Nikon Coolpix A Summary
Nikon Coolpix A Assessment
The Nikon Coolpix A is the smallest digital camera with an APS-C sensor and is similarly-sized to a compact camera. This incredible achievement puts the image quality of a DSLR in a camera that fits in a coat pocket. The compromise is that its lens offers a fixed 28mm-equivalent wide-angle field-of-view. This is obviously not for everyone but those who are happy with a bright F/2.8 prime lens will be very impressed by the Coolpix A.
There is no denying that the 16 megapixels CMOS sensor of this digital camera delivers exceptional image quality. It also lacks an anti-alias filter which lets it deliver extremely sharp images at the risk of occasional moire artifacts. Image-noise is very low with clean results until ISO 3200 and usable ones until 12800. Dynamic-range is great which makes it easy to meter well.
The only real issue with the Coolpix A itself is a slow and error-prone Contrast-Detect autofocus system. It takes its time, even in moderate light and frequently missed in low-light. Luckily, a manual-focus ring is available and there is a nicely implemented Manual-Focus Assist feature.
The Coolpix A currently faces another issue, price. At $1100, it costs more than most DSLRs and near its most-established competitor, the Fuji X100S which also features an anti-alias filter-free 16 megapixels CMOS sensor, only with a special color-filter-array which avoids moire and on-sensor Phase-Detect AF. Its larger body also includes a hybrid viewfinder that switches between EVF and optical mode. The choice here is between size and speed plus an EVF, a very difficult one indeed.
|Very low image-noise||Slow autofocus system|
|Excellent sharpness in center of frame||Frequent autofocus misses in low-light|
|Wide dynamic-range||Corner softness|
|Good metering||WB changes not Live|
|Very good Automatic White-Balance||Display not Exposure-Priority|
|Low optical distortion||Strong vignetting|
|Very responsive||Weak color accuracy|
|Good LCD visibility||Low rear control-dial|
|Wide 28mm F/2.8 prime lens||Easily turned on accidentally|
|Simple direct controls||Self-timer resets|
|Extremely compact||Limited customization|
|Solid build quality||Short battery-life|
Recent Similar Cameras
Nikon A Highlights
Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|16 Megapixels Fixed Lens||ISO 100-6400|
|Fixed 28mm lens||Shutter 1/2000-30s|
|4 FPS Drive, 32 Images||Full manual controls|
|1920x1080 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Spot-Metering|
|3" LCD 920K Pixels||Hot-Shoe|
|Secure Digital Extended Capacity|
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