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3-megapixel digital camera

Item # 054CPSQ

More likely to elicit admiration from strangers than just about any other digital camera, the unorthodox COOLPIX SQ...

More likely to elicit admiration from strangers than just about any other digital camera, the unorthodox COOLPIX SQ...

Discontinued item

Item # 054CPSQ

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About the Nikon COOLPIX SQ

More likely to elicit admiration from strangers than just about any other digital camera, the unorthodox COOLPIX SQ is just plain cool . The swiveling lens design and squarish, shallow build give it all the gadget chic you want — and the powerful 3-megapixel CCD, 3X optical zoom, and handy Scene modes mean significant photo-snapping prowess for such a compact cam.

More likely to elicit admiration from strangers than just about any other digital camera, the unorthodox COOLPIX SQ is just plain cool. The swiveling lens design and squarish, shallow build give it all the gadget chic you want — and the powerful 3-megapixel CCD, 3X optical zoom, and handy Scene modes mean significant photo-snapping prowess for such a compact cam.

To begin with, this tiny trendsetter boasts a Zoom-Nikkor lens, for richly detailed, accurate photography. The 3-megapixel recording capability gives you a top resolution of 2016 x 1512; that means you can print out sparklingly realistic and sharp photos at sizes like 5" x 7" or 8" x 10"! Image-friendly features include Nikon's 1005-segment metering (it intelligently assesses tiny sections all over the framed shot, then sets exposure and film speed equivalent accordingly) or the ultra-helpful macro mode (take in-focus shots just 1.6" away from your subject).

Finally, there's that swiveling lens and the included Cool-Station. The lens actually gives you increased flexibility for picture snapping — flip it forward for photos, snap it back into place for easy storage (see "More Photos"). Flip it around backwards, and you can snap shots while viewing yourself in the LCD, for easy self-portraits. And the convenient, aptly named Cool-Station docking station connects to your wall outlet and your computer, and is ready and waiting to power your cam or download pics whenever you want — just drop the SQ in place without fumbling with cables and connectors! More great innovations from Nikon.

Read a hands-on review of the COOLPIX SQ digital camera at


  • 3-megapixel effective recording
  • 1-1/2" color LCD
  • swiveling lens
  • 5-area multipoint autofocus
  • 3X optical/4X digital/12X total zoom
  • JPEG options: 2016 x 1512; 1600 x 1200; 1024 x 768; 640 x 480
  • QuickTime movie mode
  • scene assist modes
  • white balance settings
  • built-in flash
  • USB interface
  • NTSC/PAL A/V out
  • camera dimensions: 3-5/16"W x 3-7/16"H x 1-1/16"D
  • Cool-Station dimensions: 3-1/2"W x 2"H x 3"D
  • weight (without battery and media): 6.3 oz.
  • warranty: 1 year

Supplied Accessories:

  • Cool-Station for recharging and image download
  • 16MB CompactFlash® card
  • rechargeable lithium ion battery
  • AC adapter
  • USB and A/V cables
  • lens cover and strap
  • software CD-ROM (PC and Mac)

What's in the box:

  • Digital camera
  • EN-EL2 Lithium-Ion battery (3.7V/1000 mAh) with plastic contact cover
  • MV-10 Cool Station battery charger/docking station
  • 16MB Compact Flash card
  • EH-61 AC adapter (DC output: 4.2 Volts/1.5 Amps) with attached 6' DC output cord
  • 6.5' AC cord
  • 62" Audio video cable (with 2.5mm male micro plug on one end and mono audio and composite video RCA plugs on the other end)
  • 59" UC-E6 USB cable (has Mini USB plug "Version 2.0" on one end and male USB "Type A" plug on the other end)
  • Lens cap
  • Lens cap cord
  • Wrist strap
  • Arcsoft Nikon View (Version 6.0.1) CD-ROM software
  • Nikon View 6 Reference Manual (on CD)
  • Nikon Guide to Digital Photography with the Coolpix SQ (English)
  • Nikon Guide to Digital Photography with the Coolpix SQ (Spanish)
  • Warning for users in California (on self-adhesive card)
  • Battery Instruction Manual
  • Quick Start Guide (English)
  • Quick Start Guide (Spanish)
  • AC Adapter Instruction Manual
  • Important Information envelope (contains Warranty card/Compact Flash info/Product Registration card)

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<< >>

More details on the Nikon COOLPIX SQ

Mark G.

Features & specs

LCD Screen Size 1.5"
Adjustable-angle LCD ---
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen ---
Waterproof ---
GPS-enabled ---
Lens 35mm Equivalent 37-111mm
Optical Zoom 3x
Digital Zoom 4x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing No
Manual Exposure No
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output ---
Internal Memory None
Memory Stick No
CFexpress Cards No
CompactFlash Cards Yes
SD Cards No
XQD Cards No
Sensor Size 9.41mm (1/2.7")
Megapixels 3.1e+006
Image Stabilization None
Highest Resolution 2016 x 1512
4K Video No
Video Resolution ---
Width (inches) 3-5/16
Height (inches) 3-7/16
Depth (inches) 1-1/16
Weight With Battery (ounces) 7.86
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Inputs and Outputs Notes
Supplied Software


Swivel Lens Design: The Nikon Coolpix SQ features a unique swivel lens design that allows you to shoot at any angle with maximum comfort and flexibility. From a position parallel to the camera body, the lens section can be rotated forward up to 120 degrees and backward up to 90 degrees toward the monitor.

Cool Station: The camera is equipped with the MV-10 Cool Station, a combination docking station and battery charger. After placing the Coolpix SQ in the Cool Station, you can charge the battery inside the camera and transfer your pictures to a computer through a One-Touch Upload. You can also charge a spare battery in the Cool Station without the camera placed in the cradle. The Cool Station has a DC-IN connector and a USB (Mini USB Version 2.0) connector.

LCD Monitor: The Coolpix SQ has a 1.5" low temperature polysilicon TFT transflective LCD monitor featuring approximately 117,600 pixels and a five-level brightness adjustment. The LCD monitor has approximately 97% horizontal and vertical coverage in the shooting mode. The Coolpix SQ does not have a viewfinder.

Optics: All Coolpix digital cameras feature the exclusive Zoom-Nikkor lens for superb image quality. Every aspect of the lens manufacturing process is controlled by Nikon. Each Zoom-Nikkor lens is designed for the specific camera and CCD combination. The Coolpix SQ has a 3x Zoom-Nikkor lens that is equivalent to a 37-111mm lens in 35mm photography. Coupled with a digital zoom of 4x, the Coolpix SQ has a total zoom of 12x.

All-Metal Body: The camera has a rugged all-metal alloy body that makes the camera durable and lightweight.

Multi-Selector: The multi-selector, a round 4-way button on the back panel, allows you to navigate through the camera's menus and make selections for most camera settings.

Image Sensor: The Coolpix SQ features a 1/2.7", high-density CCD imager with a total pixel count of approximately 3.34-million pixels. The effective pixel count is 3.1 million.

Recording Media: Images are recorded onto a Type I Compact Flash card. A 16MB Compact Flash card is included.

Image Size: The Coolpix SQ records still images in JPEG format, and movies in QuickTime format. You have a choice of 4 still image size options:

Option Size (pixels) Print Size (approx.)
3M 2016 x 1512 6.7" x 5.1"
2M 1600 x 1200 5.1" x 3.9"
PC 1024 x 768 3.5" x 2.8"
TV 640 x 480 2.0" x 1.6"

Image Quality:  Images can by recorded in 3 image quality options:

  • Fine (1:4 compression): suitable for enlargements or high-quality prints
  • Normal (1:8 compression): suited to most applications
  • Basic: (1:16 compression): suitable for pictures that will be distributed by e-mail or used in web pages

Shooting Modes: Using the top-mounted rotary mode dial, you can set the camera to suit your level and style of photography. The shooting mode choices include:

  • Auto Mode: The Auto Mode is a simple point-and-shoot mode in which the majority of camera settings are controlled by the camera. This mode is recommended for first-time users of digital cameras.
  • Scene Mode: The camera gives you the option of 15 Scene Modes. The camera settings are automatically adjusted to suite the selected scene. The Scene Modes include:
    • Portrait: Main subject stands out clearly while background details are softened, lending the composition a sense of depth
    • Party/Indoor: Shots include details of the background behind the main subject, or to capture the effects of candlelight and other indoor background lighting
    • Night Portrait: Provides a natural balance between the main subject and the background when shooting portraits against a backdrop of night scenery
    • Sports: High shutter speeds freeze motion for dynamic sports shots
    • Beach/Snow: Vividly captures the brightness of subjects such as snow fields, beaches or sunlit expanses of water
    • Landscape: Use for vivid landscape shots that enhance outlines, colors and contrast in such subjects as skyscrapers and forests
    • Sunset: Preserves deep hues seen in sunsets and sunrises
    • Dusk/Dawn: Preserves the colors seen in the weak natural light before sunrise and after sunset
    • Night Landscape: The slow shutter speed is used to produce stunning night landscapes
    • Close Up: Used to capture vivid colors in close-up shots of flowers, insects and other small objects, with the background artistically blurred
    • Museum: Use indoors where flash photography is prohibited or in other settings in which you do not want to use flash
    • Fireworks Show: Slow shutter speeds are used to capture the expanding burst of light from fireworks
    • Copy: Provides clear pictures of text or drawings on a white board, business card or in other printed matter
    • Back Light: Use when light is coming from behind your subject or when your subject is in the shade but the background is brightly lit
    • Panorama Assist: Use to take a series of photographs that you will later join to form a single panoramic scene
  • Manual Mode: In addition to the shooting menu options available in auto mode (Image Quality and Image Size), you have access to six other menu items (White Balance, Metering, Continuous, Best Shot Selector, AF Area Mode, and Auto Focus mode)
  • Movie Mode: Make movies up to 40 seconds in length at a rate of 15 frames per second, with sound recorded via the camera's built-in microphone. Each frame is 320 x 240 pixels in size.
  • Setup Mode: This mode allows you to display the setup menu to perform the following tasks:
    • Welcome Screen: choose the welcome screen displayed and sound played back when the camera is turned on
    • Language: choose a language for camera menus and messages
    • Date: set the time and date
    • Brightness: adjust monitor brightness
    • Volume: adjust volume of sound
    • Auto Off: choose how long the camera will remain on before turning off to save power
    • CF Card Format: formats memory cards for use in the camera
    • USB: choose "PTP" or "Mass Storage" according to your computer's operating system
    • Video Mode: choose standard for video output from NTSC or PAL
    • Reset All: reset camera settings to their default values

Sensitivity: The camera has a sensitivity roughly equivalent to film with an ISO 70 rating. When lighting is poor and the flash is off, the camera will automatically increase sensitivity, permitting faster exposures, and minimizing blur caused by inadvertent camera movement.

Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 steps.

Focus: The focus range is 11.8" to infinity in normal mode, and 1.6" to infinity in Macro close-up mode. You can choose one of two Auto Focus Modes (continuous auto-focus or single auto-focus). There are 5 focus areas, one in the center of the frame and 4 others surrounding the center focus area. You can select the focus area either automatically or manually (AF Area Mode). You can also use Focus lock to focus on an off-centered subject.

Flash Modes: The Coolpix SQ has a built-in Speedlite flash with a range of 1' to 16.4' (W) and 1' to 3.7' (T). The flash range is 0.5' at the middle zoom position in the macro close-up mode. You can choose from the following flash modes:

  • Auto: flash fires automatically when lighting is poor

  • Auto with red-eye reduction: pre-flash fires before main flash to reduce red-eye effect

  • Flash cancel: flash will not fire, even when lighting is poor

  • Anytime (fill flash): flash will fire whenever a picture is taken

White Balance: White balance is used to preserve natural colors under different types of lighting. In the Auto and Scene Modes, the white balance is set automatically. In the Manual Mode, you can choose from the following white balance options: Auto, Preset, Sunny, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, and Speedlight (with flash).

Metering: The Coolpix SQ gives you three methods of measuring light to achieve the desired results:

  • Matrix Metering: The camera compares measurement from multi areas of the frame with a library of typical compositions to produce optimal exposure for the entire image. It's the best choice in most circumstances.
  • Spot Metering: The camera measures light in the area shown by the circle in the center of the monitor; the subject in the metering target is correctly exposed, even when background is much brighter or darker.
  • Center-weighted Metering: Useful for portraits, it adjusts exposure according to lighting at the center of the frame, but still preserves background details.

Continuous Shooting: You can choose one of three continuous shooting modes:

  • Single: The camera records one picture each time the shutter release button is pressed.
  • Continuous: The camera takes pictures continually while the shutter release is held down. Pictures are recorded at a rate of about of 3 frames every 2  seconds. About 7 pictures can be recorded in sequence at Normal image quality and 3M image size.
  • Multi-Shot 16: Each time the shutter release button is pressed, the camera takes 16 consecutive "thumbnail" images (512 x 384 pixels) and arranges them into a collage measuring 2048 x 1512 pixels. (Only available at image size of 3M)

Best Shot Selector: The BSS is recommended for situations in which inadvertent camera movement can produce blurred pictures, or when parts of the image are prone to under- or over-exposure. When BSS is on, the camera takes shots while the shutter-release button is pressed, to a maximum of ten. The images are compared and the sharpest picture is saved to the memory card.

Voice Memo: You can add a brief voice memo (up to 15 seconds) for the picture currently displayed in full-screen playback. The voice memo is recorded as a WAV file on the memory card.

Playback Menu: The playback menu contains the following options:

  • Print Set: Select pictures for printing on a DPOF-compatible devices, specify number of prints and information to be included on each print.
  • Slide Show: View pictures on the memory card in an automatic slide show with about three seconds between pictures.
  • Delete: Delete all or selected pictures
  • Protect: Protect selected pictures from accidental deletion
  • Small Pic: Create a small copy of a picture. You can choose the size of the new picture.
  • Auto Transfer: Mark all pictures for transfer to a computer, or remove transfer marking from all pictures.
  • CF Card Format: Format memory cards to use in the camera.

Thumbnail/Zoom Playback: During playback, you can press the "W" (wide angle) button to view multiple thumbnail images (4 or 9) at one time. Pressing the "T" button allows you to zoom in on a single photo up to 6x. Once the image is zoomed, you can use the multi-selector to scroll around to non-visible portions of the image.

Power Requirements: The Coolpix SQ comes with a rechargeable EN-EL2 lithium ion battery and an EH-61 AC adapter. The AC adapter can be plugged directly into the camera, or into the MV-10 Cool Station for recharging the battery in the camera. A spare battery can be charged in the Cool Station. The supplied EN-EL2 battery has an estimated life of approximately 65 minutes (under standard Nikon test), and requires approximately 2 hours to fully charge.

Auto Off: When the camera is operated on battery power, it will enter sleep mode if no operations are performed for the length of time specified in the Auto Off menu. The monitor will turn off automatically and the camera will enter the standby mode to reduce the drain on the batteries. The time limit for the sleep mode can be set to 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 30 minutes. When powered by an optional AC adapter, the camera will enter standby mode if no operations are performed for 30 minutes.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

Cool Station Connector: The Coolpix SQ has a proprietary multi-pin connector on the bottom panel for docking the camera into the Cool Station. When the camera is not docked, a slide cover locks into place to protect the connector.

Audio/Video Output: The camera features a 2.5mm microjack audio/video output. An A/V cable, with mono audio and composite video RCA plugs, is supplied. Note: the video output is NTSC or PAL compatible.

DC In Connector: Both the camera and the Cool Station have a 4.2 Volt DC Input connector for use with the supplied EH-61 AC adapter. It is recommended to run the camera on AC power when in use for long periods of time.

USB Connector: For downloading images to your computer, you will first need to dock the camera into the Cool Station. The Cool Station has a Mini-USB (Version 2.0) jack for connecting to the computer via the supplied USB cable. Note: There is no USB connection on the camera body, only the Cool Station.

Supplied Software

System Requirements:

Windows Macintosh
CPU/Model: CPU: Pentium 300 MHz or higher Model: iMac, iMac DV, Power Macintosh G3 (Blue & White), Power Macintosh G4 or later, iBook, Powerbook G3 or later
Operating System
(pre-installed versions only)
Windows XP Home Edition/Professional
Windows 2000 Professional
Windows Millennium Edition (Me)
Windows 98 Second Edition (SE)
Mac OS 9.0
Mac OS 9.1
Mac OS 9.2
Max OSX (Version 10.1.2 or later)
Hard Disk Space
  • 60 MB or more free disk space required to install Nikon View 6
  • 10 MB plus twice the capacity of the memory card in use required to run Nikon View 6 (Startup Disk)
Memory (RAM)
  • When working with RAW data images: 128 MB or more
  • When not working with RAW data images: 64 MB or more

    (Note: The Coolpix SQ does not support RAW data images)
Video Resolution

800 x 600 pixels or higher with 16-bit (High Color/thousands of colors) or more


USB (only built in USB ports supported)

  • CD-ROM drive required for installation
  • Internet connection and appropriate software required to upload images to the web
  • Internet connection and appropriate software required to send images by e-mail


Estimated Image Capacity of Compact Flash Cards:

Image Size
Image Quality
Card Size
(2016 x 1512)
Fine 9 37
Normal 17 72
Basic 34 140
(1600 x 1200)
Fine 14 58
Normal 27 112
Basic 52 212
(1024 x 768)
Fine 33 136
Normal 62 253
Basic 109 444
(640 x 480)
Fine 77 311
Normal 131 532
Basic 203 823

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