Nikon Camera Warns If Someone Blinks

Feature joins growing effort to automate snapshots.

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.