REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

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NikonCOOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black)
 
4.4

(based on 18 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

94%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (14)
  • Good image quality (14)
  • Easy to use (12)
  • Good in low light (10)
  • Large clear LCD (9)

Cons

  • No viewfinder (6)

Best Uses

  • Travel (12)
  • Landscape/scenery (10)
  • Family photos (7)
  • Low light (6)
  • Street photography (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (11), Pro photographer (5)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (16)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great Pocket / Street camera

I do almost all of my shooting with prime lenses and 28mm is my most comfortable focal length, so a camera of this quality that I can stick in a pocket and take anywhere...Read complete review

I do almost all of my shooting with prime lenses and 28mm is my most comfortable focal length, so a camera of this quality that I can stick in a pocket and take anywhere is right in my wheelhouse. I also do a lot of street shooting and this is the best street camera I've ever used for how I like to work. Between a good distance scale and focus ring and a GREAT auto-ISO setup (the best I've yet seen or used), I can almost forget the details of focus and exposure (exposure compensation being the one control I use a lot while shooting) and just concentrate on the content of the shot. The AF speed is a non-issue for me because I'm always using zone focus for fast moving subjects at this focal length. And for more stationary shots where I might want less depth of field, the AF is more than adequate.

I also do plenty of other general shooting with this camera and its great for landscapes, urban scenery, abstracts, etc...Between its fine lens, great IQ, great low light performance, its really an amazing little camera. I also shot extensively with the Ricoh GR and its arguably a better value, but for how I work, the Nikon is the better camera for me.

The only things I'd change if Nikon was ever to do a firmware update is I'd make the manual focus distance sticky when you turn the camera off and back on, so it wouldn't always reset to infinity, and I'd make the ring around the OK button another exposure compensation control in aperture or shutter priority mode - this dial doesn't do ANYTHING in those modes and it would be great to have exposure comp that readily available. And the camera should always show the current exposure compensation on the screen, instead of only when you press the exposure comp button. Otherwise, I don't think I'd change a thing...

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Nice but wth big flaws

The reason I do not buy it is: it has slow AF and the exposure compensation procedure is killing the buyers. I have no idea why Nikon designers (or marketing??)are so...Read complete review

The reason I do not buy it is: it has slow AF and the exposure compensation procedure is killing the buyers. I have no idea why Nikon designers (or marketing??)are so stubborn on it. They just do not want people to buy their premium compacts. Too bad for the company.

Reviewed by 18 customers

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Displaying reviews 1-18

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4.0

Like

By no nickname

from Altanta

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Good Image Quality
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • Occasional Focus Hunting

Best Uses

  • Travel

Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

The Nikon A was purchased to use as a backup for my D700/D7100 when I travel and to use in situations where a larger camera is not feasible.I already had a Sony RX100M1 but when the Nikon A went down in price I decided to try it due to the larger sensor. I don't know if it is because I am familiar with the Nikon layout but I really like using the Nikon A and the slightly larger size makes it feel more secure when holding. It came with the optical viewfinder and I tried that combo but haven't been in a situation where I need it yet. The LCD display is ok. Picture quality is as expected with an APS-C sensor size.Now.. I have only used it a little and it focused ok except when I used the macro setting and it experienced some focus hunting. I should be able to accommodate the quirks as I like the camera overall for a small camera with good picture quality to carry in my jacket pocket when traveling.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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5.0

Great Camera

By vintagemg

from NYC

About Me Pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Easy To Use
  • Good Image Quality
  • Good in Low Light
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Small / Compact

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

    This camera is an APS pocket sized marvel! Great lens, Great image quality, Built like a tank. Sharp, sharp, sharp. I do not know why people dont embrace this camera. Half the price of the Leica x with better sensor and lens. Add the optical viewfinder and shoot shoot shoot.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

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    5.0

    WoW!

    By mallen

    from Chicago

    Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Silver):

    Beautiful pics..perfect exposure..all the functions of a DSLR..excellent in camera JPEG processor none of my pics need processing (x crop) The GR ALMOST as nice as the A! But not quite, and wiill take forever to learn - my only beef no filter threads unless you buy a bulky accessory .....BTW exposure comp works perfectly

    Share this review

    (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Nice but wth big flaws

    By Stas

    from Vancouver, BC

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

          The reason I do not buy it is: it has slow AF and the exposure compensation procedure is killing the buyers. I have no idea why Nikon designers (or marketing??)are so stubborn on it. They just do not want people to buy their premium compacts. Too bad for the company.

          Share this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Unbelievable Nikon pocket camera

          By Dave McD

          from Flower Mound, Texas

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Good Image Quality
          • Good in Low Light
          • Large Clear LCD
          • Small / Compact

          Cons

          • Lag / Shutter Delay
          • No Viewfinder

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Travel

          Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

          I bought this camera to make sure that I didn't miss group and snapshots when I didn't have my D800 or I had a lens for a different purpose on it. Like shooting sports events, and all of a sudden needing to shoot a group of players close in or wide angle. Receiving a trophy after winning an event was where I was usually caught without a wide angle when I had been using the 70-200 for action shots.

          Also on vacation when out shopping or dining or at the beach I found the smart phone just didn't get me the stock photo level of image I would like to have.

          The Coolpix A fills the bill. The 16 MP resolution, raw format, rapid continuous and pocket size helped a bunch but the startling thing was apples to apples comparison of the images at 100% with the D800. I still can hardly believe how close the Coolpix image is to the D800 with identical settings.

          Of course the Coolpix has no zoom and doesn't interchange lenses and there are some other major differences ( focus speed, no image stabilization, etc). But for what it is, it is very much worth the price.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

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          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Too small?

          By JKLPHOTO

          from Atlanta, GA

          About Me Pro Photographer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Small / Compact

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel

            Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

            Been a Nikon pro shooter since the D1 of 1999. No idea how Nikon packed an APS-C sensor in this tiny camera. It is the same height as a box of playing cards. Comes with a neck strap. All you need is a wrist strap. Oh yeah, image quality in 14-bit NEF is amazing. Build quality seems a little lacking. Way flimsier than the Canon EOS-M with 22mm pancake lens.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Beautifully crafted camera/great photos

            By Bobcamman

            from Ballwin, Missouri

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast/accurate auto-focus
            • Good Image Quality
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Small / Compact

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel

              Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

              Camera body is very well made. I really like the menus and overall interface. Pictures have great color, accurate exposures and natural colors.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              So much more than a point-n-shoot

              By Lesyeux

              from MD

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast/accurate auto-focus
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good in Low Light
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Small / Compact

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                  Purchased as considerable upgrade from Nikon S52 carried as pocket-sized substitute for D700/D800 for casual use. It's a bit larger and heavier than the S52, but still fits comfortably in a shirt or jacket pocket. I have a sense that it contains the brains and guts of a DSLR. The f2.8 lens is sharp, the display is bright, and the option for "macro" and manual focus are useful. I bought the optical viewfinder because glare made the screen on the S52 (and my smartphone) useless in bright light. After 2 weeks of shooting, I'm not sure it is needed as the display has been easy to see outdoors. I really like the flexibility of choosing ISO and PSAM+ settings. Thought I'm miss the zoom but I haven't. Battery life is excellent. After 2 weeks the icon still shows full but that can't be entirely correct. No reason to apologize for carrying a P&S with this one. It's actually a fairly sophisticated camera.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

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                  (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great Pocket / Street camera

                  By Ray

                  from Near Philadelphia

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use
                  • Good Image Quality
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Short Lag Time
                  • Small / Compact

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Indoors/Low Light
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Street Photography
                    • Travel

                    Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                    I do almost all of my shooting with prime lenses and 28mm is my most comfortable focal length, so a camera of this quality that I can stick in a pocket and take anywhere is right in my wheelhouse. I also do a lot of street shooting and this is the best street camera I've ever used for how I like to work. Between a good distance scale and focus ring and a GREAT auto-ISO setup (the best I've yet seen or used), I can almost forget the details of focus and exposure (exposure compensation being the one control I use a lot while shooting) and just concentrate on the content of the shot. The AF speed is a non-issue for me because I'm always using zone focus for fast moving subjects at this focal length. And for more stationary shots where I might want less depth of field, the AF is more than adequate.

                    I also do plenty of other general shooting with this camera and its great for landscapes, urban scenery, abstracts, etc...Between its fine lens, great IQ, great low light performance, its really an amazing little camera. I also shot extensively with the Ricoh GR and its arguably a better value, but for how I work, the Nikon is the better camera for me.

                    The only things I'd change if Nikon was ever to do a firmware update is I'd make the manual focus distance sticky when you turn the camera off and back on, so it wouldn't always reset to infinity, and I'd make the ring around the OK button another exposure compensation control in aperture or shutter priority mode - this dial doesn't do ANYTHING in those modes and it would be great to have exposure comp that readily available. And the camera should always show the current exposure compensation on the screen, instead of only when you press the exposure comp button. Otherwise, I don't think I'd change a thing...

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    EXCELLENT IMAGE QUALITY

                    By Brian

                    from San Francisco, California

                    About Me Pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy To Use
                    • Good Image Quality
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Large Clear LCD
                    • Nice Body Color
                    • Small / Compact

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Family Photos
                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Street Photography
                      • Travel

                      Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                      Excellent image quality and easy to use. As a Canon DSLR user I was worried I will have a hard time using the Nikon UI. But it is actually very easy and although certain options are hidden (ie. movie mode) it is not something I use often so it is not a big deal to me. Very satisfied with the camera and love to use it for quick snap shots and/or street photography.

                      • Ease of Operation:
                      • 8
                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Excellent semi-pro camera in a small siz

                      By Randy

                      from Windsor, CT

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Good Image Quality
                      • Good in Low Light
                      • Small / Compact

                      Cons

                      • No Viewfinder
                      • Wide Lens

                      Best Uses

                      • Family Photos
                      • Indoors/Low Light
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Travel
                      • Weddings/Events
                      • Wildlife photos

                      Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                      The Coolpix A is a little pricy, but has most of the features of a full DSLR in a small body, and has incredible image quality - better than many DSLRs I've used. As the reviews state, autofocus is a tad slow, but unless you constantly do very high speed sports photography, it's not likely to be an issue. The logic of the menus and the range of available featrures are incredible. With a fixed 28 mm equivalent lens you'll sometimes need some post-processing cropping for some prints, but the clarity and the 16.2 MPx make that no problem. Highly recommended.

                      • Ease of Operation:
                      • 8
                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great Little Camera

                      By Old Guy with a Camera

                      from Plymouth, MA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Good Image Quality
                      • Good in Low Light
                      • Small / Compact

                      Cons

                      • No Viewfinder

                      Best Uses

                      • Family Photos
                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Travel

                      Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                      I have a Nikon D700 DSLR with an assortment of lenses I use for most of my photography. I've been waiting for a small camera from Nikon that delivers high quality pictures I can throw in my pocket when I don't want to lug around my D700.

                      I received my Coolpix A from B&H last week and it was worth the wait. I bought the package that includes the optional viewfinder at half price and haven't stopped shooting with it since it arrived.

                      The camera is small enough to easily carry with you anywhere. The pictures are simply outstanding - sharp and crisp with great color.

                      The camera allows you as little or as much control as you would like. The program mode works well when you just want to point and shoot as do the scene modes.

                      I generally shoot in aperture priority which is how I'm using this camera. I keep the ISO low but have been pleased with the pictures I've taken inside with no flash at higher ISO's.

                      If you're a longtime Nikon owner, like me, and are looking for a high quality compact camera to carry with your DSLR or by itself, this is the camera you've been waiting for. Well worth the money.

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                      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Good DSLR companion

                      By Antarctic mate

                      from Amarillo, Texas

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Good Image Quality

                      Cons

                      • No Viewfinder

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Travel

                      Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                      This camera will travel with my D600 on an around the world trip. I have found I can, through Photoshop match my 600 and "A" and the smaller camera shoots a big enough file to match when I print a book of my pictures

                      • Ease of Operation:
                      • 10
                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Incredible IQ

                      By Nikon FX person

                      from New York, NY

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy To Use
                      • Good Image Quality
                      • Good in Low Light
                      • Large Clear LCD
                      • Nice Body Color
                      • Small / Compact

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                          The image quality - wide open razor sharpness and high ISO performance - of this camera are incredible. Further, the build quality of the Coolpix A is really quite impressive. It has a nice aesthetic and sturdy design. The AF speed is moderate, but this is made up for by the high end IQ and build. Compared to the GR, the high ISO capabilities and dynamic range are very noticeably better. Lastly, long-time Nikon DSLR users will enjoy the menu system and usability of this camera.

                          • Ease of Operation:
                          • 7
                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          coolpix... a

                          By jmac

                          from nyc

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy To Use
                          • Fast/accurate auto-focus
                          • Good Image Quality
                          • Large Clear LCD
                          • Nice Body Color
                          • Short Lag Time
                          • Small / Compact

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Travel

                            Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                            solid and sharp

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

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                            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            5.0

                            excellent !

                            By Fruchstuck

                            from New York, NY

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Good Image Quality
                            • Good in Low Light
                            • Large Clear LCD
                            • Small / Compact

                            Cons

                            • No Viewfinder
                            • Slow autofocus

                            Best Uses

                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Travel

                            Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                            top notch lenses with state of the art APS-C sensor, in a really pocketable package.

                            if you need the fastest autofocus or a viewfinder, go with the Fuji X100S. But if you need a wider angle view, and love the Nikon gestalt, this one is for you.

                            Excellent backup camera with no compromise file quality.

                            • Ease of Operation:
                            • 8
                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (9 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Best Compact Ever

                            By jnhphoto

                            from Chicago

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easy To Use
                            • Good Image Quality
                            • Good in Low Light
                            • Great Color Accuracy
                            • Small / Compact

                            Cons

                            • No Viewfinder
                            • Poor Flash
                            • Poor Image Stabilization
                            • Short Battery Life

                            Best Uses

                            • Family Photos
                            • Indoors/Low Light
                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Street Photography
                            • Travel

                            Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                            For what it is- it's the best: This is an easy take anywhere casual camera that is more capable than the iphone. I love that the menus mimic my Nikon DSLR's and it offers similar control.

                            • Ease of Operation:
                            • 9
                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (70 of 74 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Early reviews mostly correct

                            By Longtime Nikon User

                            from San Jose, CA

                            Verified Reviewer

                            Pros

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about COOLPIX A Digital Camera (Black):

                                  I just received my CoolPix A (was on pre-order). My unit is the first 300 production units according to the serial number.
                                  For background: I have been a Nikon user since the early '70's, and have owned all their pro F-series bodies starting w/ the F2 to the F4, then the D1 to my current D4. I was almost ready to purchase a Fuji X100s when Nikon announced the CoolPix A.

                                  For my pocket camera I've been a fan of the Canon S series (S95, and S100), have never been happy w/ the CoolPix series (have owned a few, but got rid of them for the Canon's).

                                  Here is my short version (after having the camera 2 days):

                                  The online reviews you will read are correct - on the positive side; the sensor (DX) is terrific along w/ the low light sensitivity (up to ISO 6400). Noise and "grain" are nominal through 3200; 6400 is usable unless you are printing large prints.

                                  If you are familiar with Nikon's DSLR menu system; you will be right at home using this camera (the reason I bought it, along w/ the large sensor).

                                  One thing you won't read on other reviews (at least none that i read) is how the camera works with a Nikon flash. I mounted my SB400 on the camera; and it is fantastic! Not only do you save the battery life of the camera by using the SB400, the lighting is much better, and you have the bounce option (at least for horizontal shots). I find that the flash exposure with the SB400 is right on (Nikon's are usually a bit "hot" - I typically make my flash -0.3EV) - for most people you'll keep the flash exposure setting at zero.

                                  Now for the negatives: I agree w/ the other reviewers; the autofocus is slow; and it hunts. That said; this is a pocket camera, only slightly larger than a Canon S100 with a DX sensor! If I need fast AF, I have a D4 - this is not going to be used for sports. The other negative is that there is no viewfinder (as the Fuji); again Nikon had to make compromises for the small size of the camera; if you need a viewfinder, go w/ Fuji, or another mirror less camera.

                                  Would have been nice: an external mic input for video recording - built in mics are almost useless; having an external mic jack would have been nice, but again, Nikon had to compromise due to the small body.

                                  I expect that this CoolPix won't have the sales or following of the Fuji X series; but if you are a Nikon owner (and have an SB400); it's the "best" pocket camera Nikon has made. I am looking forward to their next version (presumably w/ the newer sensor and EX CPU) which hopefully will have better AF. In the meantime; I've found my "vacation" camera when I don't want to carry the D4.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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