Nikon Coolpix S50C: A Wireless Wonder

This new and advanced Coolpix is the perfect illustration of Nikon's innovation in wireless digital cameras. Boasting a wonderful iPod-like scroll wheel, which also activates a beautiful menu system, the compact, 7.2-megapixel S50c has a 3-inch LCD and a non-telescoping lens.

The "c" in the S50c's name stands for the Coolpix Connect service. The camera has a built-in 802.11b/g chip that can transfer picture in one of two ways: via e-mail (the Picture Mail feature) or to storage on a Nikon-run server (the Picture Bank feature). Picture Mail worked very well, but I ran into a few minor snags while setting up the Picture Bank service because each S50c must be registered first. That aside, the service provided a pretty clean interface and pleasant user experience.

Overall, image quality was decent, but performance was slow and shutter lag significant. The S50c scored 1,600 lines on our resolution test, average for a 7.2MP camera. I clocked a very slow 4.9-second boot-up time and a respectable but not extraordinary 3.7-second recycle time. Still-life images had excellent color, although they had just a bit of fringing. Daylight and flash shots, on the other hand, displayed excellent exposures.

The Coolpix S50c won't win any awards for swift performance or outstanding image quality, but it is currently the best wireless camera on the market.
Nikon Coolpix S50C: $349.95


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