The latest trend in compact cameras has been DSLR-quality images and sensors in compact bodies with compact usability. Nikon has recently thrown its hat in the ring with the COOLPIX A, its new flagship in the COOLPIX Advanced Performance Collection, and the COOLPIX P7700.
Nikon COOLPIX A boasts many of the same features as your favorite Nikon DSLR. The COOLPIX A houses a 16.2-MP DX-format CMOS sensor, the same sized sensor used in Nikon DX-format DSLRs, meaning the image quality, even zoomed in, is crystal clear and the low-light capabilities are as good as the Nikon D7100‘s. It comes with a small pop-up flash, but generally you won’t even need to use it. However, if you do need to use flash, the COOLPIX A comes with a hotshoe to which you can attach your favorite Nikon or Nissin flash. It features a fixed 28mm F2.8 NIKKOR glass lens with an impressive depth of field, especially noticeable when you switch the lens’ autofocus setting to “macro” (there are also the normal AF settings and a manual focus setting, which I thought was especially cool). Compatible with Nikon’s WU-1a wireless adapter, you can share your photos (JPEG or RAW [NEF]) or 1080p Full HD videos wherever you are. Shoot full auto, or make use of the standard Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, or Full Manual modes. All this comes packaged in a sturdy body that can still fit in your pocket, and costs $200 less than the Fuji X100S.
The small body feels good in the hands — not too small that it’s hard to get a grip, but not too big that it’s hard to manage the physical interface. The additional “finger shelf” (is there a technical term for it?) makes it easy to hold onto, though if you’re really nervous about dropping it you can attach a Promaster wrist strap or a BlackRapid strap to it. I shot with it in manual in a variety of environments, and it was very easy to quickly change my shutter speed, F-stop, ISO, and white balance setting. Check out some sample images below:
Nikon COOLPIX P7700, while a more traditional “point-and-shoot”-style compact than the COOLPIX A, features some specs that set it apart, such as its 12.2-MP CMOS sensor, its 7.1x zoom NIKKOR ED lens, its 1080p Full HD video capabilities, and its ultra hi-res Vari-Angle display. For only $449.99, the COOLPIX P7700 is ideal for travel (summer vacation anyone?) or as a backup for your DSLR. It’s got a nice grip that makes it fit cozily in the hand, and it works great in low-light situations.
Check out some sample images, courtesy of Jacob: