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Nikon Coolpix S6200 review:

Nikon Coolpix S6200

If you like shooting close-ups, the S6200 does OK. It can focus as close as 4 inches from a subject, but the 16-megapixel resolution will let you enlarge for a closer look. You'll need plenty of light and/or a tripod to keep the ISO low for the best results, but even still subjects will be somewhat soft and could use some sharpening with software.

Shooting performance is fairly mediocre. Shutter lag, for example, is half a second when shooting in good light and 1.2 seconds in low-light conditions. And that's when I could get it to focus. During my testing I found myself regularly prefocusing over and over to get a clear shot. That might be acceptable if you're shooting stationary subjects like landscapes and architecture, but not active kids and pets. It takes about 2.1 seconds to go from off to first shot, but it's not bad shot to shot, taking an average of 1.2 seconds; turning on the flash drags that out to 3.5 seconds, though. It can continuously shoot for six photos at a rate of 1.2 frames per second.

Nikon S6200 controls
Despite the camera's small size, the controls are easy to press.

The best thing going for the S6200 is its design. Available in five colors, the metal body has a nice feel to it and is for the most part comfortable to use even at its small size. It's only an inch thick, so it can easily slip in a pants pocket--something you couldn't really do with a 10x zoom camera a few years ago.

The controls on back are small but nicely raised from the body making them easy to press with some clicky feedback. There is a one-touch record button for movies, too, so you don't need to switch modes before you capture clips. Nikon dropped the screen size and resolution from this camera's predecessor, the S6100. Like much of this camera, it's OK for what you're paying, but nothing special. Despite the lower resolution, though, setting and menu text are sharp and easy to read. The camera, like most of Nikon's Coolpix models, is simple to operate. You'll still want to read the full manual (included as a PDF file on a CD), but straight from the box you'll be able to start shooting without much trouble.

The S6200's battery is charged in camera via USB. It'll last for about 200 shots and some short movie clips before you need to recharge, but that takes about 3 hours by wall adapter. Of course, that means you won't be able to shoot during that time. The battery compartment, memory card slot, and Micro-USB port are all on the bottom; Mini-HDMI port is on the right side for connecting to an HDTV or monitor.

If you need a simple pocket camera with a wide, long lens for casual snapshots of still subjects in good lighting, the Nikon Coolpix S6200 is an option.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)  
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS8
Canon PowerShot SX130 IS
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-H70
Nikon Coolpix S6200

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in fps)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test digital cameras.

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