Not ready to shell out $2,800 for Sony's full-frame RX1 point-and-shoot? Perhaps an APS-C compact is more within your league. Nikon's Coolpix A is the imaging giant's answer to Sony's fixed-lens flavor, sporting an 18.5mm (28mm equivalent) prime lens with a maximum f/2.8 aperture, "quick" autofocus performance, a manual focus ring and, at the center of it all, a 16.2-megapixel DX-format sensor. The idea here is that you'll get DSLR (or mirrorless camera) image quality and depth-of-field in a cam you can tuck away in your pocket. It's a concept we've seen manufacturers deliver on before, and now it's Nikon's turn.
There's a handful of DSLR-like features, such as a full-size hot shoe with i-TTL compatibility, a dedicated mode dial, an adapter ring that accepts a lens hood or 46mm filters, and WU-1a WiFi module compatibility. There's no optical viewfinder in the box, but no matter -- you can add one on for a mere $450. You'll shoot 12- or 14-bit RAW image files at a sensitivity ranging from ISO 100-25,600, and you'll pay dearly for the privilege. $1,100 is the MSRP; black and silver, the color. The Coolpix A is set to hit stores later this month.
The COOLPIX A: Nikon's First DX-Format COOLPIX Camera
Unlike any other COOLPIX camera, the new COOLPIX A is equipped with a DX-format CMOS sensor that enables users to achieve superior image quality previously only possible with a Nikon D-SLR. The combination of this 16.2-megapixel DX-format sensor and ultra-sharp prime NIKKOR lens firmly positions the COOLPIX A as the reigning flagship camera in the COOLPIX line.
The all-glass 18.5mm (28mm equivalent) prime lens has an f/2.8 aperture, allowing users to shoot with a shallow depth of field to blur backgrounds for professional-looking photos. Even when the sun goes down, the lens offers the ability to turn a fleeting glance into a flattering moonlit portrait with just a press of the shutter. Always ready for the spontaneous moment, the camera's quick AF performance and 4 frames-per-second (fps) burst help users to consistently capture any moment with outstanding image quality.
For those who want to push their photography skills, the versatile COOLPIX A also offers advanced settings to allow shooters to have complete creative control to master nearly any shooting situation. With multiple Scene Modes, a familiar manual focus ring, full manual exposure controls (P,S,A,M), and the ability to shoot RAW/NEF image files, even a simple snapshot can be transformed into artistic expression.
Additionally, the COOLPIX A offers a variety of accessories to enhance the shooting experience, including the DF-CP1 Optical Viewfinder, the UR-E24 Adapter Ring for attaching lens hoods and filters, and the HN-CP18 metal Lens Hood, which helps protect the surface of the lens and restricts light from passing through without negatively influencing images. The camera also has a full size hot shoe port that makes the camera compatible with various accessories such as Nikon Speedlights.