Conclusion - Pros

  • Good metering, good tonal balance, relatively good colour
  • Noise free, 'smooth and clean' images
  • Auto white balance works well, manual preset option
  • Auto Focus is fast, good continuous AF
  • Good macro (at wide angle - barrel distortion is visible)
  • Ultra-compact size, light weight
  • Comfortable ergonomics, hand grip helps small size
  • Easy to understand menus, thoughtful point-and-shoot features
  • Scene exposure modes
  • Good build quality
  • Automatic lens cover
  • Optional lens adapter UR-E3 can accept add-on lenses
  • Excellent lithium-ion battery & supplied charger
  • Good battery life
  • USB connectivity (good integration with NikonView 4)

Conclusion - Cons

  • Lens quality / barrel distortion at wide angle
  • Overall image softness
  • Didn't produce the resolution we'd expect of a second generation two megapixel digital camera
  • Some chromatic aberrations
  • Resets certain settings on power-up (flash, white bal., sharpening)
  • Relatively slow startup time
  • Movie mode doesn't capture audio

Overall conclusion

Here's my rating of the Nikon Coolpix 775: (2 megapixel ultra-compact)

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Construction 8.5
Features 7
Image quality 8
Lens / CCD combination 7
Ease of use 8
Value for money 8

The Coolpix 775 marks Nikon's first foray into the ultra-compact market. It has all the elements, it's small, very light, has good ergonomics (it's amazing what difference a decent hand grip can make) and a 3x optical zoom lens. Features are simple but adequate, the camera is easy to use, handle and is quick enough for its chosen market (except maybe for that 6 second start-up time).

The 775 also carries the Coolpix badge which is a kind of quality assurance for potential buyers. Unfortunately I feel that the 775 is let down by its lens which doesn't appear to be capable of delivering the resolution or the sharpness we've come to expect from Coolpix digital cameras. In our side-by-side image quality comparisons the 775 is clearly not delivering the same sharpness and resolution as some of its competition.

Where the 775 appears to win is in its combination of size, features, image quality and price. The hard fact for this camera is that its introduced into a market segment where the competition has already been able to get a foot-hold and where prices are all very similar.

Above Average

So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.

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