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The Nikon Coolpix S52 is a stylish, pocket-friendly digital camera that's very closely related to another digicam alongside which it was announced, the Nikon Coolpix S52c. Where the Nikon S52c offers wireless connectivity though, the Nikon S52 drops this feature in the interest of saving a little cost. The two cameras are largely similar otherwise, however.

The Nikon S52 has an effective sensor resolution of 9.0 megapixels, and in front of the sensor sits a prism-folded 3x optical zoom lens. With Nikkor branding prominent, the lens doesn't need to extend from the camera body on power up thanks to that prism. Instead its entire workings are located safely inside the camera body - hopefully offering improved reliability and a slight power savings since there's no need to extend or retract the lens when the Nikon S52 is powered on or off. 35mm-equivalent focal lengths range from a rather tight 38mm wide angle through to a 114mm telephoto. Focusing is possible down to just 4.6 cm. (1.6 in.) in macro mode. Usefully, the Nikon S52's lens also offers true optical image stabilization, to help fight the effects of camera shake.

Thanks to Nikon's EXPEED image processor, sensitivity ranges from a minimum of ISO 100 equivalent to a maximum of ISO 3,200 equivalent, with Auto ISO mode able to select from 100 to 800 equivalents. A special High Sensitivity shooting mode allows for sensitivities from 100 to 2000 under the camera's control. Other shooting features include face-priority autofocus capable of detecting up to five faces in a scene and then ensure these are properly focused, plus Nikon's D-Lighting and In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, all as seen in many of the company's past cameras. The Niko S52 also includes what Nikon calls the "Pictmotion function", which allows movies and photos to be used to create in-camera slide shows, while musical accompaniment can be imported from Apple's iTunes app.

Images are framed and reviewed on a 3.0" LCD display with 230,000 pixel resolution - the only choice, since there's no optical viewfinder on the Nikon Coolpix S52. There's 38MB of internal memory on which to store your images, and the Nikon S52 also accepts Secure Digital memory cards. Power comes from a proprietary EN-EL8 Lithium Ion battery pack rated as good for 200 photos on a charge. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 High-Speed for data transfer to computers and the like, and AV output connectivity (type unspecified).

The Nikon Coolpix S52 will ship in the USA from May 2008, priced at US$249.95. The product bundle includes Nikon's COOLPIX Software Suite, and the Nikon S52 will be available in either Crimson Red and Midnight Black.