Nikon S7c Review

 
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Nikon Coolpix S7c Optics


Lens

Zoom
Pretty good results with the 3x optical zoom, though with some blurring in the sides and corners of the frame.

35mm 105mm 4x Digital Zoom

The Nikon Coolpix S7c's 3x optical zoom covers the equivalent of a 35-105mm range, which is about average among other digital cameras in its class. Overall results were pretty good at wide angle, though with some noticeable blurring in the corners and sides of the frame and a very small amount of coma distortion. The camera's 4x digital zoom held onto a fair amount of fine detail, though overall results were blurred with higher noise and lower resolution, as you might expect from digital enlargement.

Macro
A tiny macro area with excellent detail and resolution. Flash is a little uneven, but still useable.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

Nikon digital cameras have always performed well in macro mode, and the Coolpix S7c upholds the brand's stellar reputation. The Coolpix S7c captured a very small minimum area of 1.12 x 0.84 inches (29 x 21 millimeters). Detail and resolution were both excellent, and there's barely any softening in the corners of the frame here. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode, so the S7c actually performs very well.) Though the flash exposure is a little uneven, results are still useable, depending on the application.

Distortion
High barrel and pincushion distortion.

Barrel distortion at 35mm is 1.16%
Pincushion at 105mm is less than 0.75%

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel -- usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion -- usually at telephoto). The Coolpix S7c's 1.16% barrel distortion at wide angle is much higher than average among the cameras we've tested. At the telephoto end, the S7c's 0.75% pincushion distortion is also much higher than average.


Chromatic aberration
Moderate, minimal effect on images at edges.

Wide: moderate but dull,
top left @ 200%
Wide: moderate,
top right @ 200%
Tele: low,
top left @200%
Tele: low,
top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderate at the wide angle lens position, showing about 10+ pixels of dull coloration on either side of the target lines. However, the effect is exacerbated by some blurring in the corners of the frame. At telephoto, the distortion is much lower, with very dull pixels. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Strong blurring in the corners of the frame at wide angle, and a moderate amount at telephoto as well.

Wide: Quite soft in the
corners (upper left)
Wide: sharp at center
Tele: soft in the
corners (lower right)
Tele: sharper but still slightly soft at center

The Nikon Coolpix S7c produced very soft corners in a few shots, particularly at full wide angle. At telephoto, moderate blurring was also visible in the corners, with the strongest effect in the lower right corner.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Excellent accuracy with the LCD monitor.

35mm eq., LCD 105mm eq., LCD

The Nikon Coolpix S7c's LCD monitor produced very good results here, showing about 104% accuracy at wide angle, and about 98% at telephoto.

 

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Nikon Coolpix S7c Photo Gallery.

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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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