Nikon CoolPix S610c

10-megapixel camera with built-in Wi-Fi.

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Nikon CoolPix S610c

Pros

  • Wireless connectivity, good colour balance, incredibly fast start-up time

Cons

  • High levels of chromatic aberration, high shutter lag and slow shot-to-shot time, slow wireless transfers

Bottom Line

Nikon's CoolPix S610c is a solid compact camera with a few notable problems. It takes fairly good snaps and has wireless connectivity; however, uploading photos can be slow. The camera itself is incredibly slow at times, which makes for a frustrating user experience.

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Similar in many ways to the COOLPIX S610 that we recently reviewed, the Nikon CoolPix S610c has the same pros and cons as its cheaper brother but comes with wireless connectivity as an added bonus. Its images are good without being great and its feature set is standard for a compact unit. However, like some other Nikon units, it is painfully slow at times, which really cripples the overall user experience.

Sporting a 10-megapixel sensor, the S610c is middle of the road in terms of compact cameras these days. It also has a 28-112mm, wide-angle lens, which is quite useful. On the whole the images captured had good resolution and detail. They were slightly soft, which some users may not appreciate, but the level of clarity will be fine for most print sizes.

The only issue we encountered in this regard was high levels of chromatic aberration. There was noticeable purple fringing in our outdoor test shots and some minor softening towards the corners of the frame. We also spotted a tiny bit of barrel distortion at the widest extension of the lens, but it wasn't severe.

Colour reproduction was excellent, with accurate hues and minimal over-saturation. As we always point out, compact cameras usually struggle in this area, blowing out primary colours to create a more vivid, lively shot. The S610's pictures were still rich and vibrant but without the over-saturation we're used to.

The camera's noise performance was unsurprising. At ISO 100 and ISO 200 there was no grain to speak of. ISO 400 saw a light speckling appear but it didn't really affect the clarity of photos. At ISO 800 there was a dramatic drop in sharpness and anything above that probably isn't worth pursuing.

Speed was the area the S610 really fell down. It actually exhibits one of the fastest start-up times we've ever seen: it's up and ready to go in exactly a second. However, its shutter lag is extremely sluggish at 0.2 seconds and shot-to-shot time can exceed three seconds, which makes it frustrating to use. The burst mode is also a little on the slow side, snapping 1.9 frames per second.

Anyone who is familiar with Nikon's product naming knows the "c" on the end indicates a unit with wireless capabilities. The process has been streamlined a little compared to past units. You can simply enter a network key and be on your way. It is definitely easier to use than before, and once you're online you can upload your pictures to Nikon's My Picture Town servers. The transfers seemed a little slow, however, which may be a problem if you have a large album to upload.

Its other features are standard compact camera fare, including as face detection, a smattering of scene modes and some basic colour, focus and metering options. There is also a custom white balance, which is a nifty addition, but there is nothing in the way of manual shooting modes.

Stylistically the S610 is fine but nothing special. We liked the matte black colour scheme but it is a little bulkier than some competing compacts, which will sway some users. The controls feel a little loose but the click wheel is nice and responsive and everything is intuitive, making it ideal for novice photographers.

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