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Old Dec 16, 2008, 12:22 PM   #1
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just purchased a point and shoot digital camera for our son whose leaving to study in England for his next semester. He doesn't have a camera and is not much of a camera buff. We bought him a Nikon Coolpix Right now, about $100.

The problem is that I can't find *any* review info on this model. I am wondering if its a special model # just released for Target or something?

Its a very slim camera that you can put into your pocket being only 0.7" thick. Here's the basic stats:

2.5" LCD
ISO 2000
3X optical zoom
8.0 M pixels
includes rechargeable battery & charger, plus cables.

Does anyone know if this really another Nikon model which I might be able to find review info on?

I know this is towards the bottom of the price point for these cameras, but its all we can afford right now.

thanks much,

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Old Dec 19, 2008, 11:35 PM   #2
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Hi Mark -

I've bought the same camera for my wife. My understanding is that it is a Target only model. Comparing it to other models in the Coolpix range, it appears to share the body, and likely lens and sensor, with the Coolpix 210.

After careful reading of the box, I think it MIGHT be the same software and features as the S210, but at a significantly lower price point - up to $80 less. I'm not clear from the box if it has the same face-finding features the S210 does, although the box does have the 'Simply Better Portraits' badge on it that the S210 does. The Nikon Coolpix website translates that to auto-face detection and smile detection and auto-tracking of subjects.

If it is the S210, I think we've made a good purchase. 8MP is what I consider the sweet spot for image quality on a subcompact. We've given up the better optical image stabilization available on more expensive models, but in my opinion, a point-and-shoot is going to fire the flash indoors almost no matter what. The electronic stabilization this model has should be sufficient with the flash. The difference, if I am not mistaken and someone please correct me if I am, is that the eVR basically manipulates the image on the sensor electronically (moves it around to compensate for movement) while optical stabilization involves a floating lens apparatus that is more accurate and responsive (a bit more like a steadycam apparatus would be for videographers).

$97 is a good deal for a camera like this - it's a price point that doesn't make you sick a year or two from now when the cameras have improved significantly. Besides, since you are never going to get the fantastic shots and depth of field restriction you would with a DSLR, I don't see much point in spending much more than $100-$200 these days on a point-and-shoot. Better to save the pennies for the SLR down the line. If you were going to spend $350 on a point-and-shoot and image quality bothered you that much, you'd be better off with a used D70 DSLR kit.

Congrats to your son. I was born in Surrey, although I've lived here in the USA now for a total of 27 of my 31 years. Tell him to have a Crunchie bar for me!

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Old Dec 20, 2008, 4:42 PM   #3
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Hi Andrew,

thanks for your detailed response. I do hope its the same equivalent model. I think I must have left off the model # in the original post (sorry!). Its an S202.

For my son, taking pictures are just not that important. But we'd like him to capture some for his own memories and to share back to home over facebook, etc. We looked at a nice Canon powershot model, for about $14.00 more, but it wasn't as compact. This one looks like you can easily slip it into your pocket to carry about.

I have used to have more of a point and shoot style (non-SLR) - it was an Olympus C-5050, but I actually disliked it. I could not stand the long delays from shutter press till the picture was captured. I can't tell you how many knee cap shots I have taken because I thought it took the picture when it didn't. I hope this camera doesn't have that kind of delay. I finally eBay'd it and bought a Nikon D80. I like the Nikon, but am still getting used to these new fangled auto focus motor lenses. I grew up on a Olympus OM-1 35 mm, and loved the granularity of the lenses for focusing. Now with these newer digital SLR's manual focusing can be challenging. Sorry am getting off topic.

thanks again!

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