Using Nikon Coolpix S600
Nikon’s claims about the fastest startup are accurate to a point. The camera really does startup in only 0.7 sec. But there is additional time for the shot itself to focus and be taken, so we didn’t fell that it was any faster than usual. In any case, the camera starts quickly, and certainly takes the photo quick enough to satisfy most users.
The S600 has defaults for all the camera settings that are very good. This is especially true of the auto white balance which worked well in many different lighting conditions. The camera performed extremely well in outdoor situations.
This is one of the first point-and-shoot cameras that we’ve tested that we didn’t feel compelled to change the settings to take everyday photos. The ability of this camera to take good pictures right out-of-the-box is sure to appeal to many casual photographers.
The user, however, may set many functions such as flash, exposure, white balance, ISO, color options, and macro mode. This gives more control to those who want it.
The color settings include vivid, black & white, sepia, cyanotype, and pastel. The vivid setting offered little difference from the regular color setting, but both were accurate and pleasing. The pastel setting is unique in digital cameras and produced a likable impressionistic feeling in the photos. The camera has face-priority detection that can find up to 5 faces and focuses on the closest.
Camera settings can be automatically optimized for any of the 15 different types including: Active Child, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Beach/snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Night Landscape, Close=up, Museum, Copy, Backlight, Image Mode.
The Active Child mode is an interesting one that many parents and grandparents will like. This mode frames a subject before shooting. The camera then tracks that subject as you shoot.
The Best Shot Selector is a great feature. Just select it from the menu and keep your finger pressed on the shutter release button. The camera will take 10 shots in a row and then will discard all expect the one that comes out the sharpest. If this mode were more accessible, it would be wonderful. As it is, you have to go through several clicks to turn it on and off.
The manual autofocus is wonderfully easy. After you select the manual autofocus in the menu you simple press the OK button in the middle of the dial and then use the dial to move the focus in the direction of your choice. The area of focus is shown on the screen by a small white square. This is more intuitive and easier than any other point-and-shoot camera that we have looked at.
One drawback is that the camera makes you confirm many of your choices, making you press OK to accept the choice. This means an extra click that won’t mean anything to some, but will be a big bother to others.
As you use the camera you find more interesting and useful features. For instance, if you want to just view the pictures that are stored on the camera you can simply press and hold down the play button for a few seconds and you will be able to view the photos without extending the lens. If you do that, however, you have to be sure to turn the camera off when you are finished. The green “on” light on the top of the camera will help you remember.
The Nikon rates the S600 battery for about 190 shots. If you will be taking more photos than that in one day, you will want to purchase an extra battery and keep it charged.