The Nikon Coolpix S620, a well-designed, entry-level compact, but with more features behind the scenes than meets the eye. Does the Nikon S620 have a unique enough sell point for it to land in your shopping basket? What Digital Camera Nikon S620 review...
Image Quality & Value
Nikon S620 review – Image Quality
The Nikon Coolpix S620 is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to image quality. On the one hand, images shot using ISO 100-200 have very little image noise. It’s the upper sensitivities where quality really wains. ISO 3200 is very noisy, as to be expected, but it’s the ultra-noisy ISO 6400 that seems like an unnecessary last-minute add on. It’s unlikely that it’d ever be useable, given the quality that is less suggestive of image noise and more like a grit-sprinkled mosaic. Ignore ISO 6400 however, and it’s mostly smiles.
The S620’s lens is of a reasonable quality. The main concern here is the presence of purple fringing – and not just at the edge of the image. A number of instances saw those all too noticeable blue-purple edges crop up in the centre of images too. Whilst it’s relatively unnoticeable for small prints outs and web use, it’s a common problem that could be done without.
In terms of exposure the Nikon S620 seems to have come along in leaps and bounds. Previous models have struggled to accurately balance an exposure between subject and sky – something that seems much improved in the S620. Expect shots to show a relatively fair balance of highlights to shadows, further helped along by the Nikon D-Lighting, which helps to pull more detail out of darker areas whilst not blowing the highlights elsewhere.
All in all good but not great image quality, as can be much expected from many fixed-lens compacts. However, with the option of a 28mm wide lens and good all round exposure, the niggles of high ISO image quality and purple fringing will, for the most part, pale to insignificance.
Nikon S620 review – Value For Money
The Nikon S620 is perhaps a tad expensive. With an SRP of £240 there’re plenty of other cameras for similar money that may grab your interest more immediately; even the ‘bigger brother’ Nikon S630 retails for fifty quid more at £290.
These prices may seem to have escalated above and beyond some previous points, and for good reason – they have. Whilst not Nikon’s fault by any means, the value of the pound (and the dollar) to the Yen is very poor and is having knock-on effects in terms of pricing for exports. Most new products are coming out with premium price tags whereas many existing product prices are being hoisted skyward.
However, a quick scour of the web or popping into some shops and realistically you can bag a S620 for upwards of £170. And for that sort of money it more than holds its own.