Coolpix A's image quality is outstanding, compares favorably to entry-level Nikon DSLRs
APS-C sized image sensor is rarely seen in a camera this size
Low light results are good with or without flash
Full manual control options
Manual focus and autofocus options
Can magnify the scene easily in manual focus mode, allowing for very sharp focus
Hot shoe allows for connecting various accessories, including Nikon Speedlites
Both RAW and JPEG shooting options available
JPEG photos are smaller than average in storage space required because of excellent compression formula
Plenty of customization options in menus, as well as function buttons that can be personalized
Overall performance is a little disappointing in this price range
Shutter lag can be a little slow at times
Extreme close-ups aren't possible, even in macro mode, minimum focus distance is 4 in.
Autofocus results should be more consistent
No zoom option, focal length is fixed at 28mm equivalent
No Vibration Reduction
To shoot movies you have to work through several menu commands
Movie quality is below average versus others in this price range
No advanced add-on features, such as articulated LCD or built-in GPS or Wi-Fi
Almost too many menu options, making Coolpix A confusing to navigate at first
Battery life should be better
When it comes to the primary job of a digital camera -- creating great images -- the Nikon Coolpix A is a star performer. Few cameras of this physical size offer an image sensor as large as the APS-C sized image sensor of the Coolpix A. This camera uses a high quality fixed lens, and it offers enough manual features to satisfy even a photographer who normally uses a DSLR camera. However because the Coolpix A carries such a high price tag, it's competing directly against those DSLRs, and it comes up short in many other areas against those models, including slugging response times, the lack of a viewfinder, only one focal length, and poor battery life. At this price it's difficult to recommend the Coolpix A to anyone other than those who already own Nikon DSLR cameras and want a small camera with similar operational aspects. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
Nikon's Coolpix A is the first (and only, as of 12/2013) Coolpix series camera to include their DX-format (APS-C) sized CMOS image sensor usually found in their entry level DSLRs, which makes the "A" not only a member of Nikon's Advance Performance series like the P520andP7700, but the Flagship on the entire Coolpix brand (for 2013).
Nikon mates the 16.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor to an 18.5mm prime NIKKOR lens with a sporty f/2.8 aperture. In 35mm terms, we're talking a 28mm lens without zoom capabilities. A 4 frames-per-second burst shooting mode will help capture fast action and advanced capabilities include Full Manual Control and RAW/NEF image capture. There are also a number of Nikon's artistic enhancement Scene Modes to stylize your shots.
In addition to its own feature set, the Nikon Coolpix A has been designed with a few optional accessories, including an Optical Viewfinder, an Adapter Ring and metal Lens Hood combination, and a Wireless Mobile Adapter adding WiFi capabilities.
Nikon Coolpix A Features
16.2-megapixel DX-format (APS-C) image sens
18.5mm (28mm, 35mm equivalent) prime NIKKOR lens
4 frames-per-second burst shooting
3.0-inch 921K dot LCD screen
Quick Auto Focus
Full Manual Controls (P, S, A, M)
RAW/NEF Image Capture
Full Size Hot Shoe
DF-CP1 Optical Viewfinder
UR-E24 Adapter Ring
HN-CP18 metal Lens Hood
OptionalWi-Fi Connectivity via the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
SD card slot
Li-ion battery pack (good for up to ~250 shots)
Offered in either silver or black, the Nikon Coolpix has a MSRP of $1,099.95. The DF-CP1 Optical Viewfinder will run you about $449; the UR-E24 Adapter Ring and HN-CP18 metal Lens Hood are available together for about $129. To see the most current online pricing, click our Buy button.
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