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Nikon Coolpix S4 Operation

Despite the Nikon Coolpix S4's limited exposure control, the camera offers a nice selection of external control buttons, making for an easy-to-navigate user interface. Flash mode, Self-Timer mode, Macro mode, zoom, Record mode, and an Erase function are all accessible via external controls. A slider on the top panel selects the main operating mode, and a multi-directional joystick-like controller on the back panel navigates through on-screen menus, in addition to accessing camera features directly. The LCD menu system is fairly short, with user-friendly icons in the Scene Assist modes. Operating this camera is so straightforward I doubt you'll need the manual for much more than reference. It shouldn't take more than a few minutes to get into the swing of things.

Record Mode LCD Display: In Record mode, the Coolpix S4's LCD reports limited status information, including camera modes, the resolution/quality setting, number of available images, etc. Half-pressing the Shutter button displays a green circle when focus is achieved. The camera doesn't show aperture or shutter speed information as some do. It does tell you when it thinks the image might become blurred by camera shake when it's forced to use a slow shutter speed. The Display button lets you choose between a viewfinder display of the subject by itself, or the subject with overlaid status information. Some scene mode options provide an overlaid grid as an aid to orienting the camera to your subject, while others offer subject outline as alignment aids for portraits, etc.

Playback Mode LCD Display: In Playback mode, the LCD reports the image series number, resolution/quality setting, file name and folder it's stored in on the memory card, and the date and time of image capture. It also displays an icon if the image is one that's been selected for quick download with Nikon's host software, as well as icons indicating that you can record an audio note to accompany the image or enable D-Lighting. A press of the Display button disables the information overlay. Pressing the "W" end of the zoom lever zooms out to a four-image thumbnail view of photos stored on the card. Pressing it a second time shows a nine-image thumbnail display. Pressing the zoom control in the telephoto direction zooms in as much as 10x on the subject, handy for checking image details and focus.

 

Nikon Coolpix S4 Modes and Menus

Auto Record Mode: Activated by sliding the Mode switch left to the Auto position (green camera icon), this mode places the camera in control of both aperture and shutter speed, as well as most other exposure features. Pressing the Menu button displays the following Shooting menu.:


Movie Mode: This mode is denoted by a movie camera icon on the Mode switch. Movie mode captures moving images at 15 frames per second for as long as the memory card has available space. (Provided that you have a fast enough memory card.) Pressing the Menu button pulls up the following options:


Scene Exposure Mode: The word "Scene" indicates this mode on the Mode switch. Sixteen preset scene modes are available, by pressing the Menu button. All of the scene modes preset a variety of camera options for you automatically, four of them offer additional options to help with framing your shots.

Playback Mode: Pressing the Playback button on the camera's back panel instantly enters Playback mode. Here, you can review captured images and movies, erase, enlarge, copy, and protect images, and also set them up for printing. Pressing the Menu button offers the following options:


Setup Mode: The following Setup menu is accessible from the top of almost all menus: