Nikon Coolpix S5 Performance

Timing and Performance

Nikon Coolpix S5 Timing
Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Power on
to first shot
2.1 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and capture the first image. (No lens to telescope out, it's internal to the body.)
~1.5 seconds
How long it takes the lens cover to close, so you can stow the camera in a pocket.
Buffer clearing time
2 seconds
(Large/Fine JPEG,
Unlimited shots in
continuous mode)
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
1.1 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
3.1 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
recorded image
1.5 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.47 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.63 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
0.100 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.67 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 4 shots (before buffer fills)
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.67 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
Some cameras won'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
0.49 second (2.03 frames per second);
4 frame buffer limit;
3.14 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over 4-shot buffer length. (Note though, shot to shot times vary a lot, 0.68 sec from 1-2, 0.37 sec from 2-3, 0.45 sec from 3-4.)
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.43 second (2.34 frames per second);
no limit w/fast card*;
~2 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
"Multi-16" mode
(16 small images in one frame)
0.5 seconds
(2.0 frames/sec)
16 shots per burst
<1 sec to clear
"Multi-16" mode divides a full-size image into 16 small sub-images, and captures the small images at a rate of 2 frames/sec. Only 16 frames/burst in this mode, but the camera is ready to shoot another burst almost immediately.
Flash recycling
5 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
425 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 120x 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 S5's performance ranges from quite fast to just average, depending on what you're trying to do. It starts up fairly quickly, and has a fast shutter response at both wide angle and telephoto lens positions. If you "prefocus" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure, it's also very fast, with a shutter delay of only 0.10 second. Shot to shot cycle times are pretty good at about 1.67 seconds/shot, for up to 4 shots in succession, then dropping to about 2.18 seconds/shot after the buffer fills. Continuous-mode speed is good if not impressive, at a bit over two frames/second, for up to four shots in succession. The flash takes about five seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, about average for this class of camera. Connected to a computer, download speeds are a bit sluggish by current standards, so you may want to consider a separate card reader for downloading large batches of images. Overall, the S5 is responsive enough for typical consumer needs. Though the Continuous shooting mode is a little slower than average, it should be sufficient for family snapshots and the average little league game.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Pretty good battery life.

Test Condition
Number of Shots
LiIon Rechargeable Battery

The Nikon Coolpix S5 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of, based on CIPA battery-life standard test conditions. The rated 210 shots per charge isn't bad, but remember that this number doesn't include time spent viewing images on the LCD screen. As usual, we recommend purchasing a second battery along with the camera if you plan any extended outings.

No card is included with the Nikon Coolpix S5, although it accepts SD/MMC cards; 21MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
21MB Internal Memory
Fine Standard
2,816 x 2,112 Images 7 14
File Size 3.1 MB 1.6 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images - 26
File Size - 864 KB
1,024 x 768 Images - 90
File Size - 254 KB
640 x 480
Images - 193
File Size - 119 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/MMC memory card, at least a 128MB card, preferably a 256MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.


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