Nikon Coolpix 950 Review
Previous owners of the 900s will be instantly familiar with the swivel design. At first glance it appears that very ilttle has changed since the old 900s, however the construction of this camera is significantly improved. Nikon have listened, to the complaints, to the comments and to the longing of consumer digital photographers to be taken seriously.
The 950 is made of a magnesium alloy casing which is not only strong and solid feeling (and cold to the touch) but gives the camera a really professional look. Joins between body sections are tighter and the whole camera just feels better put together. And gone is the flimsy and prone to failure zoom button replaced with two separate but much more solid buttons.
Nikon have improved the swivel joint not only does it appear to be of larger diameter, it's much stiffer than the previous type but still manages to have some natural flexibility (as though you're pushing against a very stiff rubber grommit), this will probably improve the strength of the joint by soaking up jolts and knocks between the main body half and lens half.
From this "top down" (actually lying down) view you can see the body is much more ergonomically shaped than the previous 900s and feels very comfortable in your hands, with the right hand doing most of the work and the left hand steadying the camera during shooting (it's a bit like holding a sandwich in your left hand and an ice cream cone in your right ;). I would have liked to have seen one or two controls make their way over to the left hand portion (w/t zoom control?) as the right hand can feel a little "overloaded" with controls at times (and there are alot of controls on this camera).
Rear LCD Display
The LCD is a 2" 130,000 pixel unit which is clean clear and gives a very "smooth" picture (compared to other LCD's which have a noticeable hexagonal grid pattern). It is however very difficult to use in bright light situtations (that's what the viewfinder is there for).
Often I found that the image review looked much better than the preview image shown before I took the shot, especially as regards white balance. Once you get used to this you just confidently shoot but it can be slightly off-putting at first. LCD referesh rate is good, although I couldn't measure it exactly it appeared to be around 15-20fps.
A constant display of the various camera modes, estimated free "frames" and exposure information is shown on the LCD.
This (at last!) is a great boon to those photographers who are actually interested in what shutter speed and aperture the camera is operating at (and it literally updates instantly).
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