Nikon updates Coolpix digital camera range

Nikon has updated its Coolpix digital camera range with eight new models. The leader of the pack is the Nikon Coolpix P5000 , a 10-megapixel snapper aimed at the prosumer market. It features a 3.5x optical zoom, an "incredible" 2.5-inch LCD monitor and a built-in image stabilisation feature.

The Nikon Coolpix P5000 also has a maximum ISO setting of 3200 and features face detection technology. It is due for release at the end of March, priced at £330.

The 7.1-megapixel Coolpix S500 is the most compact digital camera in the world, according to Nikon. At 88 x 51 x 22mm, it has 3x optical zoom and can take photos just 0.6 seconds after being switched on. It has a 2.5-inch LCD screen and a maximum ISO setting of 2000. It will cost £250 when it is launched in late March.

Nikon's third and fourth new cameras are the slim 7.1-megapixel Coolpix S50 and Coolpix S50c. Both models have similar specifications, but the latter features Wi-Fi capabilities for cable-less image transfer to a computer.

Both the Coolpix S50 and the Coolpix S50c have large 3-inch LCD screens, 7.2-megapixel CCD image sensors, vibration reduction technology and a maximum ISO of 1600. These models will be on sale exclusively at shops owned by Dixons Store Group as well as Amazon , but pricing and availability details have yet to be confirmed.

Nikon is also offering the Coolpix S200 , which matches the Coolpix S500 on several major specifications. It lacks optical vibration reduction in favour of a cheaper electronic system, and thus costs £50 less than the Coolpix S500. It hasa 7.1 megapixel CCD a 3x optical zoom and a 2.5-inch screen. It's due for release in late March.

L-series extended too

Three new models in Nikon's entry-level L-series have also been announced; the Nikon Coolpix L10, the Nikon Coolpix L11, and the Nikon Coolpix L12.

The Coolpix L10 and Coolpix L11 are almost identical but the former has a 5-megapixel CCD and a 2-inch screen, whilst the latter has a 6-megapixel CCD and a 2.4-inch screen. Both feature 3x optical zoom and ISO of up to 800. The Coolpix L11 is priced at £130, whilst the price for the Coolpix L10 has yet to be confirmed. Both will be available at the end of February.

The Nikon Coolpix L12 goes on sale in early April for £150, and is the top entry-level camera. It features 3x optical zoom, a 7-megapixel CCD image sensor, optical image stabilisation and a 2.5-inch screen.

Nikon has also redesigned its Coolpix logo to mark the tenth anniversary of the brand. It will feature on the new cameras.

Nikon said today that it expects a double-digit growth in compact digital camera shipments during the coming business year. It aims to increase its market share to about 10 per cent from the current 8.5 per cent, and hopes the launch of these new models will help.