Nikon Coolpix 2000 Review

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Steve's Conclusion

If you're looking for a good entry level digital camera then give the Nikon Coolpix 2000 a look. This isn't a "so small I can't use it" camera but it does fit in a full sized shirt pocket. Don't let the introductory MSRP of $249 fool you though, it's a point and shoot camera that has a lot of features and delivers good image quality.

This digicam is equipped with a 2-megapixel imager and a 3x optical Nikkor Zoom lens. The zoom lens covers a range of 38-114mm (35mm equivalent) and features a quick and accurate autofocus system that can focus as close as 1.6 inches in Macro mode( see Sample Photos page.) Five Scene modes are right on the main control dial that automatically configures the camera for one of the pre-programmed shooting modes. The auto exposure mode covers most average shooting requirements, for those times when it doesn't, then try the Party/Indoor, Back Light, Portrait, Night Portrait or Beach/Snow scene mode. The scene modes let you work in difficult lighting conditions by adjusting the shutter speed, aperture, flash and white balance settings for you automatically. Accessing the movie mode is simple, it's also on the Main Control Dial. Spin the dial to the icon of the movie camera and push the shutter release - you're recording 320x640 silent movies at 15 frames per second for up to 20 seconds. Even though there is no microphone to pickup the sound of the lens zooming, you can't zoom after you start recording a movie.

Another feature to aid the novice digi-photographer is the Transfer button, one press and it easily transfers pictures from the camera to the computer or the Internet. Working through the USB port of a Windows or Macintosh computer, the camera talks to the NikonView software and tells it to acquire the images. If you want to share your images with the world then you can setup an account with and transfer your files to your online photo album.

A digital camera is nothing unless it has the ability to review recorded images on a color LCD. The Coolpix 2000 has a 1.5-inch color TFT LCD that is very bright and readable. In fact, it was one of better I've used in bright sun without a LCD hood. This is Nikon's second digicam that does not have an optical viewfinder (the Coolpix 2500 was first). So the LCD must be used as a "live" viewfinder. My initial impression of shooting with an LCD only camera wasn't positive until I actually got out in the sunshine and started shooting our sample photos. The LCD performed very well and I didn't miss the optical viewfinder. The only short coming to this is the battery life is shortened as the LCD must be on all the time. Rarely is it a good practice to own a camera with only one set of batteries.

Speaking of batteries, this is one of the few compact digicams that does not use a 'wimpy' proprietary battery and allows the user the flexibility of using NiMH batteries or, in an emergency, a pair of off- the- shelf alkalines. I congratulate Nikon on this decision especially since there is no optical viewfinder and no way to save power by turning the LCD off. Get a charger with 4 pack of 1800mah NiMh batteries and, if you shoot a lot, an extra set and you will be shooting all day without concern. Just charge them at night.

When powered up, the lens covering automatically opens and the lens rachets out rather noisily. It takes the first picture in less than a very acceptable four seconds if you power up and fire as soon as it's ready. Shooting in "1632- fine quality" mode, the camera shoots, processes and stores an image in less than 10 seconds and the shot- to- shot cycle time is about the same. There is a continuous mode and 16 shot burst mode that can greatly reduce this. Where these times are a little higher than average, the total shutter lag (time from pressing shutter to actually capturing) is less, about one second, which is very good. If you do the usual half- press of the shutter and wait for the green focus light, then shoot, the lag time is reduced to almost nothing which is very impressive. These times are with the flash enabled so they include flash cycle time where applicable. When powered down, the lens ratchets back into the body and the protective cover closes over it.

The QuickReview button will "popup" a full screen display of the last picture captured without leaving Record mode. You can return to Record mode by simply tapping the shutter release or press the quick review again. The camera operates in Continuous-AF mode all the time as the LCD is on all the time. This keeps the camera in focus, whatever it is pointed at. Reviewing of images and movies may be done in camera, after exporting to a computer or hook up to your TV via the included video cable and put on a show where ever you are.

The Coolpix 2000 can generate 1,632 x 1,224 pixels, 1024 x 768 or 640 x 480 size still images. They are saved in one of three JPEG quality settings; Fine, Normal or Basic. The Large (1632x1224) size images will print photo-quality prints up to 8x10" although the most "film- like" prints will be the 5x7" or 4x6" size. The camera is equipped with a standard CompactFlash Type I card slot and comes with an 16MB card that Nikon is promoting as their "Starter" CF Card. I have used the massive SanDisk 1 gigabyte CF card in the Coolpix 2000 and it's compatible with all other CF Type I cards from most manufacturers.

With a suggested retail price of just $249, the Coolpix 2000 is going to find its way into the hands of many first timers. The only things you really need to buy is a larger CF card and NiMh batteries, everything else including a suite of software is provided in the base package. If you're looking for a small digital camera with good image quality and a price attractive to everyone, then give the Nikon Coolpix 2000 a serious look-see, you won't be sorry.

Nikon Recalls Some Coolpix 2000 Cameras

Aug 12, 2002: Attention Owners of Coolpix 2000 Digital Cameras

It has recently come to our attention that a limited number of Coolpix 2000 Digital Cameras may experience a circuit problem in the battery compartment that could cause excessive heat which could be dangerous. These cameras need to be replaced to prevent a possible risk.

Only certain units are affected. Please check the bottom of your camera, and see whether your serial number falls within the following range:

    Between 3010001 and 3060980

    Between 3510001 and 3561916


To receive instructions and materials for the return of your camera, you can call Nikon Customer Service at 1-800-645-6687, or send an E-mail to [email protected], enter "Coolpix 2000 Return" in the subject line, and request packaging material for your Coolpix 2000 return, including your name and address. In both cases, we will send you a shipping label, box, packing material and instructions to safely return your camera. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you, and appreciate your continued support of Nikon.

Note: If you live outside of the U.S. please contact your local Nikon office to see which cameras are being recalled in your sales area.

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