Small and lightweight, but with a 16.2-million-pixel, APS-C sensor and 18.5mm lens, the Nikon Coolpix A could be an ideal second camera for many enthusiasts. Richard Sibley puts it to the test

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Nikon Coolpix A

Product:

Nikon Coolpix A review

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Price as reviewed:

£999.99
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Nikon Coolpix A review – Our verdict

Combining a small compact camera body and an APS-C-sized sensor, the Nikon Coolpix A delivers both convenience and high image quality. The camera has all the features that most enthusiast photographers would want from a fixed-lens compact camera, although there are a few quirks affecting the camera’s handling.

While the lack of a built-in viewfinder or EVF may concern some people, the trade-off is a small, genuinely pocketable camera that will serve landscape, documentary and travel photographers well.

The image quality can’t be argued with, and the amount of resolved detail and edge-to-edge sharpness of the lens equals the competition, as does the Coolpix A’s performance in low light. Images really are excellent.

At around £999, the Nikon Coolpix A is reasonably priced given the features it boasts and will be a welcome addition to many a photographer’s camera bag.

Nikon Coolpix A – Key features

Flash and hotshoe
On top of the Coolpix A is a hotshoe that is compatible with Nikon Speedlights, but there is also a small pop-up flash. This has a guide number of 6m @ ISO 100, so should be bright enough to add a touch of fill-in flash for portraits in backlit or low-light conditions.

On/Off
Instead of a switch, the Coolpix A has an on/off lever that requires only a very slight nudge to operate it. When the camera is switched on, it powers up in around 0.5sec and is ready for action.

GPS/Wi-Fi socket
This socket allows the Nikon WU-1a Wi-Fi adapter or the GP-1 GPS unit to be connected to the camera. With the WU-1a attached, images can be transferred to a smartphone or tablet, or uploaded directly online. The device also allows the camera to be controlled remotely. The Nikon GP-1 GPS allows location data to be embedded into images.

SD cards
The Coolpix A is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards, with the card socket situated next to the battery on the bottom of the camera.

Image: The amount of fine detail that can be resolved is impressive, and very little sharpening needs to be done when processing raw images

Details

White Balance:2 auto, 6 presets, 7 fluorescent, custom, manual
Video:1080p HD, 30fps, MOV (H.264)
External mic:No
Memory Card:SD, SDHC, SDXC
Built-in Flash:Yes (GN 6m @ ISO 100)
Viewfinder Type:N/A (optional optical viewfinder)
Output Size:4928 x 3264 pixels
Hotshoe:Yes
Sensor:16.2-million-pixel, APS-C sized CMOS
LCD:3in, 921,000-dot LCD
Exposure Modes:PASM + 20 scene modes
Power:Rechargeable EN-EL20 Li-Ion
Weight:Approx 299g (including battery and card)
Lens:18.5mm f/2.8 (28mm equivalent)
File Format:JPEG, NEF raw, JPEG+ raw
Shutter Speeds:30-1/2000sec, plus bulb
Drive Mode:4fps
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
DoF Preview:No
Dimensions:111.0 x 64.3 x 40.3mm
Connectivity / Interface:USB 2.0, HDMI
Metering System:Matrix, centreweighted, spot
Compression:2-stage JPEG
Exposure Comp:±5 EV in 1/3EV steps
RRP:£999.99
ISO:ISO 100-6400 (ISO 100-25,600 expanded)
Focusing Modes:Single, full-time, face detection, focus tracking
  1. 1. Nikon Coolpix A review - At a glance
  2. 2. Nikon Coolpix A review - Nikkor 18.5mm f/2.8 lens
  3. 3. Nikon Coolpix A review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Nikon Coolpix A review - Metering
  5. 5. Nikon Coolpix A review - Autofocus
  6. 6. Nikon Coolpix A review - White balance and colour
  7. 7. Nikon Coolpix A review - Dynamic range
  8. 8. Nikon Coolpix A review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. Nikon Coolpix A review - LCD, live view and video
  10. 10. Nikon Coolpix A review - The competition
  11. 11. Nikon Coolpix A review - Our verdict
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