Nikon is quietly confident that the Coolpix S210 will be this year's smash hit when it comes to consumer-friendly point-and-shoots. We took a look at the S210, S520 and S600 at the Focus On Imaging camera show -- in picturesque Birmingham -- to see which we think deserves to fly off the shelves.
The S210 is an 8-megapixel compact. It boasts a 3x zoom Nikkor lens with a slightly underwhelming 35mm equivalent focal length of 38-114mm. The 64mm (2.5-inch) screen is par for the course.
The redeeming feature of the S210 is that it's very slim indeed. The aluminium frame feels solid yet feather-light, and is rounded out by the delight of camera control that is the CoolPix signature scroll wheel.
A fun scroll wheel does not a classic compact make, and there's more than a hint of style over substance here. As is traditional with most technology, the manufacturer has compensated for an underwhelming set of specs by offering a wide range of colours for the easily distracted. So you can have the S210 in silver -- if you're boring; pink or purple -- if you're a girl; blue or red -- if you're a boy; or urban black -- if you're a rapper. Boys, girls and rappers can get the S210 now for less than £150. Click through for more Nikons from FOI. -Rich Trenholm
Update: Read our full Nikon Coolpix S600 review.
We think the 8-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S520 may well shift some units his year, but if you're unwrapping it come next birthday you may want to ask if they kept the receipt. It comes with the usual 3x zoom and 64mm monitor, but we were underwhelmed by the screen performance. A quick look at the specs reveals that the screen packs 153,000 dots rather than the by-now standard 230,000.
Still, at least you get lens-shifting image stabilisation. And you have the choice of urban black, purple and pink colours, as well as magenta -- for girls who don't like purple -- and light bronze, if you're from Ancient Greece, or something.
Now this is more like it. The Nikon Coolpix S600 is a 10-megapixel beast with a 4x zoom lens that fits in a comparatively vista-like 28mm equivalent focal length. Image stabilisation is optical, and the start-up time needly had our hand off.
Almost as if admitting that the more colour choices you have, the more rubbish your camera is, Nikon is offering the S600 in black. Just black. Slate black, no less. That's right. This camera is the colour of rock. So rappers won't be interested, presumably.
The S600 is available online now for about £225. Stick it on your wishlists now.