After a short life of only two years, my trusty Nikon S1 has finally bit the dust. I carried it with me everywhere. It took fantastic shots, and was great in situations where my big Nikon D50 wasn’t appropriate. I loved the idea of having a quality camera with me at all times.
I loved it too much, it seems. In my pocket, constantly banging against my keys and all the other gadgets I carry, the set screws in the side of the camera worked themselves loose. I never found them. They just went missing. Finally, the camera developed a mind of its own, cycling through various menu options on its own as I tried to shoot. It would turn the display on and drain the battery. It finally got so that it was unusable.
I tried to get by without my little camera, but felt naked without it. I finally decided to replace it. At first I looked at the Panasonic Lumix DMC FX50. What appealed to me was the built-in vibration reduction and 1600 ISO capabilities for low-light shooting. It didn’t hurt that the lens was made by Leica, either.
Ultimately, I rejected the Lumix for another in the Coolpix S series. The Nikon S50 is the successor to the S1, give or take several generations. It has the same compact size and styling, and the controls are very similar. It has a much larger LCD screen, and has vibration reduction and 1600 ISO like the Panasonic. It scored over the Panasonic in that it has fewer moving parts. The lens doesn’t extend out beyond the body. Therefore it takes less time to start shooting once you turn it on.
I know I’m going to find out what I like and don’t like about the camera, but I honestly haven’t had time to really play with it. I haven’t even had a chance to upload any test shots. However, it feels good to have a back-up camera with me again. I feel safe again.