rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » Review: Nikon Coolpix A

Review: Nikon Coolpix A

July 27, 2013 11:41 IST

Review: Nikon Coolpix A

     Next

Next
Reviews42.com

It is assumed that with any device, bigger is always better. A higher range of megapixels, a bigger lens, a heavier, tougher build, bigger resolutions and battery packs -- the list goes on. However, it’s entirely possible to get some of the best features from small packages as well, even if that means splurging more than you would on the competition.

The Nikon Coolpix A is such a device. Nikon’s Coolpix range is usually associated with a mass-friendly image that makes for cheap cameras and easy to use functionality. It certainly doesn’t have the kind of reputation that the EOS series have, and it certainly isn’t the kind of camera one thinks of when looking for a compact, DSLR replacement.

But the Coolpix A has its share of surprises. Read on to find out more.


Image: Nikon Coolpix A
Photographs: nikon.com

     Next

Review: Nikon Coolpix A

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Design

As noted, the Nikon Coolpix A is relatively more compact than DSLRs you’d find in this range. The lens is small, with a pop-up flash embedded into the aluminium frame. You’re still able to adjust the focus on the lens, and a leather grip on the front makes it far easier to hold it. Every single aspect of the camera, right down the individual buttons, feels premiumly designed. It’s also incredibly tough, so don’t think for a second that just because it’s small and weighs only 299 grams that it can’t hold its own in the outdoors.

Unlike most other cameras, the Coolpix A also functions a bit differently. Take a look at the rear panel, and you’ll find not one but two Fn buttons -- Fn1 and Fn2 -- as shortcuts for different functions. This includes Fn1 shortcuts such as Flash mode, Self-timer and about 9 other functions; Fn2 shortcuts include White balance, Image quality, Image size and 5 other functions.

There’s no D-pad here, but a circular dial that allows you jog between different settings. Of course, when shooting in either A or S mode, you’ll have to rely on the top dial to adjust settings. To change settings such as Exposure Value or EV and ISO (which is also the Fn2 button), you’ll need to hold down the buttons and then manipulate the dial on top to change settings. Even the zoom buttons function differently, as they only zoom into or out of a focused area.

Unorthodox for sure, but it doesn’t take too long to get used to. Of particular note is the lack of a dedicated video recording button. In fact, you need to access it via the Release mode rather than manipulating the dial on the front to change modes.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix A
Photographs: nikon.com

Prev     Next

Review: Nikon Coolpix A

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Interface

You can hit the Info button when looking for current settings such as White Balance, ISO, autofocus, flash and such to change. You won’t find any overlays when in live view while taking a picture though. Again, it may feel a bit unrefined at first but with practice, you get used to it. Also, you’ll find just about everything in the same place.

When selecting different scene modes, just use the dial on the top. Some of the scene modes that can be selected include Food, Silhouette, Sports, Sunset and Autumn Colours among others for a total of 19 overall. Of particular note as the U1 and U2 modes, which allow you customise your own shooting modes depending on your preference.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix A
Photographs: nikon.com

Prev     Next

Review: Nikon Coolpix A

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Specs & image quality

The Nikon Coolpix A features a CMOS sensor with a 16.2 megapixel resolution and 18.5 mm focal length. Aperture is f/2.8 with an 18-55 mm lens. It has a minimum shutter speed of 1/2000th of a second to maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds with an ISO range of 100-3200.

The LCD display on the rear panel is 3 inches with a 921K dot resolution. Storage capacity is controlled via SD, SDHC and SDXC slots, with USB cable and HDMI also supported. You can also record full HD videos at 30 frames per second with the Coolpix A, and control various factors including white balance and the area of auto focus. As for battery life, the camera can take 230 shots.

As for image quality, Nikon is still incredibly reliable in that department. The Coolpix A is adept at taking pictures, even in low lighting, with intricate details and accurate colour reproduction. Even at high ISO settings, you’ll get great results with the colour quality regardless of how much graininess affects the rest of the picture.

Depth of field isn’t as high due to the lower aperture, but the lens is still great at capturing tons of detail. While you won’t be taking too many tight close-ups, wide shots still look incredibly nice. Burst Mode captures up to 10 images at 4 frames per second at full resolution.

As an added bonus, the Coolpix A can also capture RAW images. When you apply filters to still images is that you have both the filtered image as well as the RAW image separately. It will take up more space though, so you’ll need to be careful.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix A
Photographs: nikon.com

Prev     Next

Review: Nikon Coolpix A

Prev     More
Prev

More

Verdict

There’s no denying the compact power that the Nikon Coolpix A holds. However there are other options that retail for significantly less. Also keep in mind that the lens is fairly restrictive and it still won’t replace the level of control (or variety of lens) you get with a DSLR available for the same price. However, for those who can foot the bill and don’t mind a simplified professional photography option, the Nikon Coolpix A is worth checking out.

Reader Invite

Are you a gadget/gaming wizard/afficianado? Would you like to write on gadgets, gaming, the Internet, software technologies, OSs and the works for us? Send us a sample of your writing to gadgetsandgaming@rediffmail.com with the subject as 'I'm a tech wizard/afficianado' and we will get in touch with you.


Image: Nikon Coolpix A
Photographs: nikon.com

Prev     More