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Nikon Coolpix S7c Digital Camera First Impressions
by Ben Stafford -  1/15/2007

The 7.1 megapixel Nikon Coolpix S7c is a very nice looking camera. As part of the S (or Style) line, it gets the familiar "wave" design that has been used on previous S models. The S7c also features a WiFi radio, a 3 inch screen and a 3x optical zoom. We'll be posting our full review soon, but wanted to give you a little taste of things to come. Without further ado, here are our first impressions.

nikon coolpix s7c
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As far as looks, this camera will definitely turn some heads. The S7c is an ultra-slim camera with nice glossy gray finish and chrome accents. The 3 inch screen (230K pixels, 170 degree viewing angle) on the back will have all sorts of people wanting to look over your shoulder and it's bright enough to look good to people viewing it off to the side. Since Nikon includes its Pictmotion slideshows (with music and effects), they definitely wanted to make sure that a group of people could watch at once.

nikon coolpix s7c
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The S7c doesn't have any manual exposure modes, but there are plenty of scene modes to choose from. The camera also includes a one touch portrait button that activates the camera's face priority auto focus and in-camera red eye fix. While the camera is labeled as having Vibration Reduction (VR), it should be noted that, in this case, it is not "hardware" VR. The S7c uses "electronic VR" where blurriness is reduced by gathering "shake" data from an internal gyro and applying corrections during image processing. The S7c can also shoot at up to ISO 1600 to help out with reducing blur.

The wireless features on the S7c are actually pretty nice. To get things going, you first need to use the USB cable and included Wireless Camera Setup Utility software to create wireless profiles on the camera. Once you've set up the profiles, you can use the wireless features of the camera. In past implementations, you were more or less limited to transferring your images to the computer (either in a batch or one at a time). However, the S7c can connect to the new Coolpix Connect service, allowing you to effectively email pictures from the camera. You choose your recipient from a contact list and choose a size to send. Once the camera uploads the image to Coolpix Connect, the service then notifies the recipient via email that they have been sent a picture. The camera also comes with a year subscription to T-Mobile hotspots so you can stroll into a Starbucks and send your images.

Overall, our impressions are that the S7c is a very "cool" camera. It has the looks and features of a high-end gadget that is a lot of fun. While not the most advanced camera, it has some very useful features, especially ones to help out snapshot style photographers (with face priority AF and on-screen guides to help you line up landscape shots). The wireless capabilities are good and fun, but the extra expense may not be justifiable to many people.

The S7c has plenty of other great features, but we'll save them for our full review, as well as discussion about battery life and image quality. If you have any questions about this camera that you'd like us to address in the review, please use the "Discuss" link that you'll find at the top and bottom of this page and we'll do our best to answer them.