Fri 05-Jul-13 03:49 AM | edited Fri 05-Jul-13 05:09 AM by DigitalDarrell
I absolutely adore my tiny COOLPIX A. It fits in my shirt pocket and goes everywhere with me. The image quality is fantastic, fully DSLR quality. Extremely sharp! I could talk all night about the "A"; however, let me just post a couple of pictures instead, then you decide:
(Railway to Infinity: 1/200s @ f/11, ISO 100, aperture priority, matrix meter, Auto1 WB, handheld, at golden hour.)
(Informal Portrait: 1/100 sec @ f/2.8 (wide open), ISO 100, Aperture priority, Matrix Metering, popup fill flash, handheld, RAW converted to JPEG in Capture NX 2 vs. 2.4.3)
All I can say to naysayers is don't judge this little camera until you have actually used one. It is unexpectedly appealing with its fully metal body and substantial build. Feels like a tiny D800. The sensor is fantastic with no AA filter.
Remember how well the D7000 shoots? Well, the image quality from the COOLPIX A is better than the D7000. The prime lens is very optimized for the camera. IQ actually resembles what I get with my AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED lens. It is sharp as a tack wide open. Just check out the sharpness of the wide-open (f/2.8) portrait shot above, which is an 800 pixel cutout from the middle of the image. Good bokeh too!
It is easy to say a camera is useless until you find a use for it. I carry it literally EVERYWHERE with me now. It is extremely cool to have a camera that fits in my front shirt pocket, has IQ like a premium DSLR, and is built like a tiny tank. For commercial shooting, I use my D800 and pro lenses. For everything else, my COOLPIX A is always with me.
In a pinch, I would have no problems using images from this camera for commercial purposes, the quality is that good. This is not a DSLR, nor was it designed to be a DSLR. It's a fully controllable P,S,A,M pocket camera that can always be with you. Isn't it true that the camera you have with you is the one that gets the shot. Well, I'm not interested in carrying my D800 and AF-S Nikkor 24-70 f/2.8 with me everywhere. That combo costs and weighs too much for constant use. However, I am carrying this extremely high IQ COOLPIX A in my front shirt pocket and taking some excellent images.
I plan on shooting a nature series this fall in the Great Smoky Mountains with my A, just to prove how incredible the image quality is. I am having a great deal of fun with this camera, and I am going to make it pay for itself too. Isn't the point of a quality camera the ability to take great pictures? There are clearly a few limitations due to camera size; however, the image quality makes up for it, big time! Many moons ago, I carried an teeny-weeny Olympus XA to get good 35mm transparencies with a camera that fits in my shirt pocket. Well, this is a genuine, well-built Nikon that fits in my pocket and makes no-excuses NEF and JPEG pictures.
============================================== Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) www.pictureandpen.com "Better too many words than not enough understanding." ==============================================