Nikon Coolpix 995 Review

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First Look posted 4/25/01
Full review posted 4/29/01

Introduction & Physical Views

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Nikon Coolpix 995
Click on the Coolpix 995 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The Coolpix 995 is Nikon's newest 3.34-megapixel digital camera and the flagship of the Coolpix line. It's available now for the incredible price of just $599. The price includes the camera, Lexar 8x 16MB CF card, Nikon EN-EL1 rechargeable lithium battery pack, MH-51 charger and a host of software titles; NikonView 4, Genuine Fractals 2.0 LE, ArcSoft PhotoStudio 2000, ArcSoft VideoImpression, ArcSoft PhotoPrinter Pro 2000 and ArcSoft Panorama Maker 2000. (Software and accessories may differ by country or area.)

Building on the feature set of its predecessor, the COOLPIX 990, the Coolpix 995 is packed with even more features such as a new 4x optical (38-152mm equiv 35mm) Zoom-Nikkor lens with a stepless 4x digital zoom, a built-in pop-up Speedlight that drastically minimizes red-eye effect, a real 7-bladed lens diaphram for true depth of field control, Nikon's advanced image-processing algorithms provide exceptional color and a new Noise Reduction system for dramatically improved long exposure pictures. The Quick Review function (inhereted from the Coolpix 880) is convenient for confirming captured images at the press of a button.

The Coolpix 995's unique swivel design allows for a wider range of shooting angles, enhancing creative leeway. The photographer can decide on the camera position while rotating the camera body, and view the LCD panel from virtually any angle. This swiveling lens feature makes the Coolpix 950, 990 and 995 cameras an excellent choice for attaching to microscopes, telescopes and other optical devices.

The Coolpix 995 sports a full range of exposure options; Program AE, Flexible Program, Shutter speed priority, Aperture priority, Full Manual, AE Bracketing of both the exposure value and white balance and Best Shot Selector. Shutter speeds from 8 to 1/2300sec plus Bulb (max. 60 seconds) and aperture settings from F2.6 to F10.3. Drive modes include: Single, Continuous, Ultra High Speed Continuous, VGA Sequence, 16-Shot Multi and QVGA 320x240 Movie. User selectable white balance with Auto, Fine, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent and Speedlight presets as well as a custom manual mode. The ISO sensitivity can be fixed at ISO 100, 200, 400 or 800. Metering options include 256-element matrix, center-weighted averaging, spot or spot AF that follows the exclusive 5-area Multi AF focusing system.

Nikon Coolpix 995

Coolpix 995 Features at a Glance:

  • Pop-up multimode flash with auto, fill, slow sync, and red-eye reduction.
  • Swiveling Nikkor 4x optical zoom (38-152mm in 35mm equivalent)
  • Macro focus with AF as close as 2cm
  • 1.8-inch TFT color monitor
  • CompactFlash Type II card slot (Microdrives work but use at own risk)
  • EN-EL1 rechargeable battery and charger included
  • Quick Review feature from the Coolpix 880
  • Programmed Auto (with Shift), Shutter-Priority, Aperture-Priority and Full Manual exposure modes
  • Drive modes: Single, Continuous, Ultra High Speed Continuous, VGA Sequence, 16-Shot Multi and QVGA 320x240 Movie
  • Coolpix-exclusive Best Shot Selector exposure mode
  • Shutter speeds from 1/2300 sec. to 8 secs (Bulb to 60 secs)
  • Aperture settings from F2.6 to F10.3
  • 7-bladed lens diaphram for true depth of field control
  • Control of color saturation intensity
  • Five-area multifocus system with 7,123-step AF and Spot-AF
  • 256-segment Matrix Metering, Center-weighted or Spot
  • Noise Reduction for long exposures
  • ISO sensitivity of 100, 200, 400 or 800 (even in Shutter speed priority mode)
  • Matrix Auto White Balance plus Fine, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Speedlight and Preset.
  • AE Bracketing with white balance as well as exposure value
  • 7,123-step autofocus with 50-step manual focus
  • Record images in TIFF-RGB (uncompressed) or JPEG Fine (1/4), Normal (1/8), or Basic (1/16).
  • Lens section lock prevents "drooping" when using heavy lenses
  • Epson PRINT Image Matching Technology compatible
  • External sync connector for Nikon Speedlights
  • High speed USB port for image download
  • User-upgradeable camera firmware
  • Compatible with all Nikkor-Coolpix auxilliary lenses
It's important to note that the Coolpix 995 incorporates all of the great features of the Coolpix 990 so you should read my 990 review if you're not already familiar with it.

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Physical Views

Nikon Coolpix 995

Nikon Coolpix 995

Nikon Coolpix 995Nikon Coolpix 995

Nikon Coolpix 995

Nikon Coolpix 995

Compare the Coolpix 990 and 995

Nikon Coolpix 995

Nikon Coolpix 995

Nikon Coolpix 995

Nikon Coolpix 995

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Page Two

Coolpix 995 Specifications

CCD 1/1.8-in. high-density CCD; total number of pixels: 3.34 million; 3.20 million effective pixels
Image sizes FULL (2,048 x 1,536)
UXGA (1,600 x 1,200)
SXGA (1,280 x 960)
XGA (1,024 x 768)
VGA (640 x 480)
3:2 (2,048 x 1,360)
Lens 4x Zoom-Nikkor; f = 8-32mm (equivalent to 38-152mm) F2.6-5.1 with macro; 10 elements in 8 groups; all glass, Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) applied; glass-molded aspherical lens elements included
Digital Zoom 4x stepless digital zoom
Autofocus Contrast-detect TTL AF
7,123-step autofocus control including macro range
5-area Multi AF or Spot AF selectable
Focus modes 1) Continuous AF mode (when using LCD monitor)
2) Single AF mode (when not using LCD monitor and/or selectable from shooting menu)
3) Manual [50 steps from 0.8 in. to infinity with focus confirmation indication]
Shooting distance 11.8 in. to infinity
0.8 in. to infinity in Macro mode
Optical viewfinder Real-image zoom viewfinder
magnification: 0.4~1.1x
frame coverage: approx. 85%
diopter adjustment: -2~+1 DP
LCD monitor 1.8-in., 110,000-dot, low-temp. polysilicon TFT LCD
brightness (5 levels)/hue adjustment (11 steps)
frame coverage: approx. 97%
Auto OFF mode 30 sec.; can be set manually (1/5/30 min.)
Image Storage RBG EXIF, uncompressed TIFF or compressed JPEG compliant with design rule for camera file system (DFC)
Media CompactFlash (CF) Card Type I or II
(Nikon does not officially approve the use of IBM Microdrives. The newest 512MB and 1GB do work but must be used at your own risk.)
Shooting modes Fully automatic ([A]-REC) mode
Custom ([M]-REC) mode (three combinations of mode settings can be memorized)
Shooting menu 1) White balance
2) Exposure metering
3) Continuous
4) Best-Shot Selector (BSS)
5) Image Adjustment
6) Saturation Control
7) Auxilliary Lens
8) Exposure Options
9) Focus Options
10) Image Sharpening
11) Auto Bracketing
12) Noise Reduction
Capture modes 1) Single
2) Continuous
3) Multi-Shot 16 (16 frames in 1/16 size)
4) VGA Sequence
5) Ultra High-speed Continuous (approx. 30 fps for 70 QVGA-size images)
6) Movie (40 sec. for QVGA-size images at 15 fps)
Exposure metering 4-mode TTL metering:
1) 256-segment Matrix
2) Center-Weighted
3) Spot and
4) Spot AF Area
Shutter Mechanical and charge-coupled electronic shutter
Bulb (max 60 secs), 8 sec. to 1/2,300 sec.
Aperture 7-blade iris diaphragm
3 EV range in 1/3 EV steps
Exposure control 1) Programmed Auto with Flexible Program
2) Shutter-Priority Auto (with Sensitivity control)
3) Aperture-Priority Auto
4) Manual; Exposure Compensation (±2 EV in 1/3 EV steps)
5) Auto Bracketing (3 or 5 steps within ±2/3 EV)
Exposure range EV -2.2~+17 (W), EV -0.3~+18.1 (T) (ISO 100 equivalent)
Best-shot Selector Camera takes up to 10 shots (at approx 2fps) and records the most detailed image of the 10 using anti-jitter logic which is effective for telephoto and macro shooting. Not available when the speedlight is on.
ISO Sensitivity 100, 200, 400, 800 or Auto;
can be controlled in any exposure mode
White balance 1) Matrix Auto White Balance with TTL control
2) 5-mode Manual with 7-step fine tuning (Fine/Incandescent/Fluorescent/ Cloudy/Speedlight)
3) Preset
4) White balance bracketing
Self-timer 10 sec. or 3 sec. duration
Built-in Speedlight Pop-up type; Guide number 10 (at ISO 100)
Flash control Flash modes:
1) Auto Flash
2) Flash Cancel
3) Anytime Flash
4) Slow Sync
5) Red-Eye Reduction
External Speedlight Multi-flash sync terminal connects to external Nikon Speedlight SB-50/28/28DX/26/25/24/22 through the Multi-Flash Bracket SK-E900; built-in Speedlight can be cancelled when using external Speedlight(s)
Playback menu 1) 1 frame
2) Thumbnail (4/9 segments)
3) Slide show
4) Zoom playback (25 steps up to 6x)
Histogram indication & highlight point display
Peaking indication
Hide and protect attributes can be set to each image
Delete function Deletes all frames or selected frames
Interface USB interface
Supported Platforms Windows 98/98SE/Me
Mac OS 8.6, 9, 9.1
Video output NTSC or PAL (selectable)
I/O terminal Power input
Video output
Digital output terminal (USB)
Sync terminal for external Speedlight
Bundled Software NikonView Version 4, Genuine Fractals 2.0 LE, ArcSoft PhotoStudio 2000, ArcSoft VideoImpression, ArcSoft PhotoPrinter Pro 2000 and ArcSoft Panorama Maker 2000. The Reference CD-ROM includes Adobe Acrobat Reader 4.0, Instructions for Using Nikon View Version 4, and Nikon's "Guide to Digital Photography" (Online Camera Manual for the CoolPix 995).
Power requirements Nikon EN-EL1 lithium rechargeable (supplied)
or 2CR5 one-use lithium
Battery life Approx. 110 mins. when using LCD monitor
(W x H x D)
Approx. 5.4 x 3.2 x 1.6 in. (2.5 in. at grip)
(without battery)
Approx. 13.8 oz.

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