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Nikon announced two new cameras, including a the Nikon Coolpix A, the first compact digital camera to house a DX-format (APS) sensor. Nikon also announced a shirt pocket-sized posh compact, the Coolpix P330, which features a 1/1.7-inch, 12.2MP CMOS sensor and a bunch of features. With these two new camera introductions as well as the posh Nikon P7700, Nikon for the first time offers three premium-level compact cameras. Let's take a closer look at both of the new cameras.
The Nikon Coolpix A joins a growing group of compact cameras built around APS sensors, but is distinctly a Nikon. The Nikon Coolpix A holds the same highly-rated 16MP sensor found on many Nikon DSLRs, and is paired with a built-in, all-glass 18.5mm (equivalent to a 28mm lens on a 35mm sensor camera) f/2.8 lens. Close focus in Macro mode is 4 inches.
The Nikon Coolpix A is backed by a 3-inch, 921k-dot LCD monitor but lacks an eye-level viewfinder. ISO range is 100-3200, and can be pushed as high as 25,600. Nikon is offering the DF-CP1 Optical Viewfinder as an optional accessory that will cost approximately $450.
Nikon is claiming quick autofocus performance via contrast-detect TTL, and the camera offers multiple scene modes (Autumn colors, Beach/snow, Blossom, Candlelight, Children, Close-Up, Dusk/Dawn, Food, Landscape, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Silhouette, Sports, Sunset, High and Low Key) as well as a manual focus ring, full PSAM manual exposure controls, and RAW image capture. In-camera editing options include RAW processing, quick retouch, straighten, edit movie, and D-Lighting, among other options.
A hot shoe, when not accommodating the optical viewfinder, can hold any Nikon Speedlight flash. In additon, the camera has a modest built-in flash.For videographers, the Nikon Coolpix A can shoot MPEG-4 and AVC/H.264 video in full HD (1080p/30fps, 1080/25p)
Nikon also announced the Nikon Coolpix P330, a 12MP compact designed for experienced photographers, with a fast 24-120mm (35mm equivalent) f/1.8 lens. The sensor size, 1/1.7 inches, is a bit larger than a typical compact camera sensor and paired with the lower resolution the pixels should be large enough for above-average low-light image quality, especially at higher ISO settings.
As with the Coopix A, the Nikon Coolpix P330 offers both auto and manual exposure controls as well as the ability to capture RAW images. The camera incorporates full 1080p HD video and lens-shift Vibration Reduction. The lens focuses as close as 1 foot, has a 9-area automatic focus selection for its contrast-detect TTL AF. It is backed by a 921k dot resolution monitor, has 15MB of internal memory, and an ISO range of 80-3200 which can be pushed as high as ISO 12,800, but we don't recommend that. There are 22 scene modes and 7 in-camera editing options. The camera's shutter speed reaches from 1-1/200 sec.
In addition to new compact digital cameras, Nikon today announced the Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens, geared towards sports photography and HD video for pro and enthusiast-level photographers. Designed for use in FX full-frame sensor cameras, it can also be used on Nikon's DX sensor cameras and covers the equivalent of a 120-600mm lens. Features include Vibration Reduction, which Nikon says adds 4 stops of stabilization. Optics have Nano Crystal Coat to prevent ghosting and flare. There are 20 elements in 12 groups, including one Super ED Glass elements and 4 ED glass elements. The Nikon AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens will be available in April for $2,699.95, and can be pre-ordered from Adorama now.