Nikon is world-famous for its high-end, professional cameras, but it’s always struggled to break into the consumer market where rival brands have a much stronger following. In an attempt to crack this lucrative market, the company has launched a new ultra-compact – the Nikon Coolpix S200.
The Nikon Coolpix S200 is by far the smallest camera that Nikon has produced to date and is as small, light and thin as anything else on the market, which is always a good start.
One thing you can expect when you buy a Nikon-branded camera is great build quality, and the Nikon Coolpix S200 certainly lives up to its name. Weighing in at a pretty standard 125g, the Nikon Coolpix S200 feels meatier than some of its rivals. There’s no obvious use of cheap, lightweight materials, either.
This beautifully understated camera is also, unlike some compact cameras, quite speedy. There’s minimal shutter lag, which can be reduced to a more than satisfactory speed by simply pre-focusing. This works especially well in low-light conditions, where the Nikon Coolpix S200 had some slight focusing problems that slowed the shot process – but not to an unacceptable level.
Navigating through settings can be a little fiddly. The Nikon Coolpix S200 is crying out for an auto shot button and one or two tricks to distinguish itself among some very good rivals.
Images produced by the Nikon Coolpix S200 are crisp and clear. It even copes well in low light and at high ISO levels. The few functions that the Nikon Coolpix S200 does have combine to give a well-rounded compact that will cope reasonably well in most situations.
Nikon’s first attempt at a consumer compact is good. It has produced a good looking, good quality, good value camera. But with some strong competition, good is simply not good enough.