The Nikon Coolpix S60 is a sleek, sexy little camera. Its design has sweeping curves and a graceful elegance about it. Unfortunately, the whole things is made of extremely shiny plastic, and is a magnet for fingerprints. Instead of using buttons to control the camera, the entire back is a 3-inch touch screen. Consequently, the only physical interface objects are the shutter control and power button, both on the top of the camera. And it is undeniably sparkly.
First off, a quick explanation regarding the yellow-tinged photo you see here. This camera was shot pre-release at the Nikon booth at Photokina, where the brilliant yellow illumination was unavoidable. In fact, the sides of the camera are standard silvery chrome, and the front a deep crimson.
The front of the camera is, to put it bluntly, gorgeous. The subtle sweep on the left side creates a natural platform to rest your hand and grip. There's a small chrome accent along the left side, which enlarges towards the bottom. The flash is central at the very top of the camera's front, and the lens is just to its right, bordered by chrome. In the upper right corner is the auto focus assist/timer lamp.
The back only has a single feature, the 3.5-inch wide-angle touch screen. Unfortunately, screen resolution is only 230,000 pixels, which leads to images looking rather low-res, as seen in the sample below. One good mark for this LCD, though, was that the anti-reflective coating handled the extremely bright lights in the convention booth very well, and minimized glare. The screen also resisted solarization at all but the greatest of angles.
The entire rear of the camera is taken up by the screen
*The four dots you can see on the image below constitute the speaker cover. There is another single dot a bit below it, for the microphone, but it is obscured by Nikon's substantial security apparatus.
Nikon obviously didn't trust us with its shiny toys
The right side is coated in chromed plastic, a foolish design decision for an area where you constantly rest your hand, as it instantly becomes covered in fingerprints. Approximately half way up is the wrist-strap connector. Above that is the mini HDMI port, which is covered by one of the weakest, most flimsy port guards we have ever seen. Poor show, Nikon. Poor show.
*The HDMI cover shown here is
exceedingly poor quality
The top view of the camera allows you to see the curved nature of the body slightly better, and how it projects slightly around the lens, and smoothly transitions into a valley for gripping on the right. The power button and shutter are both housed on the right of the top of the S60. The camera's body material smudges easily, though it's not as bad as the chrome areas. You'll need to polish it frequently if you want it to look its best.
A gently sweeping body
The S60 is the second point-and-shoot camera we've seen at Photokina that has an exposed USB port underneath the body. This is virtually begging for sand, crumbs and other tiny objects to fall in and cause endless consternation. The tripod mount is located in a very strange position. Usually, they're placed either in the center of the camera's bottom, or along the center axis of the lens. Occasionally, they're at neither place, but in that situation they're usually put in a position that's far enough away from the battery door that it can be freely accessed while still attached to a tripod. The S60's tripod mount is in none of these locations. It's not camera or lens centered, and it will obviously block the battery/memory card cover if a tripod is used. This cover also feels exceedingly cheap, as if it'll break with even the smallest amount of force.
The bottom of the Nikon S60