Nikon S10 Review

 
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Nikon Coolpix S10 Performance


Timing and Performance

Overall somewhat slow speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

1.9 seconds

Time it takes for camera to boot

Shutdown

1.5 seconds

How long it takes to shut down

Buffer clearing time

1 second

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Mode switching

Play to Record,
first shot

0.5 seconds

Time until first shot is captured

Record to play

4.0 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture

Display
recorded image

1.0 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Shutter response (Lag Time):

Full Autofocus Wide

0.74 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.76 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Prefocused

0.075 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
3.12 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

1.94 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No; Yes with flash

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.82 second (1.22 frames per second);
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first

Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG

0.58 second (1.74 frames per second);
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first

Flash recycling

3.5 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

894 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

The Nikon Coolpix S10's performance ranged from average to somewhat slow, depending on the task at hand. Start-up time is reasonable considering the long lens, but not fast. Shutter lag at wide angle and telephoto settings is fair, at telephoto zoom it's on the slow side of average, but "prefocus" times (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure) are better, with a shutter delay of only 0.075 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are quite slow, at about 3.12 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera captures frames continuously at this rate. Times are a little better for the lowest resolution setting, at 1.94 seconds. Continuous-mode speed is on the slower side, at a bit over one frame/second, though the camera seems to capture frames continuously at this rate for as long as the memory has space. The flash recycles at about 3.5 seconds after a full-power shot, however. Connected to a computer, download speeds are fast, so you won't feel a need for a separate card reader. Bottom line, the Coolpix S10 is a bit sluggish overall, and most likely not quite up to the challenge for capturing action shots, but should handle most average conditions fairly well.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Modest battery life with the included LiIon rechargeable battery.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
LiIon rechargeable battery
300

The Nikon Coolpix S10 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power, and a charger is included with the camera. Because battery life is only fair, I strongly recommend picking up a spare battery and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Coolpix S10 accepts SD/MMC memory cards, though no card is included; 16MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
16MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
2,816 x 2,112
Images
5
10
File Size
3.1MB
1.6MB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
-
20
File Size
-
864KB
1,024 x 768
Images
-
68
File Size
-
254KB
640 x 480
Images
-
128
File Size
-
136KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/MMC memory card at least a 512MB card, preferably a 1 or 2GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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