So many new camera types have popped up over recent years and the Nikon Coolpix A is no less promising. It is a compact camera with an APS-C sensor and a fixed 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens. What’s exciting about this camera is how just a few years ago, something like this seemed very unlikely, yet here it is.
Smartphones are proving to be worthy competitors these days and as a result, manufacturers have been looking for ways to offer better image quality from compact cameras. Meanwhile, the mirrorless camera has been a great example of how photography enthusiasts want something different from a DSLR. Not a replacement, but another option to consider, perhaps as a supplement to the bigger and bulkier cameras. The age of smartphones has lent people the experience of shooting with prime lenses, hence the conception of a fixed-lens camera with a larger sensor.
The Nikon Coolpix A boasts a 16MP CMOS sensor, the same one that spectacular cameras like the D7000 are outfitted with.
The Nikon Coolpix A’s Key Specifications
- 16.2MP ‘DX’ format CMOS sensor
- 18.5mm (28mm equivalent) F2.8 lens
- ISO 100-6400 (with 12,800 and 25,600 equivalent extension settings)
- 3.0″ 920k dot LCD
- 14-bit uncompressed NEF Raw shooting capability
- Up to 4fps continuous shooting
- 1080p movies at 24, 25 or 30fps
- i-TTL compatible hotshoe
Nikon has made it clear that this camera is intended as a second camera and not a replacement for DSLR cameras. Its menu system is more along the lines of a DSLR than past Coolpix models. This model doesn’t only share its user interface and external controls with Nikon DSLRs; it is also compatible with Nikon accessories, though the camera’s built-in flash cannot act as a remote flash commander. Another thing: it does not have a built-in viewfinder, but you can purchase an attachable one for an additional $450. Quite steep considering that you’ll already be spending $1,100 on this camera alone.
The Nikon Coolpix A will be available in black and in a ‘titanium’ color scheme (reminiscent of the Contax G-series rangefinders) later this month.
Check out the sample images here.
The COOLPIX A, to my pleasant surprise, is perfect for street photography, where discretion is critical. It’s small, quick and lightweight, yet delivers big, portfolio-quality image files. I wanted to work the moment I touched it. With its fixed 28 mm, it was clear that Nikon was speaking to those who love the discipline and simplicity of prime lenses, but also appreciate modern enhancements. David Douglas Duncan once said, “First get close, then get closer.” This camera has that spirit, and I am now relishing the results. The files are mind-blowing, with sharpness that rivals my D4. Yet it fits in my pocket! This camera will go wherever I go.
– Documentary photographer Doug Menuez on the Nikon Coolpix A