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 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 2 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
- 4 Oppo A57 phone: full, in-depth review
- 5 Moto G5 Plus phone: full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- Huawei P10 smartphone review
- Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- CCIT Systems Administrator-Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- CCImplementation Manager/PlannerACT
- FTSolution ArchitectWA
- FTSoftware TesterACT
- FTTelecommunications Provisioning LeadQLD
- TPSenior Java Developer - Contract till June 2018QLD
- CCFront End DeveloperNSW
- CCData Scientists - MultipleACT
- TPProject Test ManagerQLD
- TPReporting DeveloperWA
- CCDeployment Manager - TelcoVIC
- TPSenior Project Manager - Digital Application CX TransformationNSW
- FTEnterprise ArchitectVIC
- TPEOI - JAVA DeveloperACT
- FTIT ManagerNSW
- FTSupport OfficerSA
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTInformation Security ArchitectQLD
- FTBusiness Intelligence Analyst - Microsoft BI Stack - NewcastleNSW
- CCOracle CCB DesignerVIC
- FTSoftware EngineerWA
- TPDelivery Coordinator - ProjectsQLD
- FTService Desk Analyst Level 2 SupportQLD