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A cavalcade of compact cameras from Nikon

Nikon has announced several new compact point-and-shoot cameras in its Coolpix L and S series.

Nikon Coolpix S600

Nikon has unveiled a pack of pocketable point-and-shoot cameras for style-minded users. These new Nikon Coolpix cameras all feature ultracompact, all-metal bodies, and range from a sub-$200 budget shooter to a feature-laden $300 model.

The Coolpix S210 presents the least expensive of the Coolpix S-cameras. It fits an 8-megapixel sensor and a 3x optical zoom lens into a 3/4-inch-thick aluminum body, making it very pocket-friendly. Its 2.5-inch screen is smaller than the L18's, but it makes up for its size with a high resolution and a 170-degree viewing angle. The Coolpix S210 also ships in March with a retail price of $180, and will be available in black, bronze, plum, and blue versions.

Optical image stabilization bumps the Coolpix S520 past the $200 point, making it the most expensive of Nikon's new 8-megapixel point-and-shoots. It keeps the same 2.5-inch LCD and 3x optical zoom magnification as the S210, but the addition of Nikon's Optical Vibration Reduction feature gives it an edge in low-light and high-speed shots. The Coolpix S520 ships in February, with a suggested price of $230.

Also retailing for about $230, the Coolpix S550 forgoes optical stabilization for a larger lens and higher resolution. The S550 features a 10-megapixel sensor and a 5x optical zoom lens, though it only offers Nikon's Electronic Vibration Reduction image stabilization. Instead of shifting the lens itself, electronic image stabilization boosts ISO sensitivity and quickens the shutter to reduce shake. This camera also incorporates Nikon's Smile Mode and Blink Warning, features that can automatically take photos when subjects smile, and warn users when subjects blink. The Coolpix S550 ships in February, and will be available in blue, red, and black.

The Coolpix S600 presents most advanced member of Nikon's latest wave of Coolpix S-series cameras. The 10-megapixel S600 features a 28 to 112mm-equivalent 4x optical zoom that incorporates optical image stabilization to reduce shake. It sports a 2.7-inch LCD screen, and can reach up to ISO 3,200 sensitivity, the highest of any of the new Coolpix S-cameras. Nikon claims that the S600 has the fastest start-up time of any camera in its class at 0.7 second, though we won't know until we test it for ourselves. The slate black Nikon Coolpix S600 ships in March, with a suggested retail price of $300.