Announced in August this year, the 16-megapixel Nikon Coolpix S6200 is a high-power zoom camera in Nikon’s ‘Style’ series of compacts. The camera boasts of superior low-light noise control with the help of an EXPEED C2 image processing engine and advanced noise-reduction algorithm.
Design and Build Quality
The Nikon Coolpix S6200 has a sturdy finish. The outer body is made of metal and engineering plastic. The camera is available in black, blue, silver, red, pink, and white colours. The lens barrel has a three-segment construction, which allows it to retract fully into the body. The plastic tripod mount is flushed towards the left of the camera, opposite to the battery chamber/card compartment door, which makes it easier for you to change the memory card even while the camera is mounted on a tripod.
The 16-megapixel Nikon S6200 uses a 1/2.3-inch Type (6.16 x 4.62mm) CCD for imaging and an EXPEED C2 image processing engine that produces low noise at high sensitivities. It features a 25-250mm equivalent f/3.2–5.8 lens featuring lens shift Vibration Reduction. The lens is constructed with 8 elements in 8 groups including an ED (Extra-low Dispersion) element. It uses contrast-detect method to autofocus. In normal mode, the lens focusses from approximately 50cm to infinity at the wide-angle end and approximately 1m to infinity at the telephoto end, while the macro mode allows the lens to focus as close as 10cm at the wide-angle end. Focus area options are Face priority, auto, manual, centre, and subject tracking. The camera’s metering modes are 256-segment matrix, centre-weighted, and spot. Exposure can be compensated up to +/-2 EV in 1/3-EV steps. Shutter speed ranges from 4sec to 1/2000sec. The built-in flash has a range of 0.5 to 4.6m at the wide-angle end and from 0.5 to 3.0m at the telephoto end when the ISO is set to Auto. Flash control uses TTL auto with monitor pre-flashes. Flash modes available are Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Off, Fill flash, and Slow sync. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 80 to 3200. White Balance options are Auto, Preset manual, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, and Flash. Shooting modes on the Nikon S6200 are Auto, Scene, Smart portrait, Subject tracking, and Movie. The available Scene modes are Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Night Landscape, Close-up, Pet portrait, Food, Museum, Fireworks show, Black and white copy, Backlighting, and Panorama Assist. The camera features an advanced hand-held/tripod detection function and automatically applies the relevant settings for blur-free images. When a tripod is detected, it automatically decreases ISO sensitivity and shutter speed, but if the camera is hand-held, it boosts the ISO to shoot at a higher shutter speed. Still images are recorded in JPEG format while movies are recorded as MOV files. The maximum size of still images is 4608 x 3456, while the best movie quality available is 1280 x 720 pixels at 30 fps. Self-timer can be set to 2 or 10sec. The Nikon Coolpix S6200 uses a 2.7-inch, 230,000 dot TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating. The device has approximately 74MB of internal memory and accepts an SD card (SDHC and SDXC compliant) for external storage. The camera is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery (EN-EL12). The camera weighs approximately 160g with battery and memory card, and has dimensions of approximately 93.0 x 56.7 x 25.4 mm.
The Coolpix S6200 is very user-friendly and features a standard Nikon interface, which is quite simple and straightforward. The buttons are of very good quality and provide a positive feel. The vertical multi-selector dial is quite responsive. The LCD screen is bright and clear. The camera lacks a hand grip and can feel slippery for some users.
The Nikon S6200 performed well in our tests. AF was fast and precise. It focussed reasonably well even under low light and images were sharp and punchy. Slight darkening was observed at the corners, but this will not cause any problem in your day-to-day images. To test flare, we had to accept whatever aperture the camera set according to the scene since it does not offer aperture priority mode. It chose f/10.2 for our test. At this aperture at the wide-angle end, slight flare was visible, but we did not observe any chromatic aberration. The lens controlled distortion very well. In fact, we did not observe distortion at any focal length. This is very good for a compact camera. Native print size of the images was 11.52 x 15.36 inches at 300 ppi. At 16.67 percent of the screen size, ISO 1600 and 3200 were noisy. At 25 percent screen size, we did not observe any change in the noise characteristics. At 33.33 percent and 50 percent screen size, slight noise was observed at ISO800, but not enough to press the panic button. Images were perfectly usable up to ISO1600.
The S6200 faltered in the White Balance front. The camera produced distinct colour casts except under daylight, though the casts could be easily removed in Photoshop. In daylight, both auto and preset White Balance modes did a very good job.
Value for Money
The Nikon Coolpix S6200 retails at an MRP of Rs.10,950. At this price, the camera is good value for money.
+ Excellent Noise control
+ Distortion-free images
+ Superior optics
– White Balance could have been better
– Slippery body
Design and Build Quality 17/20
Key Features 17/20
Noise Control 4/5
Value for Money 8/10
Grand Total 81/100
The Nikon Coolpix S6200 is a stylish compact featuring 10x optical zoom and producing good image quality. At the above-mentioned price, this is easily a Best Buy amongst similar cameras. Sujith Gopinath