The Nikon Coolpix S6000 is a small camera that can be conveniently carried in a pocket or a purse. Its dimensions are 3.8x2.2x1.0 inch thick (97x55x25mm) and it weighs only 5.5 ounces (156 grams). However, despite its small size, the S6000 has some impressive specifications.
These include a 1/2.3 inch, 14.2 megapixel sensor, a 7x optical zoom lens ranging from a wide 28mm to a long 196mm, an HD movie mode of 1280x720 at 30 frames per second with stereo sound, a four-way image stabilization system (which Nikon refers to as "VR"), an advanced flash control and many other features. The S6000 comes in silver, red, black or bronze, and its list price is $249.95. The model I received for review is an attractive metallic burgundy.
Not long ago we reviewed one of Nikon's latest compact cameras, the S8000, a compact ultrazoom with a 10x optical zoom. Our review was very positive, with the camera given 4 out of 5 stars overall. Nikon's S6000, which is smaller and has slightly less optical zoom than the S8000, has been the object of strong interest among our forum regulars, possibly as a result of the good review received by the S8000. Several forum posters have asked when we are going to review the S6000. So I'm happy to have been given the chance to review this intruiging camera.
The S6000's metal and plastic body is solid and well-made. It has large, easy to use buttons, including a dedicated movie button, and an interesting rotating circular controller at the rear. The rear of the camera also contains a 2.7-inch, 260,000-dot LCD. The camera starts up quickly and its performance seems to be quick and accurate.
The S6000's menu has four recording modes in addition to the movie mode - an auto mode where the camera controls most functions, an intelligent scene selector mode in which the camera will automatically select one of six scene modes, a smart portrait mode in which the camera uses face priority, smile shutter and skin softening to create a pleasing portrait, and a subject tracking mode to keep moving subjects in focus.
The S6000's long lens range is particularly impressive for such a small camera. In the photos below you can barely see the statues at wide angle while their details are apparent at maximum zoom.
The S6000 produces bright but accurate colors in standard auto mode and also has color options for vivid, black and white, sepia and cyanotype. The camera's bright colors combined with its ability to focus as close as 1.2 inches (3 cm) can produce striking macro photos.
As with all small cameras, overexposure and blown-out highlights seem to be an issue, though Nikon's D-lighting feature is designed to address this.
These issues will be further explored as I'm able to spend more time with the S6000. A full review should be out shortly.
Additional Sample Images