ReviewGist Report for Nikon COOLPIX S80
Nikon emphasizes the 'cool' in Coolpix with it's newest offering- the Nikon Coolpix S80. Released in Sep 2010, this slim wonder follows it's OLED- touchscreen predecessor, the Nikon S80 with some new power-packed features.
In this review we delve into the features of the Nikon Coolpix S80 and analyze what the experts have to say about the product. We have analyzed over 14 of the best reviews including CNet, Engadget, CameraLabs etc and round up the findings to get a better ringside view of this slim wonder.
What the Manufacturer Says
The ultra-slim S80 integrates stylish design and ease-of-use with it's enhanced touch screen interface and a beautifully lit ultra high resolution OLED screen. Measuring 0.7 inches the S80 offers unbeatable portability. According to Nikon, the slim look with the sliding cover design and bright colors makes the S80 not only a cool digital compact camera but a fashion statement as well.
Some of the power-packed features include
- Large 3.5 inch ultra high-definition (819,000 dot) OLED display which delivers excellent image quality with brilliant vivid colors and contrast.
- Camera shake is reduced with a 5-way vibration reduction (VR) Image Stabilization System that includes Optical and Hybrid VR
- The S80 includes 17 scene modes and Easy Auto Mode which automatically detects the situation and adjusts the scene mode accordingly. Also present Nikon's Smart Portrait system for capturing outstanding portraits with functions such as In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, improved Face-Priority AF and Smile Timer.
- Features Nikons Expeed C2 image processing engine for super image quality.
What the Reviews Say
The Nikon S80 has been commended by almost all experts for it's superb image quality. The large bright OLED display is one of the best in the market and has impressed most reviewers. The S80 offers good performance at high ISOs as well.According to eCameraTalk, the wide viewing angle and anti glare coating ensures bright, brilliant image composition, viewing and sharing which ensures an unmatched user-experience. The 5-way vibration reducers minimizes camera shake.
However some reviewers such as Engadget magazine and Photographyblog found the image quality good but not great and that low light shooting performance was below par.
The S80 offers high-definition 720p video with stereo audio. Video quality is good according to experts. A handy feature is that when the camera is rotated for vertical shooting display tabs and controls are also rotated.
The optical abilities of the S80 are first-rate according to most reviewers. The S80 offers 17 scene modes and an Easy auto mode which selects the best scene depending on the shooting situation. This provides a lot of flexibility to the user to play around with. About.com has commented that the zoom works only using the touch screen which may not be efficient in all situations. Overall the camera shooting options should delight a newbie.
The Nikon S80 features just one physical button for shutter release, all other controls are managed through the touchscreen interface. The multi-touch user interface provides a user experience similar to the popular IPhone user gesture controls. Images are reviewed by swiping the fingers across the screen and zoomed in or out by pinching the fingers. The interface is sophisticated and well designed for ease of use though it has evoked some mixed reactions. Lack of physical controls for zooming and playback of images seem to have received a thumbs-down as commented by experts at Photographyblog and Pocket-lint. CameraLabs also found the startup time to shoot after sliding the lens quite sluggish.
The S80 thus seems to be more suited to a gadget loving user who is pretty comfortable using the intuitive user interface than for a photo enthusiast who would prefer the physical controls for a better camera feel.
Nikon's claims of delivering excellent image quality and ease of use with a fashion forward approach have been appreciated by most experts.
The Nikon S80 is a cool package. At 0.7 inches they certainly don't come much thinner than this. It oozes style and confidence for the user who wants to point and shoot on the go with the camera doing most of the work.
However it falls short of setting the benchmark for mid-range point-and-shoot cameras performance-wise and due to the dependence on software controls which could detract serious photographers. Overall the S80 is a perfect camera for gadget lovers and newbies who can literally slide the panel and start clicking.
The Nikon S80 is one of the best touchscreen compact cameras in the market right now. It is sleek and stylish looking with great picture quality and is made for the technology enthusiast who embraces the idea of great design with simplicity.
However, there is fierce competition in the mid-end compact camera market these days especially from the other two stalwarts Sony and Panasonic.
Do check out the following
- Sony DSC Tx9 which is a similar slim model with touchscreen interface and better video (1080i full HD recording). The CMOS sensor also supports some fast burst shooting modes.
- Panasonic Lumix FX700 which is not so stylish looking as the Coolpix S80 but packs a lot of features and has a more sophisticated user interface which integrates it's touchscreen interface with some physical controls and better battery life.