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Nikon Coolpix S220 Digital Camera Review


Digital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker 


The Coolpix S220 is an ultra compact, 10-megapixel new release from Nikon that is as simple to operate, as it is delightfully small. Available in five colours including silver, green, blue, purple and pink, the S220 is a funky little unit likely to appeal to fun-loving happy-snappers famous for taking their camera with them wherever they go.

At just 18mm wide, 89.5mm long and 55.5mm high, the S220 is literally one of the smallest and neatest compact units on the market. It rests comfortably in hand as a result and is incredibly portable.

Being smaller than many mobile phones, weighing only 100g (without battery and memory card), and having a rigid aluminium body, the S220 can be easily carried with you at all times, be it in your shirt or pants pocket, handbag, backpack or brief case.

It’s convenient enough to keep in hand as well or consider purchasing a reliable lanyard and wear it around your neck while travelling or shopping etc.

The controls on the S220 are pleasantly simple in layout and design making general operation efficient and straightforward. All controls are clearly labelled with the standard symbols for shooting or playback mode, menu, delete and ‘ok,’ along with flash and exposure control, macro mode and self-timer.

A total of 12 buttons and controls are neatly built in to the top and back of the body along with the double-tiered, three times optical zoom, four times digital zoom lens, which retracts into the body almost seamlessly when not in use.

Extremely warm images tend to result when shooting on automatic mode under tungsten lighting without flash and when flash is used, blue chromatic aberration (coloured ‘fringes’ that appear mainly around areas of high contrast where the lens is unable to focus all colours to the same point) is often visible – a sure sign of lower lens quality that isn’t uncommon across the board with lower-end digital compacts.

With a focal length of just 6.3-18.9mm the S220 lens has a fairly limited reach and lower grade optics, which tend to result in fairly base level image quality best-suited to entry level happy snaps, which is expected at this affordable price range.

Because the S220 is one of the smaller compacts on the market, so too is its LCD, which is relatively low resolution as well. It does come with Nikon’s anti-reflection coating, which helps minimise reflection and glare and generally speaking, the LCD preview will remain visible under a variety of lighting conditions.

Movie mode is available in four different sizes and two formats (PAL or NTSC) meaning the tiny S220 doubles as a movie camera capable of recording footage for just over seven minutes on the largest size with a 512MB memory card and up to 25 minutes on the smallest setting with a 512MB card.

The S220 also offers a pleasing mix of sixteen scene modes to help users gain the best possible results across a range of shooting situations including: portraits, landscapes, sports, night portraits, parties, sea/snow, sunsets, twilight, night landscapes, close-ups, food, museum conditions, fireworks, monochrome, backlit situations, and panoramas.

No AF assist illuminator means that the S220 does have trouble focussing in dark conditions while the flexible ISO range from 80-2000 means users can still shoot in low-light conditions, although with increased noise while pushing beyond ISO 400 and towards the ISO 2000 end.medal-gold-r.jpg

Motion detect technology is a an interesting feature that works well in reducing the effects of camera shake and subject movement – two issues infamous for spoiling otherwise good images. By automatically adjusting the ISO settings however, it does often produce slightly noisier images meaning users simply need to decide on their priority: images with less noise but more blur or sharp images with a little more noise.

Scrolling through the logical main and sub menus is easy, as is swapping between various settings and selecting appropriate functions as desired. Therefore the S220 perfect for first-time compact camera users with limited photography knowledge or those who prefer to keep things as simple as switch on, point, shoot, and review.

While some lens, LCD, and image quality is sacrificed in the Coolpix S220 for its affordable price tag and ultra compact body, overall this unit undoubtedly offers a lot of style and portability for a very little asking price.  One certainly worth considering if looking to purchase a stylish but positively simple compact camera within this price range.


Appearance rating 5 stars
Functionality rating 4 stars
Image quality
3 stars
Lens quality
3 stars
View finder / LCD screen 3 stars
Value for money 5 stars
RRP (AUD) $279
Effective Pixels 10 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 6 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 35mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 105mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 3x
Resolution Settings From 640 x 480 to 3648 × 2736
Shooting Modes 16 Scene options
Face Detection Yes, up to 12 faces
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Focus Range [cm] 60cm - infinity
Aperture Range F3.1 - F5.9
Aperture Priority No
Macro Yes
Macro Range [cm] 10cm - infinity
Shutter Speeds Auto
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto ISO 80-800 or Manual ISO settings 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 2000, High-Sensitivity mode (ISO 80-800)
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size 2.5" LCD Screen
Viewfinder No
Flash Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Off, Fill flash, Slow sync
Hot Shoe No
White balance Auto, Preset manual, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Flash
Self Timer Yes, 2s and 10s
Movie Options Yes. Limited only by memory card size.
Video Out Yes
Storage Type SD memory cards
Storage Included [Mb] 44MB Internal Memory
Image / Audio Formats Compressed [JPEG (EXIF )], mono/wav file, AVI movie
Connectivity USB
Power Source AC Adapter EH-62D
Battery Options Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL10
Dimensions (W) 89.5mm x (H) 55.5mm x (D) 18mm
Weight 100g

About Nikon


The history of Nikon dates back to 1917 when three of Japan's leading optical manufacturers merged to form a fully integrated optical company. By the end of the century Nikon would have accumulated an immense poll of know-how and experience to become a world leader in not only optics and imaging but also industrial equipment and health and medicine sector.

Today Nikon designs, develops, manufactures and markets a gamut of optical, photographic and optoelectronic products globally. You will find them at work in virtually every corner of the earth. If it has something to do with light, Nikon has something to do with it.

The driving force behind Nikon is technology. Not only in manufacturing and assembling the finest lenses or most comprehensive photography system in the world, but also in making the glass itself. That is why Nikon products have gained worldwide customer satisfaction, and even professional recognition worldwide.

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