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Nikon Coolpix S630 Digital Camera Review


Digital Camera Review by: Katrina Putker 


One of the first things users will notice with the 12 mega pixel Coolpix S630 is what Nikon call its ‘Sure Grip body design’ which manifests as an interesting sweeping curve along the back of its body that, while subtle to the eye, is quite prominent in hand.

The entire right side grip portion of the unit is curved in towards the palm to create what is a very comfortable and ergonomically friendly holding position.

An indented thumb pad lined with nine small grip mounds helps to further ensure users are able to quickly achieve a safe and steady hold of the S630 in moments and without giving it a second thought. It comfortably allows for one-handed shooting if and when necessary as well.

The rest of the brushed silver body is modestly designed to maintain the unit’s contemporary look, having just seven buttons, a toggle, and a directional pad combined with a scroll wheel that users can choose to operate either by rotating or pushing in the up, down, left and right directions.

The Coolpix S630 is relatively quick to start up, with the triple-tiered seven-times optical zoom lens fully extending and the camera switching on, focusing and firing the first frame all within approximately four seconds.  The 37mm-260mm lens offers users some decent reach zoom-wise but is somewhat restricted not being a wide-angle.

Speed however, continues to be a positive feature throughout general operation and is especially noticeable with the S630’s auto focus operation, which is impressively fast and has a fairly high rate of accuracy.

Even in low-light conditions, the AF assist-illuminator (orange light on the front of the camera body that flashes briefly before focusing to ensure the camera can ‘see’ a focus point) is really put to work and doesn’t fail. In complete darkness, the S630 is able to rapidly locate a focus point and produce focused images where many other compact cameras may not.

Generally speaking, the Coolpix S630 covers just the basics in terms of what a compact digital camera should offer its users. 16 scene modes are available, basic in-camera editing can be done (brightness and contrast combined via D-lighting, saturation and contrast via Quick Retouch), image protect is optional along with playback slideshow, macro and continuous shooting mode, self-timer, flash control, and movie mode.

Voice record mode is a handy additional feature for keeping voice memos, recording speeches or music samples, or other important and interesting sound bytes.

The location and operation of the connector cover, which protects the input for the supplied USB cable, is frustratingly fiddly as a result of a slight design oversight that has seen it positioned in direct competition with the wrist strap eyelet.

When the wrist strap is attached, which in the majority of cases is likely to be all of the time, the connector cover (when opened) pushes against the ‘knot’ created and semi-obstructs the cable connector. While it is not a major issue it is likely to increase the wear and tear on these components over time.

The lens cover mechanism easily shifts when accidentally touched or knocked and so a camera case is advisable for additional protection although it won’t be difficult to find one that fits considering the S630 is only 95.5mm long x 57.5mm high x 25.5mm wide.
The body weighs approximately 166g and has a 2.7inch LCD with an anti-reflection coating that ensures good visibility under an array of lighting conditions ranging from bright sunlight outdoors to low-light environments indoors.

Images overall can tend to have a slight painterly effect, which some users may quite like, that tends to be as a result of over processing in-camera. For most happy-snappers this will not be an issue, if it is noticed at all, although if you often print your photographs as enlargements, it is probably worth considering.

While the Coolpix S630 is a well-designed compact camera with a positively minimal feel about it, it is probably best suited to photography novices who prefer to be able to point-and-shoot regularly and trust that they will receive basic and consistent results across a variety of shooting situations.


Appearance rating 4 stars
Functionality rating 3 stars
Image quality
3 stars
Lens quality
3 stars
View finder / LCD screen 3 stars
Value for money 3 stars
RRP (AUD) $599
Effective Pixels 12 Million mega pixels
Image Sizes 8 Sizes
Lens - zoom wide [mm] 37mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens -zoom tele [mm] 260mm (35mm equivalent )
Lens - Optical Zoom Yes, 7x
Resolution Settings From 640 x 480 to 4000 ×3000
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 F3.5 - F5.3
Aperture Priority No
Macro Yes
Macro Range [cm] 2cm - infinity
Shutter Speeds 4s - 1/1500s
Shutter Priority No
ISO Auto ISO 64-800 or Manual ISO settings 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400
LCD Monitor Yes
LCD Size 2.7" 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 Battery Charger MH-65
Battery Options Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
Dimensions (W) 96.5mm x (H) 57.5mm x (D) 25.5mm
Weight 166g








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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