updated 03:25 pm EST, Tue February 21, 2006
New Nikon CoolPix
Nikon today introduced seven new Coolpix digital cameras, including its Coolpix P3 and P4, an expansion to its more advanced and feature-rich Performance Series of digital cameras; its three new Coolpix entry-level digital compact cameras, and its new ultra-slim Coolpix S5 and S6 cameras, both offering 6 million pixels, large LCD screens (2.5- and 3.0-inch, respectively) and a new PictMotion function that allows users to select favorite images, movie files and music files to create slideshows. The new Nikon cameras are all expected to be released in February (pricing was unavailable).
Coolpix S5 and S6
The Coolpix S6 delivers the additional advantage of Wi-Fi capability. Offering IEEE 802.11b/g support, it allows users to send images wirelessly to a computer as soon as they are taken or to transfer in one go all images stored in memory to a computer. The Coolpix S6 also supports cable-free printing, enabling images to be sent directly to PictBridge-compatible printers.
The Coolpix S5 and S6 offer a selection of 15 Scene modes-- 4 with Scene assist- three movie modes capturing up to 30fps, and Time-lapse movie shooting.
A new rotary multi selector incorporated into the camera back enables high-speed image browsing with circular scrolling action at up to 10 frames per second, while a range of buttons built into the Rotary multi selector make for more intuitive operation.
Coolpix L2, L3, and L4
The 3x Zoom-Nikkor lenses have a focal range equivalent to that of a 38-116mm (114mm for the Coolpix L4) (35mm equivalent), providing for zooming in on personal portraits, or out to capture outdoor scenes.
The CCD delivers megapixel values of 6.0 for the Coolpix L2, 5.1 for the Coolpix L3, and 4.0 for the Coolpix L4 (pictured). The cameras offer movie-shooting capability in three sizes: TV movie size (640) for viewing on TV or computers; Small size (320); and Smaller size (160) for extended recording or Internet usage.
Coolpix P3 and P4
Nikon has added its Vibration Reduction (VR) system, a feature adapted directly from Nikon's SLR lenses, to the P Series cameras allowing them to capture steady images at shutter speeds of up to three stops slower that could normally be hand held. VR capability is available at the push of a button in two modes (Normal and Active) in order to compensate for camera movement.
In addition, there are 17 shooting modes, including nine advanced scene modes that allow photographers to produce pictures better suited to their own personal tastes-- through the use of three effects that vary brightness, color intensity, sharpness, noise reduction and more.
Both cameras offer Aperture-priority Auto mode to let photographers control aperture in 1/3EV steps. Users can select large apertures for background blurring or stop down to small apertures to extend crisp focus into the distance-- all while the camera automatically selects the most appropriate shutter speed for optimized exposure.
To help photographers capture the action as it happens, both cameras feature continuous shooting at up to 1.8 frames per second, which is complimented by a five shot buffer that allows users to shoot in a continuous burst, with the camera recording the last five images taken.
The new P3 also comes equipped with the ability to transfer images wirelessly through the camera's built in Wi-Fi feature.