The smallest 5x zoom image-stabilised camera in the world
Nikon’s successor to the popular S550 is a 10-megapixel ultra-compact with a 5x zoom lens, a 2.7-inch monitor and sensor-shift image stabilisation. Nikon claims that it is the smallest camera in its class with these features. It is currently selling for around £160, which is cheap when compared to similar models such as the Canon IXUS 970 IS.
The S560 is a very small and lightweight camera, measuring 93 x 54.5 x 23.5mm and weighing 145g including card and battery. The body is all aluminium and feels strong and well built. It is finished in an attractive texture and is available in black, silver, or pink.
The control layout is well designed, with large well-spaced buttons. The S560 is loaded with features including face, smile and blink detection, and has D-Lighting in playback mode for boosting shadow detail on high-contrast shots. It also has Nikon’s Best Shot Selector, which automatically selects the best of up to 10 sequential shots. One odd feature is a dedicated mode just for taking photos of food. Surely this would have been better placed in the Scene menu?
Overall performance is brisk, with a shot-to-shot time of approximately 2.2 seconds. Unfortunately the continuous mode is a bit disappointing, shooting at irregular intervals with no audio cue when it takes a picture.
The AF system is a little slow, but is an improvement on earlier models.
Picture quality is very good, with some of the best high-ISO shots we’ve seen from an ultra-compact camera. Dynamic range could be a bit better, sometimes burning out highlights to preserve shadow detail.
The Nikon CoolPix S560 has excellent handling, superior build quality, good performance and high image quality, especially at higher ISO settings, and is small and light enough to take anywhere. It is excellent value for money.