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Nikon Coolpix S5200 Preview

by Mike Tomkins
Posted 01/28/2013

Looking for an affordable camera that's pocket-friendly, and makes it as easy as possible to get your images out of the camera, and onto social networks where friends and family can see them? Nikon's Coolpix S5200 aims to fit the bill, with a price tag of just US$180, a sleek body that's relatively free of protrusions, and built-in Wi-Fi connectivity.

Of its features, it's that Wi-Fi radio that will likely prove the most attractive to prospective users. It allows you to quickly and easily transfer images and videos directly to compatible smart devices, using a free Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application that's available for Android and iOS devices. 

At its heart, the Nikon S5200 is based around a 16.0 megapixel, backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor. Its sensitivity spans a useful range from ISO 125 to 3,200 equivalents. The sensor still sits behind a 6x optical zoom lens whose 35mm-equivalent focal range spans everything from 26 to 156mm equivalents. (The actual range is 4.6 to 27.6mm.) That's enough for a fairly generous wide angle, and a modest telephoto. Maximum aperture starts from f/3.5 at wide angle, and falls to f/6.5 at telephoto. Thankfully, Nikon has included Vibration Reduction to fight blur from camera shake, which will help you get the shot in tricky lighting conditions despite the rather dim lens, if your subject isn't too fast-moving.

On the rear panel is a three inch LCD monitor, while on the front panel there's a built-in flash strobe, which will also do its part to help out in low-light shooting for nearby subjects. Helping to get them in focus (and keep them there), there's a target-finding autofocus function.

To make the camera more approachable, Nikon has included Best Smile Selector and Easy Auto mode. Best Smile Selector automatically detects by which shot your subject is most flattered, so you can discard the other shots. Nikon has also included a selection of Quick Effects functions that help get your creative juices flowing, plus a Glamor Retouch function that helps you to tweak portrait photos. And as well as stills, you can also shoot high-definition videos, although we don't yet have any details regarding resolution, frame rate, etc. 

The Nikon S5200 includes USB 2.0 High-Speed data connectivity. Images and movies are stored on Secure Digital cards, including the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC types. There's also a not-very-generous 25MB of internal memory, enough for a few life-saving shots if you accidentally leave the house without a flash card, but you'll need to pick those shots carefully.

Power comes from a proprietary EN-EL19 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack, and both battery and charger are included in the product bundle. Nikon says that the Coolpix S5200 will be capable of capturing just 160 shots on a charge, so you'll definitely want to pick up a spare battery or two.

Available from February 2013, the Nikon Coolpix S5200 is priced at around US$180. Four body colors will be available: plum, red, blue, or black.