Nikon Coolpix 995 Review
When Canon announced the G1, it was clearly a competitor to the 990. With a very similar feature set, lots of manual controls, the same 3 megapixel imager and 3x optical zoom, it was instantly a new contender for the top 3 megapixel prosumer digital camera position.
In my review of the G1 I compared it to the 990 (both on features, specifications and image quality), my overall conclusion was mixed. The G1's colour was definitely better but on the whole the two cameras were fairly evenly matched for image sharpness and resolution. Feature wise however, the G1 took the lead. Now along comes the 995, still 3 megapixels, but now with a 4x optical zoom lens, a pop-up flash, CF Type II support (albeit not Microdrive) and various new features.
Obviously if you're considering the 995 the G1 would be its nearest contender, so this is the camera I've chosen to use for our main comparison. First of all, let's compare specifications and features:
|Nikon Coolpix 995||Canon PowerShot G1|
|Street price||US$ 900||US$ 900|
|Body||LCD portion magnesium
Lens portion plastic
|Magnesium alloy front,
|Body design||Split body||Single body with flip-out LCD|
|Ergonomics||Good, nice hand grip||Average, no hand grip|
|Lens zoom||4 x optical zoom, 35 - 152 mm equiv.||3 x optical zoom, 34 - 102 mm equiv.|
|Lens aperture||F2.6 - F5.1||F2.0 - F2.5|
|Lens thread||28 mm||58 mm with optional adapter|
|CCD||1/1.8" 3.3 megapixel||1/1.8" 3.3 megapixel|
|CCD CFA||C Y G M||C Y G M|
|Max resolution||2048 x 1536||2048 x 1536|
|Aspect ratio||4:3 or 3:2||4:3|
|1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
|1024 x 768
640 x 480
|Image modes||TIFF, JPEG||RAW, JPEG|
|JPEG modes||Fine, Normal, Basic||Super Fine, Fine, Normal *1|
|Digital Zoom||x1.2 - x4.0 in x0.2 steps||x2 or x4|
|Sensitivity||Auto, ISO 100, 200, 400, 800||Auto, ISO 50, 100, 200, 400|
|AF mode||Single, Continuous||Single, Continuous|
|AF illumination lamp||No||Yes|
|AF focus areas||5 selectable||1 automatic|
|AF distance||Normal: 30 cm
Macro: 2 cm
|Normal: 70 cm
Macro: 6 cm (W), 70 cm (T)
|AF / MF confirmation||Yes, very visible||Yes, slightly visible|
|Auto bracketing||Yes, 3/5 images, +/-1 EV||Yes, 3 images, +/-2 EV|
|WB auto bracket||Yes||No|
|WB fine tuning||Yes||No|
|WB manual preset||Yes||Yes|
|Noise reduction||Yes, menu option||Yes, auto above 1.3 sec exposure|
|Exposure modes||Auto, P, AP, SP, Man||Auto, AP, SP, Man, 6 scene modes|
|Metering||256 segment, center-weighted,
spot, spot AF area
|AE Lock||Yes||Yes, single button, plus stitch assist|
|AE compensation||+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps||+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps|
|Shutter speed||8 - 1/2300 sec (plus Bulb)||8 - 1/1000 sec|
|Shutter priority||15 positions||40 positions|
|Aperture priority||10 positions||13 positions|
|Continuous||1.8 fps @ 2048 x 1536
3 frames @ Fine resolution
|1.3 fps @ 2048
10 frames @ Fine resolution
|Movie clips||320 x 240, 40 sec, no audio||320 x 240, 30 seconds, with audio|
|User memories||3, selectable||1|
|Self timer||3 or 10 seconds||10 seconds or IR remote|
|Remote control||Optional accessory||Supplied IR remote|
|PC remote control||No||Yes, supplied software|
|LCD||1.8" on twisting body section||1.8" flip-out and twist + anti-reflective|
|Play magnification||1.2x - 6.0x||2.5x - 5.0x|
|Flash||Pop-up (designed to reduce redeye)||Fixed internal|
|Flash range||7 m (22.9 ft)||4.5 m (15 ft)|
|External flash||Synch terminal||Hot-shoe|
|Power||Nikon EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable||Canon BP-511 Li-Ion rechargeable|
|Battery power||4.8 Wh (2 hr 30 mins)||8.1 Wh (3 hrs)|
|Storage||Compact Flash Type I or II||Compact Flash Type I or II|
|Storage supplied||16 MB||16 MB|
|Microdrive supported||Not officially||Yes|
|Weight no battery||410 g (14.5 oz)||418 g (14.7 oz)|
|Weight inc battery||454 g (16.0 oz)||494 g (17.4 oz)|
|138 x 82 x 63 mm (5.2
x 3.2 x 2.5 in)
(w x h x d)
|120 x 77 x 64 mm (4.7
x 3.0 x 2.5 in)
(w x h x d)
|Volume *2||502 cm3||407 cm3|
|Operation speed||Fast||Very Fast|
|*1||Super-Fine offers virtually lossless JPEG quality.|
|*2||Calculated by measuring individual body components.|
As you can see, despite being in the same market area the two cameras both have their own strengths and weaknesses. It's clear at least from a specifications and features point of view, that you would have to go down this list and decide which features are more important to you before choosing a winner at this stage in the race.
Image Quality Comparison
Here we turn to my now standard still life scene, A few notes about this sample shot: Lighting - 2 x 800W studio lights with dichroic daylight filters bounced off a white ceiling reflector. Both camera set to aperture priority and auto white balance. All other settings factory default. Both cameras aperture was stopped down to get the optimum sharpness from the lens.
What became clear early on in this comparison is the apparent difference in what each camera's sensitivity actually equates to. We found that the G1 at ISO 50 was just as sensitive (required a very similar exposure for the same brightness image) as the 995 at ISO 100. Thus the 995 is probably over-reporting its sensitivity and the G1 is probably underreporting.
Image portions below are of a 120 x 90 crop which has been magnified 200% using nearest neighbour re-sizing, apart from the last which is a 240 x 180 crop.
Nikon Coolpix 995 @ ISO 100 vs. Canon G1 @ ISO 50
|Nikon Coolpix 995
ISO 100, 1/6 sec, F5.5
ISO 50, 1/4 sec, F5.6
|Nikon Coolpix 995||Canon G1|
Although there doesn't appear to be a huge amount of difference we can clearly pick up on a few details: As we expected the G1's ISO 50 images are cleaner (less noise). The G1 also seems to handle blues better than the 995, the 995 handles reds better (last crop, much better red / orange than the G1), otherwise they are pretty evenly matched. Kudos to Nikon for keeping the noise down at ISO 100.
The G1 also seems to gain from its larger, faster lens. Detail is sharper and better defined (though it's clear that the 995 has applied less in-camera sharpening that the G1). The apparent softness of the batteries in the 995 shot was so surprising that I went back and re-shot the scene but there was no improvement. Is the "9 series" lens structure starting to show its age?
Nikon Coolpix 995 @ ISO 100 vs. Canon G1 @ ISO 100
|Nikon Coolpix 995
ISO 100, 1/6 sec, F5.6
ISO 100, 1/8 sec, F5.6
|Nikon Coolpix 995||Canon G1|
Here things start to get more interesting. The 995 is clearly cleaner (less noise) at ISO 100 than the G1. It's somewhere between the G1's ISO 50 and ISO 100.
|Autumn by valenttin|
from Harvest Festivals
|Cardinal, Male by paul katinas|
from A Big Year - birds
|.. by Amar Vignesh|
from Unintentional Blur
|Sir Mick Jagger by HetFotoAtelier|
from - Concerts : When The Lights Come On -
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