Nikon Releases the Coolpix A 16-megapixel DX-format and P330 Compact Cameras

Nikon Coolpix A
Nikon Coolpix A

Following the likes of Ricoh and Sigma, Nikon has released the Nikon Coolpix A. This is a 16-megapixel DX-format compact camera with a fixed 18.5mm (equivalent to 28mm on full frame cameras.) As with the trend right now, Nikon has designed this to be without an anti-aliasing low-pass filter on the CMOS sensor, which is supposed to give improved image quality.

The Coolpix A captures 16-megapixel RAW files in 12/14bit options, with ISO sensitivities ranging from 100 to ISO 25,600. For video enthusiasts, it also captures 1080p Full HD videos. At the back of the camera is a 3″ LCD screen with 921,000 dots and several buttons for playback/capture settings. An optional optical viewfinder is available for a ridiculous US$450.

The camera itself will be released in March 2013 at a high-ish SRP US$1100.

YS: It is that Sony 16 MP sensor again, I bet. It has been a successful design, and I am sure costs and market segmentation had something to do with not using the newer and very well lauded 24 MP sensor from Toshiba. The camera is not exciting me much right now. US$1100 for a camera that only does one thing is not appealing. Still, it is the smallest APS-sized sensor camera, so that should count for something.

CK: I am glad that unlike the Nikon 1 series, the Coolpix A has a standard hotshoe with i-TTL compatibility with Nikon Speedlights. The controls look pretty reasonable for a “compact camera”, and the layout of the row of buttons on the left of the LCD are almost similar to that of Nikon’s newer DSLRs.

Like the Nikon 1 V2, the Coolpix A also sports a rear command dial, much nicer than the rocker in the Nikon 1 V1. Not sure how the AF speed on this will be like, but if it’s anything close to what the Nikon 1s can do, it’d be great.

Nikon Coolpix P330

YS: Then there is the Coolpix P330, which is finally a proper Canon Powershot S110 rival. Featuring a larger 1/1.7″ sensor, and gaining the ability to shoot in RAW, albeit in that funny NRW format, the S110 is no longer the only serious small compact now. The lens is marginally faster than the Canon’s, at f/1.8-5.6 vs f/2.0-5.9, while the camera is a little bigger in size overall. At US$380, it is not too expensive too.

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