The "A" gets an F

Started Jun 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
Ybor Regular Member • Posts: 274
Re: The "A" gets an F

Shotcents wrote:


I really enjoyed using my P7700 this weekend while sailing. It's versatility and IQ really impressed me and I only used my D800 for some portraits back at the dock.

A friend had just gotten the new Coolpix A as a gift and I got to play with it for a while and reach a conclusion about it's design.

The Coolpix A is an amazingly limited little camera. I cannot really see why anyone would buy it. 28mm forever is just not worth the cost of this unit. With the P7700 I was shooting at 50mm, 100mm and doing portraits at 200mm. The A was taking high quality Iphone views again and again. No subject isolation. Little bokeh. Minimal ability to compose a shot quickly. And the A was not exactly quick to focus, not much faster than the slow P7700 in fact.

I own the 28mm 1.8G lens and it's my LEAST used focal length. With the A you are STUCK at 28mm in focal length purgatory!

Just like the P7700, the A has no viewfinder. But with the P7700 I could swing out the display and tilt down the display. It's not a great solution, but I can work with it. With the A I was trying to shoot one handed, using the other hand to shield the display. Useless.

My friend was luke-warm on the A. He could not believe that it would not wirelessly trigger the Nikon flashes. I didn't believe him, but it's true!

When 28mm and the wonderful sensor of the A are in the right moment, it will deliver wonderful image quality. There's no doubt of that. But in the end versatility and getting the shot is what a good camera is all about. The A is incredibly crippled by design and a hugely dated concept. As someone who used to own several fixed lens rangefinders, I had an open mind about the A. And then I tried it. I instantly remembered how wonderful it is to be able to swap a lens, to zoom, to have quick control over perspective and control composition, even if my ability to move around was hampered.

What an incredible camera the A would be if it has a 18mm and 85mm pair of lenses that could be mounted. I'd buy one today. Instead this is a highly limited P&S camera, a Porsche engine mounted in a Yugo chassis. That may seem harsh and I know many will say "You missed the point!" But good enthusiast cams like a G15 or P7700 are better at too many things and quite good, even against the A at 28mm. So what are we paying for? The A is not all that small. It's still in a belt-bag about as big as the one for my P7700. The lens is good, but so what? The P7700 has a terrific little lens that does MUCH more. No wireless flash. Sluggish AF. No viewfinder. A high price for a old sensor mounted in a crippled body. So I guess the fans will be right; I don't get it, nor will I. I accept the limitations of many types of cameras, but the A is limited beyond any reasonable expectation and does not excel enough in it's field to impress.

The A got an F, at least for me. My friend eventually got frustrated and used his old Canon 60D instead. t wasn't his fault. The Coolpix A was a gift. He says he'll play with it for a while and toss it on ebay.



I am sure that many a fixed lens camera user scoffs at the idea that they would shoot with a camera with a tiny sensor like that of the P7700. They might even laugh out loud. I wouldn't be one of them, I have always like the advanced compacts, but they aren't so small any more and the larger sensors are being put in similar sized camera bodies.

On your A comments; I would agree to the extent that neither it or the Ricoh GR V have an integrated ovf/evf or, at a minimum, an articulating LCD/OLED screen for better composing possibilities.

After saying all of this, let's not forget that there isn't much one can do with the file output of a P7700 so, at around/over $400 it is total balderdash for anyone who knows what alternatives are available with larger sensors.

Bash the A if you care to, but there's plenty of bashing to be done with your camera of choice. But this game is pointless unless it serves as a rationalization for not owning the camera you are targeting your ill feelings at.

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