CP+ 2015: Hands on the Latest Innovative Nikon Coolpix Digital Cameras

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Having just written up the announcement post on nine new COOLPIX cameras for B&H Explora, I was looking forward to trying a few out. Writing from spec sheets makes most cameras sound the same, especially entry-level point-and-shoots, but seeing and touching them determines the small but important differences.

For example, I really liked the COOLPIX 6900 Digital Camera, especially the White model they had on display. B&H sells only the Black and the Pink models. The gesture control was a tad slow, but real slick, and perfect for group shots and of course selfies. Seriously, it can be a pain in the neck to reach the shutter button when trying to take a good self-portrait, and the front face button and gesture control (wave and it will shoot) is loaded with possibility. The fold-out stand itself is worth the price of admission, and while the front looks like a standard compact shooter, the narrowness and the LCD back give it almost a flip-out phone feel. Images were sharp; response times were fast.  Yes, there are those who will bemoan the death of the compact in the face of the cell phone, but this camera is not saying “better to join them,” it’s just found a new way forward.

The silver version of the COOLPIX S9900 Digital Camera really catches the eye. The color is more like brushed chrome with a black grip, and it looks and performs like a much more expensive camera. The specs are impressive across the board; it focused quickly with absolutely no shutter lag. My only concern (or maybe surprise because it looks so metallic) is that, to be as lightweight as it is, it’s a bit too plastic.

As this picture will attest, the COOLPIX P610 Digital Camera looks exactly like its forebear, the P510. It has definitely made a few upgrades, however… it added Wi-Fi and kept the GPS, it has a Vari-Angle LCD monitor as opposed to just a flip-up, and it increases the optical zoom capability to an incredible 60x—a 1440mm equivalent. Also, it is easy to hold, has a strong flash, and in Red, particularly, looks pretty cool.

The COOLPIX S33 Digital Camera is a great camera for kids. It also looks good with its glossy blue color, and has a cool interface with big buttons. Most important is that it’s a durable, waterproof camera that can withstand drops from 5', temperatures to 14 degrees, and it can go underwater to 33'. It’s not up to the standards of the AW130 or other “tough” cameras, but it’s also lighter and looks better. It offers fast continuous shooting, full HD video, and a 30-90mm equivalent lens.

The COOLPIX AW130 is the point-and-shoot that can handle deeper water and worse conditions. The AW130 is much like the previous AW120, but can now descend to 100' below the water’s surface. Having had the AW120, I can attest to how handy, sturdy, and easy to use they are in snow and surf.

Lastly, the COOLPIX L32 was available to shoot and, as they say, it is what it is: a very small, very light camera that automatically takes very satisfying pictures.

Follow all of the exclusive coverage from B&H of the CP+2015 Show in Japan at this link.