The Coolpix – A is an advanced compact Point & Shoot camera featuring a 16.2 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor. It is in fact the world’s smallest digital compact that sports an APS-C sensor.
Key features & specs
- 16.2 megapixels APS-C (DX) format CMOS sensor of size 23.6 x 15.6 mm.
- smallest compact Point & Shoot to have a APS-C sensor
- fixed focus 18.5mm lens (equivalent to 28mm on 35mm format)
- maximum aperture of f/2.8
- closest focusing distance of 1’ 8”
- Has face-priority in focusing which means it can detect faces and focus on them. saves an awful amount of time trying to focus on faces in a group shot
- shoots RAW in Nikon’s proprietary NEF format
- ISO sensitivity of 100-3200, further expandable to 6400
- 4 fps continuous shooting speed, with a maximum of 50 frames before the buffer overruns
- shoots video in full HD at 30p/25p/24p
- if very light (only 300 grams including the battery pack and memory card)
- dimensions (111 x 64.3 x 40.3 mm) are very small and the camera can fit in your palms (provided you have man sized palms)
- 3” LCD screen with a resolution of 921,000 dots. Comes with anti-reflection coating and 9 brightness control levels
The Coolpix – A is a camera that has a lot of customizable buttons. For some one who is looking for a stand-in camera for his heavy DSLR the Coolpix – A is the right choice. Additionally the manual modes and the general layout of the buttons and dials are reminiscent of a Nikon DSLR, another reason why this is a serious camera.
Fixed focal length means you have less time fiddling with the zoom and more time to compose and click. The camera is actually faster considering that.
Has stereo mic for recording videos and a hotshoe for using additional contraptions.
The 18.5mm fixed lens with an equivalent of 28mm on 35mm format is both an advantage an a disadvantage. Since there is no zooming feature the camera saves that extra few seconds where you try to get the composition right. However, if you love zoom you’re going to hate this camera because of the lack of this feature.
The lens uses contrast detect auto-focusing system and not phase detect meaning theoretically it is going to be a tag slow.
The camera is powered by the EN-EL20 battery pack and on a full charge only 230 shots are possible. If you’re gone for a while with no charging point, I suggest you carry a spare battery fully charged.
No optical or otherwise viewfinder, so all the composing has to be done via the 3” LCD screen which has a 100% coverage.
The Fuji X100s is definitely one camera that comes to mind in the prosumer compact category. The Fuji X100s looks definitely a Leica M9 and is very well built in comparison to the Coolpix – A. Additionally the Fuji has an Optical / Electronic viewfinder which the claim is quite bright. Also check canon G1x
Should I buy it?
The Coolpix – A is around a few hundred bucks cheaper than its nearest rival the Fuji X100s. If you don’t feel too disconcerted about the fact that the Coolpix is not built like a tank then go for it as it has everything that you would expect from a DSLR without the drag of the extra weight.
Sample images by Nikon Coolpix A on Flickr
Pricing and Availability
The COOLPIX A is available for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $1099.95*2 and will be offered in Black and Silver. The DF-CP1 Optical Viewfinder will be available for a suggested retail price of $449.96*2, and the UR-E24 Adapter Ring and HN-CP18 Lens Hood will be sold together for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $129.96*2