Nikon Coolpix A puts an APS-C sensor in your pocket
The Nikon Coolpix A is Nikon's first APS-C compact.
It follows Fujifilm and Leica into that odd pricing limbo between $1000 and $1300.
While more people are buying enthusiast compacts, they're not so enthusiastic about the price range.
Fujifilm and Leica both offer a range finder like shooting experience for the extra money, but Nikon instead delivers great photo quality in a well-built compact body that's more like a
point-and-shoot than most enthusiast compacts.
Though it has a fixed focal length 28-mm lens, it extends and contracts like a zoom.
That enables it to have a built-in lens cover which is a nice change from the other models in their extraneous lens caps.
It also slows the camera down a bit though.
The all-metal body is nice and has a substantial feel with a reasonable grip.
Aside from the 2-user setting slots on the mode dial and a separate adjustment dial plus the 2 programmable buttons, the rest of the camera
operates like a typical point-and-shoot.
The control dial seems underutilized with no way to program the navigation buttons for direct access controls.
As you'd expect, it has a manual focus ring and it has a pretty nice feel.
There's a magnification window for focus assist but no peeking like on the X100S.
Performance is mixed.
It has great shot-to-shot speed and fast continuous shooting, but the auto focus system and lens are a little sluggish just like the rest of its competitors.
Battery life is even more
The real strength of the camera is the photo quality thanks to a nice sensor and lens.
Photos come out sharp, metering and exposure systems are consistent, and the colors are accurate and pleasing.
I like the camera.
It produces great photos, but it lacks the extra Je ne sais quois that I expect to justify a price tag over $1000.
And if you're not a pixel peeper, you may not think it's worth a few hundred more than something like the Sony RX100.
I'm Lori Grunin and this is the Nikon Coolpix A.