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

Started Mar 8, 2013 | Discussions
Anthony_in_SF
Anthony_in_SF Regular Member • Posts: 157
If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.
2

I must admit, the announcement of the Coolpix A is the first bit of news to make me question my X100s on order. Primarily it's the pocketability that's attractive, as well as being a multi-decade Nikon loyalist I suppose. Also, and I know I'll get a response to this, I'm drawn to the relatively minimalist and bland design. Biggest negative (over lack of viewfinder, etc.) for me is 28mm FOV compared to the X100s' 35mm. All that said, photography's my hobby...not profession...so would be interested in hearing your perspective on comparing these two cameras.

Anthony

San Francisco, CA

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mr moonlight Senior Member • Posts: 1,789
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.
2

The Nikon Coolpix A is attractive simply because of it's such a small camera with an APS-C sensor. The lack of a viewfinder is huge drawback as is the lack of manual controls, but a truly pocketable camera with great low light abilities is a huge plus. I wouldn't mind a camera that I could truly keep in my pocket without sacrificing image quality, but I find 28mm to be too wide for general use. Great for indoors and when you need something wide, but beyond that it would be a bit limiting. 35mm is just wide enough to be used indoors around a dinner table, but also long enough to be used outdoors as a street camera. If you want a wide landscape shot, there's auto stitch.

If it weren't for the 28mm lens, I'd highly consider it. With the 28mm, I'd pay half MSRP. Still not in place of an X100s though.

Sebit Regular Member • Posts: 241
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.

My view is that Nikon A and X100s are very different, even apart from the obvious difference in FL 28 vs 35. Actually, the rumours of Nikon A being 28/2.8 DX Coolpix were one of the factors that helped me to decide on pre-ordering the X100s. Among others were the support for X-trans from Adobe and the fact that I was actually waiting last three years for Fuji to improve the X100.

X100s brings back the memories of old film days, with the OVF (included...) displaying some useful informations. With the option of EVF and with faster lens. Coolpix A seems to be better suited for someone stepping up from a compact camera. I'm coming from a FF D700, which I chose because of the image quality (broadly speaking) reminding me of the film days. I believe that X100s will be close enough in quality to D700 and at the same time much more rewarding camera for me and my photography.

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seb

Jman13 Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.
2

IMO, the Nikon A is ridiculously overpriced.  Yes, it's small, but an $1,100 camera without a viewfinder is simply absurd, especially with a relatively slow lens (for a prime) and limited external control.  No thanks.  At $700, it may have been attractive, at $1,100, it's frankly a joke.

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Jonavin
Jonavin Regular Member • Posts: 438
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.
4

The Coolpix A did catch my attention, and I can assume the image quality matches the X100S. I do like teh wider lens but wish it was f/2 or less. The one thing that turns me off is the lack of a viewfinder, optical or electronic. That I cannot compromise on. I've tried using cameras without a viewfinder and it just seems unsatisfying. The $400+ add-on isn't really an option.

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Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size
2

I like shooting with viewfinders and I like shooting without viewfinders and with a focal length like 28mm, which I know so instinctively, I more often shoot without one, even on my X-Pro. So I'm not bothered by the lack of viewfinder at all. As noted, I like 28mm a LOT more than 35 and to get to 28 in the X100s, you need the WCL-100, which is an excellent add-on lens, but it makes the camera a lot larger and less compact - it also blocks the OVF a good amount. I'd love the lens to be f2.0 but not at the expense of a larger camera and, frankly with a sensor that'll handle the kinds of ISOs that this sensor will handle, f2.8 will be more than adequate in almost any low light situation.

I'm definitely going to try out the Coolpix A. If I like it more than my Ricoh GXR-28, I'll buy it. If I don't, I won't and will keep the Ricoh. Of course I also have that focal length on my X-Pro and use it a LOT, but the idea of a pocketable camera that will do about as well as the X-Pro a lot more discretely is enormously attractive to me.

I'd been thinking about the X100s, but my rationale was mostly that it probably wouldn't cost much more than the X-Pro's coming 23mm f1.4 lens and would be a nice thing to have and a more compact option to the X-Pro. But that's really pretty stupid, when its not a focal length I like all that much to begin with and its not all that different a shooting experience than the X-Pro. The Coolpix, if it measure up in real world use, is much more in my wheelhouse and I'm much more excited about its possibilities than I was about the X100s.

-Ray
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cptrios Senior Member • Posts: 1,352
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size
1

I dunno, I want to complain about the price, because in terms of features it doesn't seem anywhere near worth the money. No EVF, no OVF (except the add-on that costs $400), only f/2.8, no stabilization, only two control wheels vs the 3 on the X100s (and one of them seems to do nothing in any mode except M). No touchscreen, which, while gimmicky in my book, is pretty useful on a VF-less camera.

But if the lens is really good (I fear field curvature), and AF speed is acceptable - should we be willing to pay some sort of premium for miniaturization? It is an impressively small camera, and as such will theoretically provide something completely unique in the photo world; an APS-C camera that'll fit in a jeans pocket. I still think that $1100 is too high, and that $899 would have been a lot more palatable, but it's not a crazy amount of money. It's interesting to me that Nikon has caught so much more flak than Sony has for the price of the RX1, which is a nearly equally limited camera but checks in at $2799 largely because it's FF. Of course, the RX1 deserves to cost a lot of money because Sony managed to cram a FF sensor into that tiny body and design a not-entirely-huge high-quality lens to go with it. But it's an equally featureless camera to the Nikon. So why does Sony get so much more credit for their miniaturization than Nikon does?

But yeah, I'd never pay $1100 for a camera that will only let me ever shoot at 28mm. I actually really like that focal length, but definitely not as a primary one. This is very much an "extra body" kind of camera, and they'd thusly sell a lot more of them if it were priced that way.

Dominique Dierick Veteran Member • Posts: 4,494
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.
1

As a longtime Nikon user I had hoped for a kind of APS format Nikon with an optical viewfinder. Unfortunately, that did not materialize in the Coolpix A. And it is too expensive too, especially if you want the add on finder. I went for the X100s which I have on order.

The 28mm decision as a lens choice didn't help Nikon either. Too wide for my liking for a single lens camera. I always liked a 35mm lens, which I also had in my film-era Konica Hexar.

Maybe if Nikon would bring out an interchangeable lens version, F adapter and with viewfinder I would change my mind, since I have a lot of Nikon glass I could use. But till then, it will be Fuji.

I will be using the X100s as a 'leasure time' camera, when I don't need to carry around the big guns for the job.

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ryder78 Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size

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.

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.

Having said that I agree that we are not comparing apples to apples, and the X100/X100S will still appeal to people who have specific needs or requirements in a camera.

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.

Ray Sachs wrote:

I like shooting with viewfinders and I like shooting without viewfinders and with a focal length like 28mm, which I know so instinctively, I more often shoot without one, even on my X-Pro. So I'm not bothered by the lack of viewfinder at all. As noted, I like 28mm a LOT more than 35 and to get to 28 in the X100s, you need the WCL-100, which is an excellent add-on lens, but it makes the camera a lot larger and less compact - it also blocks the OVF a good amount. I'd love the lens to be f2.0 but not at the expense of a larger camera and, frankly with a sensor that'll handle the kinds of ISOs that this sensor will handle, f2.8 will be more than adequate in almost any low light situation.

I'm definitely going to try out the Coolpix A. If I like it more than my Ricoh GXR-28, I'll buy it. If I don't, I won't and will keep the Ricoh. Of course I also have that focal length on my X-Pro and use it a LOT, but the idea of a pocketable camera that will do about as well as the X-Pro a lot more discretely is enormously attractive to me.

I'd been thinking about the X100s, but my rationale was mostly that it probably wouldn't cost much more than the X-Pro's coming 23mm f1.4 lens and would be a nice thing to have and a more compact option to the X-Pro. But that's really pretty stupid, when its not a focal length I like all that much to begin with and its not all that different a shooting experience than the X-Pro. The Coolpix, if it measure up in real world use, is much more in my wheelhouse and I'm much more excited about its possibilities than I was about the X100s.

-Ray
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ryder78 Contributing Member • Posts: 650
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.

Anthony_in_SF wrote:

I must admit, the announcement of the Coolpix A is the first bit of news to make me question my X100s on order. Primarily it's the pocketability that's attractive, as well as being a multi-decade Nikon loyalist I suppose. Also, and I know I'll get a response to this, I'm drawn to the relatively minimalist and bland design. Biggest negative (over lack of viewfinder, etc.) for me is 28mm FOV compared to the X100s' 35mm. All that said, photography's my hobby...not profession...so would be interested in hearing your perspective on comparing these two cameras.

Anthony

San Francisco, CA

In my opinion, it's entirely your own decision whether to go with the X100S or the Coolpix A, though I agree with some sentiments from others that we are not comparing apples to apples. Ultimately it will come down to what is more important to you - features, size and image quality, and usually it's a balance between these three.

Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size
1

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.

-Ray
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pkincy
pkincy Contributing Member • Posts: 808
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.

I moved from an LX5 without VF 2-3 years ago to the X100 and than added the X Cameras.  I have not taken a camera without at least the EVF since then.  I can't imagine trying to compose an image using that (mostly black in daylight) rectangular LCD on the back.   That is why they call non viewfinder cameras point and shoots.

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nikoj Contributing Member • Posts: 789
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.

I've decided the opposite after looking at the specs and price.

But then I don't have a need to carry a camera in my pocket as all my pockets are filled with other life's necessities already.

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photo perzon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,653
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size
1

A few thoughts:

Forget the price of the A.  The market will give Nikon feedback ASAP.  Who would have thought that the X100 was going to be such a hit.

Portability is important, and the A really gives Fuji the motivation to match the A.  Fuji should if it sees the Nikon A selling well.

I carry the Sony RX100 in a jacket pocket and it feels light.  I know the Nikn will feel the same.

I think for a 28mm a glass OVF will do.  One can set settings and just use the viewfinder to point.

The X100S is the perfect camera.  The Nikon A has to jump over a few hoops in order to show it is a contender.

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DJF77
DJF77 Senior Member • Posts: 1,254
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size
1

I think this must be Nikon's April fools joke.

Its a £4-500 camera that theyre trying to flog for £1000... get real Nikon.

The x100 appeals because of its excellently well made (and great looking) body, amazing new tech hybrid viewfinder, amazing optics with F2 aperture, easy manual controls. The x100 is a real photographer's dream camera; the Nikon is none of the above. The folks at Nikon have looked in Fuji's direction and thought 'I'd like a slice of that pie please' , without giving any thought to who would buy this camera. They've looked at the x100s price and thought yeah, if people are paying that for a fixed lens compact then surely they'll buy ours with the trusty Nikon brand.

Its beyond a joke and I guarantee the price will halve in the first 3 months.

photo perzon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,653
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size

DJF77 wrote:

I think this must be Nikon's April fools joke.

Its a £4-500 camera that theyre trying to flog for £1000... get real Nikon.

The x100 appeals because of its excellently well made (and great looking) body, amazing new tech hybrid viewfinder, amazing optics with F2 aperture, easy manual controls. The x100 is a real photographer's dream camera; the Nikon is none of the above. The folks at Nikon have looked in Fuji's direction and thought 'I'd like a slice of that pie please' , without giving any thought to who would buy this camera. They've looked at the x100s price and thought yeah, if people are paying that for a fixed lens compact then surely they'll buy ours with the trusty Nikon brand.

Its beyond a joke and I guarantee the price will halve in the first 3 months.

The A body is all metal and it stuffs an APS-C sensor in a body at 10 ounces vs 16 for the X100

The X100 was $ 1299 for a long time, for years, now $ 799.  The prices always come down.

I agree the A is not priced cheaply.  If it performs it might resell on eBay for more than retail.

X100 sold for $ 1999 and $1799 for months on eBay

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jfjal New Member • Posts: 16
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size

No proper viewfinder - useless (for me at least).

Just coming back from a skiing trip, bringing my X100 has once again demonstrated that in sunny conditions, LCD-viewfinders are totally useless. One need a proper one - optical or electronic. I have seen this many times - also with so-called high quality ones. Same goes for iPhone.

Cameras w.o. proper viewfinders are for people living in the urban shadow.

rami Contributing Member • Posts: 744
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.

Maybe the real comparison is the Sigma Foveon, not the Fuji. I also think that one way to look at it is simply as getting an extra lens, not a substitute for the camera. Recently, I was traveling to Uganda for a project I am involved in. I left my aging (but loved) M8.2 and all Leica lenses home. Instead, I took a RX100 along with my Nex 5n with only one lens- the VC 15 lens with the external viewfinder. Though I took 90% of the photos with the RX, in fact, most of the keepers were from the Nex. For my next visit (June) I am planning to get the X100s instead of the RX100 and to again, to leave the Leica home. I will take the 5n with me though I find it highly tempting to get the Nikon or the wider sigma instead or along with them. A very good quality 28mm lens coupled with a very good sensor and lacking AA filter worth, for me, much more that 1000$. My Leica 28 Summicron cost me much much more and does not give me a field of view of 28 on the M8. About the price  21 Elmarit asph I don't even want to speak...

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Ray Sachs
Ray Sachs Forum Pro • Posts: 10,580
Re: I like 28 a WHOLE lot more than 35, and I like the size
3

jfjal wrote:

No proper viewfinder - useless (for me at least).

Just coming back from a skiing trip, bringing my X100 has once again demonstrated that in sunny conditions, LCD-viewfinders are totally useless. One need a proper one - optical or electronic. I have seen this many times - also with so-called high quality ones. Same goes for iPhone.

Cameras w.o. proper viewfinders are for people living in the urban shadow.

Your use of the word "proper" before every utterance of the word "viewfinder" both suggests and confirms your bias. I'm glad you bothered to qualify the term "useless" with "(for me at least)". Obviously the Coolpix A is not for you!

But cameras without viewfinders (proper or not - I'm wondering what an improper viewfinder would look like?) are not only for people living in the urban shadow. I shoot a fair amount in the urban shadow and shoot a fair amount well outside of the urban shadow and I have cameras both with and without viewfinders and use both in a multitude of locations and lighting conditions. Its true that SOME rear screens are not of much use in bright sunshine, and most weren't until about 2-3 years ago, but others have gotten very very good in very very bright light. Sony has a whole range of them with a "sunny weather" setting that I've used in unbelievably bright sun without any problem at all. The OLED screen on my Olympus OMD has served me well in very bright light as well - as has its viewfinder. In fact, the X-Pro's rear screen has been pretty effective for me outdoors in bright weather and its OVF has also.

So I'd suggest its more about shooting preferences than what's proper or necessary (for a lot of us). I like shooting both with and without viewfinders, in all kinds of weather. Usually, but not always, I'm happier with a viewfinder for portrait length lenses and longer. In that middle ground from about 35mm up to about 90, I can go either way depending on what I'm trying to shoot. And for lenses with field of views wider than 35 I shoot FAR more without one than with one. Sometimes if I have one I'll use it for more sedentary shooting, but rarely, and I've never missed one when I didn't have it, at least since the bad old days when LCD screens really WERE pretty useless in bright sun.

For a very small 28mm camera with excellent image quality and shooting characteristics, the viewfinder is the last thing I'd be concerned about. Your mileage obviously will vary, but that's all its about - personal preference - not proper or improper...

-Ray
-------------------------
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Ariston Senior Member • Posts: 2,401
Re: If you've decided on Coolpix A instead of X100s, please share your thinking.

I was initially excited about the APS-C sensor fixed lens compact camera Coolpix A. then when I went read more intently on what else beside the sensor and compactness it could offer, I saw how just crippled the system is and said here goes Nikon again doing what they do best to safeguard their dslr sales. this makes me even more frustrated about Nikon. but anyway, I have to thank them since that would give me less thought on which cameras to buy.

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