are here: Home
Digital Camera Reviews > Nikon Coolpix
Nikon Coolpix S6 Wi-Fi Review
Date: July 8, 2006
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 - Here's what I receive
in the box:
- Coolpix S6 Wi-Fi (Black body)
- No Memory Card included, but 20MB of internal
memory [Nikon sent me a 256MB and a 512MB SD
memory card for the review]
- Wrist Strap
- Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL8 and AC
Adapter EH-64 with power cable
- MV-15 COOL-STATION
- Interface Cables: A/V; USB
- English and French Instruction Manuals: Quick
Start Guide; Nikon Guide to Digital Photography
- Software CDs: PictureProject 1.6; Wireless
Camera Setup Utility 1.1
- I also received the optional Printer Adapter
PD-10 for wireless printing
The Nikon Coolpix S6 features the no-hassle
Wi-Fi wireless transfer of images from camera
to PC from its bigger brother, the Nikon
Coolpix P3. It is compact in size but super
slim at only 21mm (0.8 in.) thin, and can therefore
easily slip into a jeans pocket. Note that its
domensions are pretty much dictated by the huge
3-in. LCD monitor, and there is just enough space
for a few important controls at the back.
First thing you'll notice is the stylish S-curve
"Wave Design" and overall feeling of
quality. The build is excellent. There is a wonderful
iPod-like Rotary Multi Selector wheel instead
of the traditional 4-Way Arrows Selector. You
can still press each N-S-E-W end to navigate MENU
items, but a clockwise or anti-clockwise flick
of the thumb is so much easier, faster,
and way cool!
The lens does not protrude but since it is located
at top right (viewed from the front), it can be
quite easy to place your finger(s) in front of
it, as in the picture below.
It takes a little bit of trial and error before
you get comfortable holding and operating this
camera properly. There's just not enough real
estate to hold it the way we are used to doing.
As is becoming more and more common now with
digital cameras, the Nikon S6 includes approx.
20MB of internal flash memory, and so a SD memory
card is not included in the box. I got a 2GB SD
memory card at Staples (Business Depot) for under
$100 CDN that can store approx. 674 6M* High images.
Included in the box are a Li-ion battery EN-EL8
that can take approx. 200 pictures (CIPA Standard)
and an AC Adapter EH-64 that plugs directly into
the camera -- or into the convenient COOL-STATION
MV-15 (also supplied) -- and will recharge a new
or fully exhausted battery in about 2 hours.
The Nikon S6 "Auto" mode is more correctly
labelled "Programmed Auto" or P mode.
In this mode, you have access to the ISO, WB,
and Exposure Compensation. The shutter speed ranges
from 2-1/500 sec. Fireworks Show scene mode will
go down to 4 sec.
A note about the Macro mode. Macro is supposed
to go down all the way to 4 cm (1.6 in.) and it
does, but only if Macro is selected from the Scene
Mode menu. The standard Macro available from the
Multi Selector does not seem to be consistent:
sometimes it will focus that close and at other
times, it won't. But if I then switch to Scene
Mode macro, the subject snaps into focus. Standard
Macro, however, has the advantage over Macro scene
mode in that you can use the Manual AF areas to
focus on an off-center subject while keeping the
camera rock steady on the tripod.
Another thing to note is metering. The specs
at the back of the manual lists 4 metering modes:
256-segment matrix, center-weighted, spot and
spot AF area. However, I was not able to find
where you can select these settings. The EXIF
info shows the metering used is multi-pattern.
So, I fired off a question to Nikon Technical
Support and got the following answer within 24
"The camera does have those modes but
they are a part of scene modes and not selectable."
OK, so I took a photo in every Scene Mode and
the EXIF info all displayed "Multi-Pattern."
Another email to Nikon Technical Support elicited
the following answer:
In "Auto" shooting Mode with Digital
Zoom at the 1.2 to 2.0x range it will use Center-weighted
In "Auto" shooting Mode with Digital
Zoom at the 2.1 to 4.0x range it will use Spot
In Portrait Scene Assist Modes, and with Guides
displayed it will use Spot AF Area Metering.
There you have it. Note that since I received
the answer after I had already returned the camera,
I was not able to confirm this.
Anyway, this is just to let you know that these
metering modes are simply "not [manually]
One scene mode that is especially well implemented
is the Panorama Assist scene mode which allows
you to take a number of panoramic shots and line
them up precisely on screen by overlaying the
semi-transparent previous image on screen. And,
you don't have to be restricted to go left-right
or right-left only, you can also go up-down and
down-up. Exposure is fixed with the first shot.
Then, in PictureProject, simply select the pictures
you've taken and click on Edit - Make Panorama....
Arcsoft Panorama 3 launches. You can just take
the defaults choices or even fine tune where the
images join together. I stitched together 3 images
to produce the "wide-angle" picture
above. This is one of the best Panorama implementation
I've seen so far.
Nikon PictureProject 1.6
The Nikon PictureProject software is now version
1.6. PictureProject is quite good, allowing the
usual basic image editing: you can remove red-eye
and edit the photo as to brightness, color booster
(for people or nature), sharpness, straighten,
photo effects (B&W, Sepia) and D-Lighting.
D-Lighting increases brightness (Low, Normal
or High level) to the dark areas of your image.
D-Lighting can be applied in camera at the touch
of a button [the Portrait AF button at top left]
in Playback mode, but you cannot decide on which
level to choose (the camera decides for you) and,
like digital zoom, it is really a post-processing
action so you don't have to commit yourself to
a particular level in camera (though a copy of
the image is made, which takes memory card space).
Since you can apply D-Lighting at any time, what
I recommend is to apply D-Lighting to an image
in PictureProject (unless you are printing directly
from camera to printer).
Wi-Fi Wireless Transfer
When I reviewed the Coolpix P3 back in March
2006, software installation, copying the wireless
settings to the P3, and the whole transfer process
This time, however, my laptop was giving me problem
so I was not able to re-test the Wi-Fi features.
So, I will simply point you to the Nikon
P3 review for the wireless experience.
The Nikon Coolpix S6 is easy to use and
has lots features like D-Lighting, Face-Priority
AF, and Panorama scene mode that actually help
you take better pictures. If you love Wi-Fi technology,
then this compact and stylish digital camera should
certainly be on your list.