If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.

Started Mar 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size

ryder78 wrote:

There are many experienced veteran photographers here who have used viewfinders in their entire life and can understand the appeal and usefulness of one. I have to admit that I am not very experienced in photography and am just doing this as a hobby. I have never used a camera with a "proper" viewfinder before and don't really find this to be a big issue (for me). Nevertheless, I totally understand the usefulness of a viewfinder and one may regard it as an indispensable feature in a camera.

I've been shooting with viewfinders since about 1968, so I fully understand the appeal, but I'm not one of those people who thinks that ANY decent camera should have one. I've had and used great cameras both with and without. And particularly at a focal length I'm so comfortable with, it's not a necessity to me.

In my mind, the main selling point of this Nikon Coolpix A is its size. There will be people who argue that despite its small form, it is still impractical to fit it inside a pocket and will need to go into a bag, just like the X100S. In other words, the smaller size makes no difference. I would beg to differ, as the smaller form will render it to be slightly more discreet when taking pictures apart from having a higher portability factor. There will surely be disadvantages or compromises in not having a viewfinder, lack of proper manual controls, 28mm and not 35mm, too small for comfortable grip and handling etc. though I guess think there isn't any camera that is perfect. The biggest advantage of the Coolpix A is it's a relatively compact camera (close to the size of the Sony RX100) which comes with an APS-C sensor. If talking about IQ aspects alone and disregarding all its other weaknesses, I believe the Coolpix A will produce an image quality that is close to the X100/X100S if not similar.

I fully agree - the size and resemblance to a point and shoot is a big part of the appeal, at least to me. Combined with very good IQ and reasonably good controls (I expect - I'll have to shoot with it for a little while to see how easily I get around on it), it'll be a camera I carry a LOT.

The only letdown of the Coolpix A, in my opinion, is the price. I believe it will receive better reception if it's priced around $700-800, perhaps by end of the year. Having said that, I don't think there are any similar sized compacts that offer an APS-C sized sensor at this level? The Canon GX1 is one huge and heavy camera, and the Sony RX1 or other equivalent types usually cost 2 to 3 times more.

Right - I'd like ANY camera more if it cost less. I'd prefer the X100s at about $800 too, and the RX1 at $1500. But given what good fixed lens cameras cost, I don't find this one unreasonable. With the X100s you pay more for the awesome viewfinder, traditional styling, faster lens, etc. With the RX1 you're paying (a LOT) for full frame and a fully amazing lens. On this Nikon you're paying more for miniaturization with image quality on par with cameras much larger. All are valid tradeoffs and choices depending on the photographer's priorities. I suspect the market for this may be smaller and more niche than the X100/100s, but it might be pretty rabid too. If it checks out in use (which the X100 didn't fully, but the second gen X100s should), it'll be more than worth the asking price to me. And if it drops a couple hundred dollars after a few months, I'll still be glad to have paid that premium to have shot with it those few months. If it drops as precipitously as the 1 series after a year or so, I'll be bummed about the resale implications, but not about the initial price.


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