Nikon CoolPix S550
Simple, no-fuss compact camera
- Small and stylish build, 5x optical zoom with vibration reduction
- Somewhat soft pictures, noise not well controlled, sluggish performance
A decent but not noteworthy compact camera, the Nikon CoolPix S550 sports a 5x optical zoom with image stabilisation but it is let down a little in the image quality and speed departments.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
A relatively simple unit for users who want a stylish and petite compact camera, the Nikon CoolPix S550 is yet another competent but not particularly special camera. Its 10-megapixel (Mp) sensor captures decent images, but its performance is a little sluggish and will frustrate some users.
Our main problem with the pictures is that they come out a little soft. Our test software picked up some minor undersharpening. While the pictures were still detailed and looked fine at small and medium magnifications, we’d have liked a little more crispness from the 10Mp sensor. There was minimal purple fringing outdoors and little in the way of haloing on high-contrast edges; however, the lens did cause some significant detail loss towards the corners of the frame which was frustrating.
Colour balance was fairly typical for a mid-range compact. Most primaries were slightly oversaturated, creating a bright, vibrant look that suits lively outdoors shots and which will please most users. There is a custom white balance option as well as a variety of colour modes that help achieve the appropriate balance for a particular situation. We found exposure was relatively good, with adequate detail in dark areas and highlights well controlled.
Noise, however, was a big issue. Normally compacts are fine up to ISO 400 but begin to lose quality beyond that. The S550, however, began to produce significant noise beyond ISO 200, with everything at ISO 400 and above suffering prominent detail loss. By the time you hit ISO 1600 the shots are totally unusable, thus we wouldn’t recommend this unit for low-light shooting.
In our speed tests the S550 was a touch sluggish. Its shutter lag was a very impressive 0.05 seconds, but it took over three seconds to start up and about the same between shots, making spontaneous photography a challenge. The burst mode is basic but serviceable at two frames per second.
In terms of features, the S550 is pretty standard for a camera in its class. The 5x optical zoom lens is a nice touch and it’s supported by Nikon’s vibration reduction to help remove hand-shake. Aside from that there’s face detection with an accompanying smile mode, a variety of scene options and D-Lighting, which helps balance out exposure. As mentioned before, white balance can be adjusted using the presets or via the custom mode and there are a few basic focus modes to play around with as well.
One of the big selling points of this unit is its size. It is extremely petite considering the lens. At the same time, the dark metal body looks smooth and feels sturdy, making for an impressively designed unit. The controls are simple and the interface is easy to navigate, making it ideal for beginners who are just getting into photography.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 D-Link Taipan AC3200 Ultra tri-band modem-router review
- 3 BlackBerry Priv review: When old habits die hard
- 4 Dell XPS 13 (2016) review: Making the very best Ultrabook
- 5 Microsoft Surface Book review: The verdict on Microsoft's first notebook
Best Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
- Canon goes big on resolution with 250-megapixel sensor
- Hey, Saturn, take a selfie! World's biggest digital camera will photograph the universe
- GoPro Hero4 Session: half the size, waterproof to 10 metres
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Marketing Specialist | Media BuyerNSW
- CCJava DeveloperVIC
- CCIT Security EngineerNSW
- CCMaster SchedulerVIC
- FTHelpdesk support - Level 1VIC
- FTOracle System Integration Engineer - CANBERRASA
- CCOracle Project OfficerSA
- FTLinux AdministratorVIC
- FTFunctional Business Analyst - Commodities and FX DomainNSW
- CCProject Server Specialist / MS ProjectNSW
- CCOracle Developer - 3 month contractSA
- CCLevel 2 Helpdesk, Service Support- Remedy or SAP backgroundNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer | NV1 NV2 clearance | Defence projects | Immediate interviewACT
- CCMultiple Senior Business Analyst opportunitiesSA
- FTApplication Packaging & Deployments Team LeaderNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager - SecurityNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (JAVA/Crystal Report) 160115/AP/vhsAsia
- FTSenior Front End Developer Required Working World Leading Digital TeamVIC
- FTIT Technical LeadVIC
- CCSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- CC.NET DeveloperACT
- CCLync/Skype EngineerNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer 160120/AP/vvtAsia
- FTSenior Consultant | Project work | National Systems IntegratorNSW
- CCCommercial Manager - Strategy / Big Data - Telecommunications -NSW