Nikon Coolpix S560 review

Ben Pitt
25 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT



1/2.33in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (35-174mm equivalent), 130g

The S560 is typical of what you can expect from a low-cost digital camera in 2009.

It has a smart aluminium-clad design with a spacious 2.7in screen. Other tempting features include a 5x zoom and optical image stabilisation, plus the odd entertaining gimmick such as smile detection. The 10-megapixel sensor probably sounds like a significant upgrade from your current camera, but may well take inferior photos.

In other respects this camera is below average. The 160-shot battery life is one of the worst we've seen for a while. Continuous shooting performance was disappointing at an average of 0.6fps. Normal shooting performance was respectable at 2.6 seconds between shots without the flash and 2.8 seconds with. It offers few photographic options, but important settings such as ISO speed and white balance are included and the lack of frills means the menus are quick to navigate.

The S560's automatic exposures proved very reliable in our tests, with light metering, face detection and other technologies doing an excellent job in a variety of lighting conditions. However, the S560 is constrained by the limitations of its hardware. Creating a great image using 10 million pixels on a sensor the size of a fingernail is a tough task, and one with which Nikon struggles. In bright light, the S560 failed to capture the amount of detail that a10-megapixel rating suggests. In dim light, a combination of excessively long shutter speeds and poor noise reduction produced ugly results. It's unfair to expect great pictures in dim light from a low-cost camera, but the S560 fared worse than some, with more noise and less detail than Canon's similarly specified and priced A2000 IS.

The S560 is far from awful, but there are plenty of better cameras at this price. Fujifilm's F100fd beats it on all fronts.

Basic Specifications

CCD effective megapixels10.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.33in
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom5.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent35-174mm
Image stabilisationoptical, sensor shift
Maximum image resolution3,648x2,736
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied44MB internal
Battery type3.7V 680mAh Li-ion
Battery Life (tested)160 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
Body materialaluminium
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables

Buying Information


Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)64 to 2000
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlsdistortion compensation
Manual focusNo
Closest macro focus10cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, spot, face detect
Metering modesmulti, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer, smile detect