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Nikon Coolpix A1000 Review

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Review - The Nikon Coolpix A1000 adds raw shooting, and an electronic viewfinder, with Nikon hoping this will appeal to the more serious photographer, but does the camera deliver what you want from a travel zoom?


|  Nikon Coolpix A1000 in Compact Cameras
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Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (3)

Quick Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix A1000 adds raw shooting, and an electronic viewfinder, to the 35x optical zoom travel zoom, with Nikon hoping this will appeal to the more serious photographer, but unfortunately the results fail to impress in a number of ways, most noticeably in poor image quality. Shooting raw significantly shows down the camera, and makes it less enjoyable to use.

+ Pros

  • 16mp sensor has resulted in lower noise
  • Much better results possible with raw files
  • 4K video recording
  • Tilting touch-screen

- Cons

  • Small EVF
  • Raw shooting slows the camera noticeably
  • Exposure issues (low dynamic range and over-exposure)
 

 

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (12)

The Nikon Coolpix A1000 is Nikon’s update to the A900, with a 16mp BSI CMOS sensor, the A1000 adds an electronic viewfinder, and more advanced shooting options to camera. Inherited from the A900 is the 35x optical zoom lens and 4K video recording.

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Features

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (4)

Whilst the lens remains the same, with a 35x optical zoom lens (f/3.4-6.9) covering 24-840mm equivalent (in 35mm terms) with optical image stabilisation, there are a number of updates including the addition of an electronic viewfinder (EVF).

The EVF has a resolution of 1166K dots, and this features eye-detection, so that it will automatically switch on when held up to your eye, and there is dioptre correction as well.


Other updates include a tilting 3inch touch-screen, with 921K dots, that can also be faced forwards for selfie shots, and used to touch where you want the camera to focus.

Manual focus is now available, as well as raw shooting support. The camera can focus on subjects as close as 1cm, giving impressive macro focus. 

With a lower resolution 16mp BSI CMOS sensor, the ISO range available has been improved, with ISO6400 now available. Instead of the 20mp sensor on the A900, we should hopefully see an improvement in noise performance.

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (6)

P, S, A, and M (Manual) shooting modes are available. Multiple scene modes are available, as well as auto shooting modes, and creative effects and filters, making the camera easy to use.

4K UHD video recording is possible, at 30fps, as well as FullHD video recording at 60fps.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are built-in letting you connect the camera to your smartphone, using Nikon's SnapBridge app.

The camera has a battery life of 250 shots, and has MicroUSB charging.

The addition of an electronic viewfinder and other changes has resulted in a slightly larger camera, with a slightly heftier weight of 330g.

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (5)

The Nikon Coolpix A1000 is up against the:

All recent travel zoom cameras have suffered from poor image quality due to noise from the use of 18mp and 20mp sensors. (More pixels = more noise given the same sensor size), and the last travel zoom to offer a lower resolution sensor was the 12mp Panasonic Lumix TZ70 (although it doesn’t feature 4K video). Will the Nikon Coolpix A1000, with a 16mp sensor, offer better image quality? 

 

Nikon Coolpix A1000 updates compared to A900:

  • 16mp BSI CMOS sensor
  • Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)
  • Touch-screen
  • Raw shooting
  • Additional controls
  • Shorter battery life
  • Heavier and larger camera

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (13)

Key Features

  • 16mp BSI CMOS sensor, 1/2.3inch
  • 35x optical zoom lens, f/3.4-6.9, 24-840mm equivalent in 35mm terms
  • Vibration Reduction (Optical Image Stabilisation) and electronic VR
  • 5-Axis Hybrid VR system for video
  • 3inch tilting touch-screen, 921K dots
  • Electronic viewfinder (EVF), 1166K dots
  • 10fps continuous shooting speed
  • Built-in pop-up flash
  • 4K UHD video recording, 30fps
  • ISO100 To ISO6400
  • Raw shooting added
  • 1cm macro mode
  • Backlighting / HDR scene modes
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth built-in 
  • Available in silver or black

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Handling

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (8)

The Nikon Coolpix A1000 has a camera body that is made up of a combination of plastic and metal parts (with a metal front). The build-quality of the camera appears to be reasonably good, apart from the rubber EVF surround starting to come off on ours.

There’s a good size front hand-grip, with a rubber coating to aid with grip. We’d recommend holding the camera with two hands in order to give a firmer hold, as well as helping keep the camera steady when using a lot of zoom.

There’s a good size rear thumb grip, near this, and accessible with one hand are most of the buttons and controls needed. There’s a mode dial on top of the camera, as well as a command dial, which can make changing settings easier.

Additional zoom controls have been placed on the side of the lens giving an additional zoom control letting you zoom in and out, as well as giving a “quick zoom out” button, so that you can quickly re-find your subject if you’ve lost it.

Underneath the camera is the battery and memory card compartment, as well as the metal tripod mount. Unfortunately this isn’t particularly central.

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (7)

 

Menus – The menus are reasonably straightforward to use, with different sections for photo, video, setup, etc. This makes it relatively easy to find and change settings, and the number of options available changes depending which shooting mode you are in, making it simpler for beginners.

The only issue we found when changing settings, was that the camera would reset the setting(s) after you’ve taken the shot, for example, if you switch on the self-timer, and then take a photo, the next time you take a photo the self-timer will have switched off. 

The 3inch tilting touch-screen has a resolution of 921K dots, and looks fairly good with reasonable colour quality, and an anti-reflective coating. Photos tend to look a little washed out on the rear screen, although this is perhaps just a reflection of the photo results, which also tend to be over-exposed. As the screen can be tilted, this helps get a better view of the screen when shooting outdoors. The tilting mechanism feels well built with metal hinges.

The touch-screen can be used to quickly set the focus point when shooting.

The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is small, but can provide a reasonable display when it’s too bright outdoors to view the screen. The EVF features dioptre correction and an eye-detection sensor. As previously mentioned, the small rubber surround on this started to peel off on ours, so it may be worthwhile keeping the camera in a more protective case, rather than simply keeping it in your pocket, or in the bottom of a bag.

Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Features - The Nikon “SnapBridge” app (available for Android and iOS) will let you transfer images over Bluetooth, as either 2mp images, or full-size images. If you transfer full-size images then this is noticeably slower than transferring 2mp images.

Nikon Coolpix A1000 Black (9)
Battery life - Battery life is rated at 250 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is short, so a spare battery is recommended. You can charge the camera using MicroUSB, so you should be able to easily charge the camera when out and about.

Speed - The camera is reasonably quick for most things, with reasonable focus speeds. Focus can struggle at the telephoto end, and when contrast levels are low. If you switch on raw shooting then this significantly slows down the speed of the camera (both when taking photos, and when viewing photos), so we’d suggest that raw should only be used if absolutely necessary.


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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix A1000

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