Nikon CoolPix S550 Review

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £199.99

Last month I reviewed the Nikon CoolPix S600, a high-spec 10-megapixel ultra-compact camera near the top of Nikon’s premium S series. Today I’m looking at the next model down in the line-up, the S550. Although it looks very similar and also has a 10-megapixel sensor, it is a very different camera in a number of ways.


The CoolPix S550 is one of a new generation of Nikon premium ultra-compacts that started with the launch of the S500 in June last year. The range, denoted by triple-digit numbers, now stands at eight models, ranging from the ultra-slim 7.1-megapixel S200 to the 12.1-megapixel S700. The S550 is toward the top end of the range in terms of specification. As well as its 10.0-megapixel 1/2.3-inch sensor it features a 5x optical zoom lens with a focal length range equivalent to 36-180mm, a 2.5-inch 230k wide-view monitor and electronic image stabilisation at slow shutter speeds. Additional features include face detection and the new must-have, smile detection shutter release.


High-spec ultra-compact cameras with longer zoom lenses are becoming a lot more popular of late, and the S550 has to compete with the likes of the new Casio Exilim EX-Z100, another 10MP camera which has a 4x zoom with 28mm wide-angle (£170), the impressive-looking Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W170, which has 10.1 megapixels, 5x zoom with 28mm wide-angle and optical image stabilisation (£170), the even more daunting Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX500, which has 10MP, a 5x zoom Leica lens with 25mm wide-angle and optical image stabilisation (£240), and of course the 10MP 5x zoom Canon IXUS 970 IS (£230). The CoolPix S550 is priced at around £200 on the high street, but can be found for as little as £160 by shopping around online, which sounds a bit more reasonable, even though it lacks mechanical image stabilisation.

Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.