Nikon's COOLPIX S2600 arrives with a low price tag, yet promises enough functionality to please the entry-level shooter. The question is, how does it perform in the WDC test?
Performance, Image Quality and Verdict
Nikon COOLPIX S2600 Review – Performance and Image Quality
When purchasing a compact camera towards the low end of the price
range, it’s reasonable to expect certain compromises. One such
compromise is seen on the LCD screen of the COOLPIX S2600 – at just
2.7in and with a resolution of 230k-dot it’s well in line with the low
end of the market and behind several of it’s competitors.
S2600 is relatively capable in use. Focus speeds aren’t the fastest,
with the camera hunting for focus in tricky lighting conditions,
although well-lit scenes don’t generally pose much of a problem. The
camera’s menu system appears basic on first sight, yet this doesn’t take
away from the compact’s usability. The S2600’s buttons also feel
somewhat basic, with a plasticky feel, although once again they’re well
laid out and assist simple operation of the camera.
image quality is one area in which the S2600 fails to excel. While
exposures are generally reliable, requiring little intervention from the
photographer, the S2600 suffers with regards to dynamic range – shadow
detail is generally well preserved, yet highlights all too readily blow
out, even in well-lit scenes.
Another image flaw evident with the
S2600 is fringing – in areas of high contrast between light and dark,
in particular towards the edges of the frame, details develop either a
purple or green outline that is visible even when viewed at native
It’s not all negative however – colour rendition is
generally good and true-to-life, whilst white balance is also reliable.
It’s also true that the majority of these flaws – apart from fringing –
will only cause major problems when inspecting images close up rather
than from a wide angle.
Nikon COOLPIX S2600 Review – Verdict
There was a time when a
sub-£100 compact camera would barely be worthy on consideration if you
were in the least bit serious about your photography. These days,
however, there are a great deal of cameras around that price point that
offer both an impressive specification and good results, and thus
represent excellent value for money. While the S2600 certainly has a
full specification, the hallmarks of compromise are all too readily
evident in build and image quality, and although it is by no means a bad
compact camera there are better options available.