Nikon CoolPix S52

A basic Nikon compact

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Nikon CoolPix S52
  • Nikon CoolPix S52
  • Nikon CoolPix S52
  • Nikon CoolPix S52
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • Minimal chromatic aberration, stylish design

Cons

  • Extremely slow at times, pictures somewhat grainy

Bottom Line

Nikon's CoolPix S52 is a decent and quite stylish digital camera. It looks great and takes fairly good photos, although they have some noise issues and the camera's performance is painfully slow at times.

Would you buy this?

Identical in many ways to the CoolPix S52c we reviewed a little while ago but without Wi-Fi connectivity, the Nikon CoolPix S52 is a decent but not outstanding compact camera. It has a stylish design and some basic features, but suffers a little in terms of speed and general performance, making it somewhat of a trial to use.

Like the CoolPix S52c, this unit sports a 9-megapixel (Mp) sensor. It does a fine job when taking basic photos and will produce prints that will look good at small and medium magnifications, but they have some issues that become noticeable at large sizes.

Photos are generally quite crisp and clear, although we have seen some 8Mp models that outperform this unit in terms of detail. Edges tended to be sharp and there were no signs of over- or under-sharpening. Chromatic aberration was also well controlled, with only slight haloing on high-contrast edges and no visible softening towards the edges of the frame. There was some fairly prominent purple fringing outdoors but we didn't find it too distracting.

The big issue we had was with image noise. Even at ISO 100 and 200 there was some noticeable graininess. It was light and small, but was still quite obvious when looking at the images at their native size. At ISO 400 the noise became blotchier and more colourful but images were still usable until ISO 800, where some detail loss began to creep in.

Colour balance was fairly standard for a compact camera, with strongly saturated hues, particularly the primary colours. Everything looked bright and vibrant and the balance should suit most consumers. Exposure wasn't handled quite as well, however, with a strong disparity between light and dark and some detail loss in shadowed areas.

Where the S52 really falls down is speed. Despite not having a large lens, the unit takes 3-4 seconds to power up, which is unacceptable. The shutter is also extremely sluggish, exhibiting 0.2 seconds of lag. Shot-to-shot time was slightly speedier at 2.2 seconds, but the burst mode is somewhat slow at two frames per second.

The features available are pretty standard for a Nikon compact. It has Nikon's best-shot selector, which is essentially a bracketing mode, along with Face Detect. You can also adjust the colour style, as well as focus mode but that's about it in terms of creativity.

Aesthetically, the S52 is stylish and smooth looking. It has a slightly wave shaped silver face and a gloss black back, which should help it appeal to the fashion-conscious buyer. It is also slim enough to slide easily into a pocket. The controls are fairly standard, with the directional pad doubling as a scroll wheel for easy navigation. The interface could use a little work, but on the whole it is intuitive and easy to understand.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?