The Nikon COOLPIX A is a premium compact sitting at the very top of Nikon's COOLPIX range. Does it warrant the premium price tag? Find out in our Nikon COOLPIX A review...
Nikon has used the Focus on Imaging show as its opportunity to showcase their latest compact camera – the Nikon Coolpix A. Featuring a 16.1MP APS-C sized sensor that lacks an optical low-pass filter much like the recently announced D7100, Nikon say it’s the same sensor as found with the D7000. Paired alongside an EXPEED 2 image processor, the ISO range is identical to the D7000 and can be set between 100-6400 and is extendable at the high end to an equivalent of ISO 25,600 in the the Hi2 setting.
Designed for passionate photographers that seek full manual control and excellent image quality from a compact model, the Coolpix A supports 14-bit compressed Raw shooting well as JPEG. To keep the camera small and easy to fit in the pocket, the Coolpix A features a fixed 18.5mm f/2.8 NIKKOR lens that equivalent to 28mm in 35mm terms. This prime lens is claimed to deliver excellent image quality for the street and documentary photographers this camera is aimed at appealing to. The optical construction is made up of 7 glass elements in 5 groups, with 1 aspherical lens making up the design.
For those who like to take movies as well as stills, the Nikon Coolpix A supports full HD video at a variety of frame rates that include 30/25 and 24 frames per second. A built in stereo microphone is also offered and movies are recorded in the MPEG-4 format using H.264 compression.
The built in flash that raises from the top plate has a guide number of 6.6 and also pre-flashes for greater accuracy in extremely dark shooting situations. Turning our attention to the body, Nikon has used aluminium alloy front and back covers to keep the body as rigid and strong as possible, while the top plate is made from magnesium alloy. The on/off switch is well positioned for quick operation with the index finger and the scroll dpad at the rear can be used to quickly navigate through the menu system. As for the screen, the Nikon Coolpix A features a 3inch, 921k-dot display, however it’s not a touch screen.
At the launch of the Coolpix A compact, Nikon made it known that there has been popular demand from their consumers for a model of this type for quite some time. To make it attractive for those who like to compose images via a viewfinder rather than the screen, the Nikon Coolpix A will be supported by an optional DF-CP2 Optical Viewfinder that clips onto the cameras hot shoe. It’ll also be compatible with Nikon’s GP-1 GPS unit and WU-1a wireless adapter for transmitting images to iOS and Android devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Available from the 21st March, the Nikon Coolpix A will cost £999.99 and will be produced in two colour variations – black and a more unusual, but desirable, titanium finish.
Additional Key Features of the Nikon COOLPIX A
- Wi-Fi compatible: use Wi-Fi to transfer your high-quality images and movies to your smart device* via an optional Wi-Fi dongle (WU-1a).
- Full HD (1080p) movie recording: in 30, 25 or 24 fps and in stereo, through the built-in stereo microphone.
- Advanced GUI: employs a graphical user interface (GUI) inherited from Nikon’s DSLR range. Continuous shooting at 4 fps (up to 26 frames): capture fast-moving action at 4 frames per second.
- Optional external optical viewfinder: for those who prefer a traditional viewfinder, this optional attachment (DF-CP1) offers an alternative to the LCD screen. The ‘hot shoe’ can also be used to attach a more powerful External Speedlight flash unit.
Compatible with Optional GPS (GPS-1): allowing you to record the exact location (latitude and longitude) of images as a ‘geotag’.