Please excuse the poor quality of these screen captures. The Coolpix A kit does not include an AV output cable, therefore we had to photograph the display screen.
The Nikon Coolpix A offers only a limited number of features that can be adjusted when shooting in Auto mode. You'll see icons outlining the various camera settings across the top and bottom of the screen.
Across the top of the screen (from left to right) you'll see: The shooting mode, flash mode, drive mode, autofocus mode, AF-area mode, active D-lighting setting, picture control, white balance setting, and the image size and quality.
Across the bottom of the screen you'll see the battery power and audio mode, along with the metering setting, shutter speed, aperture setting, ISO setting, and number of photos that can be shot within the space remaining on the memory card.
When you press the i button on the back of the camera, you'll switch to the blue tinted screen shown here, through which you can make changes to a few of the settings, including the image quality, resolution, ISO, drive mode, autofocus modes, and flash modes. With the setting highlighted, press the OK button to make any desired changes. Any unavailable settings are dimmed. Use the four way button or command dial to move between the various settings buttons. Press the i button again or press the shutter button halfway to return to the shooting mode.
The shooting screen in Program mode looks the same as within Auto mode, as the same icons are listed across the top and bottom of the screen. When you press the magnify button on the right side of the Coolpix A's back panel, the only icons that stay on the screen are the shooting mode in the upper left corner, the AF-area mode icon in the upper middle of the screen, and the battery charge icon in the lower left.
When you press the i button to make changes to the settings in Program mode, you'll see quite a few more buttons activated than what you saw in Auto mode. Highlight a button on the screen using the four-way button and then press OK to make changes to the settings. The buttons from the top right to the bottom left are: Image quality, image balance, white balance, ISO, drive mode, autofocus mode, AF-area, metering, active D-lighting, auto bracketing, picture control, exposure compensation, flash compensation, and flash mode.
With the mode dial turned to Scene mode, you'll see the same set of icons across the top and bottom of the screen that you see in other shooting modes, other than the addition of the Scene icon in the middle of the bottom of the screen. Use the command dial on the upper panel of the Coolpix A to scroll through the various scene modes, whose icons will appear in the upper left corner of the screen. Once the scene mode you want to use is highlighted on the screen, press OK.
The scene modes are:
PortraitLandscapeChildSportsClose-upNight PortraitNight LandscapeParty/IndoorBeach/SnowSunsetDusk/DawnPet PortraitCandlelightBlossomAutumn ColorsFoodSilhouetteHigh KeyLow Key
Any time you see a question mark icon appear on the screen, you can press and hold the Help button in the lower left corner of the back panel of the Coolpix A to cause an explanation of the current setting appear on the screen. When you release the Help button, the screen will return to normal.
Nikon is using the same type of menu structure with the Coolpix A that it uses with the majority of its entry-level DSLR cameras. When you press the Menu button on the back of the camera, tabs on the left side of the screen will allow you to work through the different menu screens. The Shooting Menu is the second tab from the top, marked with a camera icon. The Shooting Menu options are:
- Reset Shooting Menu - Yes, No
- Storage Folder - Select Folder (Nikon, MSDCF), New, Rename, Delete
- Image Quality - NEF (RAW) + JPEG Fine, NEF (RAW) + JPEG Normal, NEF (RAW) + JPEG (Basic), NEF (RAW), JPEG Fine, JPEG Normal, JPEG Basic
- Image Size - Large 16.1 M, Medium 9.0 M, Small 4.0 M
- White Balance - Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual (Measure, Use Photo)
- Set Picture Control - Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape
- Manage Picture Control - Save/Edit, Rename, Delete, Load/Save
- Color Space - sRGB, Adobe RGB
- Active D-Lighting - Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low, Off
- Long Exposure NR - On, Off
- High ISO NR - High, Normal, Low, Off
- ISO Sensitivity Settings - ISO Sensitivity (Auto, 100, 125, 160, 200, 250, 320, 400, 500, 640, 800, 1000, 1250, 1600, 2000, 2500, 3200, 4000, 5000, 6400, Hi 0.3, Hi 0.7, Hi 1, Hi 2), Auto ISP Sensitivity Control (On, Off), Maximum Sensitivity (200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, Hi 1, Hi 2), Minimum Shutter Speed (1/1000, 1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, 1/40, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 1)
- Release Mode - Single Frame, Continuous, Self-Timer 10 sec, Delayed Remote 2 sec, Quick Response, Movie Recording
- Built-in AF Assist Illuminator - On, Off
- Exposure Comp for Flash - Entire Frame, Background Only
- Flash Control for Built-in Flash - TTL, Manual
- Auto Bracketing Set - AE Bracketing, WB Bracketing, ADL Bracketing
- Interval Timer Shooting - Off, On (Now, Start Time, Interval, Number of Times)
- Movie Settings - Frame Size/Frame Rate (1920x1080 30p, 1920x1080 25p, 1920x1080 24p, 1280x720 30p, 1280x720 25p, 1280x720 24p), Movie Quality (High Quality, Normal), Microphone (On, Off)
Remember that some menu options may be grayed out, depending on which shooting mode you're currently using.
The options under the Setup Menu are:
- Format Memory Card - Yes, No
- Save User Settings - Save to U1, Save to U2
- Reset User Settings - Reset U1, Reset U2
- Monitor Brightness - +3, +2, +1, 0, -1, -2, -3, -4, -5
- Photo Info - Show Info, Hide Info, Framing Grid, Virtual Horizon
- HDMI - Output Resolution (Auto, 480p, 576p, 720p, 1080i), Device Control (On, Off)
- Flicker Reduction - 50Hz, 60Hz
- Time Zone and Date - Time Zone, Date and Time, Date Format, Daylight Saving Time (On, Off)
- Image Comment - Done, Input Comment, Attach Comment (On, Off)
- Auto Image Rotation - On, Off
- Self-Timer - Self-Timer Delay (2 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec, 20 sec), Number of Shots (1 - 9)
- Auto Off Timer - 20 sec, 1 min, 5 min, 30 min
- Image Review Time - 1 sec, 4 sec, 8 sec, 20 sec, 1 min
- Remote on Duration (ML-L3) - 1 min, 5 min, 10 min, 15 min
- Beep - High, Low, Off
- Shutter Sound - On, Off
- File Number Sequence - On, Off, Reset
- MF Distance Indicator Units - M, Ft
- Reverse Indicators - Positive to Negative, Negative to Positive
- Assign Fn1 Button - Flash Mode, Release Mode, Self-timer, FV Lock, AE/AF Lock, AE Lock Only, AE Lock Hold, AF Lock Only, AF-ON, Exposure Compensation, + NEF (RAW)
- Assign ISO/Fn2 Button - ISO Sensitivity, White Balance, Image Quality/Size, Metering, Active D-Lighting, Auto Bracketing, Monitor Brightness
- Reverse Dial Rotation - Done, Exposure Compensation, Shutter Speed/Aperture
- Slot Empty Release Lock - Release Locked, Enable Release
- GPS - Auto Off (Enable, Disable), Position, Use GPS to Set Camera Clock (Yes, No)
- Firmware Version
The Recent Settings menu will include the last 20 commands you've accessed from the Coolpix A's various menus, making it easier to revisit a setting you just changed. At the end of the Reset Settings menu list is the Choose Tab command, which allows you to change the Recent Settings menu to the My Menu menu, which contains a customized list of commands that you've selected. The Choose Tab command allows you to further customize the Coolpix A's menus.
Because there is no dedicated movie recording button or movie mode on the mode dial, you're going to have to go through a series of steps to record a movie with the Nikon Coolpix A. Press the Menu button and select the Shooting Mode tab. Then scroll to the Release Mode command, from which you can select the Movie Recording option. You also can work through to the Movie Recording option by pressing the i button.
Either way, you'll have to go through a few steps to activate movie recording mode, which makes it difficult to begin shooting movies if you're in a hurry. You could assign Release Mode to the Fn1 button, which will give you a slightly faster access to activating the Movie Recording option.
Once the movie recording option is ready to use, just press the shutter button to begin recording. Press the shutter again to stop recording.
During recording, you'll see the Rec icon in the upper left corner. In the upper right corner you'll see the movie recording resolution and the amount of time remaining in the recording. Each continuous video stream is limited to 20 minutes.