Excerpt: Like tanks, DSLRs are versatile cameras for shooting any situation. The only problem is that they're usually quite heavy. While lightweight mirrorless cameras have solved the "it's too heavy" complaint, they're still not as pocketable as a point-and-shoot . The Nikon Coolpix A packs just about the same 16.2-megapixel image sensor as the company's D7000 DSLR, but it only weighs one-fourth as much.
Excerpt: The Nikon Coolpix A has an odd name but creates great photos for a pretty small camera. It's just too bad The Coolpix A is such an expensive model.
Pros: Outstanding image quality, similar to entry-level Nikon DSLR cameras, Manual focus option is nice, Can shoot in RAW and/or JPEG, Plenty of customization options in menus and through buttons, Low light results are very good with or without the flash
Cons: Price is far too high, Autofocus should be more consistent in this price range, No zoom option for lens, Battery life is below average, Movie quality and movie shooting options are well below average
Excerpt: Nikon's Coolpix A is the first (and only, as of 12/2013) Coolpix series camera to include their DX-format (APS-C) sized CMOS image sensor usually found in their entry level DSLRs, which makes the "A" not only a member of Nikon's Advance Performance series like the P520 and P7700 , but the Flagship on the entire Coolpix brand (for 2013). Nikon mates the 16.2-megapixel CMOS image sensor to an 18.5mm prime NIKKOR lens with a sporty f/2.8 aperture.
Summary: Nikon introduced its large sensor enthusiast compact camera earlier this year in the form of the Coolpix A. It's good to see companies recognizing the potential in the large sensor compact market, but does that mean they're doing justice to it? We're loving the specs of the Coolpix A on paper, but as always, it boils down to whether those on-paper specs can match up to the real world expectations, and the Nikon Coolpix A does not disappoint. Read on to find out why.
Pros: Large 16MP APS-C Sensor, Fast 28mm f/2.8 lens, Good high ISO performance
Cons: Slow FPS, No dedicated Video recording button, Rear dial feels underwhelming due to lack of functionality.
Excerpt: My how the game has changed. A few months ago everyone was agog (and still are!) with maxi zoom cameras. Now it seems a few major makers seems to be intent on feeding the market with large aperture, fixed focal length cameras. Among them: Ricoh, Sony, Fujifilm, Sigma. I’ve used quite a few of these and have to admit their effective use demands quite a bit of restraint and understanding.
Summary: Conclusion Although the Nikon A does a great job at capturing sharp, high quality images, this is not a camera for the masses. So who is this camera designed for? Due to the inflexible 18.5mm fixed lens, many casual photographers will be quickly disillusioned by the lack of zoom. But for those photographers that want the shooting mode functionality of a DSLR, a large sensor, the image quality of a high performance of a f2.8 prime lens, and the portability of a point and...
Pros: Great image quality, Small footprint despite large APS-C sensor, Great build quality, Built-in flash
Cons: Hidden movie mode, AF is sluggish in low light, No viewfinder
Conclusion: Other companies -- key among them being Sigma -- may have invented the large sensor, fixed prime lens camera category, but the Nikon Coolpix A represents its first really mainstream effort. Like its main rivals, it is clearly not the camera for everybody, but for prime lens lovers who are willing to trade away lens interchangeability for a smaller body, the Coolpix A is exciting indeed.
Pros: A camera that makes you grow as a photographer, think beyond the zoom, Solid, alloy body feels like a quality photographic device, True twin-dial design, Image quality like the Nikon D7000 from a much smaller package, Very good high ISO performance, Excellent dynamic range for its class, Fly-by-wire autofocus ring is intuitive, Low lens distortion (despite no in-camera correction), Automatic chromatic aberration suppression (and low CA to begin with), Active D-Lightin...
Cons: A camera that makes you grow as a photographer, think beyond the zoom, Solid, alloy body feels like a quality photographic device, True twin-dial design, Image quality like the Nikon D7000 from a much smaller package, Very good high ISO performance, Excellent dynamic range for its class, Fly-by-wire autofocus ring is intuitive, Low lens distortion (despite no in-camera correction), Automatic chromatic aberration suppression (and low CA to begin with), Active D-Lightin...
Summary: Priced at an MRP of a whopping Rs 54,950, the Coolpix A does come across as being ridiculously expensive. However, bear in mind that the Coolpix A is targeted at enthusiasts who want DSLR-like controls and imaging quality in a compact form. It’s worthy of being a primary camera if you don’t mind the prime lens, or a secondary camera if you already own a DSLR—especially a Nikon DSLR and accessories that are compatible with the Coolpix A.
Summary: I really like the Coolpix A. It's only a point and shoot, and I love point and shoots, especially when this is the world's fastest handing point and shoot, complete with fantastic technical, artistic and low-light image quality.