The touch-screen does introduce some useful and entertaining features. The most useful is the touch-selectable AF point. Simply compose your photo, tap the screen where you want the camera to focus and an AF point appears there, which is great for close-up shots. There are other functions in playback mode including decorative icons such as hearts or musical notes that can be added, and even handwritten notes that can be drawn onto the screen. A small stylus is provided for this option. There are several other playback options as well, including a Quick Retouch function that attempts to improve sub-standard photos, a perspective correction function, and an option to squeeze or stretch the image horizontally, presumably to make fat people look thin. A healthy diet and some exercise will work much better.
Apart from its touch-screen functions, the S230 is a fairly typical 10MP, 3x zoom compact, although even by this standard it does have a very limited range of options. For instance it has no alternative metering modes and no colour adjustments apart from those added in playback mode. It has three basic shooting modes; full auto, scene mode (with 19 scene program options including auto scene selector) and the “blink proof” automatic smile shutter.
The S230 has no mechanical image stabilisation, instead offering a combination of electronic vibration reduction (also available in video mode), a motion sensor with 2000 ISO high-sensitivity setting, and Nikon’s usual Best Shot Selector, which rejects blurred pictures. It’s not as good as proper VR, but it’s better than nothing. It also has a Distortion Control mode, to reduce barrel distortion in wide-angle shots. It needs this desperately, because the S230 has a truly awful lens, and without the correction feature it produces very poor results, as you’ll see from the sample shots.