Nikon S600 Review

 
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Nikon Coolpix S600 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to slightly slower than average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

1.0 second

Time it takes for LCD to turn on, lens to deploy and take a shot.

Shutdown

1.2 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds
(2 seconds buffer after 20 L/F JPEGs)

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.

The Nikon S600 tested with good startup and shutdown times.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.1 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

1.9 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

2.4 seconds

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

Mode switching times are also good.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.38 second

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

Full Autofocus Tele

0.48 second

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

Full Autofocus Wide,
Flash Enabled

0.67 second

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

Prefocused

0.188 second

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

Continuous AF
0.38 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects.

Shutter response is better than average at both wide angle and telephoto, at 0.38s and 0.48s respectively, and "prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.188 second. Very good results.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.08 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

2.01 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras don't 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

0.81 second (1.24 frames per second);
10 frames total;
1 second to clear

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

Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG

0.80 second (1.24 frames per second);
10 frames total;
1 second to clear

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

Flash recycling

5.6 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are a bit slower than average, at about 2.08 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, though the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. The Coolpix S600 also drags a little in its Continuous modes, capturing 10 large/fine frames at 1.24 frames per second before slowing down, regardless of resolution. The flash takes 5.6 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is about average.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

2,125 KBytes/sec

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

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are fast.

Bottom line, the Coolpix S600 won't be a good choice for sporting events or any fast-paced action, but is responsive enough for most family photo opportunities. It has slightly sluggish cycle times, but overall performance should be sufficient for normal shooting conditions.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Below average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
(CIPA standard)
190

The Nikon Coolpix S600 uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Battery life is a little below average, so we strongly recommend you pick up a spare battery (or two) and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the Nikon S600 is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), 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 Nikon Coolpix S600 accepts SD/SDHC memory cards (no card included), and has about 45MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
45MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
3,648 x 2,736
Images
8
14
File Size
5.4 MB
3.0 MB
3,072 x 2,304
Images
-
20
File Size
-
2.2 MB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
-
27
File Size
-
1.6 MB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
-
45
File Size
-
985 KB
1,024 x 768
Images
-
147
File Size
-
305 KB
640 x 480
Images
-
294
File Size
-
153 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/SDHC memory card at least a 2GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video with the Nikon S600. (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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