Nikon was one of the brands that brought ultra-zoom point-and-shoot cameras to the market. The company’s newly announced Coolpix A1000 and Coolpix B600 both offer 16 megapixels of resolution and zoom from wide angle to super telephoto image capture.
Nikon Coolpix A1000
At first glance, this Nikon Coolpix A1000 looks like any compact camera. But it seems to have a bunch of features that should help committed photographers.
First, and most obviously, there’s the 35x optical zoom range, from a 35mm equivalent 24mm wide angle to a super telephoto 840mm. Nikon also mentions a “70x Dynamic Fine Zoom”, which sounds to me like a digital zoom. I always leave those switched off.
Other important features include:
- Backside illumination for the sensor, making it more sensitive
- A fold out rear monitor, so you can take shots from high or low
- An electronic view finder, so you can frame shots well even in terrible lighting conditions
- RAW image capture, so you aren’t forced to rely on the camera’s internal processing and JPEG conversion
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, enhancing use with both wireless photo transfer and extended control options with an app
- Macro shooting down to 10mm
- Optical image stabilisation
- Movie shooting up to UltraHD at 25p or 30p
- HDMI output connector
- Auto and manual focus and exposure settings
All that’s in a compact camera weighing 330 grams, measuring 114mm wide, 72mm tall and 41mm thick.
Nikon Coolpix B600
The Nikon Coolpix B600 is the biggie of this duo. Biggie in being physically larger at 500 grams, 122mm wide by 92mm tall and 99mm deep. And biggie in terms of zoom. It has a 60x optical zoom. In 35mm equivalent terms, this one reaches from 24mm to 1440mm. That’s slightly over 1.4 metres, and it’s enough to have the moon fill a good chunk of the frame.
I wouldn’t be surprised if it shared the same CMOS sensor as the A1000. It is also 16 megapixels and backside illuminated for improved sensitivity.
Unlike the Coolpix A1000, there’s no viewfinder, the rear monitor is fixed and video is limited to 1080p. On the other hand, it gets a six-blade iris diaphragm, rather than the 3-blade one in the A1000, so bokeh ought to be nicer.
Pricing and availability
So when and how much? Good questions to which I have no answer. None of the main online camera retailers have the product listed yet, and Nikon hasn’t answered my email. So, you’ll just have to keep your eye out for these cameras.