Shooting with the Nikon Coolpix A


I was fortunate enough to get my hands one of the newest Coolpix cameras out there- the Nikon Coolpix A Imagine taking a point and shoot camera like the Nikon P7000 or the Canon G11, and stuffing an APS-C sized sensor in it and a fixed 28mm lens. The camera appears to be aimed at DSLR photographers looking for something that they can put in a pocket, but still back a punch with a big sensor. Think of this as a pocketable D7000 with a fixed 28.  (You can get the camera here on Amazon. – Affiliate Link)

I didnt want to go over too many of the features and do comparisons on the camera – im sure there are tons out there already doing very capably well. What I was most interested in was what it would feel like taking out to shoot, and what did the pictures look like coming back. I got a call from my buddy Galloway and off we took to downtown Tampa to find a scene that would match his style 🙂

We didnt get too far into the shoot when the water just started coming down.  But I -did- want to get him standing in and shooting through some ISO’s – the kinds of things I would be doing with this in the field.  As soon as I get a chance, I’ll go ahead and take it out some more and set some shoots up.

I ran into some snags with the fact that Photoshop nor Lightroom were able to read the RAW files.  Running them through Capture NX2 did the trick.  Switched the color mode to Vivid +2 to get them to pop out a bit more and saved to JPG.

I also had Galloway sit still for a bit while I shot a series of images of him running the ISO – from 100 to past 6400.  Wanted to see how the file held up, and despite the fact that I got a little wonky on the focus, the file looks like it was doing OK for a bit.  I think I need to go back and explore a little bit more on the focus modes.

Look and feel were solid – felt modern.  A couple of nitpicks on the locations of the controls and the whole “Man I wish it had a button over here” kinda deal, but I got a couple of shots out there I could do something with.  Having this scene be the only one that we got to shoot, I dont really feel comfortable to render opinions on things.. but figured I would at least show you some files out in the space.

This is a link to a Google Drive link to a zip file.  In it it has the series that you see above, walking the ISO range as well as a set of pictures that had Vivid +2 applied to them.  You can download the files and check them out if you’d like – just link back over here. I’ll be talking about the camera more at my Photography Tips and Tricks podcast as well.  Make sure you check that out.

More as I shoot with it!!


  1. Hey RC – just wondering, how was the focus speed? That’s my main concern with that camera as Nikon doesn’t seem to mention it once which is usually a bad sign … thanks!

  2. Hey RC

    I saw on the Grid that you are updating the HDR book.

    I have the first edition – I have to confess I was a little disappointed in it. My main reason for disappointment was that all the post processing assumed you had and used Photoshop. I am one of those who uses Lightroom for all my processing and don’t use Photoshop. As such, I found the most valuable part of the book didn’t really work for me.

    I know you covered off all 3 HDR softwares (I use Photomatix) so already had to cover lots of permutations, but it would have been great to show how to use Lightroom to do the post processing also as many of us have stayed away from Photoshop.


  3. Heres the problem, Victor.

    You cant do what you want to do in just lightroom. Its just not possible. The reason that I did the post processing for this in Photoshop is because that’s the program that’s build to do post processing. Lightroom is a great program for general editing, but it is not a great program for getting in there and really working a file. That’s why even Adobe states that its part of a Photoshop family… its great to use – but when you really need to get work done.. you have to go into Photoshop.

    If you stay away from Photoshop – you’re going to miss a lot of post processing that you can do to your images – HDR or otherwise. Lightroom doesnt take care of it all, and was never really intended to. If you really want to take HDR to its fullest potential in this specific style, its equivalent to wanting to make a cake with a blender – you’re only going to go so far with it.


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