The Good Excellent color rendition and sharpness; quick shooting; slim, attractive design; excellent build quality; simple to use.
The Bad Few manual exposure controls; need to go through menu to change basic settings; notable vignetting, lens distortion, and processing artifacts.
The Bottom Line The Nikon Coolpix S5 is a stylish camera that offers great images, albeit with a somewhat basic feature set.
Nikon Coolpix S5
Nikon's Coolpix S5 is a slim, attractive 6-megapixel shirt-pocket camera that hits all the right design notes. Its 2.5-inch LCD screen, satin silver finish, and internally zooming 3X optical lens (35mm-to-105mm equivalent) will be a hit with style-conscious snapshooters, and its scrolling click wheel gives users an easy, MP3 player-like interface. The quick-shooting camera boasts very good build quality, color rendition, and sharpness, but some minor image flaws may disappoint eagle-eyed photographers. A simple feature set and basic shooting options will serve casual snapshooters, but they probably won't satisfy enthusiasts who like to tinker with settings.
At less than 1 inch thick and only slightly larger than a credit card, the Nikon Coolpix S5 is an excellent camera to slip into your pocket and take anywhere you go. It's very attractive as well, with gray lettering on a body of chrome-trimmed, satin silver metal. The front of the camera curves slightly in an S-shape, giving the body a sophisticated, slightly organic look. Even charging and syncing look cool, thanks to the camera's matching docking station. Build quality, as with most Nikons, is very solid.
The Coolpix S5's sleek, contoured body, bright 2.5-inch LCD, and recessed, internally zooming lens scream style rather than substance, and the camera doesn't seem to be designed with shooting efficiency in mind. The recessed power button, shutter release, and zoom rocker on the top edge of the camera are practically microscopic. They function well enough, but they clearly sacrifice comfort and accessibility for maintaining the S5's smooth lines.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.