While the S570 may be missing a few useful options it lacks nothing in performance. It starts up very quickly in about one and a half seconds, and in single-shot mode it has a shot-to-shot time of approximately 2.1 seconds, which is pretty quick for a cheap camera. In continuous shooting mode it is even faster, shooting a frame every 1.1 seconds, although it has no audio cue to let you know when it’s taking a picture.
The autofocus system isn’t particularly fast, especially when compared to some of Nikon’s more expensive compacts, but it’s not embarrassingly slow and it is at least reliable. It also works well in low light, with a good AF assist lamp with a range of about three metres. The built-in flash is very good, with a useful range of about five metres and a recharge time of just over seven seconds from a full-power flash. It is well metered for closer ranges too.
For a low-cost compact the image quality is surprisingly good, with excellent colour reproduction, accurate exposure and sharp focusing. The lens is much better than expected, producing almost no wide angle distortion and acceptably good edge-to-edge sharpness with no chromatic aberration.
At the lowest ISO setting the image quality is very good indeed, with smooth colour gradients and plenty of sharp detail. Noise reduction does remove some fine detail at 400 ISO, getting progressively worse at 800 and 1600 ISO, but colour and exposure remains consistent at these settings. It’s only at the maximum 3200 ISO that things really go to pieces.
Although the Nikon CoolPix S570 has a fairly average specification and lacks a number of useful and popular features, it is very well made, easy and fun to use, and handles extremely well. It has above average performance, works well in low light, and the image quality is also better than most others in its class. All in all, the S570 is excellent value for money.