Nikon stays off the more-megapixels-and-longer-zooms road usually traveled to attract buyers to its newest Coolpix bridge and travel zoom cameras and instead goes down a path of subtle enhancements.
For example, the camera maker's flagship bridge camera, the new Coolpix P610, retains the P600 's 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and 60x, f3.3-6.5, 24-1440mm lens. It also has the same 921K-dot-resolution 3-inch Vari-angle display and 0.5-cm (0.2-inch) electronic viewfinder (though the latter does get a significant resolution increase to 921K dots).
What's new is that Nikon added NFC, making it easier for Android users to wirelessly connect to the camera's built-in Wi-Fi, so you can view and transfer photos and video clips to your smartphone or tablet or use one to remotely control the camera. GPS is also built in for geotagging shots and finding points of interest you might want pictures of when traveling.
Shooting modes appear to be basically the same as the P600's, though you'll find a new time-lapse movie mode and regular movies can be captured at 1080p at 60 frames per second. Still no raw capture, though, if that's something that matters to you.
Joining the P610 is the Coolpix L840. This successor to the L830 features the same image sensor as the P610, a tilting 3-inch 921K-dot LCD and Wi-Fi with NFC and takes AA-size batteries for power. It does get an increase in zoom range, but it's a modest one: 38x f3.0-6.5 22.5-855mm compared to the L830's 34x, f3.0-5.9, 22.5-765mm lens.
Both the Coolpix P610 and L840 will be in stores in March in black and red versions. The P610 will sell for $499.95 while the L840 will be $299.95. Pricing wasn't available for the UK and Australia, but the prices convert to about £330 and AU$640 for the P610 and £200 and AU$385 for the L830.
Nikon updated its smaller, more pocketable S-series cameras, too. The Coolpix S9900 builds off the S9700, keeping that camera's 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and 30x f3.7-6.4, 25-750mm lens as well as its built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, and adds NFC, a 3-inch Vari-angle 921K-dot LCD and the previously mentioned time-lapse movie mode.
The flip-out, rotating Vari-angle display is a nice addition to this model even if it adds a little thickness to the camera. But for those of you who abhor extra size and weight, there's the new S7000. Nikon says the 16-megapixel camera is the lightest available with a 20x optical zoom.
Along with the f3.4-6.5 25-500mm lens, the S7000 has a 3-inch 460K-dot LCD, Wi-Fi with NFC and the time-lapse movie mode. It has other shooting features, too, of course, but nothing you won't find on other Coolpix S-series cameras.Lastly, the Nikon Coolpix S6900 announced late last year is getting wider distribution including the US. The 16-megapixel camera, which -- surprise -- has built-in Wi-Fi with NFC and a 3-inch Vari-angle screen (though this time it's a touchscreen) features a kickstand that pops out of the back and has gesture controls to make it easier to snap hands-free self-portraits. There's also a secondary shutter release on front.
The Coolpix S9900, S7000 and S6900 will be available in March (the S6900 is available now in the UK for £199.99). The S9900 is priced at $349.95, while the S7000 and S6900 will sell for $279.95 and $229.95, respectively. Pricing in the UK and Australia were not announced, but the prices convert to £230 and AU$450 for the S9900, £185 and AU$350 for the S7000 and AU$300 for the S6900.