Nikon Coolpix S2500 Review: Build and handling

Trading off from the fact that it's a little light in the function stakes, the S2500 can afford to be lightweight and slim. In fact this petite pocket-size camera is only 20mm thick and its svelte aluminium body with gently rounded corners cultivates a more elegant and expensive look than you'd expect from a camera costing less than £100.

Other than being available in the choice of black, silver, red or pink, the S2500 design doesn't scream originality and simply follows the Coolpix cookie cutter mould with an A-typical placement of buttons and dials. We did note the inclusion of a small but moderately helpful thumb-pad in the form of six small raised circles at the top right of the back panel.

As expected, the LCD makes the largest footprint on the rear, absorbing 6.7cm (2.7"). However looking at the minimal array of controls flanked to its right we do feel Nikon could have extended this slightly without compromising on aesthetics. The 230k dot TFT LCD is bright and is viewable at most angles, only in bright sunlight did we begin to struggle when shooting at certain angles, but the camera's five level brightness adjustment feature did go some way to resolving the problem.

On the whole operating the point and shoot was exactly as we had expected and probably how Nikon had intended; effortlessly easy. Beginners are sure to adore the ease of use if they want nothing more than to just frame and fire. Novices will most likely appreciate the range of scene modes and ability to inject some creative flair with the colour options and smart portrait feature set.

Movie-making fans should probably look elsewhere as not only is the maximum resolution below par but control is heavily limited and the overall quality very disappointing; as the camera fails to meter for both highlights and shadows, the lens suffers from purple fringing in any lighting situation with contrast, the zoom is rather pathetic and noise is an obvious problem.

Advanced shooters or those preferring a heightened level of manual operation may equally be disappointed by the lack of control they can exert here, other than adjusting exposure, white balance, ISO, and AF mode, there is little scope for creativity.

However we have to remember the S2500 isn't designed for the camera connoisseur but simply the point-and-shoot artist and as such the range of controls on offer will probably suffice until their demands outgrow its capabilities.

The battery life supersedes the 220 shots suggested by the brand, and in our tests was actually able to recall nearly 250 frames. There is no obvious shutter lag, and start up was noticeably quick.