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A cacophony of Coolpix cameras

Nikon has a handful of new cameras on the way

Nikon Coolpix S50c

It's spring, and new cameras are in the air. With the PMA expo in Las Vegas early next month, companies are already announcing their newest cameras. Nikon just revealed a handful of compact shooters to use when it's finally warm enough to leave the house again.

If you were to put the Coolpix S50 and the S50c next to each other, you probably wouldn't be able to tell them apart. They look alike, they shoot alike, they have the same 7-megapixel sensors, 3x lenses with mechanical image stabilization, and 3-inch LCD screens. Despite these similarities, these two models have one important distinction between them: the Coolpix S50c has Wi-Fi networking capabilities. Like the Coolpix S7c before it, the S50c can use any open Wi-Fi hot spot (and some subscription-based hot spots) to e-mail photos, store them online, or upload them to a local computer. The Coolpix S50c will come with a subscription to Nikon's Coolpix Connect 2 service, which offers email functions and two gigabytes of online storage for photos taken on the S50c. The Nikon Coolpix S50 and S50c ship in April with respective prices of $300 and $350.

Nikon Coolpix S500

While the Coolpix S200 and S500 lack the S50c's Wi-Fi capabilities, their sleek designs and useful features make them appropriate peers of the S50. The S200 and S500 are nearly identical cameras, with 7-megapixel sensors and 3x lenses. Their bodies are all metal, with the S200 sporting a brushed-aluminum finish and the S500 featuring a stainless steel shell. The S500 also includes mechanical image stabilization, a feature its aluminum counterpart lacks. The Coolpix S200 and S500 will ship in March with respective price tags of $250 and $300. They won't be as easy to find as the S50 and S50c, though; the S200 and S500 will mostly be available in specialty photography stores.

Nikon also has three new budget cameras on the way in the form of the Coolpix L10, the Coolpix L11, and the Coolpix L12. These inexpensive shooters offer 5, 6, and 7 megapixels, respectively, they feature standard 3x lenses, and all use AA batteries. The L10 has a small 2-inch LCD screen,while the L11 and L12 include 2.4- and 2.5-inch screens. The L12 also features mechanical image stabilization, further justifying its price being almost twice the L10's. The NIkon Coolpix L10, Coolpix L11, and Coolpix L12 ship in March and will retail for about $120, $150, and $200, respectively.