The 12-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S570 is a solid camera at the popular price point of around £160. Simple and stylish, the camera has a bright, wideangle lens and 5x zoom that help it to stand out among the competition. The same applies to its consistently good photo quality below ISO 400. A new specialty mode for portraits and its pedestrian shooting performance make the camera best-suited for still subjects and landscapes, though. Also, it's able to keep shooting at full resolution in low-light conditions (the sensitivity goes up to ISO 3,200), but that doesn't mean you'll like the results.
Punches above its price
Available in pink, red, blue, black and silver versions, the S570 is a slim, lightweight camera that's easily slipped into a trouser pocket or small bag. The metal body gives it a sturdy, higher-end feel than its price might suggest. Its lens specifications add to that impression, offering all the things that are good to find in an ultra-compact camera.
Its controls are fairly standard and easily learned. On top of the camera are the power and shutter-release buttons, with a zoom control around the release. On the back, to the right of the bright LCD and below the thumb rest, are buttons for changing shooting modes; playing and editing images; accessing photo, video and system-settings menus; and deleting pictures. There's a directional pad for navigation and setting exposure, flash, timer and macro. Again, it's all pretty straightforward.
The shooting modes on the S570 are aimed squarely at snapshooters. The 'auto' mode gives you the most control, with selections for ISO, white balance, exposure compensation, focus area, light metering and colour effects. You can also pick drive modes: single shot, continuous, 'best shot selector' and 'multi-shot 16'. Best shot selector fires off up to 10 frames and then saves the sharpest image, while multi-shot 16 compiles a sequence of 16 shots and puts them all in a grid on one photo.
There are 15 scene modes, as well as 'scene auto selector', Nikon's automatic scene-recognition mode. What's unique is the 'smart portrait system', which gets its own spot in the shooting-mode menu. It combines Nikon's previously available 'blink warning', 'smile shutter', 'in-camera red-eye fix', 'D-lighting' and 'face priority AF' features into one mode, and adds a new 'skin softening' component. This type of mode is available from other manufacturers, but Nikon's implementation is fast and works well.