There’s a new generation of digital cameras on the market called, aptly enough, ultra-compacts. Usually point-and-click devices with no optical viewfinder – but boasting 2.5 inches monitors on the back – they’re literally pocket-sized and deliver great photos. Nikon has just entered this niche with its Coolpix S1 model which we’re about to review.

The Coolpix S1 is a 5.1 megapixels ultra-compact digital camera with white, silver and black options for its body color. It’s extremely stylish and feels like a cigarette holder inside the pocket – being just 89.9mm wide by 57.5mm high by 19.7mm deep and weighting only 118 g. Its Nikkor ED lens (with a focal range of 5.8mm to 17.4 mm which is equivalent to 35mm to 105 mm) offers a 3x optical focus with a twist: the lens doesn’t come out but instead travels inside the length of the body, using a prism to make the light hit the CCD sensor. This system was pioneered on the Minolta Dimage-X and is responsible for the Coolpix S1 thinness. The lens is protected by a cover which opens whenever the camera is on – however the lens gets more dirty than usual and requires an antistatic flannel at hand to be kept clean. 

Front of the camera and lensFigure 1: Front of the camera and lens.

A self-assumed gadget-freak and an avid gamer, André Gordirro has written about pop culture, Internet and technology for the past ten years. He works for SET Magazine, Brazil's biggest movie magazine, and usually contributes to its technology section writing about consumer products. His body lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – although his mind is said to inhabit cyberspace.