Nikon Coolpix S80 review

Is beauty more than skin deep with the Nikon Coolpix S80?

Nikon Coolpix S80
A stylish compact camera that offers decent shots and all ISOs

TechRadar Verdict


  • +

    Stylish design

  • +

    Large OLED touchscreen

  • +

    Image quality at high ISOs


  • -

    Touchscreen could be more sensitive to inputs

  • -

    Slight colour fringing in some situations

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'S' means Style in the Nikon Coolpix range, and following on from the S70, the new Coolpix S80 brings improved features to the mid-range compact camera market with updated styling.

The Coolpix S80 comes with a useful 5x optical zoom (equivalent to 35mm-175mm) combined with 5-way Anti-Blur Hybrid Vibration Reduction (using Lens shift, Electronic vibration reduction, maximum ISO6400, Best Shot selector and Motion Detection) to ensure the 14.1 megapixel CCD sensor captures shake-free images.

Viewing images on the Coolpix S80 is improved thanks to a new touch-sensitive 819k-dot Organic LED screen, with anti-reflective coating, higher contrast and more vivid colours. If you want to enhance your images further there is an easy to use editing menu and Retouching Filters that allows practical or fun adjustments to be made in the camera.

There are five dedicated shooting modes on the Coolpix S80 with Easy Auto being the simplest. You can take further control over your shooting in normal Auto by using exposure compensation (+/- 2EV), White Balance Presets, ISO setting, Multi-shot 16 and Best-Shot selector.

In 'Scene' mode there are seventeen pre-set Scenes to choose from, the majority of which allow simple adjustments prior to shooting. Smart Portrait mode has what Nikon calls a Smile Timer where the camera detects faces, focuses and releases shutter automatically when it detects a smile.

The fifth shooting mode is 720p HD video, with a built in microphone that records in stereo, and a HDMI outlet socket allows the camera to be connected straight to a television.

In keeping with the overall theme of minimum user input the S80's autofocus system has a straightforward approach. The camera can select up to nine small focus areas and, as usual, pressing the shutter button halfway locks the focus, which is ideal for off-centre shooting.

The touch screen allows a further three options to be accessed for focusing. In Touch-Shutter mode, tapping the screen focuses the camera on that point in the scene and simultaneously releases the shutter. In Subject-Tracking mode you tap the screen on the subject you wish to follow and the camera does so, in this mode the shutter button is used to release the shutter.

Finally, AE/AF lock lets you tap the area in which you wish the camera to focus and pressing the shutter button halfway locks the exposure and focus. Pressing the button down fully takes the shot.