Sunday, March 10, 2013

Nikon Coolpix A is here to fight mirrorless cameras!

You're looking at the Nikon Coolpix A, Nikon's latest camera designed to fight the small-size, large-sensor "mirrorless" cameras from the likes of Olympus, Fuji, Sony and Panasonic. Of course, Nikon already has their 1 system, which is also a small-size, large(-ish) sensor camera, and that was well-received. Now they're going against the mirrorless cameras with larger sensors, like those from Sony and Fuji. Notice those two letters on the bottom corner of the camera? DX means the Nikon Coolpix A has an APS-C sized sensor. Woot!

The DX sensor and the fixed 28mm (equivalent) f/2.8 lens put the Coolpix A squarely against the Fuji X100s, which is the only other fixed-lens, APS-C-sensor camera available. But where the Fuji X100s looks like a vintage camera bristling with knobs and dials, the Coolpix A looks more like what you'd expect from a compact camera: a couple of dials, some buttons, a jogwheel. I guess that's why it's a Coolpix.

The lens is a little wider and slower than the Fuji. It's a 28mm equivalent f/2.8 prime lens, compared to Fuji's 35mm equivalent f/2.0. I'm not a fan of the 28mm focal length, but that's just my preference. Crucially, the Fuji X100s has a hybrid optical viewfinder. The Nikon has none except for an optional optical viewfinder. Of course, the X100s goes for $200 more than the Coolpix A. 

Nikon says they've done away with the low-pass filter, just like Fuji, and this promises a bump up in detail and sharpness compared to other APS-C sensor cameras. As for image quality, we'll have to wait and see. These Nikon guys know their stuff, so I'm pretty excited to see image samples.

Oh, they also announced a price: $1,100. Man, that's a little steep for a Coolpix.

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