What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?

Started Apr 18, 2013 | Discussions
Darryl E Mylrea
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What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
Apr 18, 2013

I'm just a little unclear why anyone would spend over $1000 for a camera with a fixed, non-changeable 28mm lens?

Who is the target market for this camera?  I assume it takes great pics, but I would never consider super-gluing a wide angle lens on my D7100.

With the variety of high-end APS-C cameras on the market with changeable lenses, I don't understand the purpose of this "A" camera.

Nikon D7100
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JacquesBalthazar
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

D7K quality in the pocket of your shirt, your suit jacket, your cycling jersey  or your cargo shorts. Have "pro" level photography capability at hand  at parties, at music festivals, at the pub, in the street, hiking in the mountains, without feeling any weight and without being seen as the regular "photo freak". Or simply stroll down the alleys of a seedy neighbourhood without feeling like a prime mugging target.

Pretty compelling when you are a really keen photographer. This A is a beauty!

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dale thorn
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to JacquesBalthazar, Apr 18, 2013

Reaffirming what the last person said - the Coolpix 'A' will go places the bigger cameras won't go, and don't forget too, that the 'A' will be allowed to shoot in some places that DSLRs and other larger cameras are excluded from.

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Lightpath48
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to dale thorn, Apr 18, 2013

What everyone has said, plus the prospect that Ricoh's new GRD APS-C offering might eventually pull the Coolpix A price down. People are springing for it at the initially inflated price for now, whatever their reasons but that will change when the initial market hype wanes down the road. Then I suspect we'll see price reductions.

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PKblue
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Like the others have said, it is to have that quality level of the sensor/optics to be able to produce 'punchy' / 'pro' images in a go anywhere camera. I would love to have an APS-C sensor camera with me all the time, at parties, in the street, restaurants (food blogging etc), walking around....anywhere a DSLR is inconvenient or you just can't be bothered lugging it.

I think for a lot of these scenarios, the wider lens would prove useful. The compactness of this camera is the major benefit for this quality level.

Unfortunately the price is way too high for me to justify one and I am considering the Coolpix P330 instead (which of course has a much smaller sensor but seems a good camera).

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coody
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

The company makes the different cameras for the different people. But, some cameras only hold a small market, just like this one.

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Ray Sachs
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

I'm just a little unclear why anyone would spend over $1000 for a camera with a fixed, non-changeable 28mm lens?

Who is the target market for this camera?  I assume it takes great pics, but I would never consider super-gluing a wide angle lens on my D7100.

With the variety of high-end APS-C cameras on the market with changeable lenses, I don't understand the purpose of this "A" camera.

The other way to look at it is if I can carry a premium quality camera with my favorite 28mm focal length in my shirt pocket, why would I want to carry around a big-a$$ D7100 on the back of it? I rarely shoot with more than one or two focal lengths at a time. 28mm is the single perspective I see most comfortably with and is the focal length I shoot with far more than any other. So why carry around a big old brick of a camera with an interchangeable lens on it if I can just carry the whole thing in a pocket and get the same quality out of it and shoot in situations where I could never comfortably shoot the D7100.

If you're into changing lenses a lot during a day of shooting, that's a different preference and the D7100 might be your better choice. I'd much rather carry one or two small cameras instead Because when I carry a bag full if lenses, all but one or two tend to stay in the bag.

And if you were into street photography, you'd never even think to ask the question...

-Ray
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Andrewteee
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

Who is the target market for this camera?

I am. For years now my favorite camera has been the Rich GRDs. My favorite focal lengths are 28mm and 50mm. I absolutely love these compact, high performance 28mm cameras! I have the A and I've pre-ordered the Ricoh GR. Good times!

But it all depends on what you shoot and why. Thankfully, we have a lot of choices today in compact cameras and there's something for everyone.

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Darryl E Mylrea
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to JacquesBalthazar, Apr 18, 2013

JacquesBalthazar wrote:

D7K quality in the pocket of your shirt, your suit jacket, your cycling jersey  or your cargo shorts. Have "pro" level photography capability at hand  at parties, at music festivals, at the pub, in the street, hiking in the mountains, without feeling any weight and without being seen as the regular "photo freak". Or simply stroll down the alleys of a seedy neighbourhood without feeling like a prime mugging target.

Pretty compelling when you are a really keen photographer. This A is a beauty!

I guess it's just me, but I would not have any expectations (or need, really) for "pro" quality shots from on-the-go places like bars, concerts, etc.  Considering what it takes to get a really good shot from a DSLR like the D7100, I don't see me whipping out my "A" from my shirt pocket and snapping that $1000 shot.

I did purchase a Sony NEX a while back, just for the purpose of taking on hikes, as my D300 was big and bulky for such trips, and with the ability to twist on a good zoom lens makes it a useful camera with excellent quality.  Limit it to 28mm...not so useful for me.

After looking at the Sony RX1 (upwards of $3000), there is obviously a market for this type of limited function camera, and people with wallets to keep it going.

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Darryl E Mylrea
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Ray Sachs, Apr 18, 2013

Ray Sachs wrote:

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

I'm just a little unclear why anyone would spend over $1000 for a camera with a fixed, non-changeable 28mm lens?

Who is the target market for this camera?  I assume it takes great pics, but I would never consider super-gluing a wide angle lens on my D7100.

With the variety of high-end APS-C cameras on the market with changeable lenses, I don't understand the purpose of this "A" camera.

The other way to look at it is if I can carry a premium quality camera with my favorite 28mm focal length in my shirt pocket, why would I want to carry around a big-a$$ D7100 on the back of it? I rarely shoot with more than one or two focal lengths at a time. 28mm is the single perspective I see most comfortably with and is the focal length I shoot with far more than any other. So why carry around a big old brick of a camera with an interchangeable lens on it if I can just carry the whole thing in a pocket and get the same quality out of it and shoot in situations where I could never comfortably shoot the D7100.

If you're into changing lenses a lot during a day of shooting, that's a different preference and the D7100 might be your better choice. I'd much rather carry one or two small cameras instead Because when I carry a bag full if lenses, all but one or two tend to stay in the bag.

And if you were into street photography, you'd never even think to ask the question...

-Ray
-------------------------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

It's not as much about changing lenses as having a good lens that takes me from wide angle to zoom.  A good, multi-purpose lens.  That's what I consider a good walk-around lens.

To me, a fixed 28mm is a fixed purpose lens.  It's either what is stuck on some cheesy snapshot camera, or it's a very expensive prime used for a specific purpose.

Your explanation makes sense though, and I'd probably have to try using only a 28mm on my D7100 to see what I can actually capture with only that range.

I'm understanding, more and more, this camera is for a niche of photographers with a special purpose in mind.

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dale thorn
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Lightpath48, Apr 18, 2013

Lightpath48 wrote:

What everyone has said, plus the prospect that Ricoh's new GRD APS-C offering might eventually pull the Coolpix A price down. People are springing for it at the initially inflated price for now, whatever their reasons but that will change when the initial market hype wanes down the road. Then I suspect we'll see price reductions.

I don't see how the price is 'inflated'. There is no actual evidence for that.

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Andrewteee
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

JacquesBalthazar wrote:

D7K quality in the pocket of your shirt, your suit jacket, your cycling jersey  or your cargo shorts. Have "pro" level photography capability at hand  at parties, at music festivals, at the pub, in the street, hiking in the mountains, without feeling any weight and without being seen as the regular "photo freak". Or simply stroll down the alleys of a seedy neighbourhood without feeling like a prime mugging target.

Pretty compelling when you are a really keen photographer. This A is a beauty!

I guess it's just me, but I would not have any expectations (or need, really) for "pro" quality shots from on-the-go places like bars, concerts, etc.  Considering what it takes to get a really good shot from a DSLR like the D7100, I don't see me whipping out my "A" from my shirt pocket and snapping that $1000 shot.

I did purchase a Sony NEX a while back, just for the purpose of taking on hikes, as my D300 was big and bulky for such trips, and with the ability to twist on a good zoom lens makes it a useful camera with excellent quality.  Limit it to 28mm...not so useful for me.

After looking at the Sony RX1 (upwards of $3000), there is obviously a market for this type of limited function camera, and people with wallets to keep it going.

But you are just one type of photographer. There are many. And thankfully there are many options for types of cameras. DSLRs no longer suit me and I prefer to move light and fast. Others need DSLRs for sports or event photography or journalism or many other purposes.

Photographers like Daido Moriyama have made careers using single focal length cameras. Some might argue that a single focal length camera is a "limited function" camera, but others might argue that sticking to a single focal length inspires creativity and experimentation. For me, 28mm is a great storytelling focal length as I can get a lot in the frame, but it's not so wide that distortion becomes more apparent.

And sure some of the single focal length cameras are expensive, but if you enjoy shooting with them, and you shoot them often, then the cost is only one factor. We all have budgets (most of us anyway), but if the cameras give us great pleasure and they work for our personal styles then, in my opinion, there's no harm in spending a little more. I get far more pleasure out of my Ricoh GRD than I did from any DSLR. They have been money well spent.

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dale thorn
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

JacquesBalthazar wrote:

D7K quality in the pocket of your shirt, your suit jacket, your cycling jersey  or your cargo shorts. Have "pro" level photography capability at hand  at parties, at music festivals, at the pub, in the street, hiking in the mountains, without feeling any weight and without being seen as the regular "photo freak". Or simply stroll down the alleys of a seedy neighbourhood without feeling like a prime mugging target.

Pretty compelling when you are a really keen photographer. This A is a beauty!

I guess it's just me, but I would not have any expectations (or need, really) for "pro" quality shots from on-the-go places like bars, concerts, etc.  Considering what it takes to get a really good shot from a DSLR like the D7100, I don't see me whipping out my "A" from my shirt pocket and snapping that $1000 shot.

I did purchase a Sony NEX a while back, just for the purpose of taking on hikes, as my D300 was big and bulky for such trips, and with the ability to twist on a good zoom lens makes it a useful camera with excellent quality.  Limit it to 28mm...not so useful for me.

After looking at the Sony RX1 (upwards of $3000), there is obviously a market for this type of limited function camera, and people with wallets to keep it going.

When I "whip out" my Coolpix 'A' I would like to get the best possible shot, especially in those low light situations you mention.

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dale thorn
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

Ray Sachs wrote:

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

I'm just a little unclear why anyone would spend over $1000 for a camera with a fixed, non-changeable 28mm lens?

Who is the target market for this camera?  I assume it takes great pics, but I would never consider super-gluing a wide angle lens on my D7100.

With the variety of high-end APS-C cameras on the market with changeable lenses, I don't understand the purpose of this "A" camera.

The other way to look at it is if I can carry a premium quality camera with my favorite 28mm focal length in my shirt pocket, why would I want to carry around a big-a$$ D7100 on the back of it? I rarely shoot with more than one or two focal lengths at a time. 28mm is the single perspective I see most comfortably with and is the focal length I shoot with far more than any other. So why carry around a big old brick of a camera with an interchangeable lens on it if I can just carry the whole thing in a pocket and get the same quality out of it and shoot in situations where I could never comfortably shoot the D7100.

If you're into changing lenses a lot during a day of shooting, that's a different preference and the D7100 might be your better choice. I'd much rather carry one or two small cameras instead Because when I carry a bag full if lenses, all but one or two tend to stay in the bag.

And if you were into street photography, you'd never even think to ask the question...

-Ray
-------------------------
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/collections/72157626204295198/

It's not as much about changing lenses as having a good lens that takes me from wide angle to zoom.  A good, multi-purpose lens.  That's what I consider a good walk-around lens.

To me, a fixed 28mm is a fixed purpose lens.  It's either what is stuck on some cheesy snapshot camera, or it's a very expensive prime used for a specific purpose.

Your explanation makes sense though, and I'd probably have to try using only a 28mm on my D7100 to see what I can actually capture with only that range.

I'm understanding, more and more, this camera is for a niche of photographers with a special purpose in mind.

I don't have a special purpose for the 'A' other than getting better quality images from this size camera, and understanding its limitations. If I'm carrying two small bags instead of one, I'll also have a long-zoom pocket camera along. If I'm not on an actual photo job, I don't see the need to have a 'purpose' other than experiment with whatever the camera is capable of.

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Ray Sachs
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

It's not as much about changing lenses as having a good lens that takes me from wide angle to zoom.  A good, multi-purpose lens.  That's what I consider a good walk-around lens.

To me, a fixed 28mm is a fixed purpose lens.  It's either what is stuck on some cheesy snapshot camera, or it's a very expensive prime used for a specific purpose.

Your explanation makes sense though, and I'd probably have to try using only a 28mm on my D7100 to see what I can actually capture with only that range.

I'm understanding, more and more, this camera is for a niche of photographers with a special purpose in mind.

Understand that for many many years up to today, a LOT of photographers have preferred shooting with prime lenses rather than zoom lenses. For any number of reasons, some technical, some creative. Personally, there are limited circumstances when I'd rather have a zoom, like shooting a parade where I need to go from wide to long and back, with many stops along the way, quickly and often. But 99% of the time I'd rather shoot with a prime. Both for technical reasons (they tend to have faster apertures and/or be optically cleaner, not to mention smaller) and photographic reasons - I can simply "see" better in a single focal length. I know the frame pretty much down to the level of my DNA and I can see photographs taking shape as I look at a scene, walk down the street, etc. With a zoom, the possibilities are endless and too complex. There are an infinite number of different framing options available from one position looking in one direction. My head simply can't be as creative when it has that many options to consider - I get so hung up on the possibilities I never fully see any of them. When I first tried using zoom lenses, I found myself petty much using them at the widest angle almost always with the very occasional telephoto shot, but rarely anything in-between. At which point carrying a zoom doesn't make much sense.

Maybe that's because I grew up and started shooting when there weren't many zoom lenses around, and what there were tended to be large, expensive, and technically pretty bad. The quality has improved and I've got nothing but respect for folks who can use them creatively or interestingly, but except for a telephoto zoom (where you're trying to get some distant subject and its just a question of how close you have to zoom to catch it), I almost never found a way to use zooms effectively. Or, more importantly, enjoyably - the process simply isn't as much fun for me with a zoom. And prime shooters are not that small a niche - this specific camera may be for a pretty specific niche - but lots of people prefer shooting with a single focal length most of the time...

-Ray
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dale thorn
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

With the variety of high-end APS-C cameras on the market with changeable lenses, I don't understand the purpose of this "A" camera.

Good question. I dislike interchangeable-lens cameras. They are necessarily much larger, they make noise that the 'A' doesn't, they have vibrations from the shutter mechanisms (Panasonic m4/3 are really bad for that), they have exposed sensors when changing lenses, carrying extra lenses makes them no longer a 'camera' but a luggable "camera system", etc. etc. I could name a few more....

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Lightpath48
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to dale thorn, Apr 18, 2013

Multiple sources are saying it's too high. But the introductory price bears the weight for now. That will change. This camera is not going to command such prices for long. We saw the same trends in the initial Nikon 1 pricing last year. After a few months the prices dropped significantly. That's what I mean by "inflated" - initially poor value for the dollar.

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Darryl E Mylrea
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Andrewteee, Apr 18, 2013

All very good points and it's becoming clearer to me now that there are photographers that use and a market for this type of camera.

I think with the "Coolpix" moniker, I envision a different type of buyer.  

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Darryl E Mylrea
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Ray Sachs, Apr 18, 2013

Don't get me wrong, Ray, as I do certainly understand the use and need of Primes.  Definitely. But, not in a shirt-pocket camera was my point.

Thank you for your explanation.  The more I read of everyone's stories, the greater understanding I get of how different people use different cameras.  And, in a way, your story has intrigued me with what I would do with just a prime lens.

While I may never see an "A" in my bag, I'm beginning to get why others do.

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Andrewteee
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Re: What is the purpose of the Coolpix A?
In reply to Darryl E Mylrea, Apr 18, 2013

Darryl E Mylrea wrote:

I think with the "Coolpix" moniker, I envision a different type of buyer.  

That's true and I think it diminishes the marketing value. But then again, would they want to create a new category for a single camera? I'm sure there was a lot of internal debate about this. BTW the Sony RX1 is also a CyberShot camera, which is essentially the same thing as Coolpix.

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