Nikon Coolpix 995 Review
The 995 shares more than a passing resemblance to its older brothers, and many elements of the body are either exactly the same or very similar to the 990. The split body swivel design is carried forward, maturing slightly with the addition of the swivel lock, a small switch on the base of the camera which allows you to lock the lens portion at 90 degrees (it actually just stops the lens being pushed past 90 degrees), extremely useful for those heavy add-on lenses (no need for third party "wings" any more).
Other noticeable ergonomic changes are the the slightly smaller (and flatter) hand grip, I personally preferred the 990's slightly bulkier hand grip but your mileage may vary. On the left (lens portion) side the new 4x zoom lens causes the bulge on the bottom and the pop-up flash is responsible for the bulkier top. Also note the new locations of the neck strap harnesses.
The command wheel is the same as on the 990, as is the mode switch, shutter release button, control buttons (add the quick view button) and 4-direction controller. The compact flash compartment door has changed shape as has the connections compartment. The battery compartment door has changed based on the new Lithium-Ion battery, though its opening mechanism is similar.
Plastic or "it's the wrong way to Tip-perary"
Ah yes, probably one of the most contentious details about the new 995 (apart from the various cries of "ugly" from the Nikon Talk forum), is the fact that the lens portion of the camera is made of plastic, the LCD portion remains as the same magnesium alloy used in the 990. Having said the P word it's worth noting that this is high quality, high impact stuff, definitely thicker and stronger than found on other digicams and certainly at first glance very difficult to distinguish from the right portion of the camera (at least until you touch it).
Here's my theory on why Nikon HAD to use plastic: The 995 is virtually the same weight as the 990 without batteries (all but 1 g), the new Lithium-Ion battery weighs about the same as 1.8 AA NiMH batteries. Every 990 owner will tell you that the 990, without batteries and with its lens portion twisted 90 degrees, will tip onto its lens side.
|Coolpix 995 with battery inserted||Coolpix 995 with battery removed|
The same is true of the 995, except it's more complicated. There's more glass in the lens and the flash mechanism is heavier. If Nikon had made the lens portion case from the (slightly) heavier magnesium alloy the camera wouldn't be able to stand upright; the weight of that Lithium-Ion battery simply isn't enough to balance it. However, with the lighter plastic case on the lens side, the camera (just) balances flat on its rubber "foot", indeed it's so finely balanced that if you push it over onto its lens, it will stay there.
UPDATE: Despite my theory (which is accurate but not the primary reason), Nikon have confirmed that the new lens / flash system moulding is very complex and would have been too costly to manufacture.
Side by side
Well, first of all lets deal with how the 995 looks compared to the 990. This scale, top-down view animation (which I should have patented after my 990 review) gives you a good impression of the differences. The lens portion is slightly shorter (thanks to the pop-up flash) and the hand grip slightly less deep (thanks to the new battery).
(click for larger 1.2 MB animation)
Below you can see a comparison of the 995's size next to Sony's DSC-S75 and Nikon's own Coolpix 880.
Nikon, pretty much past-masters at the ergonomic design game (after several generations of development), are still pretty much on the ball. I found that the flat face of the hand grip didn't tuck itself into my palm like the 990's hand grip; your mileage may vary. All the controls you'll need fall usefully under your forefinger and thumb, and the small "ridge" which was designed into the 990 for thumb grip has been made slightly larger on the 995 (a good thing). Despite it's "unusual" design, the 995 remains one of the nicest digital cameras to hold and use for any amount of time.
Top "Control Panel" LCD display
|*1||Displays: Program Exp/Manual: Aperture/Shutter speed (press MODE to switch), Aperture Priority: Aperture, Shutter Priority: Shutter Speed as well as exposure compensation, manual focus distance, ISO sensitivity etc.|
|*2||Frames remaining / Exposure condition / Image transfer indication|
(Reproduced with permission from Coolpix 995 manual)
|Christine by JP Zanotti|
from Car wreck
|Fangorn Forest by cand1d|
|Yosemite Falls with Moonbow by Jonathan Shapiro|
from Best Landscape of the Week 4
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more
German media reports that the founders of the company behind the Panono 360-degree ball camera have filed for bankruptcy at a court in Berlin. Read more
With a claimed 800 new custom parts, Microsoft's updated Surface Pro comes with the latest Kaby Lake processors, better battery life, a new hinge, plus the Surface Pen is updated as well. Read more
DW Photo is attempting to resurrect the Hy6 medium format camera, though the legal tangles of its development may stop it being branded Rolleiflex.
The Kodak EKTRA, the company's 'camera first' smartphone, is now available to purchase in the United States. Read more
Apple and Nokia have settled their years-old patent dispute. Apple will make an undisclosed payment to Nokia and sign a licensing agreement related to digital health products with the Finnish company.
David Gibson, one of Britain's best known street shooters, shares all.
Photographers from the SKYGLOW project travelled 150k miles and took 3 million photos in increasingly rare locations: those without light pollution.
The world's fastest 200mm was produced for 16 years. In that time, only 8000 were made.