Nikon Coolpix S210 digital camera

Nikon's DSLRs are renowned for being best in class, but what about its entry-level snapper - the Coolpix S210? We got snapping to find out.

The Coolpix S210 is a small compact camera that offers you a basic point and shoot experience.

Packing 8-megapixels in its metal shell, you get a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, 3x optical zoom and an ISO settings up to 2000.

Available in a choice of Bright Silver, Urban Black, Pink, Blue, Purple, or Red body colours, the camera is clearly aimed at the entrant to the photography world and the easy-to-use and well-placed buttons next to the screen at the back of the camera confirm this. There are no fiddly dials, no confusing menu systems.

Pressing "Mode" gives you the choice of automatic, the high ISO setting, scene modes, use of the voice recorder to take notes, movie mode and settings.

Tech specs include electronic VR (Vibration Reduction) image stabilization, improved Face-priority AF, In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, D-Lighting, 15 scene modes, a macro shooting from 10cm, three movie modes with sound, plus time-lapse movie mode, 52MB of internal memory and PictBridge support.

Nikon say you'll be able to get approximately 220 shots with the included battery and in our tests, although hard to test due to use of zoom and flash, it gave us a good couple of days testing before it cried out for battery.

Simple to use, but what about the image quality?

Luckily the simple approach is also found images the S210 takes. Lag time is kept to a minimum (guaranteed you are using a decent SD card) and overall we are impressed with the results.

Contrasting colours are managed well (see blue and white sign) however we did find that images where on the soft side of things at times.

Overall though the image quality is great unless you are planning on creating large poster size shots, at which point this might not be your best option. However down the pub and out with the kids on your travels, this compact should be more than fine.

Verdict

Small, tough and capable of giving you good results the Coolpix S210 is a good point and shoot snapper that neither too large in size or too expensive in price.

There is a reason Nikon believe this to be the hero product for Christmas and we have had trouble faulting it.