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Nikon Coolpix S10 preview - Part II

Ilse Jurrien
Photokina report
Saturday 26th, August 2006
Posted by: Ilse Jurrien

An LED placed besides the lens serves as an indicator for the self-timer, and more importantly, as an AF assistance illuminator. The AF assistance illuminator will be automatically activated if there is not much surrounding light or if a subject is being photographed in poor lighting conditions. The assistance illuminator has a maximum range of approx. 2.0 m (W) to 2.0 m (T). The assistance illumination will not be activated if turned off in the menu or if the camera is recording in certain modes, such as twilight, night landscape, etc. The Nikon Coolpix S10's assistance illuminator is activated when it is delivered from the factory.

Nikon S10 preview - II

Nikon Coolpix S10 - Vibration Reduction
The Nikon Coolpix S10's image stabilisation is very handy. The Image Sensor Shift VR, which is new to Nikon, makes it possible to take photographs with a much longer shutter speed, whereby the chance of movement blur is greatly reduced. Vibration reduction corrects small hand movements that can cause blurry photos when the Nikon S10 is zooming in or when you are taking photographs in the dark without a flash. The image stabilisation button is located on top of the tilting zoom lens. It does not achieve this by raising the ISO value, which generally leads to more noise, instead the image stabilisation is activated from the image sensor.

Nikon Coolpix S10 - Mode
The Nikon S10 digital Megazoom camera lets you choose from fifteen subject settings. The camera settings are optimised automatically for the selected subject. A virtual multi-control button with the selected MODE function appears on the screen when you press the Mode button above the LCD screen. You can activate MODE with the small joystick on the back of the camera, upon which the camera will immediately take a picture in the most recently selected MODE. You can switch between the various modes by activating the general menu. The 15 pre-programmed modes consist of eleven subject settings such as Party, Snow, Night Landscape or Panorama. The other four settings use Nikon's intelligent composition assistance. A menu with composition types is shown whenever Portrait, Landscape, Sport or Evening Portrait pictures are selected in the subject menu. This is an effective aid to make a specific composition with the help of in-built templates that are shown on the screen. It is very effective for taking portraits where the person or people are not in the middle of the picture.

Nikon Coolpix S10 - Face-priority AF
Nikon has placed the One-Touch Portrait button just underneath the Vibration Reduction button. Via this function, you can directly use Nikon’s three unique image processing techniques; Face-priority AF, Automatic Red-eye Correction after the shot and Nikon's D-Lighting. What grabbed our attention in particular was the Face-priority AF. It uses the newest technology to automatically recognise human faces in a photo, and adjust the focussing to this information. The Nikon Coolpix S10 then arranges the correct focus on the person’s face (face recognition capacity can be restricted, depending on the picture circumstances). In practice it works with a hitherto unknown simplicity and this function emphasised the important role that intelligent software can play in a digital camera like the Nikon S10. As well as Face Priority AF, functions like red-eye correction in the camera and D-Lighting have also made an important contribution to user-friendliness. Red-eye is automatically traced and retouched using the software and D-Lighting improves the quality of the pictures in which the exposure went wrong by adding light and detail to the places in the composition where necessary, in order to produce balanced lighting.

Nikon Coolpix S10 - USB 2.0 interface
On the side of the Nikon S10, to the right of the LCD screen, a small, round rubber lid conceals the camera’s USB 2.0 interface. You can make a direct connection to a desktop computer or laptop via this socket, by means of the standard delivered USB cable. The PictureProject software supplied with the Nikon Coolpix S10 digital camera ensures a flawless transfer of data. Another option for transferring pictures saved on the Secure Digital card is to use a card reader. This is an extremely useful option as you no longer need the camera, it saves energy and you don’t have to connect those annoying cables each time. A card reader, especially the 12-in-1 version is handy, only need to be connected once, and afterwards acts as a sort of removable disk.

Nikon S10 preview - II

Nikon Coolpix S10 - Internal flash
An internal flash is located directly beside the 10x optical zoom. The Nikon Coolpix S10 Megazoom camera has several flash settings; Automatic, Flash off, Flash with long shutter speed, Fill-in Flash and Automatic with red-eye correction. The flash has a range of 0.3–5.4 m when the Nikon S10 camera is on maximum zoom. The internal flash’s range at maximum zoom is 1.0 - 5.4m. The small LED beside the multi-control button serves as a flash indicator; it turns red if the flash is used when taking a photograph, flashes red if the flash is recharging and goes out if the flash is turned off or does not need to be active. The extra image processing that accompanies the automatic red-eye correction in the camera, means that it takes longer to save a picture.

Nikon Coolpix S10 - Secure Digital memory card
Although the Nikon Coolpix S10 has more internal memory than its predecessor the Nikon S4, with approx. 16MB as opposed to 13MB, its capacity is still very limited. As it supports the Secure Digital memory card, users of the Nikon 10 have a wide choice of SD cards that could, for example, include an Ultra Plus Secure Digital from SanDisk with an in-built USB interface that can be directly inserted in a free USB gate from the camera or a fast Secure Digital Extreme III that guarantees continuous speed and high quality video clip due to its fast writing speed. SDHC memory cards have also become recently available. This new SD platform currently has a storage capacity of 4GB and could grow to 32GB. The Nikon Coolpix S10 does not support this last format, but there are still plenty of options.

Nikon S10 preview - II

Nikon Coolpix S10 - Pictmotion
You can find the M (Mode) button with which the Nikon S10’s virtual multi-control button can be activated on the back of the camera in the row of four buttons. A symbol appears on the 2.5 inch screen and using the small joystick above the screen you can choose between MODE, Voice Recorder, Video or Picture. You can confirm the selected function by pressing the joystick. If the Nikon Coolpix S10 digital camera is activated in playback, other functions to choose from appear, such as Sort according to Date, Play Sound and Playback, as well as Pictmotion which is from muvee a fixed feature of the camera. Pictmotion makes slides shows with adjustable transitions and background music. You can make a film very simply, which includes the 10 most recent pictures either filling the screen or in miniature.

Part III : Nikon Coolpix S10 preview

Part I : Nikon Coolpix S10 preview

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