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Nikon unveils three new cameras

Nikon has added three new cameras to its line of point-and-shoot digital offerings. The first, and most advanced of these new cameras is the Coolpix A featuring a DX-format CMOS sensor. The camera has a wide-angle 18.5 mm F/2.8 lens which makes it appropriate for a range of shooting scenarios according to Nikon.

The Coolpix A also uses a seven-blade iris diaphragm allowing for natural blur characteristics. The camera has a resolution of 16.2-megapixels, can shoot 14-bit compressed RAW images, and can record full HD resolution digital movies. Nikon promises that the Coolpix S will deliver the kind of image quality typically reserved for D-SLR cameras

Coolpix A
The camera also has a hot shoe supporting multiple accessories including an optical viewfinder and the rear display is a three-inch unit with a resolution 921,000 dots.

The next camera is the Coolpix P330 that features a number of Nikon optical technologies to allow for very high quality landscapes and night photos thanks to a maximum aperture of F/1.8. The camera has a compact body and uses high refractive index lens and aspherical lens elements. The camera has a resolution of 12.2-megapixels and uses a 1/1.7-inch backside illuminated CMOS sensor.

Coolpix P330

The Coolpic P330 has advanced compensation for shake and an active mode for the vibration reduction function. Active mode allows for stable and clear movies and photos when taken from a car or while walking. The camera can record full HD resolution movies and has in camera editing functions. The camera is A-GPS compatible allowing for geotagging of images. The rear display is a three-inch 921,000-dot TFT unit.

The final new camera is the 20.1-megapixel Coolpix S3500. This is a slim and compact camera measuring 96.8 mm wide by 57.8 mm high by 20.5 mm deep. It features a seven times optical zoom lens and lens-shift vibration reduction. The camera has a number of onboard image editing functions and offers a wide range of color options including silver, black, red, purple, orange, pink, blue, and decorative pink.
Pricing and availability is not available at this time for Nikon’s new offerings.

Sources: Nikon, [2], [3]

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By SPOOFE on 3/5/2013 6:21:43 PM , Rating: 2
The different crop factors affect the apparent depth of field, but not the light gathering ability. F/2.8 on DX will have roughly similar DoF as f/4-ish on FX, and f/1.8 on 1" will probably have a DoF roughly equivalent to f/5-ish on FX. Not a huge world of difference.

Another factor to keep in mind is that smaller pixel sites on the sensor means you start running up against lens diffraction at lower f-stops. The DX sensor probably doesn't experience any diffraction until f/5.6 or f/8, whereas the 1" sensor will probably start seeing it a full stop lower. Again, not a major game changer for most, but a trait of sensor/glass relationships to bear in mind.

By bug77 on 3/5/2013 6:40:11 PM , Rating: 2
While the same amount of light gets through, there is a smaller area collecting it for smaller sensors.
But the point stands, it's not a world of difference, like the OP thinks it is.

By Mint on 3/5/2013 10:13:22 PM , Rating: 2
there is a smaller area collecting it for smaller sensors.
That doesn't matter unless the sensors have different quantum efficiencies or, as SPOOFE mentioned, you are diffraction limited. The primary problem with smaller sensors is that lens physics prevent a camera from giving them enough light.
But the point stands, it's not a world of difference, like the OP thinks it is.
Um, read again. The point I was making is that it's NOT a big difference in total light captured.

When you have 3x the sensor area, it should enable you to get 3x the photons on the sensor, all else being equal, giving you lower noise and/or faster shutter speeds. Unfortunately for Nikon, all else is not equal, as they had to use a slow lens. Basically, fitting that APS-C sized sensor into the small package was all for naught.

Now Nikon is left with an $1100 compact camera with no zoom or interchangeable lens that will likely have only a minimal image quality advantage over a year-old $650 camera with 3.6x zoom.

The slower lens will force you to use a higher ISO unless there is ample light, which is a situation that's a piece of cake for $300 compacts.

By SPOOFE on 3/6/2013 4:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
Basically, fitting that APS-C sized sensor into the small package was all for naught.

Yup, but I also can't help but suspect some marketing whiz stepped into the engineering room and said, "Hey guys, wimp out on something so we have an 'updated' feature to release next year."

By Mint on 3/6/2013 8:59:51 AM , Rating: 2
It's very possible, but I'm guessing that it's basically impossible to fit a fast DX sized lens into a package that thin.

Look at all the other APS-C or even four-thirds compacts. The Fuji X100 has a F/2 lens and is 2.2" thick, and the Panny GF5 has a F/1.7 lens while being 2.4" thick, but nothing else has a thin, fast lens. I think the space needed by the lens elements is simply too much.

But you're probably right about this being a marketer's creation. I'm sure some engineer pointed out the silliness of making a 1.6" thin camera with an APS-C sensor due to lens restrictions, but the marketing team wanted to hit those bullet points. However, only hardcores will consider this type of camera, and I doubt many will take the bait.

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