One question from me, for the reviewer: what are the real life consequences of GR's 12-bit RAW processing vs the A's 14-bit ? I would have assumed there would be an impact on DR and maybe also on colour gradation. Or not?
JohnyP: Another useless preview. In the last 30 days there have been 2 camera reviews! Most cameras are either announced or previewed. Those previewed ones are likely to end up just like Nikon D4 - previewed and forgotten.
@R Butler: what would be the downside in publishing a schedule of coming reviews? It is not like you would be disclosing strategic insight to your "competitors". Such a schedule would help potential buyers better time their own purchases. Those of them who trust your methodology and share your views anyway. The indirect advantage of publishing that schedule would be to force you guys to feel the healthy heat of a public deadline... ;-)
SunnyFlorida: I've been a Nikon user for a long time but a consumer for longer, it's great to see products like the Ricoh bring a dose of reality to the Nikon Accounting Execs who over the past 6 years have been overpricing their products relative to similar products in the market, sorry Nikon I'm not paying a 40% mark up for brand name.
I do not think it is "for a brand name". It could be for a variety of good reasons:1) Manual focus on lens ring: preferable for many to lever or dial on the back;2) 14-bit colour depth. That will bring a real IQ advantage in real life (skin tones, landscapes, etc);3) Compatibility with existing Nikon accessories (flash system, GPS, wi-fi, etc) for people who already own Nikon DSLR;4) Nikon after sales and repairs all over the world (they might suck, but they exist);5) Integration in NEF workflows for Nikon users (NX2 fans in particular);6) Made in Japan (a democratic country).
Finally, not quite sure the real life "mark-up" is 40% now (I bought mine 100 EUR under street price just after release), and prices will come down further, a usual with Nikon (special rebates, bundles with hood or OVF, etc).
AbrasiveReducer: History repeating itself?
Once upon a time, Nikon introduced two premium compact cameras, the 35Ti and 28Ti. Both had very sharp, fixed focal length lenses and both were expensive. The 28Ti retailed in the US for close to $800.
Out of nowhere, Ricoh (who had been making junky cameras for places like Sears) introduced their GR1, which was functionally identical to the 28Ti, yet priced at $350. Nikon fans declared the GR1 was no good because the price was too low, but it was so good, it became a cult camera. And that was the end of the 28Ti.
The 28ti is as much a cult camera as the GR1 is. I have no idea of respective sales figures, but 28ti (and 35ti) appealed to many with its "analogue" user interface (kinda steam punk dials). I still have my GR1 and it still works except dead LCD, but I would have loved one of those Nikons as well. The GR1 was the ideal trouser pocket camera. The 28 or 35 it were great when you wanted less fiddly command and control and a more traditional user experience.
Harder to see unique selling points to the A though, except manual focus through lens ring, which is way better for me than the GR way. Also, am not sure that the Snap feature of the GR will be as effective on a high res large sensor as it was with the GRDs, due to much thinner DoF. People will realise that CoC conventions do not match pixel peepers sharpness expectations.
bobbarber: The Nikon A is too expensive, and not sharp in the corners. The GR seems to have solved both of those problems, awaiting further review.
The images look very nice.
Agree that the corners in the preview are not good with the A. This surprises me. I have been using the A for 2 weeks now, and find the IQ amazing across the frame. Really amazing. Including corners. Perhaps a fluke in this preview? Or a question of field curvature? Things might look different at other distances? Dunno. Just surprised. GR looks really great (as well).
For the rest, agree there is not a 300 USD advantage to the Nikon, unless one places high value in an exclusively NEF workflow or in interoperability with Nikon accessories (flash, wifi, GPS, etc).
At first sight, the A does have an operational advantage on the GR by managing manual focus from the lens ring rather than whatever lever/dial on the back. I like that a lot. For the rest, the GR is mighty convincing.
vodanh1982: Whoever bought a Coolpix A will want $300 back.
I would not mind trading in my wonderful A for this even more wonderful GR, and lose 300 bucks.
@Gatanoll: I do not think the issue is to gain "more resolution". It is more about maximising micro contrast and sharpness perception. Many of us prefer having that sharpness edge, even if that leads to more risks of moire. Is probably a pixel peeper thing.
As more and more pictures never get printed, even great pictures, pixel peeping has become part and parcel of the way we look at contemporary photography. I know it has become so for me, and I feel frustrated when I am not allowed a 100% zoom on any picture I am looking at.
By taking AA out, we get substantially more impactful results out of the box, at pixel level. It is probably "wrong", and we probably should all focus more on the aspects that make a good image truly great, but, hey, many of us enjoy that diving into the small details...
JacquesBalthazar: Looks great. I have the A already, and love it. But I am pretty sure I'd love the GR even more. If only because I still have a GR1 film version in my bag, purchased back in the mid Nineties, that i truly enjoyed and that still works.
Wish I had known this one was about to be launched.
The 21mm adaptor is pretty cool as well and not an option for the Nikon. Optical quality of that adaptor will need to be tested.
I like the GR's grip a lot. Makes it easier to grab and pull from pocket than the A.
The A produces superb pictures. Judging by the corner test here, looks like the GR might be even more spectacular in that respect. .
One thing I certainly prefer in the A is the manual focus ring on the lens! That is more user friendly than the GR lever on the back. OTOH, Ricoh's "snap" feature is cool, even if one will have to consider much less forgiving DoF than with the small sensor GRs.
For the rest, feature list looks practically identical. The Nikon A is made in Japan. The GR?
@R Butler: it is a personal thing. I try, whenever possible, to allocate my disposable income usage on purchases that comply to my views regarding ethical and sustainable trade. I try and avoid funding dictatorships or supply chains that do not provision proper social rights for workers and proper environmental impact controls. In a nutshell, I am mostly ok with purchasing goods manufactured in Japan, Europe and a handful of other locations. I try and avoid "Made in China" as much as I can (and often fail). China is a dictatorship that does not allow free unions and tolerates quasi-slave labour. Therefore I feel OK spending 200 EUR more on something manufactured in Japan, even if I assume that much of innards come from China. Some Nikon stuff is made in Japan. Some is made elsewhere. I pick and choose as often as I can. If I had more disposable income, I'd buy Leica. I do the same with clothes, bicycle parts, furniture, etc. I buy less quantity, and feel better in the process.
Looks great. I have the A already, and love it. But I am pretty sure I'd love the GR even more. If only because I still have a GR1 film version in my bag, purchased back in the mid Nineties, that i truly enjoyed and that still works.
Purchased my "A" this week, and getting to grips with it. The IQ is awesome. Files are very crisp, ultra detailed (certainly as good and maybe better than Nex 7 + best glass, even if 16 MP vs 24 MP).
It IS trouser/jacket pocketable (was wearing jeans yesterday and comfortably played bowling with camera in jean pocket). It is substantially thinner than a J1+10mm. It is also lighter , and does not make your jacket hang lopsided. Am using my old Ricoh GV2 VF (small and light as well).
In other words awesome IQ that you can always carry with you.
I had hesitated with X100s, but after borrowing one for 30 mins during a Fuji demo, I was really underwhelmed by the IQ at f2. Kind of defeated the 1 stop advantage. At the end, I decided that X100s was more style than function (for me) and not worth the extra bulk.
Anyway, 28mm eq makes the A very versatile (cityscapes, indoors, parties/groups). It is snappy in operation and excellent in low light. Close focus is fine. Very well built.
RadioGnome: I was suddenly struck by the fact that Fuji prints the 35mm equivalents of the focal length on the zoom ring. I was inclined to like the whole retro styling, but this suddenly made it all look very fake and 'willing to be something it is not'.
I was considering ordering a X20, but can't describe how stupid the camera looks to me now.
I think after a good 10 years of varying sensor sizes, every serious photographer is mentally capable of understanding the focal length / sensor size story. This makes it ever more appropriate to just print the actual physical focal length on the barrel of a zoom lens. One side is 'wide angle', other end is 'tele'.
M'y feelings exact l'y. Still "the old ways are sometimes the best"....
Why will I buy the Coolpix A? Well because it is exactly what I was dreaming that Ricoh would bring out one day in a GRD V.
It is APS-C, very small, and light, and it is thin. Substantially smaller and thinner than the X100s or the X2, and quite a bit thinner than any NEX with the coming 20mm f2.8 pancake.
"Thin" is important, because "thin" is the main metric for "pocketable". The X100s is desirable but it is much chunkier in all dimensions. That is the downside of the intergrated EVF.
The sensor itself is cool because we already know it opens the door to "best in class" quality, including in dark bars and dark streets, at a price point that is not out of this world.
I will also buy it because it has a 28mm equiv lens rather than a 35mm equiv, as that adds flexibility and opportunities to get "that" pic. I can crop 28mm, I cannot "uncrop" 35mm.
Finally, I will buy it because it has no AA filter, and a cool "non-retro" design, and the excellent Nikon UI.
Very very tempting.
I was kinda waiting for a GRD V along those specs, but this is available in a couple of weeks.
So what do we have now: this Nikon; the Fuji X100s and leica X2 (35mm equiv); the NEX 5,6,7 with the coming 20mm pancake; seems samsung has something as well (not familiar with them), and then the m4/3 crowd with their own pancakes....
Interestingly, the Nikon seems very well priced compared to the X2, but a bit too expensive compared to the Fuji (spec vs spec). I have a NEX 7, so the coming pancake would give me a cheap (in terms of incremental spend) but very good coat pocketable camera. Still,that Nikon looks real small, and I like that, and I like the absence of AA filter, and I kinda trust Nikon more than Sony to produce nimble, reactive, efficient bodies and great lenses....
Guess this thingy kills the prospect of APS GRD V... Cannot be smaller...
HubertChen: The price of 350 USD is very adequate for this lens in case it is really sharp! Can't wait to see a lens review :-) It is cute looking too and would make a NEX5 pocket-able. Very high sharpness would be mandatory for it to make sense to me. Then I also can use it as zoom in the sense of cropping the picture and run around with this lens only.
Even the Nex7 becomes easily pocketable with this. The focal length is easier to manage than the 16mm. Hopefully better performance as well, as less challenging to design. Really looking forward to this one in fact. The Sigma 19mm is too big for pockets.
JacquesBalthazar: These Fuji X offers, this one in particular, are so tempting for old but increasingly broke leicaphiles such as me. So familiar and re-assuring. At the same time, they annoy me by playing this much on the retro/pseudo vintage chords in terms of design cues. This is 2013. Why are we trying to pretend to be in 1956?
The feature list and tech innards are fantastic. But the design references....am I the only one to be bothered?
@tan68: exactly that! I do rather admire the Nex7 body design, including the 3 navi command & control, but I dislike the consequences on lens size (24mm Zeiss in particular) and hate the menu "logic". I really like the X100s feature list and size, but smirk at the old timer camouflage. But as @mrmart says, the looks of a camera are not that crucial. This X100s is a neat package!
@jesperMP. Not specifically slaying dials or whatever UI options per se. I grew with those dials, and I have an easier life with those than with Sony's ridiculous menu trees for example.
I am harping more about the lines, the proportions, the pseudo-chrome and pseudo-vulcanite, llittle carvings, slopes and "art deco" cues, the old style logo on top cover, the millings on lens barrel, etc, etc. All made to look "as if" we were "back then".
Do not get me wrong: the darn thing is pretty, and I am seduced. I'd just like us, collectively, to move on and stop "recreating" the "good old times". Canon's latest square Powershot N is creative design. Nex is creative. Neither is elegant however. They will not become icons. I want creative and elegant design (on top of efficient), and I ain't seeing much of that. I want us to challenge ourselves to produce objects and tools that will be seen in 30 years as 2013 icons.
Strange answers. Seems we are hooked to 1956. Strictly from a superficial design point of view (the "enveloppe"), this sends a backward looking message.
if you look at this from a "form follows function" point of view, there is a lot of effort on the X100(s) design to "make pretend" we are still facing the production conditions Leica or Contax were facing in the first half of the 20th century.
I own and use old Leicas, so I do love the look & feel and form factor.
But, just like with music, cars, houses, clothes, bicycles and other human productions, I wish we were more forward looking and more creative. The hunger for nostalgia bugs me. In cameras, the Nex design is interesting (not beautiful). I also liked the V1. The XF1 is more subtle in its retro cues. Anyway, the X100s seems fabulous in terms of combining quality, performance, size, features, and I will certainly give it a try when available.... Never mind if it makes me look like a Cartier-Besson wannabe....
These Fuji X offers, this one in particular, are so tempting for old but increasingly broke leicaphiles such as me. So familiar and re-assuring. At the same time, they annoy me by playing this much on the retro/pseudo vintage chords in terms of design cues. This is 2013. Why are we trying to pretend to be in 1956?
(unknown member): I am glad that Olympus had to cough up huge money to this crime exposing CEO.
Most financial crime is borderline stuff. Someone takes a risk that turns into an error causing financial loss and potential loss of personal and brand equity. What happens then is that those guys, who are by definition excessively self-assured egomaniacs, think they can "fix" it before it gets visible, and design complex delay and cover-up schemes. Since they are good at doing that,and nobody sees the manipulation or speaks up against it, they convince themselves that the schemes are the fix, and lose sight oft the illegality or immorality of what they are doing. Then comes another error, a fluke control or a whistleblower, and, suddenly the "king is naked". I agree with you that most of these white collar crimes go un identified and unpunished. Many top flying execs out there have ugly corpses rotting in their cupboard somewhere, without necessarily realising themselves that something smells and they did wrong.
The Jacal: I have to laugh at all the fanboys crying over their keyboards because they didn't read the intro and their cameras are not mentioned. Come to think of it the Yashica Electro 35 GT isn't on the list, come on Dpreview, what are you thinking???!!!
Yes. The Electro 35.....my first real camera! Funnily enough, that exact same design and exact same simple set of features, with a FF, or even APS, sensor in place of film, would be a mega-hit still today. And would be top of loads of Black Friday and Xmas lists. Hell, it would beat RX1 in my book. A simplified X100, with RF focus, no AF, no EVF, no complex menus, raw only. Do not even really want a LCD on the back, just the 2 little flashing LEDs on top. Your Electro 35 mention got me dreaming this morning,.. ;-) thanks!