Nikon Coolpix A Review


Overview of the Nikon Coolpix A Camera

If what you are finding is a solid camera which can produce the photos with the similar quality as with a DSLR model for the beginning level, you cannot help noticing the Nikon Coolpix A model. The Coolpix A has an APS-C sized image sensor using the CMOS technology, so the image quality is very nice, not only for normal lighting situations but under inadequate lighting circumstances.

Moreover, the price of the Nikon Coolpix A camera is almost as twice as that of a previous entry-leve Nikon DSLR model, the Nikon D5100, its image quality should be impressive.

Although the image quality with the Coolpix A can be similarly compared to that from a beginner-level DSLR model, other features are unfortunately not really as good as with a DSLR camera. There is no any articulated LCD, viewfinder or zoom ability. The autofocus mechanism is not good as expected and the battery life is pretty short. In addition, the Wi-Fi connectivity is not available, too.

I find it hard to recommend this model because while the price is high, there remain a lot of drawbacks. If the impressive image quality is what you are really interested in, I’d like to suggest you to consider a mirrorless DIL camera rather than this camera. However, because the camera’s going to shoot nice images of great quality, you may also consider buying it in case you have already had a Nikon DSLR model. Just make sure that you afford to buy it.

Nikon Coolpix A Camera Review Buy

Nikon Coolpix A Camera Review Buy

The bodies of the Coolpix A high-end fixed lens camera are available in the two color options: light silver and black.

Brief Review of the Nikon Coolpix A Camera


  • The resolution is 16.2 megapixels
  • Optical zoom: None (28mm equivalent prime)
  • The 3.0-inch LCD has the resolution of 921,000 pixels
  • The image size is 4928 x 3264 pixels at maximum
  • The camera uses a Li-Ion battery which can be rechargeable
  • The dimensions are 2.6 x 4.4 x 1.6 inches
  • The camera weighs.6 ounces (with the inclusion of the battery and memory card)
  • The APS-C sized CMOS image sensor is in the Nikon DX format (23.6 x 15.6 mm)
  • A Full HD 1080p video mode is supported


  • The image quality is impressive, which is similar with beginner-level Nikon DSLR models
  • The manual focus is good
  • The photos can be shot in the RAW format and/or JPEG format.
  • There are a lot of the customization options in menus and through buttons
  • Shooting results are very nice with or without the flash for low light photography


  • The camera costs far too much
  • The consistent autofocus could be nicer for a camera in this price range
  • There is no zoom option for lens
  • Battery life is below the average level
  • Video quality and video recording options are all below average

Detailed Review of the Nikon Coolpix A Camera

Image Quality

Obviously, the greatest feature with the Nikon Coolpix A camera is the image quality. The APS-C sized image sensor (also known as the DX image sensor) enables you to achieve the photos of the outstanding sharpness. The highest resolution number that you can select is 16.2 MP. With the offered resolution, you can easily print photos nicely at large sizes.

There are two available image formats with the Coolpix A: JPEG and RAW formats. These two formats help you obtain the images of the highest possible quality. If you are a photographer with lots of experiences, you’ll highly appreciate the capability to have full control over the camera manually.

Partly thanks to the CMOS technology offered in the image sensor of a large size, you won’t have to concern about shooting photos under inadequate lighting conditions. There is a popup flash unit with the camera, or you may have an external flash attached to the hot shoe of the camera if you want.

Unfortunately, the movie quality is not good with this camera. It is a little complicated to initialize the video mode because you will have to through some various menu screens to select the settings. The video quality could have been better for such a camera at this price point.


While the image quality is very impressive, the performance levels of the camera are not as good as you may expect for such a camera in this high price range. First, the battery life is just below the average level. You’ll surely want to have an additional battery with this camera.

Second, it is pretty strange that there is no articulated LCD screen or viewfinder with the camera. In addition, the GPS and built-in Wi-Fi are also not available, too.  An external viewfinder can be purchased with an additional cost, but it is odd that the camera does not have articulated LCD or the Wi-Fi connectivity, as they are included in many cameras of the same price range.

The performance of the autofocus seems to be inconsistent with my tested models. Therefore, this causes some lag problems as well as the slight blurriness. The autofocus mechanism works better for photos shot under the macro mode. And the performance of the manual focus is extremely good.

The delays from shot to shot were also more than I’d expected for such a camera at this price point.


Because there is no zoom capability with the Nikon Coolpix A, the focal length is fixed at 28mm (at a 35mm equivalent). Those who have been accustomed to using the optical zoom capabilities may not find this camera appealing because it does not have a zoom lens. The lens aperture could have been faster than the offered f/2.8 for a camera in this price range.

The diagonal 3.0-ich LCD screen is nice because it offers the high resolution which measures approximately 1 million pixels. You will be very happy with the sharpness and brightness of the LCD and it does a good job of framing outdoor photos with very little glare on the LCD. If the glare is noticeable, the solution here is to set a higher brightness number to go against the glare.

The camera is pretty thick with the measurement of up to1.6 inches, so you may want a large pocket to fit it in.

There are very few cameras in the market that are as thin as this model, yet can achieve the type of image quality the Coolpix A offers.

The camera is designed to in the shape of a boxy rectangle. There are a lot of control buttons on the camera back panel and the buttons are well sized and arranged in good positions. All of these bring you the similar feel as you are operating a DSLR camera. You’ll find the on-screen menus similar as the menus of a beginner-level Nikon DSLR camera. Therefore, you have already had a Nikon model, you will like to find out more about the Nikon Coolpix A. It does not take much time for you to learn the way to use the model’s features.


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