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Nikon Coolpix A Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the Nikon Coolpix A - a compact camera with a large APS-C sized sensor.

| Nikon Coolpix A in Compact Cameras
Nikon Coolpix A Hands-On Preview: Nikon Coolpix A Silver (1)

The Nikon Coolpix A is a new compact camera from Nikon with the 16.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor from the Nikon D7000, a Nikkor 18.5mm f/2.8 lens that is equivalent to 28mm in 35mm film terms, as well as full manual controls, RAW shooting and full HD video. The Nikon Coolpix A is due to be released on the 21st of March, priced at £999.

Camera In Your Pocket

According to Nikon, the Nikon Coolpix A is the world's smallest camera to feature an APS-C sensor, being smaller than the Leica X2. The design of the camera is very stylish, and will be available in black or silver, with a metal body and it fits very nicely into pockets. 

Key Features

  • 16.2 megapixel DX APS-C CMOS (23.6x15.6mm) sensor
  • No Optical Low Pass Filter
  • 18.5mm f/2.8 lens equivalent to 28mm in 35mm film terms
  • 3inch 921k dot screen
  • ISO100 to ISO25600 when extended
  • Full HD 1080p, 30/25/24fps, built in stereo mic
  • 4fps continuous shooting
  • 2 function buttons
  • AF/Macro/MF focus switch on the side
  • Manual focus ring, and manual override in AF mode
  • 14-bit RAW (NEF) recording
  • P/S/A/M with 2 User modes
  • Made in Japan
With a 16 megapixel DX APS-C sized CMOS sensor, from the Nikon D7000, image quality should be very good, with excellent low light performance and the camera features an AF-assst light. Nikon has also removed the optical lowpass filter (OPLF), so detail and sharpness should be good as well. We were impressed by the results we saw from the camera. The camera is powered by a 1020mAh 7.2V lithium-ion battery.  

Anyone familiar with the Nikon Digital SLR menu system will be glad to see the same menus on the Nikon Coolpix A - which you can see in action on our YouTube channel. The camera also features the new <i> button to give quick access to options on the rear screen, and a number of buttons run along the left side of the monitor to provide quick access to ISO and exposure compensation.

Nikon Coolpix A Hands-On Preview: Nikon Coolpix A Silver (8)

Focus appears to be quick, although we will be able to perform our full speed tests when we have the camera in for review. The side switch lets you choose between manual focus, or autofocus, and in manual focus mode you can use the lens ring to focus smoothly. You can manually select the focus area, right to the edges as well as the very far corners. The manual focus ring is speed sensitive, and there is also a removable ring to allow adapters to be screwed on. Macro performance also appeared to be good for a fixed focal length lens, which is the equivalent of 28mm in 35mm terms, and barrel distortion appears to be very negligible.

Optional accessories are available including an optical viewfinder (DF-CP1), and it is compatible with Nikon's DSLR accessories as well. An optional UR-E14 adaptor ring enables the use of 46mm lens filters, or there is an optional lens hood (HN-CP18). The Nikon Coolpix A is compatible with the WU-1a Wi-Fi dongle, as well as the optional GPS unit (GPS-1).

Nikon Coolpix A Hands-On Photos of Equipment

Nikon Coolpix A Specifications

Max Aperturef/2.8
35mm equivalent28mm
Optical Zoom0x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4928
Pixels (H)3264
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeAPS-C
Sensor Size (width)23.6mm
Sensor Size (height)15.6mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution921k
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus10cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest30sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Bracket
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Shade
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting4fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS30p, 25p, 24p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)230shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera strap, Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL20 (with terminal cover), Battery Charger MH-27, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, USB Cable UC-E16, ViewNX 2 CD-ROM, Reference Manual (CD-ROM)

View Full Product Details

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix A

Find the squirrelBuckley PitShadow LineMoonrise over DublinRushDave and LucyThe cubs returnDublin sunsetDublin sunsetUntitledRamsbottomCatching the sunpeacemaker

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josa 11 25 Czech Republic
5 Mar 2013 8:10PM
Better than Nikon 1 series but still not good enough. Lens could be faster, any VF missing and the price is from a cuckoo land...but I hope at X mas it will half price so I might buy it...
6 Mar 2013 7:44PM
£999.99 LOL not for a fixed lens DX (only f2.8 at that). This should be in the £400-£500 price range. Why 16.2 mpix, 10 to 12 mpix is more than enough and would give better noise characteristics. Also Back in the 70`s and 80`s this class of enthusiast type compact could produce results at least as good as a professional SLR (probably better in some cases. They often came with a f1.7 or f1.8 and used the same full frame film (image sensor today) as pro cameras, which meant an almost distortion-less actual 35mm, 40mm, etc lens. Its about time they started producing cameras that we actually want at a fair price. this is going in the right direction but how long will we have to wait for a true 35mm full frame compact at a reasonable price. Personally I have been waiting since 2006, and as I get older I find I want to carry less gear so I really need something like this but its far too expensive.
6 Mar 2013 7:49PM
No fixed viewfinder either, That alone could preclude it from my interest.
13 Mar 2013 11:11AM
In my opinion it's a very interesting model, but expensive. Both f/2.8, F=28mm and many buttons for me is a very good union.
But I'll be wait while it become cheaper and pay attention on other mirrorless cameras.

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