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Main LCD display

The 995's rear LCD appears to be the same unit used on the 990. While good in itself it's no match for the much brighter LCD's used on (say) Sony or Canon digital cameras.

Nikon still haven't listened to us reviewers or owners, there's STILL no anti-reflective coating over the LCD... Sorry, but there's no excuse and for this Nikon lose points.

There's plenty of information provided on the LCD, which is covered later in this review.

The 995's LCD provides a frame coverage of 98% horizontally and 96% vertically (or approx. 2010 x 1482 pixels), anchored at the bottom left corner of the frame.


Viewfinder

The 995's viewfinder is the same disappointing "optical tunnel" we find on so many compact digital cameras. On the positive side, it does have a dioptre adjustment, central focus area / metering area brackets and parallax correction lines (which indicate the top corner of the frame at close focus distances). The 995's viewfinder provides only 82% frame coverage (approx. 1690 x 1268 pixels).

The lights beside the viewfinder indicate:

  Flash ready
  Flash recommended (shake warning)
  Flash charging
AF  Focus good, ready to shoot
AF  Focus bad, cannot auto focus
AF  Taking photo
AF  Digital zoom
AF  3:2 Recording size


Battery Compartment

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). So it wouldn't have been difficult of us to predict that this was a chosen path for Nikon, and indeed the 995 follows this trend, it takes the EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable (supplied with the camera) or the 2CR5 "standard" Lithium battery. The compartment is therefore a different shape than the 990 giving the hand grip a flatter profile.


Battery and Charger

As I mentioned above, the 995 is supplied with the MH-50 battery charger (input 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz) and one EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery which is rated as 7.4 V 650 mAh (4.8 Wh). It will be interesting to see how well the 995 lasts on this battery, which only provides about 60% of the power of comparable rechargeable batteries, especially considering that the 995 isn't much different than last year's 990 which required a good set of NiMH to have any lasting power.

Battery Camera* Type Output (V / mAh) Power (Wh) Weight
Canon NB-1L IXUS 300 Li-Ion 3.7 V 680 mAh 2.5 Wh 28 g (1.0 oz)
Fujifilm NP-80 6800Z Li-Ion 3.7 V 1100 mAh 4.1 Wh ?
Nikon EN-EL1 995 Li-Ion 7.4 V 650 mAh 4.8 Wh 43 g (1.5 oz)
4 x AA GP NiMH 1600 990 NiMH 4.8 V 1600 mAh 7.7 Wh 105 g (3.7 oz)
Canon BP-511 G1 Li-Ion 7.4 V 1100 mAh 8.1 Wh 76 g (2.7 oz)
Sony NP-FM50 DSC-S75 Li-Ion 7.2 V 1200 mAh 8.6 Wh 76 g (2.7 oz)

* Camera is listed as an example, this battery may also be used in other models

Looking at the table above it should be fairly clear that you'll almost definitely need a spare EN-EL1 in your camera bag (we'll test this later). The camera can also optionally take the fairly widely available 2CR5 Lithium non-rechargeable battery (image on the right below).


Compact Flash compartment

The Compact Flash compartment on the 995 is different from that found on the 990 in several respects. First, it's located further forward in the side of the camera. Secondly, cards are inserted with their front to the front of the camera ("finger lip" to the back - something we requested in our 990 review) and probably most significantly, it's now Type II compatible, that means it's 5 mm across compared to the 3.3 mm of a Type I slot it can take either Type I or Type II cards.

There's currently a bit of confusion about whether the 995 is Microdrive compatible or not, some Nikon literature clearly says "NOT compatible with the IBM Microdrive". Verbally however we've been told that it is compatible only with the newer 512 MB or 1 GB Microdrives (the "MK II" drives). So far we've deliberately used a 1 GB drive almost exclusively in the camera to attempt to ascertain reliability, and so far I'm happy to report that we've had no problems.

One slightly concerning detail is that Nikon appear to have stuck to the same plastic door mechanism and retention clip. This clip broke on our 990 within a few weeks, and although I haven't seen this problem widely reported, it is the single "cheapest" component in the overall camera design and probably the first to fail.

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