The Bottom Line
My Nikon Coolpix S50 review shows a digital camera that offers a nice mixture of features in a stylish camera body. The S50's two best features, a 3.0-inch LCD and a camera body measuring only 0.8 inches in thickness, give it an edge over many other models. Response times could be a little better, but this model will work well for a variety of photographers looking for an entry-level model. With a current price of about $200, the S50 compares favorably to other models in its price range.
- Good overall feature list and image quality
- LCD is big, bright, and sharp
- Extremely thin camera body is a stylish model
- Zoom lens never extends outside camera body
- S50 compares favorably to other models in its price range
- Camera body can be tough to hold without blocking lens
- Response times could be a little better with the S50
- Many other digital cameras have larger zoom lens
- Resolution: 7.2 megapixels
- Optical zoom: 3X (38-114mm equivalent)
- LCD: 3.0-inch, 230,000 pixels
- Maximum image size: 3072x2304
- Battery: Rechargeable Li-ion
- Dimensions: 3.6 x 2.3 x 0.8 inches
- Weight: 4.4 oz. (without battery and memory card)
- Image sensor: 1/2.5-inch CCD
Guide Review - Nikon Coolpix S50 Review
With 7.2 megapixels of resolution, the S50 can create images large enough for most beginner photographers. Image quality is good across the board with the S50, both with indoor and outdoor photos. The tiny built-in flash unit works pretty well up to 7-8 feet, but you'll need to be careful that you don't block the flash with your fingers when trying to hold the thin camera body of the S50.
This model's 3X optical zoom lens is below average compared to other digital cameras, but, considering the lens does not extend beyond the camera's body at any point, a 3X zoom is an impressive feat.
Compared to some newer ultra-thin digital camera models, the Coolpix S50 has only an average feature list. However, Nikon has dropped the unit's price to around $200, meaning it compares favorably to other models in its price range.
The S50's startup time is about average at 3-4 seconds. Overall, its response times and shot-to-shot delays are about average.
You won't find a viewfinder with the S50. Fortunately, the unit's 3.0-inch LCD screen is sharp and easy to see in all external lighting conditions. It's one of the better LCDs you'll find on a sub-$200 camera.
Considering the S50 is an ultra-thin camera measuring 0.8 inches in thickness, it shouldn't be a surprise that this model isn't the easiest to hold comfortably and use. Compounding the problem is the fact that the S50's lens is in the upper right corner of the front of the camera body, which means you'll sometimes inadvertently block the lens with your fingers.
The S50 is one of the sharpest-looking entry-level digital cameras on the market. Nikon has made it available in four colors, silver, black, red, and beige. Because its zoom lens does not extend beyond the camera body, the S50 remains thin, even when in use. It fits easily in a pocket.