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Nikon Coolpix S80 Overview

Posted: 09/07/2010

The Nikon Coolpix S80 features a sleek, ultracompact body housing a roomy, high-res 819,000-dot 3.5-inch Organic LED display that occupies nearly the entire rear panel. Thanks to the touchscreen, the Nikon S80 has only one physical button on the camera body - the shutter release button. The camera powers on and off by sliding its lens barrier horizontally to expose or conceal its Nikkor-branded 5x optical zoom lens. The lens includes true optical image stabilization, and offers focal lengths ranging from a rather tight 35mm equivalent wide angle to a useful 175mm equivalent telephoto. Sensor resolution is fourteen megapixels, and the S80's CCD image sensor offers sensitivity up to ISO 3,200 equivalent at full resolution, or ISO 6,400 equivalent at three megapixels or below.

The Coolpix S80's touchscreen user interface allows for some pretty intuitive features. Users can simply touch a subject on the Nikon S80's screen to lock focus and exposure when shooting, and the touch of a fingertip can scroll or zoom when in playback mode. The electrostatic capacitive touch-panel is multi-touch capable, meaning that it cam detect multiple fingers touching the screen at once. This allows for gestures similar to those used on Apple's popular iPhone, such as "pinching" the screen to control zooming in or out. Switching between images is achieved with a swipe of the finger, and the user interface includes touch-friendly features like on-screen sliders to control the effect of the camera's scene modes.

Nikon's Easy Auto mode gives the camera the ability to automatically select the correct scene mode for the situation, from a subset of six scene modes. The Nikon Coolpix S80 also offers face detection-related functionality comprising Face-Priority AF, an In-Camera Red-Eye Fix function, Skin Softening tool, a Smile Timer function which only captures an image when your subject is smiling, and a Blink Proof function that lets you know if your subjects' eyes weren't open. The S80 can recognize up to twelve faces in a scene simultaneously.

The S80 also offers a high-definition 720p (1,280 x 720 pixel) movie mode, with stereo audio. It also includes a high-definition HDMI video output, for viewing images and movies on high definition displays. A rechargeable EN-EL10 Lithium Ion battery is included with the Coolpix S80, and should yield 150 shots on a charge. Secure Digital cards, including the latest-generation SDHC and SDXC types, can be used to store images and movies.

The Nikon Coolpix S80 will be available in red, black, blue, pink, gold and two-tone silver / brown. It is due to ship in the USA from fall 2010, with pricing of about $330.