The "A" gets an F

Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Shotcents
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Re: The "A" gets an F
In reply to Ray Sachs, Jun 13, 2013

So I'd say its pocketable, at the very LEAST coat pocketable. Not like an S100 or even quite as easily as an RX100, but its pretty small. And while its less versatile than the 7700, its also vastly superior to it for its more limited purposes. I get that it's not to you for your uses, but to some of us, it definitely is. Those low light street shots simply wouldn't have happened with the 7700. Most were shot at ISO 6400 using zone focus techniques that simply wouldn't have been possible with a small sensor camera with slower reflexes and limited zone focus capabilities. This is my favorite type of shooting - not only at night but I've gotta be able to do it at night too...

The P7700 is also coat pocketable. Neither of these cams is anything close to being truly small. I own a few tiny Canon cams that actually do fit in a pocket comfortably. The A? Not so much. Maybe you own bigger shirts.

Ideal for some, not for others. Fortunately such options exist and are getting rather plentiful, just not from Nikon. Until a couple of months ago, there were ZERO fixed lens 28mm APS cameras that were at least somewhat pocketable. Now there are two and I and many like me are jumping for joy over it. So, as I think we agreed previously, its good there are such choices - none of us have to like all of them...

I don't think they will be around for long. The amount of pro shooters I know who want the A is zero. The amount of hobby shooters? Also zero. The only place I see folks wanting/owning one is online. My perception is that a fixed lens camera is a cheap camera, one that we can agree is very limited. The A will test a market segment and quietly go away in time, replaced by a system capable compact body only slightly larger than the A.

I think it actually would be a pretty serious violation of the design in the sense that interchangeable prime lenses would inevitably stick out of the camera a good deal farther than the collapsable lens in the A.

You're underestimating the technology. A even smaller cam can be built and the 28 and 18mm lenses could be quite small. The longer lenses would be another story, but so what? You'd have a great camera that would actually be able to do more than a few things.

A great camera is a flexible one. The A has a LONG way to go. That it happens to meet YOUR specific needs does not make it a successful product. Some buyers loved the Pacer and thought Laserdiscs were great.

So I fully get that this is not the camera for you and I understand WHY its not and I don't in any way criticize you for not wanting one. But that doesn't make it a failure or an inferior camera to the 7700 any more than an orange is an inferior fruit to a pineapple.

Both are cameras. They record images by collecting light via a lens and sensor. One has a better sensor, but it's window to the world is fixed in place. The other camera has a good, but lesser sensor. But its window to the world is variable. It's screen is also adjustable, important given the lack of optical VF. And it can wirelessly control outboard flashes and includes serviceable vibration reduction.

The A appears to be using the same type of sensor found in my D7000 and D5100. It's already quite old. The lens is good, but good 28mm lenses are not exactly hard to make. Even the zoom on the P7700 does a very good job at 28mm.

So we get the A, which seems to sacrifice a huge amount of capability just so it can shoot at ISO 1600 or 3200? I'd rather grab my D5100 for that and use even better glass. Oh, but the D5200 is too big, right? C'mon, it's pretty compact with my 20mm on it. So I'm going to take a step BACK in quality just for a camera that fits in a jacket pocket?

And allow me to revisit the AF. It's NOT quick at all. I really don't care if I'm shooting a dead tortoise frozen in ice. If I'm spending 1K on a camera like the A, it should be DSLR quick. But it's not. WHY??? And why did Nikon cripple the wireless flash capability?

So, based on your comments, Nikon built the A for the guy who wants to shoot not-too-wide street shots in poor light with a camera that can possibly fit in the pocket of a heavy shirt. They cut out things like VR because....ummmm, I don't know. They left of the wireless flash because no one would ever use a smallish cam for impromptu creative flash work.

And while I'm asking questions, where do you find 150 dollar hotshoe mount viewfinders for the A or P7700? All I can find is 40 year old crap on Ebay. I'd love a OVF for the P7700.

So, hooray for choices - you have several of them out there for your stated desires. Now I have two of them for mine as well...

-Ray

Ray, don't get me wrong. I'm happy that your happy. But I created the thread to give my opinion and give pause to some less experienced shooters who might want to carefully consider the Coolpix A weaknesses as well as its strengths.

Cheers,

Robert

 Shotcents's gear list:Shotcents's gear list
Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D800 Nikon D5200 Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +10 more
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