of-the-road 7/10 zone; nothing particularly wrong with them, but just A Bit Dull. In theory today's review camera should fall into that latter category too. It's a 12-megapixel ultra-compact with a 5x wide-angle zoom and a 2.7-inch monitor, and sells for around £135, which makes it about as average as you can get, but for a combination of reasons the Nikon CoolPix S570 finds itself elevated into the ranks of the Very Good.
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The CoolPix S570 is one of the junior models of Nikon's impressive range of ultra-compacts, at the other end of the spectrum from the technologically advanced S640 and S630. However while it may be a budget model very few corners have been cut on design or construction. It has a strong and well finished all-aluminium body, and is available in black, red, blue, pink or the silver finish shown here. It's a very small camera, measuring 92 x 56.5 x 21.5mm, and quite light at 137g fully loaded, although it does feel slightly heavy for its size, adding to the overall feeling of quality.
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Despite its size the S570 handles extremely well. The finish has a slightly matt texture, making it easy to grip, and the rear panel control layout leaves room for a decent sized textured thumb grip at the back. The controls themselves are quite large and mostly well labelled, although the black-on-black etched symbols on the D-pad are a bit hard to see in dim light. The S570 is designed to be easy to use, and the controls and menus are very simple. The zoom control is a rotary bezel around the shutter button, and it is a bit jerky, but with 12 steps between minimum and maximum it's capable of fairly precise framing. The overall impression of using the camera is very good; it feels responsive, capable and easy to get along with.

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