The S6000 is a quick camera in most respects. It takes no more than two seconds both to start up and shut down. However, in selecting menu items I sometimes found some degree of hesitation between selecting the item and hearing the beep that indicated my selection was in effect. I especially noted this when selecting a shooting mode (auto, scene, smart portrait or subject tracking). Otherwise I was very pleased with the responsiveness of the camera.
I found shooting performance to be very good overall. Shot-to-shot time is very quick, not more than a second or two, a bit longer with the flash activated. I was able to take ten photos as fast as my finger could press the shutter, and there was no delay to access the memory card.
The performance tables set out below show that S6000 compares well with similar long zoom compact cameras, the Fuji JZ500, the Canon SX210 IS and the Panasonic DMC ZS7. For shutter lag, with pre-focus in effect (pressing halfway down on the shutter to lock focus), the Nikon comes in fourth at 0.03 seconds, but that time is practically the same as the other three cameras. Without pre-focusing, the Nikon comes in first at a very quick 0.27 seconds, considerably faster than the others. Therefore it is reasonable to assume that shutter lag is not a problem with the S6000.
Shutter Lag (press-to-capture, pre-focused)
|Fujifilm FinePix JZ500||0.01|
|Canon PowerShot SX210 IS||0.01|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7||0.02|
|Nikon Coolpix S6000||0.03|
AF Acquisition (press-to-capture, no pre-focus)
|Nikon Coolpix S6000||0.27|
|Canon PowerShot SX210 IS||0.36|
|Fujifilm FinePix JZ500||0.38|
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7||0.39|
|Canon PowerShot SX210 IS||∞||0.8 fps
|Fujifilm FinePix JZ500||3||1.4 fps
|Nikon Coolpix S6000||3||1.8 fps
|Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7||3||1.8 fps
*Note: Continuous shooting framerates are based on the camera's fastest full-resolution JPEG continuous shooting mode, using the fastest media type available (300x CF, SDHC, etc.). "Frames" denote the number of captures recorded per burst before the camera stops/slows to clear the buffer.
The performance tables also show that S6000 ties for first in continuous shooting at 1.8 frames per second. The camera has a mode for sports continuous shooting where it can shoot at four frames per second for 45 frames, though at a resolution of three megapixels.
The S6000 employs Nikon's vibration reduction (VR) system, which acts as a form of image stabilization. It uses lens shift to minimize the effect of camera shake, motion detection to adjust shutter speed and ISO, and Nikon's Best Shot Selector which automatically takes up to 10 shots while the shutter is pressed and saves the sharpest image.
The S6000 uses an EN-EL12 lithium ion rechargeable battery which is rated by Nikon to last for 210 shots. This is on the short side compared to similar cameras from Canon, Sony and Panasonic but I found Nikon's rating to be conservative, as I only charged the camera a couple of times during the two weeks I used it. Battery life will last longer if you keep the LCD monitor at a low brightness level, infrequently access the menu and rarely shoot videos. The battery is charged within the camera, either by connecting the USB cable to an adaptor that plugs into a power source, or by connecting the cable to a computer.
The wide lens range of the S6000 gives it great versatility for taking close macro photos and photos of far away objects. The lens is easy to control using the zoom lever around the shutter. While the lens maintained adequate sharpness throughout its zoom range, it did not produce images as sharp as pictures I've seen from other cameras. Photos tended to be sharper at the center and a bit blurry at the edges, but not to a great degree. Vignetting was not a problem. I found very little barrel distortion at wide angle and no pincushion distortion at maximum telephoto.
Occasionally I noticed chromatic aberration (purple fringing), in high contrast shots, such as trees against a blue sky. This becomes more noticeable when the picture is enlarged.
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