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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 7:47 pm 
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Hi everyone, Nikon has just announced the COOLPIX A, the world's smallest camera to feature a DX-format sensor. The COOLPIX A's sensor measures the same size as those in Nikon's range of DX-format DSLRs and is coupled with a fixed 28mm equivalent f2.8 lens. The sensor features 16 megapixels and like the recent D7100, dispenses with the optical low pass filter to promise sharper results. The camera also features a 1080p video, 4fps shooting, full manual control, a 3in / 921k dot screen, and a hotshoe which supports an optional optical viewfinder.

Find out more in my Nikon COOLPIX A review!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:15 pm 
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Very much looking forward to a review of this camera.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:36 am 
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Location: Ohio, USA
Reminds me a lot of the small fixed lens 35 mm cameras that Nikon made in the 80's. Those also took great pictures; but I don't recall they sold well. This camera will force a choice between the Coolpix A and cameras like the G15, P7100, LX7, etc.

Personally, I'll stick with the G15; although a 35-40 mm equivalent lens might tip the balance for me.

Nice composition in the shot of the sailboat! :D

Jerry

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 11:25 pm 
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How about DUST ON SENSOR? Every time I see a new expensive camera with a non removable lens I ask myself: engineering arrogance again? A telescopic lens exchanges air between outside and inside of the camera... and a few dust particles are likely to end on the sensor. The process is accumulative. So, how do you clean the sensor? Well, you can not, there is no sensor access.

Service technician disassembling your camera and cleaning the sensor? Post processing to remove the dust spots? Not using small apertures? Photographing "flowers after the rain" only (no dust in the air)? - I do not like any of those solutions. As it happens there are many engineering solutions to allow access to the sensor, why do we continue accepting crippled designs which should be used in disposable cameras only? Would you buy a car with no owner access to the engine bay?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 6:10 am 
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Derek, I think you are overreacting. The amount of dust ending up on sensors is very small, and I have compact cameras of over 7 years old without any dust problems. If you want to have a dust-proof camera, go buy that one you think is best, for other people, they don't worry so much about any of this, and just want to have the camera that suits their needs best :wink:

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Lowepro Nova 200 AW filled with Nikon D90 + MB-D80
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 12:26 pm 
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Wout, I do not want to "have a dust-proof camera", I never said that. I am advocating that equipment (specially expensive one like the Coolpix A) should provide access to the sensor to clean it.

Yes, obviously individual experiences do vary, and depend on many factors. However "other people" should be aware that dust can not only get inside when telescopic lens operates, but also that factories assembling cameras are far from "clean room environments". Just one example from "The Luminous Landscape" (one of the most reputable photographic sites), quoted from a review of a fixed lens camera: "[my new camera had] two dust spots on the sensor, unforgivable in an non-interchangable lens camera". Some people get less lucky, some more - just Google it. Note that NO MANUFACTURER makes any claims or provides any warranties to deliver your brand new camera with dust free sensor.

'I never had a dust problem in my fixed lens cameras' is very poor assurance for others: it DOES NOT follow that "other people" will not experience dust issue. Actually I were using cameras for around 50 years now, and I experienced dust issues with all technologies and all brands, including very expensive and reputable ones. It is not about 'will I have a problem', it is about 'how do I handle the problem when it happens one day'. There are no excuses for poor, backwards engineering, no servbice access is OK in disposable cameras, not a $1,000 camera. What is really best for other people is: be well informed, be aware what are the alternative solutions. Really, 'don't you worry your pretty little head, dear' just does work any more in 2013.

Derek


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:31 pm 
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I should add I now have a Nikon COOLPIX A sample images page available ahead of the full review which should be ready in about a week from now.

PS - Derek, I do understand your concerns over dust, and if either Ken or I experienced it in reviews we'd always mention it. I can't however see any fixed lens camera offering any means of directly accessing the sensor, although they could of course implement a vibrating low pass filter like interchangeable lens cameras do. I wonder whether that would add much to the cost?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:50 pm 
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Location: Germany
The sample pictures with the CoolPix A are just gorgeous!
I brightened up the shadowy spots in the church photo and the ISO 800 photo ... and was amazed about how much could then be seen! Look at the colors and the details in those spots. Very cool.

I'm in awe about the quality ... but would still prefer to get another camera over this wonderfully designed Nikon - basically for the same reasons Ken/Gordon mentioned in the preview.

Thank you for the preview and the sample photos.


edit: names


Last edited by HTG on Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:17 am 
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Gordon, re dust: "I can't however see any fixed lens camera offering any means of directly accessing the sensor" - this is exactly my point. Is it a good engineering, or an engineering arrogance? Is it likely to affect some users at some stage of their camera ownership? We care about use of unsuitable materials, wrong ergonomics, etc., yet no sensor access in $1,000+ (or even in $3,000 camera like Sony DSC-RX1) is never criticized. As if this is something impossible, extremely expensive to design, or not of any importance to the users. Really?.

Reviewers are unlikely to experience any dust issues unless they do long term tests in different conditions. And only some (how many?) brand new cameras will have dust on their sensor when leaving the assembly line. Because of that chances are that in your time spend with the Coolpix A you will not experience any dust issue.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:00 pm 
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But even on cameras where you can take the lenses off there is a big chance of introducing dust inside the body, I only had my D80 cleaned once for dust spots, and I had my D80 since the beginning of 2007. I still don't believe dust is such a big issue as you make it. Now back to the real topic here, and that is the camera itself, not dust :lol:

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Lowepro Nova 200 AW filled with Nikon D90 + MB-D80
18-70 DX, 70-300 VR, 35 1.8 DX, SB-700


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:09 pm 
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* Yes, there is a big chance of introducing dust inside the body in cameras where you can take the lenses off. You are able able to clean the sensor in cameras like D80, because you have access to the sensor. You will not be able to clean the sensor in Coolpix A, because you do not have access to it.
* You are free to believe or not to believe that dust is a problem.
* "back to the real topic here..." - you do not control this place, and thus you should not advice which topics should not be discussed. Gordon on the other hand can delete, change or restrict any topics if he feels that they are inappropriate.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:53 pm 
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I handled one of these; it was, indeed, small. Just looking at it, I thought it too small to hold securely, but when in-hand, it seemed secure enough. I recall that I had wished the Canon G1X had a 28mm fixed lens; well here is the Nikon A, with an APS-C sensor and 28mm lens, with a hot shoe that accepts DSLR flashguns, though I would more likely use flash with an off-camera shoe cord, with a camera this small. Of course, the external viewfinder attaches to the flash shoe, competing with the flashgun or flash cord for that space. Hmm...

Now, if only the A would sell for a bit less!

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Canon 7D2/7D/5D/40D/1D2N; Nikon F6/D700/FM3A/1Dx/Coolpix A; Canon 40mm 2.8 STM, 135L, 50L, 35L, 50mm 1.8 I, 100mm 2.8L Macro, 10-22mm EF-S, 400mm 5.6L; Nikkor 50mm 1.2 AI-S, 50mm 1.4G, 50mm 1.8D, 16mm 2.8D Fisheye, 180mm 2.8D, 100-300mm 5.6 AI-S, 18mm 2.8D, 45mm 2.8 AI-P, Micro 60/2.8G; Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 SL II


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:58 pm 
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That was my impression as well: the integrated rubber ridge helps, but it is very small. I am sure that Richard Franiec will soon have a custom grip for Coolpix A.

Re pricing: a hot shoe mounted optical viewfinder for Coolpix A is $450, a filter adapter/ lens hood is $130... how Nikon can justify that pricing?! This makes me immediately suspicious that the Coolpix A base price (around $1,100) is also inflated.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 11:33 pm 
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I can't help but feel the same about the price. At around 700-800 this camera will be something I will seriously consider.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 5:34 pm 
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Location: Kendal UK
It's up against Fuji X100s. Tough competition. Also, my Sony RX100 is half the price and I'm very pleased with results from that. It will be interesting to see comparisons once full review is up.


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