This 12.0-megapixel point-and shoot camera was announced in India in February 2011.
DESIGN AND BUILD QUALITY
The Nikon Coolpix S2500 is sleek, lightweight and hence easy to carry in your shirt pocket. The front panel is made of metal while the back panel is constructed from engineering plastic. The tripod mount is plastic, but we cannot really complain since the camera is light at 117g and we do not foresee many target users mounting the camera on a tripod. The form factor is similar to other basic point-and-shoot cameras from Nikon. The lens has a two-segment construction.
The 12-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S2500 uses a 1/2.3-inch type (6.16 x 4.62 mm) CCD sensor for imaging. It features a 27-108mm equivalent f/3.2-5.9 lens, constructed with 6 elements in 5 groups. The lens focuses from approximately 50 cm to infinity in the normal mode and from approximately 8 cm to infinity in the macro mode. The camera uses contrast detect method to achieve focus. Focus area options are face priority, auto, manual, center, and subject tracking. Metering options are 256-segment matrix, center-weighted, and spot. Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2.0 EV in 1/3-EV steps. Exposure control is through programmed auto exposure with motion detection and exposure compensation. Shutter speed ranges from 4 to 1/2000s. ISO sensitivity can be set from 80 to 3200. In Auto mode, it is limited from ISO 80 to 800. White Balance options are Auto, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, and Flash. Built-in flash has a range of approximately 0.5 to 4.5 m at the wide-angle end, while at the telephoto end, it is from 0.5 to 2.4m when the sensitivity is set to Auto. Flash control is through TTL auto method with monitor pre-flashes. The self-timer can be set to fire the camera at an interval of either 10s or 2s.
Shooting modes available in the S2500 are Auto, Scene, Smart portrait, Movie, Subject tracking, and Scene Auto Selector. Auto mode provides the flexibility of using the camera as a point-and-shoot device without bothering about the settings. In this mode, the camera provides limited manual settings. In Scene mode, you can apply preset settings by means of easily identifiable scene icons. Scene modes provide the options of Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Night landscape, Close-up, Food, Museum, Fireworks show, Black and White Copy, Backlighting, and Panorama assist. In the Smart Portrait mode, the camera uses face detection and smile detection functions to detect human faces and automatically release the shutter when it detects a smile. In this mode, the camera provides the option of skin softening to render smooth skin tones. In Subject Tracking mode, the camera tracks moving subjects with the AF locked on it.
The Coolpix S2500 uses a 2.7-inch, 230,000-dot TFT LCD for display. It has approximately 16 MB of internal memory and accepts an SD/SDHC/SDXC card for external storage. Still images are recorded in JPEG format with a maximum resolution of 4000 x 3000 pixels, while movies are recorded in AVI format with WAV as the format for sound files. The camera is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery (EN-EL19, supplied). It weighs approximately 117 g with battery and memory card, and has dimensions of 93.1 x 57.1 x 20.0 mm (W x H x D).
The Nikon Coolpix S2500 is easy to use, given its simple interface and uncomplicated layout. The camera does not have a well-defined hand grip, but the Nikon logo on the right hand side provides a firm grip. The matte-finished polycarbonate material on the back also enhances the grip. There are four buttons and the multi-controller on the back side. The buttons are large and comfortable to operate. The images on the LCD are crisp and bright. The menu is simple and easy to navigate through.
The Nikon Coolpix S2500 is a point-and-shoot camera and hence it does not provide manual exposure or priority modes. So as in the case with all point-and-shoot camera tests, we were not able to set the optimal aperture in many cases. The camera produced reasonably sharp images. In the test for darkening of corners, the camera selected the widest aperture, which happened to be the optimal setting for this test. Darkening was observed at extreme corners, while the illumination gradually increased towards the center. Autofocus struggled to latch on to the subject, especially in low-light. The lens produced prominent flare and chromatic aberration even at an aperture of f/8 (automatically set by the camera). Mustache and barrel distortion were observed at 27mm and 45mm respectively.
White Balance performed very well in Daylight both on Auto and Preset modes, but struggled under most other light sources including shady outdoors. Native print size of the images was 10 x 33.33 inches at 300 ppi. At 16.67 percent of the screen size, ISO 3200 produced noisy images. When viewed at 25 percent, ISO 1600 also showed some noise. Likewise, ISO 800 and 400 exhibited noise at 33.33 percent and 50 percent respectively. The images were useful up to ISO 400, but for best results, stick to ISO 200 or less.
VALUE FOR MONEYey
The Nikon Coolpix S2500 retails at an MRP of Rs. 6,950. At this price, the camera is very good value for money.
+ Sleek and lightweight
+ Fair Price
– No Mechanical VR
– AF performance below par
– Prominent flare
– White Balance struggles at times
Design and Build Quality 17/20
Key Features 15/20
Performance Autofocus 2/5
Noise control 4/5
Auto White Balance 3/5
Extra Features 2/5
Value for Money 8/10
Grand Total 72/100
If you are looking for an affordable point-and-shoot camera for simple, outdoor use, then the Nikon Coolpix S2500 is a fair buy. But do not expect too much from this camera when it comes to image quality indoors.