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Design

Front the front the 775 looks almost square, from the front a relatively large (for the overall size of the camera) hand grip dominates the let side, on the right is the lens, viewfinder and flash. Nikon have managed to continue the compact Coolpix look which started with the 700, the red piping on the hand grip being a distinctive Nikon signature. Around the back of the camera is a 1.5" LCD surrounded by buttons, note the new TRANSFER button which is used to mark images for later download by NikonView.

The small lens extends just half an inch from the main body when powered up, the lens has an automatic lens cover which closes at power off, this is a new detail to Coolpix digital cameras. The whole body is plastic, yet doesn't feel cheap or particularly fragile. Indeed the plastic case is probably the primary contributor (other than the lithium battery) to the camera's lightness, at 230 g (fully loaded) it's approximately the same weight as the Canon Digital IXUS v (S110 ELPH).

Here beside Canon's Digital IXUS 300 and Kyocera's S3 the 775 is the same width as the S3 and only slightly taller than the IXUS 300. An interesting note here is that both the Canon Digital IXUS 300 and Nikon Coolpix 775 take Compact Flash Type I, the S3 takes the much smaller MMC (SD) storage card.

This may help to give you an impression of just how small the 775 really is. Thanks to the hand grip the 775 is the most comfortable and easiest to hold of the current ultra-compact digital cameras which all seem to forgo a hand grip in the name of style. I'm here to say that this is the right way to go and that the 775 is a very comfortable camera to use despite its small size.


LCD Monitor

On the back of the 775 you'll find a very nice, sharp 1.5" LCD (I'm sure it's the same as I've seen on other digital cameras). It's bright, clear and detailed.

Unfortunately Nikon still haven't got over the shiny plastic cover design issue.. It would have been really nice to have an anti-reflective cover here to cut down on distracting reflections outdoors.

 


1 Digital zoom 9 Flash mode
2 Zoom indicator 10 Battery level indicator
3 Scene indicator 11 Image sharpening
4 Self-timer indicator 12 White balance
5 Best-shot selection 13 Image size
6 Continuous setting 14 Image quality
7 Exposure compensation 15 Number of frames remaining
8 Date not set icon    

(Reproduced with permission from Coolpix 775 manual)


Viewfinder

The Coolpix 775's viewfinder is the normal basic 'optical tunnel' type, unusually there are no center frame brackets or parallax error lines, the view is completely clear. The 775's viewfinder provides only 82% frame coverage (approx. 1312 x 1040 pixels).

The lights beside the viewfinder indicate:

  Flash ready
  Flash charging
AF  Focus good, ready to shoot
AF  Focus bad, cannot auto focus
AF  Taking photo (recording)
AF  Digital zoom


Battery / Compartment / Charger

The Coolpix 880 was the first Coolpix digital camera not to use AA batteries, it instead used 2CR5 Lithium or Nikon's own EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable (which was an option for the 880). Next we saw the EN-EL1 (and charger) bundled with the Coolpix 995, and now it's a standard item with the 775. Note that the charger shown below is the MH-50 which is supplied outside the US. The battery provides plenty of power for the small camera and keeps its overall proportions and weight down. The 775 can also take standard 2CR5 Lithium (non-rechargeable) batteries.

The actual compartment door is opened by pushing the small embedded lever to the right, the spring loaded compartment then pushes the battery out. The door is well constructed with a metal pin hinge.

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