Nikon Camera Warns If Someone Blinks

Feature joins growing effort to automate snapshots.

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Nikon's Coolpix S550 comes in several colors.
Nikon's Coolpix S550 comes in several colors.

Here's another "smart shutter" gimmick: A new Nikon camera warns you if someone blinked. If someone's eyes close when you click the shutter, the Coolpix S550 will throw up a warning and give you a chance to quickly retake the photo.

It's just one of a number of features that camera makers are adding to digital models, which they fear are saturating the market. The new tricks move beyond ever-rising megapixel counts as incentives to upgrade. The blink feature joins smile mode, which doesn't take a picture until everyone's smiling, and something we'll call "still-camera still mode"—shutters that will wait until everyone quits moving before snapping a frame.

The 10-megapixel camera should go on sale this month at a suggested price of $230.