Nikon’s Coolpix S4150 is a stylishly svelte snapper that plays host to a neat wide zoom lens, 3-inch touch screen and is replete with Nikon’s latest snapping technology. We put it through its full What Digital Camera test to see how it performs.
Design and Performance
Nikon Coolpix S4150 Review – Design
The S4150’s design is very smart indeed and the smooth lines and attractive, tactile face are a joy. The top plate has just three controls, the on/off button, the shutter release and its surrounding lens zoom control.
Self-explanatory they may be but the green LED indicator around the recessed on/off button flashes when the camera is in sleep mode and the shutter button is large weighted just right.
The back plate has the 3-inch touch screen that’s both great to use in terms of composing and viewing images and video, even in brighter conditions but is also sensitive enough to make using it to control other camera features a nice experience rather than a frustrating one.
Three more controls sit on the back plate, the single press video button, the scene selector button and the playback button. Each is large and clearly labeled. One gripe I have however is reserved for the battery/SD card flap on the camera’s base. This slides forward to open and is spring loaded but it feels flimsy and vulnerable when in its open position, so watch you don’t catch it clothing or you risk tearing it free from the body.
The USB/AV out port is neatly tucked away under another flap on the cameras base and this is also too small and fiddly and feels as vulnerable to getting knocked and damaged as the larger battery/SD card flap.
Nikon Coolpix S4150 Review – Performance
In terms of performance, the S4150 works very well. There’s an inevitable lag between pressing the shutter button and a picture being taken, but you can circumvent that easily with the excellent touch screen snapping capability.
Here you just touch the screen on the point you want the camera to focus on and it will focus and meter to that point (anywhere) on the screen and snap the shot. The Smile Timer works well here too, detects faces in the scene, and snaps a shot when they smile, all automatically.
The touch screen is suitably sensitive and allows you to scroll images in playback or select menu options from pop out pages along the edges of the screen, this includes adding a rating to your shoots from one to five stars.
One drawback of screen interfaces such as this is without a non-screen control option; you cannot browse through options, touching the screen selects that option. It would be nice to have a way to scroll around the scene modes, for example.
The metering works well (the touch screen snapping options makes it very accurate indeed) enough and colour and white balance are all good although you have manual options to select if you need to. Using the touch screen to take images by tapping the screen the camera will take a shot at the point selected even if it’s too close, cannot be focused properly or even if the metering cannot get it right. So you get a shot, certainly, but it can come at the cost of sharpness and metering accuracy.
Subject tracking AF was nice to have in the armoury (it’s in a pop out menu options along with the touch shutter and touch AF/AE modes) and to sue it you touch the subject on the screen to be tracked and as long as it stays in the frame, the AF works hard to keep tabs on it as it moves.