Nikon’s Early April Fool Joke?

Published March 29, 2013

Nikon’s new Coolpix A camera has some impressive specifications, what with its 16 megapixel APS-C sensor, 18.5mm f/2.8 lens, and $1,100 price tag.

Nowhere in those specifications, though, is a claim for Vibration Reduction that I can find. But the packaging department apparently didn’t get the memo: the box sure claims it has VR.

Well, at least it has Target Finding Autofocus, where the camera picks out an autofocus point automatically. Wait a minute, every camera I’ve ever had has that feature — they all focus on what they want to, not where I put the focus selector.


Author: Roger Cicala

I’m Roger and I am the founder of Lensrentals.com. Hailed as one of the optic nerds here, I enjoy shooting collimated light through 30X microscope objectives in my spare time. When I do take real pictures I like using something different: a Medium format, or Pentax K1, or a Sony RX1R.

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  • The “Backside illuminated CMOS sensor” is an error. There are no APS-C BSI sensors.

    Remember this comes out of the Coolpix group at Nikon and they probably have a standard feature list they use: “We always have VR and BSI”.

    Just because all of the other Coolpix cameras have VR and use BSI CMOS sensors doesn’t really excuse this sort of error (and could get them into trouble with false advertising laws in several locales).

  • Siming


    The smaller sensors use bsi because otherwise a large part of the sensor is blocked by circuitry. Since aps-c and FF sensors are much larger physically, there’s much less to be gained by using bsi, which is probably why most dslrs don’t use them. The money Nikon put into making the coolpix A sensor bsi, could have probably been used for a better purpose, like making it not ridiculously expensive :D.

  • Traveller

    “Backside illuminated CMOS sensor” – that would be a first for an APS-C sized sensor, usually only the smaller sensors have BSI; DPReview makes no mention of BSI. What exactly is in the “kit”, a strap and some software, or have Nikon changed their minds and given the Coolpix A interchangeable lenses? 😉

  • Oh and for those wondering what to buy instead of the overpriced A, check out this size comparison: http://j.mp/YOUGLq (a camerasize.com shortened URL)

    Both 16mp, both APS-C, one is interchangeable and barely any larger. There are ups and downs for each but I for one know which one is preferable to me.

  • Could this be for video only, just like the RX1?

  • Randy

    When I started in the photo biz, I wish somebody had told me that, other than camera bags, the only major accessory that would survive was the tripod. Interestingly, if you go into the main Yodabashi store in Tokyo, they have an entire floor devoted to tripods. Guess they knew.

    I don’t suppose there’s any chance the box is correct??

  • Roger Cicala

    I was hoping the “Smart Portrait System” made you look more intelligent. I was hoping to use it for my next self-portrait for just that reason.

  • A


    I assume the “Smart Portrait System” option automatically corrects your attire; so that no matter what you’re wearing, you’re always portrayed in a sartorially elegant fashion? That is what we all asked for, isn’t it? 😉

  • Daniel

    Raimo K: I believe Milan knows prette well that the max f-stop is 2,8, however he calculated the DoF equivalent f-stop for the FF format which is in this case f/2,8

  • Jonska

    Raimo sä olet kujalla (= equivalent in FF)

  • Raimo K

    Well, according to dpreview.com, the Nikon Coolpix A has a minimum shutter speed of 30 seconds – rather long minimum IMO.
    In compensation, the maximum shutter speed is 1/2000th of a second.
    Must be some kind of joke, too.
    The lens is f:2.8, not f:4.2.

  • Milan

    If I understand correctly, the main joke here is the price tag, right?

    Just to compare with the not-specially-cheap Sony RX100: It’s smaller, has faster AF and operation, more MP and it’s build at least as good. When we look at the lens/sensor combo in both, and translate to the equivalent in FF terms:

    -The Coolpix A has a 28mm f/4.2 fixed lens (equivalent in FF also for aperture/DoF/Low light capabilities)
    – The RX100 at the wide angle is 28mm f/4.9. That’s less than half a stop worse. But then the RX100 has a zoom that goes all the way to 100mm (with small aperture, true).

    So smaller (small is the raison d’être of these cameras), faster, with only a small disadvantage at the wide end but the huge advantage of having a zoom… PLUS it does have Image Stabilization!

    Rx100 price: $650
    Coolpix A: $450 (but for April’s fool joke they listed it at $1100).

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