Digital Cameras

Nikon Coolpix A: Review

The Nikon Coolpix A is a compact digital camera that presents. Some typical characteristics of a reflex, such as the DX format sensor, in this case by 16.92 mega pixel, the machine body made of aluminum alloy and magnesium, D-Lighiting active, the RAW format support for your photos, voice commands, and the 3-inch display with a resolution of 921,000 dots. As for the rest of the specs, the camera has a fixed NIKKOR wide-angle lens, Wi-Fi compatibility via optional dongle, retouch menu and slot for SD memory cards.

Nikon Coolpix A: Design

The Nikon Coolpix A is really small and light. It seems impossible that in so little space and so few grams there is an APS-C sensor and optics with good brightness. Yet there is everything. Spaces are also a good number of dials and buttons at the same time the initial set. It is rarely necessary to activate the menu of the camera. The grip is good, thanks to the ribbing on the front covered with imitation leather, which facilitates the grip of middle and ring.

The detail of the leather together with a titanium finish conjures up the legendary Nikon 28Ti, so that in gallery, I wanted to put a visual comparison with the sister Nikon 35Ti. Too bad that this very beautiful titanium finish result is not resistant: after a month of use is just peeking at the corners of the black plastic underneath. Pity that the Coolpix A lacks a built-in viewfinder. There is an optional viewfinder, but only optical, so no certainty about where you are actually putting into focus, especially on small distances.

Nikon Coolpix A
Nikon Coolpix A

An optional electronic viewfinder would have been an accessory interesting. I rather enjoyed the focus ring to focus. It is not directly connected to the lens, so it is a “focus by wire”, but from infinity to minimum focus distance of just one full turn, so it’s perfectly usable. Too bad on the distance scale is not shown visually the depth of field corresponding to the selected aperture, would be a boon for street photographers.

I also liked the presence of two soft keys, although it is logical to dedicate one of the choices of shutter mode, in order to speed up access to video mode, since there is a dedicated button for this function. Finally, a couple of quirks. The lever has the focus macro position. But in that, location may also focus on infinity.

So the location AF is actually a limiter focus, that starting from 50cm guarantees a coupling of the subject faster and more precise. Another oddity is the right eye of the strap pin that can rotate 360° on itself. This facilitates the use of wrist straps avoiding kinks. But if you use the classic shoulder cord instead kinks are continuous and sometimes annoy.

Nikon Coolpix A: Features and Functionality

Using the Nikon Coolpix A is a pleasure. Power, focus and shutter are fast and accurate. The size and quite central shutter allows you to shoot without being in the least noticed. A pity that the central shutter fails to go beyond 1/2000s, that combined with the lack of a built-in ND filter can make it difficult to use the maximum aperture in bright conditions.

The white balance works very well, as well as the exposure meter. The small built-in flash does his duty, helping both nights against the light of a day. Some problems instead working with the flash in the room pose. As soon as you half-press the shutter button the monitor creates a preview of the result that we would go to get, so if we set 1/160s f/5.6 ISO 100 with the only pilot lights lit, the result will be a beautiful screen black. Really problematic then recompose or go to check if the focus was properly hooked.

Nikon Coolpix A
Nikon Coolpix A

The images taken by the Nikon Coolpix A are excellent as they come from the camera. You can easily post them online or print them without opening any photo-editing program. Certainly, the RAW provides the better details, going to highlight the advantage of not having a low-pass filter, but its use is a choice, not an obligation. You can then work with the Picture Control, which can also be exported and imported from other cameras Nikon.

On the files have really good noise up to ISO 1600. The 3200 and 6400 are usable, but you notice the loss of fine detail. Sensitivities H1.0 and H2.0, corresponding to the ISO 12,800 and 25600, the color noise becomes noticeable. They are still useable for emergency situations or for small prints.


For me, It was easy to get to grips with the Nikon Coolpix A. They are both two compact with APS-C sensor and fixed lens, are both pleasant to use. They are both capable of ensuring good images. The Nikon Coolpix A offers something less often cited as the viewfinder, but its compactness is incredible.

If you’re like me, one of those photo enthusiasts who hate knapsack, which contained more than 10kg of equipment in and out so often without having to take anything with them, then a camera like the Nikon Coolpix A can makes you rediscover the pleasure of photography. Less weight, more images.

Where to Buy Nikon Coolpix A


PROS : Compact body with a titanium finish and vintage details, Excellent ergonomics, Image quality.

CONS : No built-in ND filter, Lack of an electronic viewfinder also optional, Paint that comes off easily, Right eye that creates kinks on the classic shoulder bag.

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