The Good Useful swivel-lens design; clear, bright LCD; excellent macro capabilities; extensive manual control; superior image quality.
The Bad Confusing operation; no RAW file option; some features buried in menu.
The Bottom Line The Nikon Coolpix 4500's power and versatility will appeal to photo enthusiasts who have the patience to dig for features.
Nikon Coolpix 4500
The Nikon Coolpix 4500, a 4-megapixel, 4X optical-zoom spin on the swivel-lens camera, follows in the footsteps of the very popular Coolpix 990 and 995 models. It delivers high-quality, sharp output in a basic design that's very similar to the 995's. But for a little more money, the Canon PowerShot G2 provides the same power and excellent photo quality with a friendlier interface. However, if you crave the flexibility of a swivel lens and are willing to tinker with its features, the 4500 will do you right. The 4500 retains the two-part swivel body of its predecessor, the Coolpix 995, but Nikon overhauled the interface to make the 4500 simpler to use.
The 995 had buttons, dials, and an LCD similar to those of Nikon's professional 35mm film cameras--all of which will intimidate beginners. In contrast, the 4500 offers a cleaner, simpler face as well as a lighter but solidly built 12.8-ounce body. It relies on fewer buttons and on the LCD alone for the mode and settings readout.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.