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Nikon Coolpix A camera review

Nikon Coolpix A camera review
Nikon Coolpix A camera review 2
Nikon Coolpix A camera review 3

The Nikon Coolpix A ($1,096.95) was announced in early March, 2013 and it was marketed as the world's smallest compact camera with a DX sized sensor. A month later Ricoh announced their new GR model which is smaller (Ricoh GR: 4.6x2.4x1.4"/117x61x36mm; Coolpix A: 4.4x2.5x1.6"/111x64.3x40.3mm) and lighter (Ricoh GR: 8.6oz/244g; Coolpix A: 10.6oz/301g) and most importantly $300 cheaper. The shutter on the Coolpix A can go up to 1/2000, while the Ricoh GR can shoot at 1/4000.

General

  • The Coolpix A is made in Japan - it seems that this is a big deal because it's proudly listed on two different spots on the camera.
  • The camera does not have an AA filter. I was able to see some moire effects in some of the test images.
  • The battery life is pretty good - I think it can easily take more than the suggested 230 shots. The Coolpix A has a separate battery charger - I was glad that Nikon did not decide to cut costs and provide "in-camera charging".
  • Following their goal to keep the camera compact and pocketable, Nikon did not add VR and kept the lens at f/2.8 (instead of f/2).
  • Two programmable buttons (one on the front and one one the back of the camera) will allow you to assign various functions for easy access.
  • During continuous mode, the buffer of the Coolpix A slows down after approximately 15 images but will continue to shoot at a slower rate:

Size comparison between the Nikon Coolpix A, Sony RX1 and Fuji X-Pro1 with a 28mm f/2 equivalent lens:

Nikon Coolpix A Sony RX1 Fuji X-Pro1 size comparison
Nikon Coolpix A Sony RX1 Fuji X-Pro1 size comparison 2

The built-in flash of the Coolpix A is pretty small, but you can go bigger since the camera is compatible with Nikon's Speedlights:

Nikon Coolpix A camera flash
Nikon Coolpix A with SB-900

Menu

One of the advantages of the Coolpix A is its menu and setting - if you own a Nikon DSLR, you will feel very comfortable finding the setting you are looking for:

Nikon Coolpix A menu

Camera info screen:

Nikon Coolpix A info display

Framing grid:

Nikon Coolpix A framing grid

You can display also the virtual horizon level:

Nikon Coolpix A virtual horizon

Auto focus/manual focus

The AF/Macro/MF selector is located on the side of the camera:

Nikjon Coolpix A focus selector

The manual focus is as simple as it can get - no focus confirmation, focus peaking or digital split image (found in the Fuji X100s). You only get a distance scale that can be controlled with the small ring on the lens (focus by wire):

Nikon Coolpix A manual focus screen

You can zoom in while in manual focus for closer view of the subject.

In macro mode I could not focus closer than the advertised 3.94" (10 cm).

Auto focus with the Coolpix A in low light is not on par with the latest compact cameras. I did several comparisons in dark environment with the Fuji X-Pro1 and in most of the cases the Coolpix A could not focus at all where Fuji was able to lock the AF pretty quickly.

ISO performance

Next are several 100% crops at different ISO levels (click on image for full size view):

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 100

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 100

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 200

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 200

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 400

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 400

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 800

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 800

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 1,600

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 1,600

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 3,200

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 3,200

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 6,400

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 6,400

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 12,800

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 12,800

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 25,600

Nikon Coolpix A @ ISO 25,600

ISO comparison with other cameras

A quick ISO 6400 comparison between the Nikon Coolpix A, Fujifilm X-Pro1 with a 28mm f/2 lens and the Sony RX1 (full frame):

Nikon Coolpix A ISO 6400

Nikon Coolpix A ISO 6400

Fuji X-Pro1 @ ISO 6400

Fuji X-Pro1 @ ISO 6400

Sony RX1 @ ISO 6400

Sony RX1 @ ISO 6400

Lens center sharpness

I am sure many readers were not happy with Nikon Coolpix A aperture of "only" f/2.8. This time I have to defend Nikon's decision - a 28mm f/2 lens will probably be twice as big (see the Fuji XF 28mm f/2 lens in the above comparisons) - keep in mind that this camera was designed to really fit in a pocket. This is how the lens performed at various apertures (100% crops, click on images for larger view):

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/2.8

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/2.8

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/4

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/4

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/5.6

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/5.6

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/8

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/8

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/11

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/11

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/16

Nikon Coolpix A 100% center crop @ f/16

I found the lens to be almost equally sharp all the way to f/11 (you can see also some moire patterns in some of the samples).

Lens corner sharpness

In the corners, the lens has acceptable sharpness from around f/4 to maybe f/8 (click for larger view):

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/2.8

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/2.8

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/4

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/4

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/5.6

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/5.6

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/8

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/8

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/11

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/11

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/16

Nikon Coolpix A 100% corner crop @ f/16

Sample images

Full size JPG versions of the sample images with ISO and aperture information are available on flickr:

Accessories

Nikon-UR-E24-HN-CP18-lens-hood-adapter-ring-set Nikon-DF-CP1-optical-viewfinder
Nikon-Coolpix-A-accessories

The main accessories for the Coolpix A which I did not have the chance to try are:

  • DF-CP1 optical viewfinder ($379)
  • UR-E24 adapter ring for attaching lens hoods and filters ($99)
  • HN-CP18 metal lens hood ($99)

Additional information

  • The Nikon Coolpix A manual can be downloaded here.
  • See all previous Coolpix A posts.
  • The camera is currently in stock and can be purchased from B&H for $1,096.95.

Conclusion

The Nikon Coolpix is a true pocket camera that combines the proven 16MP DX sensor and a compact sharp lens. This combo can deliver excellent image quality. When talking about the camera's disadvantages, it is important to stay within what is reasonable for a compact solution of this size. In addition to the slow AF and 1/2000 shutter speed, my only other major complain is the price tag of $1,096.95. I think Nikon will sell tons of those if they lower the price to at least $700 ($100 cheaper than the Ricoh GR).

This entry was posted in Nikon Point and Shoot, [NR] Reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.
  • Redstart

    See? Better than the D400 ever could have been.

  • lorenzo

    Wow, it seems to work better than the D800/E.

    Off topic for those that are interested or missed the news:
    Marketplace Fairness Act Bill passed Senate at 69-27 vote in favor.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/kgnixer niXerKG

    Confirms for me at least that they just took the P7000, D7000 and Nikon 1 and mixed them together. If they made a serious version of this camera I’d buy it.

  • Simanta

    $1097 for a compact camera! duh, noway

    • http://loewald.com/ Tonio Loewald

      Would you pay $1097 for a compact FX camera?

      • Simanta

        Well, may be.

  • http://tech.t9i.in/ Tahir Hashmi

    For a whole lot more money, this is only marginally better than RX100 at 28mm (equiv).

    By my calculations, the RX100 at f/1.8 is equivalent to f/3.3 on an APS-C sensor in terms of light gathering. That’s about 1/4th of a stop real-world shooting advantage that Coolpix A has on RX100 – just 1/4th of a stop for $450 extra!

    • Spy Black

      The only problem with a faster lens is that the corners and edges will look worse than what you’re seeing here wide open. Granted, sometimes it’ll let you get a shot you may not get otherwise, but you pay for it in another way.

      • http://tech.t9i.in/ Tahir Hashmi

        That’s usually true for the same lens at different apertures, but it’s not that any lens at f/1.8 will be worse than any other lens at f/2.8. Looking at the MTF charts for Coolpix A, it seems like its wide-open corner sharpness isn’t too great.

        • Spy Black

          Sure it will. The widest aperture on any lens is always the worst, and the faster the lens, the lower the image quality is at the corners and edges. It doesn’t matter what focal length, or whether it’s a zoom or a prime.

          • neversink

            Not always, try the nocturnal 58 f/1.2 lens. It is incredible wide open. As sharp at f/1.2 as it is at f/8. I have a beat up one that I recently had refurbished. (The threads for the filter were stripped and dented but the glass nice and clean.)

            And there are many lenses that are far less sharp, at f/22 and f/32 than when wide open at f/1.4 or 1.8,– given diffraction and the loss of contrast that often occurs at these closed-down settings.

            That being said, one should not be afraid of shooting wide open or closed down given the right conditions and techniques. I shoot wide open with the 14-24 and the 24 f/1.4 when I need to or when I want a certain “look”…. Love those two lenses.

            • Spy Black

              OK, you can’t cite a Noct Nikkor as an example of something that works right wide open. It’s the exception, not the rule. It’s also not an optic you can even buy. You can’t buy anything similar to it today either. At least, not for Nikon.

              The reality is that every lens image quality suffers wide open. The faster the lens, the poorer the image quality. It’s pretty cut and dry. Diffraction is an issue that affects every lens, and is really a moot point when we’re talking about a lenses performance wide open.

              I agree that if you need to shoot wide or down, just do it. It’s simply what needs to be done.

            • neversink

              Agreed – Anyway, the Noct Nikkor is sweet, and I was lucky, years ago, to get one at bargain basement prices at a yard sale, of all places!!!!! Lucky me!!

            • http://tech.t9i.in/ Tahir Hashmi

              You’re still missing the point about the comparison not working between different lenses with different lens construction.

              See the MTF charts of the 24mm f/1.4G Nikkor and 24mm f/2.8D Nikkor, for example. Does the latter perform better in corners just because it’s f/2.8? It doesn’t. It’s in fact worse in the corners at f/2.8 than the former at f/1.4!

              http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/singlefocal/wide/af-s_24mmf_14g/index.htm

              http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/lens/singlefocal/wide/af_24mmf_28d/index.htm

            • Spy Black

              I think that would have to be something you need to see in real life to confirm. It may be true, but once again it’s not the average. You have to go out of your way to engineer a lens that way. What are the odds of seeing that in a point & shoot? Right.

              I have however actually seen this phenomenon between identical models, my 135mm f/2 Ai is sharper at comparable stops to my 135mm /2.8 Ai, but once again the 135mm f/2 is one of those exceptional optics, not your average Joe.

            • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

              “The reality is that every lens image quality suffers wide open.”

              I see where you’re trying to get at but the correct way to say it would be: when a lens is used on different-sized formats and equivalent photos are compared, the quality of the images created would correlate positively with the format size :)

          • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

            But there are times when the widest aperture is the best… e.g. some lenses are naturally slow and stopping down will make the images soft from diffraction. Then there are some lenses that are optimised for wide-open shooting stopping down can actually make things worse.

    • peteee363

      if you need a stabilised lens at 28 mm, i suggest picking up a different career/hobby. at 28mm, you should be able to handhold down to 1/2 second.

      • http://tech.t9i.in/ Tahir Hashmi

        My other hobby is shooting hand-held videos longer than 1/2s ;-)

        • peteee363

          are you looking for a video camera, or a digital camera, i am confused? you the “a” does shoot video, but i am not sure that is it’s primary function. just like my d800 shoots video, but i have never even tried to shoot a single video.

          • Chimphappyhour

            I think you missed his point completely.

        • neversink

          very funny Tahir!!!

          • http://tech.t9i.in/ Tahir Hashmi

            Thanks :-)

    • Chimphappyhour

      1.8 light gathering is 1.8 light gathering no matter what format you’re using. The DOF is what changes.

      • http://tech.t9i.in/ Tahir Hashmi

        You’re right but what I mentioned above is the equivalence you’d get in a low light situation where you are limited by shutter speed and are using a high ISO. RX100 would allow shooting at lower ISO for the same shutter speed, thereby negating some of Coolpix A’s large sensor advantage. I only used f/ numbers for expressing the equivalence.

        • Chimphappyhour

          Um, no you didn’t. You just mentioned “RX100 at f/1.8 is equivalent to f/3.3 on an APS-C sensor in terms of light gathering”. Nothing about limiting of shutter speed or high ISO.

          • http://tech.t9i.in/ Tahir Hashmi

            I’m sorry, I made a mistake in agreeing with your assertion as a matter of courtesy. Let me correct that mistake.

            The aperture diameter of a 10mm lens at f/1.8 is about 5.5mm, which is nearly the same as the aperture diameter of an 18mm lens at f/3.3. If the aperture diameter is the same and the incident light is the same (as dictated by Field of View equivalence), the light gathered per unit time must be the same.

            What you probably meant to indicate is that an f/1.8 lens would give the same shutter speed for the same lighting conditions at the same ISO irrespective of the format used. That’s not what I would refer to as “light gathering”.

            • LFG

              Ouch, it smells like someone just got burned here.

              Well done M. Tahir.

      • http://genotypewritings.blogspot.com/ genotypewriter

        No… you’re confusing the difference between light intensity (=f number) and quantity (=area x intensity). For the popular meaning of “exposure”, only the intensity matters. Quantity of light determines the quality… funny isn’t it.

  • Captain Megaton

    The asking price for the viewfinder is eye-melting. $379? Add in the lens hood (with the required adapter) and you are at ~$1675 for the package…

    • http://www.facebook.com/craig.houdeshell Craig Houdeshell

      Totally agree. When I can pick up the whole package for, say, $500US, I will be interested. Maybe.

  • neversink

    Impressive shots. Not sure I am sold on this yet, as the price needs to come down and the so-caled “accessories” need to be included in the price, not as extras. Charging for a view finder, lens hood, and the adapter ring (which one needs to buy in order to mount the hood) is completely unethical. Just for this I will boycott and I expect others will too.
    On the positive, love the size and the flicker images are very impressive.
    The ridiculous – Yes- let’s have a miniature body like the ‘A’ but mount a giant SB900 flash on it? Glad it can be done, but it is absurd. The whole idea of this camera is it’s diminutive size. If I am going to use a flash like the 900 or 910, I might as well buy a D7000 or D7100. It will be much better balanced with the same flashes than the tiny ‘A.’

    • Can’t Believe It

      just buy a SB700 or an SU800 and throw it on top. WIreless control done.

  • HotDuckZ

    Is focus fast as Nikon 1, Thank NR guy.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      I don’t think so. I did not have a Nikon 1 to compare, but the last time I used one, the focus was very fast. I cannot say the same for the Coolpix A.

  • Looh

    The only valid argument of the Coolpix A over Ricoh GR I have seen so far is “because I have Nikon flashes!”

    But look at that bulk…

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Also, a familiar menu if you own a Nikon DSLR.

      • Fred

        I have only ever used Nikon DSLRs but found my way around the menu of a Fuji X100s within 5 mins of buying it.

        I would have really liked to have added the Coolpix A to the camera bag but the Fuji had so many advantages at less cost that it made it a simple decision.

        I don’t think that the menu items are a valid reason to own one especially seeing as the Fuji will quite happily operate Nikon speedlights via a cord.

        Nikon missed their foot when they took a pot shot with the Coolpix A ( which is short for ass ) and that is where they shot themselves.

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          I did not have a X100 to compare, but the Coolpix A is significantly smaller. I think the new Ricoh GR is really the only camera that can be compared with the Coolpix.

    • BroncoBro

      Then go ahead and buy the Ricoh and get back to me in 9 months when you’ve returned two of them and had the one you kept repaired for the second time.

  • Nikon Owner

    Nikon has to rethink the strategy. While I own a lot of Nikon stuff, this camera is way overpriced. $400 for an optical viewfinder? That is ridiculous.

    Same thing with the Nikon 1. They are potentially good cameras, but way overpriced. I bought a Nikon V1 in Dec 2012 for $299 when they were getting rid of them, and it is a decent camera. But not for the $899 MSRP.

    Nikon needs to get it’s house in order, including pricing strategies. There is increasing competition in a decreasing market. I wish Nikon success in this area as I have a sizable investment in Nikon cameras and I don’t want to see my investment lose value.

    • Captain Megaton

      Would Nikon have sold more V1s if they had introduced them at $299? Sure. Would Nikon have made more money that way than it did by pricing them at $899 list and discounting gradually over time? No.

      I hate it too, but you have to admit it works. This camera is selling now to the “more money than sense” set. Later this year or early next it will fall into the $500-600 range and you and many others might buy it. Nikon wins.

    • Pat Mann

      Unique items get price premiums, at least until the uniqueness is challenged.
      The price for the optical finder is not that far out of line with the price for optical finders for other cameras, so I’m not complaining about the prices for each individual item.
      The fact that making it a usable camera with the basic necessary accessories ups the total price to $1700 will certainly keep me from purchasing one. If they bring out a 24mb model with an integrated finder and on-sensor PDAF at under $1,000, which would certainly be feasible as the Coolpix Ax or As or A2 by next year in a world with two or three competitive models from other manufacturers, I’d be quite tempted.
      If this is a test bed for a compact mirrorless interchangeable lens APS-C A100 system with five basic lenses at intro (wide: 10-24 f/4 or 12mm /4, normal: zoom 16-70 f/3.5-4.5 or 35mm f/2, tele: f-mount adapter, 50-200mm f/4-5.6, portrait: 60mm f/2, low light reportage prime: 18mm to 24mm f/1.4 or f/2, I’m definitely a customer for that system. Until I’m assured the system is complete, after my disappointment with Nikon’s failure to make DX a complete system, my money stays in my pocket.

      • BroncoBro

        There “you” go with megabits, again. WE DON’T NEED MORE RESOLUTION!! How many people are going to want 30 X 40 prints from the files they make with this camera? Seriously, what would 24mb do for you? Think about it. The camera is already struggling for performance. And you want larger file sizes?! Open up a D7100 and look at the electronics in there. That’s all for a reason..delivering high speed performance with very large file sizes. As the writer of this article said, keep in mind the target of this exercise…a POCKETABLE camera with OUTSTANDING image quality. Right now this is the best compromise of size and image quality you can get. If you want a fairly small, quiet camera with a DX sensor and a built in finder with faster glass, buy the Fuji. But, good luck fitting it in your pocket.

    • denz

      Price??

      The same could also be said of the X100s, Leica X2 and Sigma DPs – they’re even more expensive. Remember, you don’t have to buy it.

    • samul

      It’s just a pricing strategy. Nikon is setting a point of reference for the price. When they lower the price by $250 and throw in an additional $50 cashback, it’ll be considered “great value”.

      • independentskeptic

        Depends on the person. I believe the $600 price point is a fair number, as it will compete directly with the RX100 while offering some tradeoff’s that make it a competitor. At anything above that? Poor value proposition.

  • http://twitter.com/Bucherm Matthew Bucher

    I think a Fuji X100 or X100s would have been a better comparison, instead of a X-Pro…from a size perspective.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Agree, did not have x100 handy. The X-Pro1 comparison is good because it is also a 16MP camera with a 28mm lens.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Unfortunately, I did not have a X100 handy.

  • Spy Black

    The slow AF and minimum shutter speed make the price that much more unacceptable. It’s a nice camera for ~$600, but otherwise only a Nikon fanboy would buy this (I guess that includes you if you bought it Admin LOL!). The peripheral costs are outrageous as well. I dunno. I guess Nikon has tapped into a source of well-heeled buyers who’ll buy this crap no questions asked, like they did with the Nikon 1 system.

    • Onkee

      Crap? U R an idiot…

  • Davide Casamento

    Price???? is out of any reason to buy!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lazarescu.r.catalin Lazarescu R. Catalin

    “You can display also the virtual horizon level”

    How? i try to find this settings on camera but….

    Thanks

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      It’s in the menu under “display info”. Not very intuitive, they should have used the i-button on the back.

  • neonspark

    meh, you know what Nikon, just kill DX already by releasing a mirrorless APS-C camera.

  • waiting

    As always, Nikon thinks they can charge heavily marked up prices and buyers will simply pay for the name. Surprisingly unrealistic management decisions at Nikon.

  • cgw

    Canon and Nikon just don’t get this form factor and, judging from this disaster, won’t anytime soon. They blew it with the teensy-sensored CX MILCs and followed up that epic fail with this thing?

    All the better for Fuji and the beautiful little X100s.

    • denz

      Disaster?? Yeah right Fuji troll.

    • Jimmy Jangle

      ROFL,
      This has to be the dumbest comment I have seen to date…
      The Nikon A from all the reviews outperforms the Fuji X100s in…
      Better Dynamic Range
      Better High ISO
      Better lens performance
      Greater sharpness
      Better Micro Contrast
      Much more compact
      Hey, the FujiX100s is a nice camera, as long as you understand that it is being outperformed in everything that matters photographically (the image).
      Of course the only thing that really matters to Fuji users is the one thing the Nikon A cannot compete in; a Leica look wannabe

      • cgw

        Fan boy blather aside, you’ve yet answer why the X100s sells and the Coolpix A doesn’t. Another hopeless product from a company that’s looking completely rudderless. The only positive thing about the A will be it’s knock-down price in the near future–all the better for you to enjoy those dubious “advantages.”

  • Daniel Watson

    Well, Nikon is a step ahead of Canon but still way behind Fuji. The X100s is just an unbelievable camera and is so much better in low light. Check out the review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZWyeiarirg and download the RAW files they have at 6400 ISO. So clean. Plus, I much prefer the 35mm focal length and I might even like a 50mm. The Nikon A is just too wide for most everything other than landscape.

    • denz

      Wow all the fuji trolls are out.

  • ActionJunky@verizon.net

    This seems more like a science project to me. You have a beautiful sensor and the ability to use Nikon flashes, but no interchangeable lenses to take full advantage of either. The Sony RX-1 is just too pricey right now and the Fuji requires buy-in to a completely new system.

    I have the Nikon 1 V1, purchased with two lenses for $399, plus adapter for pro lenses at another $100. Sure, it takes 10MPx images, but works well up to ISO 800. Is uses the same battery, same memory card, and same lenses as my D800. This makes it a much better backup camera than a high-priced Coolpix.

    • DHK

      Yes, but unless you are using the V1 (which I also own) with the 10mm lens, it is much larger and therefore not pocket size. The whole point of the Coolpix A is high IQ in a pocket size.

      • ActionJunky

        I have a cell phone that fits into my pocket. Still the 10mm would be far less expensive and still a true backup. Not everybody needs what I need, but I would really like to see a true, mirrorless backup from Nikon.

  • Can’t Believe It

    The two advantages of this camera are that sensor and the Nikon CLS system. The amount of latitude I get from that sensor is amazing. And I happen to use CLS a lot in my work and it is the most flexible system around. The TTL exposure is almost always dead on the first time and even shooting manual it is so much better than running around the studio spinning dials on individual flash units. So for those of you who are hating on this camera, just relax. The price is going to come down.

    • neversink

      Yes, the Nikon CLS is great. I use it also in some of my work, but if I am going to buy this baby because it is small, lightweight and fits in my pocket, why in the world am I going to carry three or four flash heads, light stands, umbrellas, soft boxes, reflectors etc along with me. If I need all that then I’ll just grab the D800 or D4 instead.
      Yes, the’A’ performs really well, but I’m not going to lug large flash units around just because it can be done. I want to put it in my pocket and not think about dragging along a lighting studio.

      • samul

        You don’t need to “carry three or four flash heads, light stands, umbrellas, soft boxes, reflectors etc along” to use CLS. It’s useful already already using just one Speedlight. Read one of the books by Joe McNally.

        • neversink

          Yes, I understand that. My apologies as I just misinterpreted your post. No doubt, any CLS Speedlight will do, and as you say there is no need for multiple flash units, though you could use quite a few if you wanted to. No harm carrying an extra small bag with you, although the put-it-in-your pocket idea of this camera goes out the window. Might as well throw a D7000 in that small bag also, and a few lenses you want to use.

          I am impressed by this little camera, but until price comes down…. And then I’d probably still go for one of the Fujis….

    • MB

      Coolpix A built in flash does not support CLS and that would be really great. You have to use an external flash for that, but I really can not imagine someone actually using such a small camera with SB-900 attached ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/andrew.barthle Andrew Barthle

    Nice pictures. Are you based in Miami (my hometown) or were you here on vacation?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      No, I live north of Miami but still in South Florida.

  • http://www.facebook.com/craig.houdeshell Craig Houdeshell

    Admin, how about a size comparison to the Nikon V1, version one. Thanks.

    Also, silly price on the so-called optical view finder. At close to $400US, with tax, that is silly. It doesn’t do anything – it just helps you point. All it is is a tube with some lines scratched on the glass. I’ll give you $50 for it.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      I do not have a Nikon 1 handy, but the lens on the Nikon 1 will be bigger – just like on the Sony RX1.

  • Kynikos

    Thank you very much for taking the time to post the review.
    If I buy, it’ll be the Fuji x100s.

  • fiatlux

    Good review. Would be interested if I had not already too much gear. I cannot understand the Coolpix A bashing considering it does not have so much competition yet. The closest competition, in terms of size & quality would be a NEX with a 16mm pancake (but that lens is way weaker that Nikon’s) or perhaps a m43 lens with the 14mm pancake.

    Nice sample pictures by the way!

  • preston

    Nice shots Peter! No, this camera does not fit my needs (or budget), but it’s nice to be reminded that one can still make excellent shots with it!

  • cookie

    Very nice pictures. Much better than those of different DPREVIEW sample
    galleries

    • jake

      DPR shit anyway, they are a part of Amazon , so their review is not really reliable or honest any more, shun them and check Mike Kobal’s site.

      He did very very good test the Coolpix A vs the Fuji X100s.

      Coolpix A is actually a good camera ,jut not a great one because of its lousy AF.

  • Surya Chataut

    35mm is what I would want if I had a single prime. 28mm is just a little too wide for me. So although not compact and bulky I will stick to my D700+Sigma 35 1.4 for now.

  • Lcky

    Nice review, Sad little camera though. Sony Color looks win.

  • spicynujac

    VERY impressive sample images, and I love the size/portability, and made in Japan quality, but this thing costs more than a refurb D7000 with kit ZOOM lens. I think you would get great results with this type of camera, and due to the portability I would have it with me much more often than my DSLR, but to me a fixed prime non-interchangeable lens makes this a niche market device for photo hobbyists with plenty of cash. It’s a novelty to me, and I don’t impulse buy in the $1,000 price range. That said, it’s a very impressive camera.
    For my money, I’ll take a D7100 and a Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS5 for around $1,500 total, which is what this Nikon plus optical viewfinder would cost. The Lumix is usable underwater, which would probably only be used a couple of times, but would be really fun when diving, and would shoot passable casual photos the rest of the time, and I can pull out the D7100 for the serious stuff. I would just hate to spend $1,000 on a camera that can only shoot one focal length.

  • jake

    it is a nice camera , actually I kinda like it.

    but it has very very slow AF and extremely expensive optional OVF.

    so I did not keep it , but it is a good camera , just not a great one because of the slow lousy AF.

    it takes all Nikon DSLR accessories and it even takes the SB700 and the SB910.

    so if you are looking for a 28mm only back up camera to your D whatever Nikon body, then it is a good camera.

  • Myrddin Wyllt

    Nikon almost always discounts Coolpix prices on the street so I would not read anything into the MSRP. And the price on the optical viewfinder suggests to me that it is most likely to end up as a bundled accessory…

    Interesting that they would use the old D7000 sensor rather than the new D7100 one. I suspect that means that they have a bunch of the older sensors in stock and this is a way to mop them up.

    The size of the camera is pretty interesting. Why not a Nikon 1 that size??? The Nikon CX mount is big enough for a DX sensor, does this camera suggest maybe a Nikon 2 line as well??

  • Pat Mann

    Thanks for one of the nicest, simplest, most useful reviews of this very interesting small camera, with some very nice photos to accompany it. My personal small camera will have a viewfinder built in, but this one with that added feature would probably be my first choice among what’s out there today.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Thanks for being a reader!

  • Wayne

    This is not a true “pocket camera.” It is a convenient purse camera. It is smaller than the x100s, but not to the extent that it offers considerably more portability convenience than the x100s. It does render impressive image quality. If it had been a camera that could be conveniently, and comfortably, carried in my pocket, I would not have returned mine.

  • Davidvictormeldrew Idontbeliev

    Would go with a Sony RX100 MK I and 2 – good cameras and at a reasonable price. Could get a good Nikon D5100 and Nikon 35 18 / 50 1.8 AFS for slightly cheaper price.

  • GuestNikonShooter

    Any word on a Coolpix A2 ?

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