2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Pretty Good Camera,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Nikon Coolpix S550 10MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom (Cool Blue) (Electronics)
I do not write many reviews but I feel the need to write one for this camera because it has been so helpful to me and I'm not happy about how many people have been dogging it. (Note: if you don't have time to read this, skip to my summation at the bottom)
First off, let me say that while I am a bit of a technophile, I am in no way an expert on cameras. My five-star rating is not to say that this is the best product out there, but rather my level of satisfaction as an amateur photographer.
I purchased this camera for regular picture-taking, nothing more. Go to a party or social event, got camera, no hassle. I had been using a 35 mm up until about 3 or 4 years ago and I realized how much money I was wasting on film. I also bought it to replace the digital camera that I had lost at Christmas 2007 (Nikon Coolpix L14). Plus, I was still waiting for the price of digital cameras to come down (bought this for $200), since I never buy new technology. I always wait for the most of the bugs to be worked out before I buy any electronic device.
Let me say that if you are looking for a high-quality photo (10 MP gives incredible detail) in a compact, easy-to-use camera, look no further. I had read a wide variety of complaints, very few of which were valid or relevant. Let me say this much, if you are looking for a high shutter speed, this is not the product for you. It takes about three seconds from the time you push the button to the actual snap. But if you can be patient, the image quality is well worth it. I was pleased with the 7.1 MP on my L14 but I was thoroughly satisfied with the quality of 10 MP. The auto flash is pretty good at picking the setting. If you are not sure whether or not there is enough light, err on the side of using the flash, its always your best bet. I have had the camera for over a year and it is still going strong.
I had read another complaint about not being able to charge the battery inside the camera. The BEST thing that they could have done is charge the battery externally. This camera is considerably smaller than my last Coolpix which had a built-in charger. Your best bet is to purchase another battery, doesn't have to be from Nikon (I bought one from a third-party), since you never know when it is going to run out. It lasts a while but you don't get much warning. I simply keep a back-up and throw the depleted one on the charger, which is so much smarter than having to plug in the camera. The battery charges pretty quickly. Anyone who complains about this is a moron who doesn't know how to accessorize properly.
I've only been displeased with a handful of pictures and most of those were taken on short notice. Point-and-shoots are not designed for quick picture taking, that's what traditional cameras are for. This is for casual picture taking only, not for serious photographers. It has a very large LCD screen and what's even better is that you can view a picture and zoom in pretty close. The detail is astounding.
Transferring files to my laptop is very easy. Some have implied that the software sucks but that's just not true. I don't know what other softwares look like but this one does the job well. It helps to have a USB 2.0 port. I purchased a laptop (in Sept. 2008) with USB 2.0 and noticed how much faster transfer was then my desktop (from March 2002). Once I transfer the photos, I create folders for different occasions and themes and sort them that way, which is pretty easy, unless you're a moron.
One more thing I love about this camera is the quality of the video. I have shot some pretty impressive video with this thing. I didn't expect that and that was an added surprise. Another accessory you should have is at least two SD cards of at least 2 GB in size. On the highest quality setting with 2 GB, you can take 408 pictures or shoot 29 minutes and 51 seconds of video. You should also get a tripod if you're going to shoot a lot of video, and buy a camera case for a couple of bucks.
In summation, this is a good camera with a high picture quality, if you are using it casually, accessorize it properly (extra battery, two SD cards >2 GB, and a carrying case), and use the flash appropriately. I have had no technical or physical difficulties with the camera, and still enjoy using it.