updated 01:56 am EDT, Thu September 5, 2013
Sequels to S01 and P7700 add features for different consumer needs
Nikon on Wednesday debuted two new cameras that are upgrades from previous models. The Coolpix S02 follows the pocketable compact point-and-shoot S01, and is even smaller and lighter than its predecessor. It's goal is to be a tiny camera that still take better pictures than most mobile phones, but light enough to convince consumers to also bring it along. The larger Coolpix P7800 is a sequel to last year's P7700, and adds a significantly-improved 921,000-dot electronic viewfinder and wider aperture range, aiming more for the advanced consumer market.
The Coolpix S02 is the most improved of the two, adding a 13.2 megapixel CMOS sensor in place of last year's 10MP CCD chip. It also boasts a slightly larger 2.7-inch touchscreen LCD and 1080p video compared to the S01, keeping the 3x (30-90mm) zoom and ƒ3.3-5.9 aperture lens. The camera is half the size of most pocketable P&S cameras -- two S02s could easily fit in a typical man's outstretched hand -- but the size limitations means that it includes a fixed 7.3GB of storage for pictures and video clips with no room for expansion. The battery is also non-removable, but the unit will be available in silver, white pink or blue colors and retails for $180.
The Coolpix P7800 has gone up in price compared to last year's P7700, from $500 to $550. The new RGBW 921K-dot articulating LCD produces much better clarity and contrast than the previous models. For more advanced photographers, the point-and-shoot offers manual control via a mode dial and dedicated exposure-compensation button, with up to three stops over and under the metered values, along with an aperture-priority mode and a three-stop neutral density filter. It retains the 7.1x (28-200mm) optical zoom and 1/1.7-inch 12.2MP BSI CMOS sensor, but now offers ƒ2-4 aperture rather than the up-to-ƒ2 range of the previous model.
The P7800 also offers an 8fps continuous shooting mode, a full-size hot shoe for external flash guns, an ISO range of 80-3200 and 1080p video capture. The quick-access dial of the P7700 has been replaced with a dedicated button and on-screen menu. No Wi-Fi compatibility is built in, but it is available as an add-on accessory. The P7800 is expected to ship later this month, while the Coolpix S02 is available now from Nikon and on its way to retailers.