Nikon Coolpix 5900 Review

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Nikon Coolpix 7900

Full review posted 6/4/2005

Introduction & Physical Views

Click on the Coolpix 5900 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The 5.1-megapixel Nikon Coolpix 5900 and the 7.1-megapixel Coolpix 7900 combine state-of-the-art technology, image quality, and speed, with a unique all-metal design to give consumers what they truly desire in a digital camera. These sleek all-metal digital cameras feature state of the art digital technology, such as the first, big two-inch LCD screen in the Coolpix lineup and the new Face-priority AF feature, along with a sharp design that is perfect for the customer who values style along with substance. And their big, bright two-inch LCD screens make images easier to review and correct than on most consumer digital cameras.

Nikon's Face-priority AF is smart enough to find your subject's face in the frame when using the Portrait Scene Mode. As its name suggests, Face-priority AF ensures crisp focus when shooting portraits by automatically sensing the presence of a human face within the frame and setting accurate focus accordingly. The Coolpix 7900 and 5900 can also automatically detect and remove red-eye directly within the camera. Nikon's exclusive In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™ technology detects and corrects red eyes in most typical situations without the need to press buttons or select and highlight the eyes in playback.

These Coolpix cameras use intelligent technology to help ensure a balanced exposure and sharpness. Nikon's exclusive new D-Lighting function is another new addition that can literally turn throwaway shots into frame-able memories. The D-Lighting feature can be selected in Playback mode -- automatically compensating for insufficient flash or excessive back lighting in order to obtain balanced exposure throughout the frame. Both cameras are also equipped with Blur Warning, another feature unique to Nikon which alerts the user when a shot is compromised by camera or hand shake, allowing another shot to be taken before leaving the scene.

The Coolpix 5900 and Coolpix 7900 make shooting in a range of common situations even simpler through the incorporation of Scene Modes. Both cameras offer four Scene Modes that feature Scene Assist, and even a new Underwater Scene Mode that brings the total choice of Scene Modes up to 16. Intended for use with the Waterproof Case WP-CP4, the Underwater Scene Mode enables true-to-life colors to be captured when taking shots while snorkeling or scuba diving. Like all the other Scene Modes, operation is extremely easy. Simply select the Scene Mode that best matches the subject, then point and shoot for optimal results.

The Coolpix 5900 and the Coolpix 7900 also make it easy to capture action in an expressive manner with the power to record VGA-size movies with sound at a smooth rate of 30 frames per second. They can also be easily connected to a TV, using the included video cable, to share the fun with friends and family.

Nikon has focused its technology to reducing power consumption, allowing the Coolpix 7900 and Coolpix 5900 to take significantly more shots per battery charge. In fact, the Coolpix 7900 is able to take an impressive 220 shots (approximately) with a single fully charged EN-EL5 lithium-ion battery, while the Coolpix 5900 is able to shoot as many as 270 (approximately). Both cameras are also compatible with widely available disposable Duracell CP1 lithium batteries.

The Coolpix 5900 and 7900 digital cameras make the entire digital process more convenient. PictBridge compatibility makes it possible to print directly to a printer, without the need for a computer. For those who enjoy organizing and sharing their photographs on a computer, all Nikon Coolpix cameras ship with Nikon's proprietary PictureProject software, a user-friendly photo management software designed expressly for use by Nikon Coolpix photographers, that offers a broad selection of cataloguing, editing and sharing functions. This software package is aimed at providing a central location that is simple, intuitive and seamless for Coolpix digital photographers.

Coolpix 5900 Features at a Glance:

  • 5-megapixel effective CCD for prints up to 13x19 inches
  • Nikkor 3x optical zoom ED glass (38-114mm in 35mm equivalent)
  • Compact, durable and lightweight aluminum alloy body
  • Macro focus with AF as close as 1.6 inches
  • Selectable AF: 5-area Auto, 99-area Manual, Center-focus area selection available
  • AF-assist illuminator can be switched on and off at will
  • Exclusive Face Priority AF makes taking incredible portraits easy
  • 256-segment Matrix Metering with Center-weighted, Spot, or Spot AF metering
  • Large 2-inch TFT color monitor
  • Program AE and 16 pre-programmed Scene modes
  • Single, Continuous, 5-shot buffer, Multi-Shot 16 modes
  • 640x480 @ 30fps movie mode with sound, length limited only by memory card capacity
  • Attach voice memos up to 20 seconds to still images
  • Automatic shutter speeds from 1/2000 sec. to 4 sec's
  • Built-in flash with auto, fill, slow sync, and red-eye reduction
  • Nikon's D-Lighting automatically brightens dark images in playback mode
  • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™ automatically fixes most instances of red-eye in the camera
  • TTL Auto White Balance, 6 presets, custom set and bracketing
  • Exif 2.2 and PictBridge compatible
  • 14MB internal memory and SD memory card slot
  • Plug-n-Play USB connectivity
  • PictBridge direct-print compliant
  • Rechargeable Li-ion battery and charger
  • Optional WP-CP4 underwater case

The Coolpix 5900 includes PictureProject, NikonView 6, a complete image editing and processing package, rechargeable battery and charger, hand strap, A-V cable, and USB cable. The Coolpix 5900 will be available at retail nationwide in April 2005 at an MSRP of $349.95.

Physical Views

Nikon Coolpix 7900

Nikon Coolpix 7900

Nikon Coolpix 7900Nikon Coolpix 7900

Nikon Coolpix 7900

Nikon Coolpix 7900

Nikon Coolpix 7900

The Coolpix 5900 compared to a standard CD disc.

Nikon Coolpix 7900

The 5-megapixel Coolpix 5900 and the 7-megapixel Coolpix 7900.

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Page Two

Coolpix 5900 Specifications

CCD 1/1.8-in. high-density CCD
5.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes 2,592 x 1,944
2,048 x 1,536
1,600 x 1,200
1,024 x 768
640 x 480
Lens 3x Zoom-Nikkor; f = 7.8-23.4mm (equivalent to 38-114mm) F2.8-4.9 with macro; 7 elements in 6 groups; ED glass, Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) applied; glass-molded aspherical lens elements included
Digital Zoom 4x 0.2x step digital zoom
Autofocus Contrast-detect TTL AF
Focus range 12 in. to infinity in normal,
1.6 in. to infinity in Macro mode (wide angle)
Focus area Auto (five-area selection), Manual (99-area selection) and Center-focus area selection available
Optical viewfinder Real-image zoom viewfinder
frame coverage: approx. 82%
LCD monitor 2.0-in., 115,000-dot, amorphous silicon TFT LCD with LED backlight
brightness (5 levels) adjustment, Auto gain-up at low-brightness,
frame coverage: approx. 100%
Auto OFF mode 30 sec.; can be set manually (1/5/30 min.)
Image Storage EXIF 2.2 compressed JPEG compliant with design rule for camera file system (DFC)
QuickTime Motion JPEG (Movie with audio)
Media Internal memory: approx 14MB;
SD memory card (not included)
Shooting modes AUTO
Scene Assist (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait), Scene (Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night landscape, Close up, Museum, Fireworks show, Copy, Back light, Panorama assist, Underwater), BSS (Best Shot Selector)

Movie with sound (640x480 15/30fps, 320x240 30fps, 160x120 30fps)

Capture modes Single, Continuous (1.7fps; up to 5 frames Fine/10 frames Normal/21 frames Basic), 5-shot buffer, Multi-shot 16 (16 consecutive frames 1/16 in size at 5M)
Exposure metering 256-segment Matrix, Center-weighted, Spot, Spot-AF
Shutter Mechanical and charge-coupled electronic shutter
Automatic 4 sec. to 1/2000 sec.
Aperture Electronically controlled preset aperture
Range: 2 stops (f2.8, f4.9)
Exposure control Programmed Auto with exposure compensation (±2 EV in 1/3 EV steps)
Exposure range EV +1.1 ~ +17.1 (W), EV +2.6 ~ +18.6 (T)
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 poor lighting, telephoto and macro shooting. Not available when the speedlight is on.
ISO Sensitivity ISO 64, 100, 200, 400, Auto (Auto gain to ISO 200 equivalent)
White balance 1) Matrix Auto White Balance with TTL control
2) Manual or preset for Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Shade, Speedlight)
Self-timer 10 sec. duration
Built-in Speedlight Shooting range 0.3-4.5m / 1 - 14.8 ft. (W), 0.3-3.5m / 1 - 11.5 ft. (T)
Flash control Flash modes:
1) Auto Flash
2) Flash Cancel
3) Anytime Flash
4) Red-eye reduction by LED lamp
5) Slow Sync
Playback menu 1 frame, Thumbnail (4/9 segments), Slide show, Zoom playback (1.2-10x), Shooting information display
Delete function Deletes all frames or selected frames
Interface USB (12Mbps, effective speed: approx 2Mbps), mass storage or PTP
Languages German/English/Spanish/French/Italian/Dutch/Swedish/Japanese/ Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese/Korean selectable in menu display
Supported Platforms Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
Mac OS 9.0-9.2 (only built-in USB ports supported)
Mac OS X (10.1.2 or later)
Audio Video output NTSC or PAL (selectable)
I/O terminal Audio-Video output and Digital output terminal
Power requirements One Rechargeable lithium-ion EN-EL5 (supplied )
one CP1 lithium battery (optional)
AC adapter EH-62A (optional)
Battery life EN-EL5 battery: approx 270 frames
CP-1 battery: approx 310 frames
(Nikon test conditions: Standard temperatures (77°F), zoom adjusted with each shot, flash used with every other shot, image mode set to Normal (2592))
(W x H x D)
3.5 x 2.4 x 1.4 in. (88 x 60 x 36.5mm)
Weight Approx. 5.3 oz (Approx. 150g) (without battery and SD memory card)
Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer

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