Nikon COOLPIX S570

Nikon COOLPIX S570 verdict

 

The Nikon COOLPIX S570 is a 12 Megapixel compact with a 5x optical zoom lens and a 2.7in LCD screen. On the face of it, it’s a mid-priced compact with a fairly pedestrian specification.

Though it lacks headline features like optical image stabilisation and HD video recording, the COOLPIX S570 is nonetheless a quality compact with a solid specification. Its 5x optical zoom provides a practical range of focal lengths from a respectable 28mm (equivalent) wide angle to a 140mm short telephoto.

In the race for image resolution, some 12 Megapixel compacts fail to match quantity with quality, but the S570 isn’t one of them. Its picture quality in our tests was on a par with cameras costing much more, so if image quality is more important to you than a specification that ticks all the boxes, this could turn out to be a good fit.

The COOLPIX S570 is very much a point-and-shoot camera, so if you like to get more involved with your picture making it may not be for you. Aside from the inclusion of manually-assisted focus (which seems a little out of place in what is otherwise a highly automated compact), there’s not a lot for you to take control of. There are no manual exposure options and although you can manually set the ISO sensitivity, switching it away from auto prevents you from using the electronic vibration reduction system, which processes images to alleviate camera shake.

Compared to Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS / PowerShot SD940 IS ELPH

 
 
     

The COOLPIX S570 and IXUS 120 IS / SD940 IS are superficially similar-looking cameras, though the Canon is slimmer and more attractive. As you’ll have seen from our image quality tests there’s little to choose beteween these two cameras in terms of picture quality and they have other similarities in terms of specification, with 12 Megapixel sensors and 2.7in LCD screens.

Both cameras start their zoom ranges at an equivalent of 28mm, but the COOLPIX S570 outguns the Canon at the telephoto end with 140mm compared with 112mm (equivalent). But in other areas the Canon compact outdoes the COOLPIX. Optical image stabilisation, HD video recording, a better LCD screen, faster flash recycling, an HDMI port, the choice of two compression settings at all image sizes, choice of metering modes, and, not to be underestimated, a more functional and better designed menu system.

If you do most of your picture taking in good light and aren’t interested in HD video, the remaining differences may not amount to enough to justify the additional cost IXUS 120 IS / SD940 IS. But it is undoubtedly a better camera than the COOLPIX S570, albeit a more expensive one. See our Canon IXUS 120 IS / PowerShot SD940 IS review for more details.

Compared to Canon Digital IXUS 200 IS / PowerShot SD980 IS ELPH

 
 
     

Comparing the COOLPIX S570 with the Canon IXUS 200 IS / SD 980 isn’t a straightforward task – these are two very different cameras. Lets start with what they have in common; they both take pictures of a comparable quality in terms of the amount of detail resolved by their respecteve lenses and recorded by their sensors.

In every other respect there’s a world of a difference between them. The IXUS 200 IS / SD980 is physically very different, with a longer body shape accommodating a 16:9 wide touchscreen LCD. Like the COOLPIX S570 it has a 5x zoom, but with a very different range starting from a 24mm (equivalent) super wide angle. We think this is much more useful than the additional telephoto reach of the COOLPIX S570, but it largely depends on what kind of photography you’re interested in.

The IXUS 200 IS / SD980 has all the same advantages over the COOLPIX S570 as does the IXUS 120 IS / SD940, namely optical image stabilisation, HD video recording and an HDMI port, not to mention a bigger, better touchscreen LCD panel and the rest. It is a camera that will appeal to those who want to shoot HD video as much as still images and who will be prepared to pay extra for that and the other advantages it offers over the COOLPIX S570. See our Canon IXUS 200 IS / SD980 IS review for more details.

Nikon COOLPIX S570 verdict

The Nikon COOLPIX S570 is a 12.1 Megapixel camera with a 5x optical zoom lens, and a 2.7in LCD screen that offers fully automatic operation with automatic scene selection and face detection. It’s a lightweight, reasonably stylish compact with a capable zoom range which includes wide-angle coverage.

The most oustanding thing about the COOLPIX S570 is its picture quality which in our outdoor real-life tests and gallery shots proved to be every bit as good as the more expensive cameras it was up against. The COOLPIX S570 has some significant shortcomings though, the most important of which is the ineffectiveness of its electronic VR (Vibration Reduction) technology which processes photos in the camera to reduce the effects of camera shake. Both this and the ‘motion reduction’ feature, which increases the ISO in low light to provide a faster shutter speed are no substitute for optical image stabilisation.

Aside from that, and some other niggles like a slow, fussy flash recycle sequence and being able to remove the card with the power on, the COOLPIX S570 is a capable mid-priced point-and-shoot compact that performs well and produces excellent quality results. If you can live without HD video and optical stabilisation, it’s a great camera for the money.



Good points
Excellent image quality.
Capable 5x zoom range with wide angle.
Manually assisted focussing.
Auto ISO range limit.

Bad points
No optical image stabilisation.
Ineffective electronic VR.
Card can be removed with power on.
No HD movie recording.


Scores

(relative to 2010 compacts)

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Image quality:
Handling:
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Overall:


16 / 20
18 / 20
16 / 20
15 / 20
18 / 20

83%

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