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September 1, 2005 – Nikon has augmented its recent "S-series" line of compact point-and-shoots with today’s announcement of the 6 megapixel Coolpix S3. The Coolpix S3 (spec sheet) bears a strong resemblance to Nikon’s Coolpix S1, released this past March, but offers a bump in resolution from 5.1 megapixels up to 6 megapixels. Available in a choice of colors, the Coolpix S3 is expected to hit retailers this month at an estimated price of $429.95.
The Coolpix S3 has a 3x optical zoom Nikkor lens with a 35mm equivalent range of 35-105mm and an aperture that opens to f/3.0 at its widest focal length. The lens closes down to an f/5.4 max aperture in its full telephoto perspective. The lens features Nikon’s "right angled" optics system, allowing it to zoom across its entire focal range without extending from the camera body.
The slim Coolpix S3 caters to fashionable point-and-shooters with 17 preset shooting modes, including an "Underwater" mode that works in tandem with the camera’s optional waterproof housing. Digital noise reduction is available when shooting in "Dusk/Dawn" or "Night" preset modes.
The Coolpix S3 ditches a viewfinder in favor of a 110,000 pixel, 2.5-inch LCD screen. Menu choices can be displayed on the screen using either an icon or the name of a function to identify it.
Video recording is also possible with the Coolpix S3, offering a movie mode that will capture 640 x 480 resolution video at 15 frames per second. A continuous shooting mode is also offered to provide a possible time lapse or action capture alternative, recording consecutive images at 1.6 frames per second until the card is full.
Measuring 3.5 x 2.3 x .8 inches, the svelte Coolpix S3 weighs 4 ounces without its battery or SD memory card. The Coolpix S3 ships with the S1’s docking station, allowing users to transfer files while the battery is recharged. The camera will be available in "Ivory white," "Matte black," "Brown red," and "Platinum silver" colored bodies.