Nikon puts Wi-Fi, anti-blur digicams in the frame
Compact camera cornucopia
Nikon today unveiled its latest assault on the digital compact camera market: seven new Coolpix models, including the 8.1 megapixel, shake-resistant and Wi-Fi enabled P3, and the slimline S5 and S6 with their "wave-surface design" - it's curved, in other words - and a supercharged slideshow facility.
The L2, L3 and L4 are aimed straight at the mainstream. Priced at £200/€245, £170/€212 and £130/€159, respectively, they each offer six, 5.1 and four megapixel resolutions. They have 3x optical zoom lenses with a 4x digital zoom. All three have SD slots to beef up the 23MB (L2 and L3) and 10MB (L4) of memory built into the cameras. Each has a 2in LCD viewfinder.
All three let you shoot movies at 640 x 480, 320 x 240 and 160 x 120, though the L4 doesn't record sound with them. They all support PictBridge for direct-to-printer output.
The P3 and P4 take the Coolpix family's resolution up to 8.1 megapixels. Both sport 3.5x zoom lenses with 4x digital zoom, and to prevent disappointing blurred shots they incorporate Nikon's latest vibration-reduction (VR) technology. There are two VR modes: one for everyday shaky-hand syndrome, the other to enable the camera to cope with moving subjects.
Both cameras include a 2.5in LCD to help frame shots. They have 23MB of internal memory, an SD slot to add more and a USB port to transfer shots to a computer or printer. The P3 also contains its own 802.11g Wi-Fi adaptor to send shots to a Mac or PC as they're taken.
The P3 will cost £350/€459, while the P4 will retail for around £330/€399.
The S5 and S6 are six megapixel devices with 3x optical and 4x digital zoom functions. The S5 has a 2.5in LCD viewfinder, but the S6's panel is a 3in job. Both cameras have around 20MB of internal memory - again, there's an SD card slot to increase that total.
The Pictmotion feature lets users show pictures, captured movies and background music, and apply a series of slideshow styles to them. Nikon said the camera recognises whether stills were taken with the camera held horizontally and vertically, and automatically reformats them when they're being shown on the LCD. Like the P3, the S6 has a built-in Wi-Fi adaptor.
The S5 and S6 will retail for around £300/€369 and £350/€459, respectively.
The L2, L3, P3 and S5 will all ship at the end of this month, Nikon said, with the L4, P4 and S6 coming mid-March. ®