Performance was a mixed bag. Cramming so many pixels onto a small CCD means that noise can be problem, and at ISO 400, noise begins to become apparent. At ISO 6400, it’s awful. Not only was the AF system slow but we were surprised at the number of frames that were out of focus, even though the AF indicator suggested the subject was in focus.
It takes decent photos, but Nikon can do better than this
The lens was also disappointing at the wide angle setting, offering the equivalent of a 37mm lens on a 35mm camera. On the plus side, colour reproduction was good and the VR image stabilisation system does help keep things rock steady at the extreme end of the zoom. The panorama feature works well, although it’s a shame that the stitching isn’t done in-camera, so you can review the results in the field.
With a recommended price tag of almost £300, the Nikon Coolpix S630 is no budget offering, but when compared with other models in the same price bracket, it doesn’t offer a great deal more. Sure, you get a 7x optical zoom, but we think a model offering a 4x or 5x zoom with a wider angle setting would be a more appealing prospect.
Other than that, there’s not a lot that makes the Coolpix S630 stand out from the crowd. There’s no HD movie recording, limited manual control and there are a number of handling issues. You’ll get decent images in most cases, but little improvement over a camera offering 10Mp performance. This isn’t a bad camera, it’s just we expected rather a lot more from brand like Nikon. ®
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Nikon Coolpix S630
Realistic photo examples?
It's all well and good taking test photos of bright sunny days, but I imagine most Reg readers take, for the most part, the kinds of photos I do: shots of our friends and family. These photos are often taken - gasp - indoors.
I have a Coolpix S560 and it is utterly incapable of taking a clear, unblurred shot indoors on the automatic settings. "I think there's something wrong with your camera" is something I've heard a lot. Now yes, I can bump up the ISO by going through a few menus. But if I'm going to make my own judgments about light for every shot I may as well use an old 35mm Nikon.
Is this camera an improvement? Who knows!
Come on Reg - let's see some real-world photos. We don't all spend all our time in sunny parks, much as we might like that.
# HA HA
£100 cheaper does everything here better and HD video...