How Much Is A Nikon Coolpix

By | 15/11/2022

(Pocket-lint) – Coolpix is rising up through the ranks and the introduction of the new king of the range – the Coolpix A – sure does show Nikon’s commitment to the brand.

But this Coolpix is far from your average compact. Information technology may be small and calorie-free, but it comes loaded with a DSLR-sized APS-C – or “DX” equally Nikon calls it – sensor, paired with a 28mm f/two.viii equivalent lens. No zoom, and not much change from £1,000 either. Does its performance and prototype quality match upward to the price?

Our quick take

The Nikon Coolpix A is almost there. It’s taken us on a full-circle roller-coaster ride: from love at starting time sight, to loathing the wearisome and and then-and then autofocus system, and then back to dearest again when looking at those super-precipitous, detailed images. Seriously, they’re better-than-DSLR-quality in many situations cheers to that abrupt 28mm f/2.eight equivalent lens.

But despite such high praise, it’s not enough. Well, not quite enough for the £999 request price any way. We’ve shot and reshot scenes using the Coolpix A – equally it’s in the interests of our photographic tendencies – simply accept institute off-focus shots a nuisance, or entirely misfocused shots to occur from fourth dimension to time. Manual focus, as well, while information technology has the makings of good things thanks to the manual focus ring around the lens, needs an automatic focus-area zoom option for pinpoint accuracy. It’south possible to use the zoom in/out buttons to the side of the photographic camera, simply not when focus has been acquired – which is at the indicate we would wish to use the transmission focus override characteristic.

See it’s non the pictures that run into the Coolpix A a niggling beneath our bar of loftier expectation – they’re fantastic when they’re on the money – it’s the wearisome pace the camera works at. As such we’re being firm on this pocket-size course-gene compact in our verdict, despite it delivering the building blocks of luminescence. The Coolpix A’s toll may be loftier, even so a D7000 with 28mm f/two.8 lens would price much the same and, we suspect, wouldn’t produce images as sharp.

It’s one of those head versus heart products: as much as we still unconditionally love the Coolpix A for its super-sharp images, information technology can be a painful process to arrive at that point.

Nikon Coolpix A

Nikon Coolpix A


  • DSLR quality images from APS-C sensor
  • Sharp lens
  • Modest and lite construction
  • Decent battery life
  • Good build quality
  • Wireless flash control
  • 10cm macro mode useful with such a sensor size


  • Expensive
  • Sluggish and sometimes inaccurate autofocus
  • No transmission focus
  • No peaking function for transmission focus
  • Transmission focus ring feels small and tight-positioned to the torso
  • No zoom and 28mm equivalent lens won’t suit all
  • No viewfinder included in the price

Pocket-sized And Practical

On first glance you wouldn’t think that the Coolpix A had a DSLR-like sensor inside information technology. Considering it’due south a pocket-sized thing; really minor. Think towards the consumer spectrum – something like the Panasonic Lumix TZ40 – and the Coolpix A really isn’t that much larger at all. We wore information technology with its included strap and occasionally thought we’d lost it, only to realise – in that “searching for keys in the fridge” moment of panic that a £one,000 camera could have gone by the wayside – that it was still hanging from our shoulder. At 299g it’s heavier than smaller-sensor compacts, but with that DSLR mentality in mind nosotros had suspected that the A’southward all-metal body would weigh in far heavier.

The Coolpix A certain does have size on its side – and those contemplating the Fujifilm X100S will certainly retrieve of the Nikon in the size stakes – yet manages to remain functional in utilise too. It’s too quite a striking lilliputian meaty that’s got united states of america rather loved-upwardly before and so much every bit firing the shutter.

A style punch is paired with a top-rear thumbwheel control and d-pad which doubles up every bit a secondary rotational thumbwheel. At that place’s a office button on the photographic camera’due south front end, along with a mix of quick-access and main menu controls. The “i” button on the rear brings up the standard Nikon DSLR reference/card screen which is useful for adjusting the majority of important settings. However, without a built-in viewfinder – just an optional and even sohoped-for-priced optical version will be available at further cost ($450 – £295 – in the U.s.a.) – this tin can’t be used in the always-on way that information technology tin with a DSLR camera.

To the side of the camera is another crucial command: focus type. Information technology’s possible to select between normal, macro and transmission focus options – crucial when close-up focus is required. Only don’t forget which mode the camera’s set to or y’all’ll discover a lot of mis-focusing tin can occur.

The Coolpix A’s build quality is certainly second to none. The all-metal trunk features a pocket-sized and raised strip-like grip which is ideal to tuck fingers around for a sturdy hold. Everything falls well to the hand and after more than extended employ fifty-fifty the rather small calibration and shut-to-torso transmission focus ring becomes familiar. This ring glides through rotations in a silken fashion – we’d just like it to have a little more width. It’due south not on account of lack of space either, equally at that place’southward an additional and removable protrusion in forepart of this focus band that can exist used to attach the optional adapter ring for filters or a lens hood. No word on whether in that location’ll exist optical adapters for super-broad or extended telephoto adaptations of the 28mm equivalent lens.

On the rear of the photographic camera there’south a three-inch, 921k-dot LCD which doesn’t capture the kind of effulgence levels of, say, the Nikon D7100’due south WRGB screen, nor are in that location touchscreen capabilities or a vari-angle bracket. It does the task and does it well plenty, but in brighter sunlight reflections tin be present.

Paltry Operation

But here’s the pinch: the Coolpix A, despite all its promise, isn’t upward to scratch in the performance stakes. Autofocus is slow. There, we said it. This comes every bit a bit of a hammer to the heart, as the likes of Fujifilm’s X100S will run circles around Nikon’s high-end offering.

Fujifilm X100S pictures and hands-on

Now we don’t necessarily demand the accented fastest focus system in the world, but the A volition be shown the door by meaty system cameras and other should-exist lesser compacts as well. It’s non simply on business relationship of focus speed either – we too found the accurateness to exist questionable. With an f/ii.8 lens available there’southward always going to be a tight line to piece of work with when broad open, but nosotros’ve shot and so re-shot scenes and even at f/4.0 we’ve constitute the single AF point position – which is available in normal, broad, tracking and face detection options – can vary in its decision. Critical focus can exist adjusted by a manual focus override option that comes into play once focus is acquired and the shutter push remains half depressed. Problem is there’due south no zoom in to the preview bachelor at this point and, while there are left-aligned buttons to zoom in and out of the preview, these aren’t active in one case focus has been acquired. Huh?

The Coolpix A’south transmission focus measure tin display in feet or metres but doesn’t offer up more than an approximate focus point measure – non the sort of judge hyperfocal distance system of, say, the Fujifilm X20. Manual focus could have as well benefitted from the focus peaking – an embossed border which shows upwards on the preview to confirm focus – feature as establish in an increasing number of other cameras, including Sony’s RX1.

Sony Cyber-shot RX1 review

A greater variety of focus options would have gone far, as would a more intricate manual focus option. Add the fact that there’s no way to assess manual focus via the optical viewfinder and we suspect at that place’ll be some disappointed with the A’s prospects. Single autofocus (AF-S) is matched with a full time (AF-F) selection which isn’t of nifty use – the single way is dull as it is, and the full-fourth dimension doesn’t improve this for its ongoing continuous focus.

Burst speed performs somewhat improve, notwithstanding. With a 4 frames per 2nd (4fps) maximum, we were able to snap upward nine raw & JPEG Fine files in any one sitting with a Class 10 SD card loaded into the camera. Movie mode is as well tucked away into this drive mode section inside the carte du jour – seemingly tucked away from the fore, despite its 1080p capture adequacy at 24, 25 or 30fps. Likewise on the plus side is the camera’due south macro mode’s 10cm shut-focus altitude, which is certainly welcome. Competitor cameras, such as the Leica X2 for instance, suffer from express close-focus altitude capabilities and so the Nikon trumps them in this instance.

Leica X2 review

We establish the Coolpix A’due south bombardment to be up to the task too. We’ve been off and on shooting with it forseveral days, accumulating in hundreds of shots. The three-bar display of battery life isn’t as accurate equally a percentage organisation would have been, and information technology one time its down to the final of its three confined the scarlet colour seemingly means there are few shots left available rather than a proportional third. Even so, that a fairly small gripe all things considered.

Image Quality That Wows

But negativity is flipped on its head to beyond the opposite equally, when on point, the Coolpix A’s pictures are an absolute delight. The photographic camera may have the same sixteen.1-megapixel sensor as the D7000 DSLR, which despite now being a generation old given the release of the Nikon D7100, has gone a couple of steps farther to push button image quality up a gear – there’s no low pass filter in the Coolpix A and, therefore, no anti-aliasing required, which helps to make for sharper images. Simply information technology’due south the A’s 28mm equivalent lens that adds to the razor sharpness. We doubt that even a D7000 or D7100 with a premier lens could match up to this kind of sharpness – it’s particularly prominent in the close-upward macro shots.

Nikon D7100 review

Initially we were sceptical about the Coolpix A’s generation-onetime sensor and Expeed ii processing engine, only the pictures have undone whatsoever negativity that we’ve had. And if that’s from a generation-old set-up then nosotros can only imagine what the sequel could bring in the future – simply that’s getting ahead of ourselves.

With a sensitivity range from ISO 100-6400 as standard, the Coolpix A’s lower ISO settings are superbly abrupt and articulate. There’south simply a subtle hint of chromatic aberration – shown as purple fringing – and increased softness towards the edges of the frame throughout the sensitivity range, both of which – and fortunately – are subtle blemishes. Even though sharpness does decrease every bit the sensitivity increases, shots into 4-effigy ISO sensitivities still deliver plenty of punch. Raw files aren’t as drastically unlike from their JPEG counterparts as we’ve seen from some other cameras either – and information technology’southward this subtle processing which brings out the quality whichever format is your preference. Raw files concord out the subtle details in shadow areas better, even if it as the expense of more prominent colour noise.

The f/2.viii lens is of great use too, even if the 28mm equivalent is adequately broad-angle and won’t adapt all tastes. But that’s merely the nature of this camera – it served us well for a mixture of landscapes and shut-ups. The default colour palette of the Coolpix A may not be the most saturated or striking, but there are other in-camera options that range from the subtle – such every bit Standard, Vivid, Portrait, Mono and more – through to more specific scene manner options, while sepia and cyanotype effects are accessible via the main menu alongside a variety of “retouch” options such every bit fisheye, miniature upshot and more. We’re non totally taken past the concluding fix of options though – we’d rather have seen some more advanced, camera-specific black and white filter types as one example.

To recap

The Coolpix A is a roller-coaster ride from love through to loathe: when on bespeak its pictures are exceptional, but information technology’s the getting there that hinders this pricey compact camera. Deadening autofocus that’s non always accurate and a manual focus arrangement that’s non every bit detailed as some competitors make for an experience that’s non quite where information technology should be. The pictures well-nigh brand that forgivable, only the near-£1000 Coolpix A, in its first incarnation, feels like the initial building blocks towards brilliance rather than the total package. Picture show quality? – Yep. Performance? – Not actually.

Writing by Mike Lowe.