The Nikon Coolpix S70 earns praise for its sleek design but falls short of the competition with a subpar touch screen and average image quality. Although the S70's 3.5-inch LCD has energy-saving OLED technology, its 288,000-dot resolution pales next to the 1,152,000 dots on the Samsung DualView TL225 (*Est. $200). The S70 relies solely on the touch screen to operate; a tap releases the shutter and a swipe lets you scroll through images. There's even pinch-to-zoom functionality, which one-ups the Canon PowerShot SD3500 IS (*Est. $265). However, PJ Jacobowitz at PCMag.com says Nikon's implementation of multi-touch is "disappointing," while Adam Crawford at DigitalCamerReview.com says a boost in screen resolution would have helped him spot some out-of-focus shots, and the inconsistent responsiveness left him wanting the TL225's haptic feedback.
As a point-and-shoot camera, there's "nothing much in terms of control" on the S70, says Crawford, although Kasia Pilat at DigitalCamera-HQ.com considers menu navigation a breeze. The S70 has a 12.1-megapixel sensor and a 5x zoom, but Jacobowitz says using the touch screen to zoom is "difficult, clunky and inconsistent," whereas the SD3500 IS and the TL225 have the advantage of hardware zoom controls. A large number of users at Amazon.com complain about fuzzy photos, and expert tests report slow start-up times. HD video is average, and there's no HDMI cable for easy HDTV playback, but you can charge the camera on your computer (via USB). If a touch screen is on your "must have" list, the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T90 (*Est. $300) and the Canon PowerShot SD980 IS are "more polished and practical" cameras, says Jacobowitz.
While a number of professional standalone reviews look at the specs and performance of the Nikon Coolpix S70, PCMag.com compares it to market contenders, while a ratings chart at ConsumerReports.org quickly shows how the S70 stacks up within the ultracompact field. Enough owner comments appear at Amazon.com to establish a user consensus.
Although the Nikon Coolpix S70 has "great potential" with its OLED touch-screen LCD, PJ Jacobowitz says "Nikon cut corners" on the display and other cameras offer more attractive and functional touch screens. Nevertheless, the S70 delivers decent image quality and the versatile USB port lets you charge the camera on a computer.
Review: Nikon Coolpix S70, PJ Jacobowitz, April 6, 2010
Adam Crawford appreciates the sleek design, great image sharpness and power-conserving OLED display of the Nikon Coolpix S70, but he says the positives "just don't outweigh some of its issues." Among the setbacks are the display's average resolution, the lack of manual controls and somewhat unreliable touch screen that "isn't supplemented with physical buttons."
Review: Nikon Coolpix S70 Review, Adam Crawford, Dec. 11, 2009
"The worst part is that performance time leaves something to be desired," says Kasia Pilat of the Nikon Coolpix S70, who also notes average image quality for its class. Nevertheless, she considers it "an impressive little gadget," although the steep price tag means "you'll be shelling out a pretty penny."
Review: Nikon S70 Review, Kasia Pilat, Jan. 7, 2010
ConsumerReports.org doesn't offer the same detailed write-ups as professional camera reviewers, but editors base their evaluations on rigorous product testing. The Nikon Coolpix S70 is rated alongside a large number of compact digital cameras.
Review: Nikon Coolpix S70, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
More than 60 owners post reviews of the Nikon Coolpix S70; about 30 percent give the highest rating, while another 25 percent give it the lowest score. For some owners, the camera excels with a great touch screen, ease of use and commendable image quality, but for many others, fuzzy photos dominate.
Review: Nikon Coolpix S70 12.1MP Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com