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Nikon Unveils Eight New Coolpix Cameras

Nikon broke its awkward CES silence with eight new Coolpix announcements today, ranging from feature-heavy pocket cameras to sub-$200 bargains to an advanced model with 24X optical zoom. All the new additions to the Coolpix line will hit stores in March and April of this year.

Nikon Coolpix P90

Nikon Coolpix P90

The $400 Nikon Coolpix P90, the megazoom model, offers a 24mm to 624mm, 24X optical zoom Nikkor lens and will hit stores in April. Nikon says that the Coolpix D90 features the same Nikkor ED glass found in the company's digital SLR cameras.

To keep its megazoom shots blur-free, the P90 provides four-way image stabilization: optical CCD shift, detection and exposure optimization for moving subjects, high ISO capabilities, and a best-shot selector that takes up to 10 images in rapid-fire succession and keeps the sharpest image of the bunch. The P90 also offers full manual controls for shutter and exposure, an in-camera Quick Retouch editing feature, and a high-speed (15 frames per second) shooting mode with preshutter recording capabilities similar to those of the Casio Exilim EX-F1. Manual ISO settings reach up to 6400, and the P90's 3-inch LCD tilts forward and back.

Nikon Coolpix L100

Nikon Coolpix L100

Also flexing some megazoom chops is the Coolpix L100, a 10-megapixel model with a 15X zoom lens that ranges from 28mm on the wide-angle end to 420mm on the telephoto end, with a minimum focus length of 1 centimeter in macro mode. Four-way image stabilization, a 3-inch LCD, and a 13-fps high-speed burst mode (with no preshutter buffer) are the other big draws of this $280 model, available in April. The L100 also comes with an Easy Auto mode, a Smart Portrait mode, and automatic scene selection.

Nikon Coolpix S630

Nikon Coolpix S630

Rounding out the high-optical-zoom announcements is one of four new additions to Nikon's S series of Coolpix cameras, the Coolpix S630--though it skimps on the wide-angle end. With a 7X optical zoom ranging from 37mm to 260mm, the 12-megapixel S360 also offers four-way image stabilization; a 2.7-inch LCD; in-camera editing features; automatic scene selection; ISO equivalency up to 6400; a Smart Portrait setting that combines face recognition, smile trigger, blink detection, red-eye reduction; and an anodyzed stainless steel frame. Available in five colors (black, blue, red, purple, and silver), the S630 is available starting in March for $280.

Nikon Coolpix S620

Nikon Coolpix S620

Though it's priced lower than the Coolpix S630, the $270 Coolpix S620 may be a smarter buy for one reason: a 28mm wide-angle lens on the low end of its 4X optical zoom lens. The 12-megapixel S620 also assembles most of the features found in the S630, including four-way image stabilization, automatic scene selection, in-camera editing features, and Smart Portrait mode. To these it adds motion-tracking autofocus and what Nikon claims is the "fastest start-up time in its class," at 0.7 second. The S620 will be available in black, purple, silver, pink, blue, and white starting in March.

Nikon Coolpix S230

Nikon Coolpix S230

For touch-screen aficionados, the 10-megapixel Coolpix S230 boasts a 3-inch touch screen that you can operate with your fingers or with the included stylus. Other than the touch screen's fun-sounding 'paint function' mode, this model's specs are fairly standard: a 3X optical zoom (35mm to 105mm) lens, four-way image stabilization, Smart Portrait and automatic scene-selection modes, and in-camera editing apps. The Coolpix S230 will be available in March for around $230.

Sub-$200 Cameras: Nikon Coolpix S220, L19, and L20

Three of the new Coolpix announcements target budget buyers, with entry-level additions to the Coolpix S and L series.

Nikon Coolpix S220

At $150, the ultracompact 10-megapixel S220 is just 18 millimeters thick. It has a 3X optical zoom (35mm to 105mm) lens and comes in five color choices: black, blue, plum, magenta, and green. It's slated for availability in March.

Nikon Coolpix L19

The red, 10-megapixel Coolpix L20 will be available for $130 starting in March; it serves up a 3-inch LCD screen, automatic scene selection, in-camera image effects, and a 3.6X optical zoom (38mm to 136mm) lens.

Nikon Coolpix L20
At the very-entry-level end of Nikon's 2009 Coolpix announcements is the AA-powered, 8-megapixel Coolpix L19. With a 2.7-inch LCD and a silver frame, the L19 will be available in March for the bargain-bin price of $110.

For more new camera announcements, visit our 2009 camera roadmap and our slide show of the biggest camera announcements from CES 2009.

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