Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Nikon Coolpix S640 12.2MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide Angle Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) Zoom and 2.7-inch LCD (Calm Black)
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on November 3, 2009
I have been looking for a compact all around point and shoot camera for awhile now. I have used multiple cameras in the last few months, and I think I have found my favorite. I'm not an expert in terms of color reproduction, or other details aspects of the final photo, but I don't see much to complain about in terms of photo quality.

PROS:
Ultra fast focus. This baby can focus and lock on in < 1 sec. This ensure that you'll be able to capture those timeless moments in a blink of an eye.

Fast startup. The startup of 0.7s is true, BUT only if you are in Auto Mode and Single Shot mode with AF/Center Focus. If you are in another mode or continuous/BSS, face detect, the camera takes almost 5 seconds before you can take your first show. Although I'm a little bit disapointed that the startup of the camera is limited to a very specific mode, I use Auto/Single/AF 99% of the time so I'm not too concerned.

Easy, intuitive controls. I didn't have to read the manual, and I can get around easily.'

High ISO modes, up to 6400. Although I would not recommend anything greater than 800 (or even 400 if you can help it), just have a capability just in case is nice.

Fast 5x wide angle lens. This lens has a pretty standard wide angle lens, 28mm, but the nice thing is that is also a fast lens - maximum aperture of 2.7. Helps a bit in low light. 5x is more than what basic P&S have (usually 3x).

Extremely compact and solid. Its pretty small, but still has a good feel in your hand. Easily slips into your pocket.

CONS

Picture quality is just SO-SO. There hasn't been many compact 12mp P&S that excel in picture quality. While its not terrible, its not something to be excited about. Its comparable to any of the SD800-SD960, SD1200 cameras.

ISO800 is barely usable, and anything above that I don't recommend. Of course, I've been spoiled by DSLRs, but I was hoping for better.

Battery drains pretty quickly. I don't get the 200+ shots that Nikon says I can get. I get maybe 100? Of course, I use flash sometimes, I replay the photo's quite a bit, turn it on/off a lot. Maybe that 270 shots per battery is 270 continuous shots? I don't know. Get a second one in my opinion.

This camera takes a while to write to the SD flash card. On my previous Canon SD800 and Panasonic ZR1, I was able to take a picture, and flip it to the playback mode instantly. Now, it takes about 1.5 seconds to write to the card, before I can enable the playback mode. Slightly annoying.

So, who is this camera for? Its for the amateur photographer who needs a fast, compact, basic Point and Shoot that will get the job done. I would recommend this over the Canon SD1200, SD800-SD960. But, because of the wide angle and fast shooting capability, you will be able to take quick shots which usually lead to more keeper photo's.
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on November 3, 2009
I have been looking for a compact all around point and shoot camera for awhile now. I have used multiple cameras in the last few months, and I think I have found my favorite. I'm not an expert in terms of color reproduction, or other details aspects of the final photo, but I don't see much to complain about in terms of photo quality.

PROS:
Ultra fast focus. This baby can focus and lock on in < 1 sec. This ensure that you'll be able to capture those timeless moments in a blink of an eye.

Fast startup. The startup of 0.7s is true, BUT only if you are in Auto Mode and Single Shot mode with AF/Center Focus. If you are in another mode or continuous/BSS, face detect, the camera takes almost 5 seconds before you can take your first show. Although I'm a little bit disapointed that the startup of the camera is limited to a very specific mode, I use Auto/Single/AF 99% of the time so I'm not too concerned.

Easy, intuitive controls. I didn't have to read the manual, and I can get around easily.'

High ISO modes, up to 6400. Although I would not recommend anything greater than 800 (or even 400 if you can help it), just have a capability just in case is nice.

Fast 5x wide angle lens. This lens has a pretty standard wide angle lens, 28mm, but the nice thing is that is also a fast lens - maximum aperture of 2.7. Helps a bit in low light. 5x is more than what basic P&S have (usually 3x).

Extremely compact and solid. Its pretty small, but still has a good feel in your hand. Easily slips into your pocket.

CONS

Picture quality is just SO-SO. There hasn't been many compact 12mp P&S that excel in picture quality. While its not terrible, its not something to be excited about. Its comparable to any of the SD800-SD960, SD1200 cameras.

ISO800 is barely usable, and anything above that I don't recommend. Of course, I've been spoiled by DSLRs, but I was hoping for better.

Battery drains pretty quickly. I don't get the 200+ shots that Nikon says I can get. I get maybe 100? Of course, I use flash sometimes, I replay the photo's quite a bit, turn it on/off a lot. Maybe that 270 shots per battery is 270 continuous shots? I don't know. Get a second one in my opinion.

This camera takes a while to write to the SD flash card. On my previous Canon SD800 and Panasonic ZR1, I was able to take a picture, and flip it to the playback mode instantly. Now, it takes about 1.5 seconds to write to the card, before I can enable the playback mode. Slightly annoying.

So, who is this camera for? Its for the amateur photographer who needs a fast, compact, basic Point and Shoot that will get the job done. I would recommend this over the Canon SD1200, SD800-SD960. But, because of the wide angle and fast shooting capability, you will be able to take quick shots which usually lead to more keeper photo's.
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on November 1, 2009
I bought my Nikon S640 pocket digital camera after I dropped my Olympus pocket camera and broke it this summer. I was an avid Cannon and Olympus fan and finally decided to try a Nikon this time after reading some of the online reviews before the launch of this camera in the market in Sept 2009. I must say, this is by far, the BEST pocket camera I have ever owned! The pictures are consistently crisp with vibrant colors in any setting and that is using only the AUTO feature for settings. I took the camera to Paris in Oct and took many night shots -- all with no flash , and only had 4 out of 125 that I had to delete because they were too blurry to use. The high ISO (6400) in low light is a real differentiator for this camera. I also liked the fast shutter lag between startup and first pic as well as between pics. Its a bit longer if using the flash, but overall, much improved over my Olympus. I have a Cannon digital Rebel 5MP that I used to consider my favorite / BEST camera for special occasion photography, but now I think I can easily consider my new Nikon the BEST for ANY occasion. I Highly recommend this camera.
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on November 3, 2009
It's what I wanted, something compact and light that didn't require much set up or fancy footwork to get operational. The features on the camera could be better, I've seen more options and better detail on other camera designs. If your just looking for something that you can have around and use on the go without too much flipping through a user guide this is definitely your type of camera.

Construction is neat enough that slipping in and out a new battery or Memory Card is a breeze. The only thing I found a bit of a bug was the small buttons with only icons to tell you what their use is, though once you master those icons its not much of an issue.

Picture quality is a bit sub-par even for a 12.2 megapixel camera, switching through the very limited features to different conditions and settings, it seems to do best without using the flash, and does better with more exposure time which is a bit out of the ordinary, the setting for best shot selection in particular allows for more exposure without too much fiddling with the settings. Obviously, there is a reason that was put on this camera.

As far as Portability goes this camera is compact enough for any purse or glove box, or even a pocket on the side of your pant leg. It weighs next to nothing and has the convenience of always being ready if you need it with its Lithium Ion Battery. Just a simple flick of a switch its ready to go and shoot 10 or 100 or 10,000 pictures depending on your memory card, and the picture quality selection.

I have yet to test the video clip setting on this camera, though am quite sure it would have the same quality or worse than a normal picture due to the already below average quality of pictures.

Overall, I got what I asked for, in some regard though was a bit disappointed at the picture quality and was forced to clip a star from it. Just don't expect the world from it and you'll be satisfied.
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on November 16, 2009
I was looking for a point-and-shoot for those priceless shots of my granddaughter and this one is just what I wanted! I don't have any missed shots because the camera speed is so fast. Even took it to the LSU game this weekend and got great shots of the players and the band in the max zoom position! I was really surprised at the clarity of the pictures. The camera is VERY easy to use and carry.
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on December 3, 2009
Extremely fast for a point and shoot camera with great picture quality it's like a pocket D-SLR. The Macro 2mm close up shots are amazing. Start up time is as advertised but, there is a little tiny delay from start up to first shot. Besides the picture quality and the speed of the camera one of the best things is the ease of use.
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on December 22, 2009
I purchased this camera through Amazon about a month ago, in anticipation of an upcoming cruise to the Caribbean.

My goals when buying this camera were pretty straightforward.
1) Good picture quality.
2) Very portable. Something to fit in jeans / short pockets.
3) Fast interface and quick to snap photos.
4) Limited motion blur. Basically image and camera stabilization.

After packing this camera around everywhere I went for 10 days straight, and using it religiously over the course of the past 4 weeks, I must say I am very happy with the results. My pictures from the Caribbean turned out spectacular, as have all the others in between. So here is the breakdown.

1) Picture quality is great. It does a pretty good job on the auto settings, but it isn't terribly hard to manipulate your shot in manual mode as well, if you're into that.
2) For 10 days straight I packed the camera around in jeans pockets and board shorts. It is light and easy to carry, fits just fine, and isn't a pain.
3) The interface is incredibly fast! It loads up super quick! It does take an extra second or two before all the features are fully loaded, but that was of no concern to me. Navigating the interface is a breeze. You're able to take photos pretty quickly, and with the adjustable ISO you can make it even faster if you so desire. To start it up, and snap a good quality photo in auto mode, might take 3 seconds or so. Very happy about that.
4) This thing is incredible when it comes to blur. I was so impressed I even did a series of tests with it. In auto mode it is easy enough to capture a car traveling 50mph+ with no blur, from a standstill. I took it in my car and on surface streets, traveling 30mph+, captured photos of the city with no blur and good colors. Taking photos from a tour bus on my trip turned out wonderful as well. Using it on my cruise from the tender boats was great. Despite traveling at a decent pace the shots never blurred, even when capturing fast moving settings like the boat wake or other boats.

-- Bonuses --
Works decently in low light situations. Sometimes the auto mode isn't exact and you need to take a second photo, but it works well 99% of the time. I was very impressed by turning off the flash and letting auto mode adjust the ISO in low light situations - those pictures came out great! I played with the ISO in manual mode a fair bit as well, and you can do some fun stuff in low light. It isn't going to be a DSLR, but shoot, for what this camera is and what it costs, it does well.

Macro mode! It is killer on this camera. Extreme closeups come out nice and crisp.

Rechargeable battery. I know this is virtually standard these days, but just in case you didn't notice it. It's really handy.

I was able to purchase a high speed SD card for very cheap online (newegg), and expand my storage up to 8GB. This worked out well, and offloading pictures is nice and quick.

All in all, if you're in the market for a decent point and shoot, this just might be the camera for you. I shopped through a ton of cameras, and then narrowed it down to about 15 for detailed review. This one came out as the winner in my book, and I'm very satisfied with my purchase.

There are several other great cameras out there though, so do your research and read reviews, especially if you're after certain features. All I can do is share my experience with this particular camera, and in this case, it was outstanding. So I hope that helps in some regard.

Cheers, and good luck!
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on February 13, 2010
I'm a semi-professional photographer who's been using Nikon cameras and products for several years with zero complaints. I purchased this camera to have something more portable for snapshots of friends and family. My faith in Nikon was misplaced and I've found myself sorely wishing that I had gone to a brick and mortar store to test-drive a few small cameras. I admit that it's quite possible that I'm jaded and spoiled after having shot with a D200 and D700 for years, but the picture quality of this camera is incredibly dismal, the build quality is so-so, and the speed of operation is also incredibly disappointing.

If you like to use a flash a lot and aren't really concerned about the quality of your pictures, this camera might be acceptable to you. But if you are somewhat technically savvy when it comes to cameras, you should be aware that the 12 megapixels and ISO 6400 capability do NOT translate into even marginally acceptable picture quality. The sensor in this camera is really from the bottom of the barrel, and after having used it for awhile, I was very disheartened to discover that my iphone actually takes better quality pictures than this camera. Additionally, start-up is surprisingly slow, auto-focus is only quick in really bright light and I've had a few problems transferring files from the camera to my computer (issues with both speed and glitches).

On the bright side, the video quality, although limited by the poor sensor quality is not half-bad. Although I have occasionally had issues with the sound quality (choppy sound sometimes occurs when recording movies).

My advice is to shop around before purchasing this camera. I paid $200 for mine two months ago, and in spite of trying to like and use the camera, I've regretted it ever since.
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on December 1, 2009
I have owned a few Nikons and this is the best by far. It really does take lightning fast photos, which was the worst part of our old Nikon. You truly can capture images almost as quick as an DSLR. Great Camera, Highly recommend!
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on August 21, 2014
This tough, little guy does something newer cameras at this price point does not do... allow you to control your flash. I like being able to MAKE the flash fire on the beach or on the snow (to fill in facial shadows). I like being able to STOP the flash because I know I want a silhouette of my wife against a pretty background.

I also happy with the email-friendly short videos I can capture. (Teachers... great for the classroom).

Good luck in finding this little gem. When a wave on the beach brought my first Nikon S640 to an untimely demise, I could find only two available online.
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