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Nikon Coolpix A10 Review

We review the entry level point and shoot camera from Nikon, the Nikon Coolpix A10, which is easy to use and takes AA batteries.


|  Nikon COOLPIX A10 in Compact Cameras
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon Coolpix A10 Black (4)

The Nikon Coolpix A10 is Nikon's entry level compact camera, priced at a wallet friendly £59.99 and available in a number of colours, the A10 features a 16.1-megapixel sensor and a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens. 

Nikon Coolpix A10 Features

Nikon Coolpix A10 Black (1)

The Nikon Coolpix A10 features a 16 megapixel CCD sensor, and a wide-angle 5x optical zoom lens, that is equivalent to 26mm to 130mm in 35mm terms. The camera is powered by two AA batteries, and features a 2.7inch screen on the back. There are a number of scene modes making it easy to use the camera, but for those that want a little bit more control you can also set the ISO and white balance settings yourself, including custom white balance.

Exposure compensation can be set from -2 to +2, and the camera has a 720p video mode.

There are 6 creative effects, scene auto selector that automatically detects the scene, 15 manually selectable scene modes, a smart portrait mode, and auto (program) mode where you can set the white balance, continuous shooting (on or off), and ISO speed. Video options allow you choose the resolution (maximum 720p, 30fps), or set the autofocus mode to single or continuous. In the setup menus you have the option to apply a date stamp, switch electronic VR on or off, as well as set the battery type. 

In playback, there are 10 different effects that you can apply by pressing the OK button, and the camera will give you a preview before you apply it. In the menus there are further options including D-Lighting (Dynamic), Skin softening, Slide show, protect, rotate, small picture (Resize), and copy. 

Nikon Coolpix A10 Black (2)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor 
  • 5x optical zoom lens, 26-130mm equivalent 
  • Electronic image stabilisation for stills and video 
  • 2.7inch 230k dot screen 
  • 720p video recording 
  • ISO80 - ISO1600 
  • 10cm macro 
  • AA batteries
  • Available in red, black, silver and purple (at certain outlets) 

Nikon Coolpix A10 Handling

Nikon Coolpix A10 Black (5)

The Nikon Coolpix A10 has a plastic body, but despite the budget price tag feels reasonably solid and well put together. The front of the camera is smooth, but the use of AA batteries gives a reasonable shape for grip and there are raised dots on the back of the camera for your thumb. We'd recommend using the supplied wrist strap to avoid dropping the camera. The buttons and controls are neatly laid out with clear labels and the buttons aren't too small, despite the camera being quite compact and the camera should be very easy to use even for beginners or children. 

With a limited number of options, the menus are clear and easy to use. The screen is quite low resolution, and the view can appear quite grainy at times, but surprisingly is quite viewable outdoors, even in bright sunlight. Viewing angles left and right are quite good, but aren't very good if you want to hold the camera above your head. 

Nikon Coolpix A10 Black (6)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 200 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, when using alkaline batteries, and this can be increased to 500 shots using rechargeable batteries (EN-MH2), or an impressive 730 shots when using lithium batteries. This would make it a great camera to take on long trips where you don't want to carry extra batteries. 

Nikon Coolpix A10 Black (7)

Speed - The Coolpix A10 isn't the fastest camera, and focus can be quite slow, particularly in low light. The camera can take a photo every 0.8 seconds when shooting in continuous mode, which isn't very fast. 

Nikon Coolpix A10 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


Nikon COOLPIX A10 Sample Photos

 

Nikon COOLPIX A10 Lens test images

Camera Performance - Noise is quite visible, even when the camera is using ISO80, and blue skies can show noticeable noise. Chromatic aberrations are also an issue, particularly towards the corners of the frame. Images are soft in the corners, particularly when shooting at the wide-angle end of the lens. Colour reproduction and saturation is good, with bright punchy colours that should look good when shared on social media websites such as Facebook. When taking portrait photos with flash, red-eye was occasionally a problem. Macro performance is reasonably good, although when we tried to zoom in to get closer the camera struggled to focus, and best results were achieved when shooting with the lens left zoomed out. Exposure is reliable and the camera works well as a point and shoot.

Nikon COOLPIX A10 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Detail starts to drop off at ISO200 and above, and to get the best results from this camera you are best sticking to the lower ISO settings. If you enabled electronic vibration reduction (VR) then the camera will often use higher ISO settings, which results in less detail and more noise. This may not be too much of a concern if you aren't going to be viewing images at 100%.

Nikon COOLPIX A10 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten lighting, and fluorescent lighting, as well as under mixed lighting. There are tungsten and fluorescent presets, as well as custom white balance but, for the most part, you will get good results by simply leaving the camera on auto white balance. 

Nikon COOLPIX A10 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of effects that can be applied when taking the photo, along with more effects that can be applied in playback mode. You can also soften skin, or apply D-Lighting to improve shadows. There is no panoramic shooting mode. 

Video - The camera records 720p video at 30fps with mono sound, and optical zoom is not available while recording. With electronic image stabilisation switched off the video is quite unstable. If you try and use the zoom during recording, the camera will use digital zoom, which looks quite blurred. 

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix A10 is available for £59 from Amazon. Alternative budget cameras include the Sony Cyber-shot W800 at £59 and the Canon IXUS 160 at £59. If your budget can stretch to the £100 mark then you can get a lot more camera for your money, and for some suggestions, have a look at more budget cameras in our Top 10 Best Budget Cameras 2015. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Nikon Coolpix A10 Verdict

If you take into account that the Nikon Coolpix A10 is a budget compact camera priced at around £50-60 that takes AA batteries, the A10 is a reasonable performer, with bright colourful photos, and a number of creative effects that can be applied when shooting or in playback. The screen on the back is reasonable and the camera is easy to use, and for sharing photos on social media website such as Facebook, the results should be good enough. If you want extended battery life, the use of Lithium batteries can give an impressive number of shots. 

If you want more advanced controls or high-quality video recording and have a dependency on sharing everything via your smartphone, then the Nikon Coolpix A10 won't be for you. But for an easy to use camera that you can easily take with you thanks to the compact size, then the Nikon Coolpix A10 does the job. As the price of the camera drops further, this could quickly become a big seller for Nikon. 

Nikon Coolpix A10 Pros

Creative effects available in photo and playback modes
Compact and easy to use
Good screen for a budget camera
Up to 730 shots with Lithium AA batteries
Good colour and exposure

Nikon Coolpix A10 Cons

Slow focus in low light
No panoramic shooting mode
Noise in images

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

 

Nikon COOLPIX A10 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.2 - f/6.5
35mm equivalent26mm - 130mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor2.7in
Screen resolution230k dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus10cm
Focusing modes
  • Face Detection
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 1600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shootingNo Data
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS30p
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo Data
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type2 x AA batteries
Battery Life (CIPA rating)200shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, Alkaline Batteries LR6/L40 (AA-size) (x2) (The included batteries are for trial use only.)
Dimensions
Weight160g
Width96.4mm
Height59.4mm
Depth28.9mm

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Photographs taken using the Nikon COOLPIX A10

Sovereign Harbour, Eastbourne.In a world of her own.

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