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Nikon Coolpix S5100 Overview

Posted: 08/17/2010

The Nikon Coolpix S5100 is a followup to last year's S570 model, and features a sleek, compact body housing a 2.7-inch LCD with 230,000 dot resolution. The Nikon S5100 offers twelve megapixels of resolution, and couples this with a new Expeed C2 image processor, plus a Nikkor-branded 5x optical zoom lens that yields focal lengths ranging from a useful 28mm-equivalent wide angle to a 140mm-equivalent telephoto. Sensitivity from the CCD imager ranges up to a maximum of ISO 3,200 equivalent at full resolution, and unlike its predecessor, the S5100 includes true optical VR image stabilization. Macro shooting is possible as close as 0.8 inches, and the S5100 also includes both face detection, and tracking autofocus.

Ease-of-use features in the S5100 include in-camera picture editing, red-eye fix, and skin softening, helping users get good results without the need for a computer. Nikon's Scene Auto Selector mode gives the camera the ability to automatically select the correct scene mode for the situation - be it a landscape, portrait, or perhaps a macro photo. When in portrait mode, the Nikon Coolpix S5100 also offers both a smile timer function wherein the camera automatically releases the shutter when the subject of your photo smiles, as well as a blink warning that displays a message on-screen if your subject's eyes weren't open. A new auto tripod detection function determines when the camera is handheld or tripod-mounted, and then automatically uses appropriate shutter speeds and ISO sensitivities to ensure clear shots.

In addition to still images, the S5100 can capture high definition 720p movie clips at 30 frames per second. Both SD and SDHC memory cards can be used to store images and movies, but not the latest SDXC types. A rechargeable EN-EL10 Lithium Ion battery is included with the Coolpix S5100, and should yield 200 shots on a charge -- twenty less than in the previous camera.

The Nikon Coolpix S5100 is available in a choice of six colors -- silver, black, pink, purple, blue, and red. It should ship in the USA from October 2010 with pricing of about $180, identical to the launch pricing of its predecessor.