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
Nikon Coolpix A review – White balance and colour
As is standard on most Nikon cameras these days, there is a choice of two AWB settings on the Coolpix A. The first produces a completely neutral image, while the second takes tungsten lighting into consideration and leaves a hint of the orange colour in the picture.
I found that both of these auto settings worked well in daylight conditions, although sometimes they did just take a hint of any dominant colour out of a scene. Unless the weather conditions, or the scene, is constantly changing, try to use the default white balance settings for best results. This will leave some of the natural colour of the light in the scene, which looks attractive in daylight but is obviously more of a concern with artificial lighting.
The Coolpix A can, as standard, save images in either sRGB or AdobeRGB colour space, and there is a good but small range of picture styles available. The monochrome mode has the option to adjust the brightness, contrast and sharpness, as well as apply a coloured filter effect to alter how certain colours in the image are rendered in black & white. I generally set this to the red or orange filter to add contrast when shooting landscapes. There is also the option to apply a colour tone to the monochrome image. Again, if I do use these, I tend to add just a hint of blue to create a cooler image.
As in Nikon’s DSLRs, picture styles can be edited and saved as default user settings. Picture styles can even be created in Picture Control Utility, which comes with Nikon View NX or Nik Capture NX. This allows image styles to be adjusted with more precision and then loaded onto the Coolpix A. This is extremely useful for any Nikon DSLR users who want to use existing image styles they have created on the Coolpix A.
Image: This was shot using the Nikon Coolpix A’s black & white image style with the red filter effect used to darken the detail in the sky