The S10's glassware is shifted to one end, separated from the camera body by a swivelling pivot that can be rotated by as much as 270 degrees. It's not the first time Nikon has dabbled with this type of design – you can trace the S10's heritage back 10 years to the early 900 series.
It may be unusual, but this layout has allowed Nikon to fit a 10x optical zoom with a fixed f3.5 aperture into a relatively small profile – although it's hardly pocket-sized. And while the Nikon may be somewhat aesthetically challenged, its swivelling body results in an unexpected amount of natural flexibility.
With that whopping 10x optical zoom equating to 38-380mm in 35mm terms, the S10 ventures deeply into camera-shake territory at longer lengths. Fortunately, Nikon has fitted antishake technology that it terms VR (vibration reduction). This shifts the sensor to compensate for small amounts of movement. It works pretty well.
There may be lots to boast about when it comes to the S10's glassware, but the 6Mp sensor isn't huge. That said, 6Mp cameras can produce images more than 2,800 pixels across and the S10 continues to operate well when the ISO is boosted up to 800.
Despite its relative megapixel inadequacy, the S10 is capable. Its vast optical magnification is more than enough to compensate for the resolution drop. Images are crisp with good detail and low noise. Even on the more adventurous settings general exposures are well gauged. Our only complaint is that focusing at longer lengths gets a little lost.