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Nikon Coolpix S5200 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £170
inc VAT

A good set of features, but rivals offer superior image quality


1/2.3in 16.0-megapixel sensor, 6.0x zoom (26-156mm equivalent), 146g

The S5200 is a point-and-shoot camera with Wi-Fi and a 6x zoom lens. That’s a little shorter than the 10x zooms in rivals such as the Canon Ixus 255 HS, Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9 and Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-WX200 – all of which we’ve reviewed over the last couple of months. However, Nikon’s camera is also a little cheaper.

Nikon Coolpix S5200

There’s no sign of cost-cutting in its slim, stylish metal body or its 3in LCD screen. The lack of an orientation sensor is annoying, though – portrait-shaped photos must be rotated manually.

The controls are straightforward, with a dedicated button to access scene presets and another for exposure compensation. There’s no quick menu for other photographic options, but the main shooting menu only has eight entries so it’s easy to find the setting you want. This kind of camera is likely to be left on fully automatic settings, but the ability to move the autofocus point is an unexpected treat.

A Quick Effects function offers to apply a creative effect directly after capture, with 30 effects available such as Pop, Super vivid, Toy camera and Cross Process. This might appeal to some people but we found it an annoying distraction that got in the way of taking the next photo. After disabling it in the menu, shot-to-shot performance jumped from 3.8 to 0.8 seconds.

Nikon Coolpix S5200

There are lots of continuous modes to choose from, including a 10fps mode that lasted for six frames, plus 1.5fps shooting that kept going for 17 frames before slowing to 1fps. Battery performance is worrying, though, quoted at 160 shots or just 25 minutes of video. Rival cameras manage 220 shots, and we criticised that for being too little. Using the Wi-Fi functions will reduce battery life even further.

These Wi-Fi functions are surprisingly hard to find. While other cameras have a dedicated Wi-Fi button, here it appears on the third page of the configuration menu. The Wi-Fi functions are less numerous than elsewhere, too, with communication limited to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets – there’s no option to transfer photos across a home Wi-Fi network to a PC or online services.

Nikon Coolpix S5200
Browsing photos and videos on the camera via the Android app

We reckon smartphone support is far more useful, though. The remote control mode showed a responsive live preview in the app, although control is limited to the shutter release, zoom and self-timer. Full-resolution photos are transferred to the device directly after capture, which slows things down a little, but there’s an option to turn this off. Browsing the camera’s memory card from the app was a slick experience, with full-screen previews appearing quickly and the ability to transfer batches of photos. The Android app let us transfer videos as well as photos, but this wasn’t possible with the iOS app.

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Basic Specifications

Rating ***
CCD effective megapixels 16.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 460,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 6.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 26-156mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,608×3,456
File formats JPEG; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 25MB internal
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 160 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, micro HDMI, Wi-Fi
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 146g
Size 58x98x21mm

Buying Information

Warranty two years RTB
Price £170

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3.5 (wide), f/6.5 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 125 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controls none
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, centre, flexible spot, face detect, tracking
Metering modes multi, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, smile detect, panorama, 3D