Nikon just released it’s new point-and-shoot flagship, the Coolpix A. While it is technically just a point-and-shoot camera, it seems a little unfair to call it that, as it has an APS-C sensor – just like the Nikon DX series DSLRs. This little guy packs quite a punch, especially in low light – the active D-lighting alone may top my D7000′s capability in shadow details and noise reduction. This is possible because it was designed without a low-pass filter, just like the D7100. The advantage of not having a low-pass filter is the camera retains much greater detail throughout the entire image (with one less filter for light to pass through, your image is much sharper/has greater clarity). That also explains how the Coolpix A has less grain than my D7000 at higher ISO settings.
The camera itself is small but rugged. Not heavy, just rugged – and it still fits in your shirt pocket. It has a fixed wide angle lens (18.5mm) and DSLR like control over settings such as color parameters, impressive active D-lighting (as I mentioned before), manual focus option on the lens – making it feel more like a ‘real camera’, and there’s a hot shoe for your Nikon speedlights. Heck, my Nissin flash works like a champ on it. The menu system is easy to navigate and the auto-focus is smooth and fast. My only beef with the Coolpix A is the macro lens can stand to be a little better, both in focus speed and proximity. In fact, it seems that Canon’s had Nikon beat on their macro focus in point-and-shoots for some time, but that’s the only place they outshine Coolpix. Other than that, the Coolpix A makes the Canon Powershot G1X and G15 look bulky and slow, both in form and low-light functionality.
Fuji’s new X100s just hit the market a couple weeks ago and has been all the rage with pros and enthusiasts alike, but the Coolpix A just may take the cake. Not only does it beat Canon’s best Powershots in size, it’s sleeker than the Fuji, too. It’s a better size and has a better price tag than the X100s…$200 cheaper, mind you. Both cameras are great at higher ISO’s, but the X100s just doesn’t stand a chance when it comes to the intuitive controls of the Coolpix A.
Not at all an unfair comparison, as they both have similar sensors and are seeking to reel in the same demographic. You are, after all, the final judge as to what camera is the best. You are the demographic that both companies wish to please, and luckily we have both cameras in stock here at our store, so drop by and get your hands on one. We hope to see you soon, so until then: Happy Hunting!