Nikon updates its Coolpix camera line-up for 2014
By Simon Crisp
February 10, 2014
Ahead of the CP+ photo show in Japan, Nikon has unveiled a selection of new cameras which update its Coolpix line-up for 2014. As is the way with the Coolpix range, the new cameras vary from bridge-style super-zooms and enthusiast models, to rugged cameras, those designed for families, and ones which make sharing easy.
The first new shooters are a pair of bridge-style super-zooms, the Nikon Coolpix P600 and P530. Both cameras feature a 1/2.3-inch 16-megapixel CMOS sensor (6.17 x 4.55 mm) with the top-of-the-range P600 pairing this with a F3.3-F6.5 60x optical zoom giving the equivalent of 24-1440-mm 35-mm-format, while its little sibling the P530 has a F3-F5.9 42x zoom lens (24-1000-mm equivalent).
Round the back, both cameras have a 201k dot equivalent EVF and a 3-inch 921k dot LCD screen, but while the monitor on the P600 is a vari-angle, the one on the P530 is fixed. Both cameras use a contrast-detect autofocus system, and boast a new focus peaking mode which emphasizes the edges of a focused area when using the camera in manual focus.
Lens-shift vibration reduction is on hand in both cameras to help reduce the wobbles caused when shooting with slow shutter speeds or at high zoom levels. The duo also each has a continuous shooting speed of seven frames per second, and are capable of shooting Full HD video at 1080p 30/25 fps. While the P600 has built-in Wi-Fi, the P530 will need an optional adapter to gain Wi-Fi capabilities.
The Coolpix P600 will be available in black and red from the end of February for US$500, while the Coolpix P530 will be out a couple of weeks earlier and is priced at $450.
The two new tough offerings from Nikon, the Coolpix AW120 and S32, are very different cameras, for very different markets. The AW120 is a typical active lifestyle camera, while the S32 is designed to survive the special sort of beating dished out by families with young children.
The AW120 is waterproof to 18 m (59 ft), shockproof to 2 m (6.6 ft) and freeze-proof to -10°C (14°F). It features a 1/2.3-inch 16-megapixel CMOS sensor which is paired with a 24-120-mm (equivalent) F2.8-F4.9 zoom lens. Adding to its go-anywhere ethos, the AW120 also features GPS, an electronic compass, barometer, altimeter and depth gauge. There's also built-in Wi-Fi for easy image sharing and remote shooting.
On the rear there's a 3-inch 921k dot OLED monitor for composing and viewing back images or videos. The camera is capable of shooting Full HD 1080p video at 30/25 fps, but also has slow and fast motion options from 15 to 240 fps, with resolution limitations.
Meanwhile, the Coolpix S32 is dustproof, shockproof to 1.5 m (5 ft) and waterproof to 10 m (33 ft). It has a smaller 1/3.1-inch 13-megapixel CMOS sensor and a F3.3-F5.9 lens which covers a focal range equivalent to 30-90-mm. Its rear LCD measures 2.7 inches and has 230k dots. Movie recording is possible at Full HD 1080p 30 fps.
Design-wise, the family-focused camera has been created to be operated by little hands and with simplicity in mind. Aimed at young kids (or parents with them) it will be available in a number of bright/garish colors including blue, yellow, pink and white.
The Coolpix A120 is due to go on sale in March for $350, when it will be available in orange, blue, black, or camouflage. The Coolpix S32 will also hit shelves in March and retail for a more modest $130.
The Nikon Coolpix P340 is an update to the P330 – which made it into our pick of the best compact cameras of 2013, but was criticized for a lack of built-in Wi-Fi. Well, this time round Nikon has included it for easy image sharing and remote shooting. Many features stay the same including a larger-than-usual-for-a-compact 1/1.7-inch 12-megapixel CMOS sensor (7.6 x 5.7 mm) and the F1.8-F5.6 24-120 mm (equivalent) lens.
Other features worth noting include the multifunctional lens ring which offers quick access to various settings, active vibration reduction, and GPS for geo-tagging image location. On the rear there's a 3-inch LCD screen with 921k dots, and the Coolpix P340 can also record Full HD 1080p video at 30/25 fps
The Coolpix P340 will be available for $380, in black or white, when it goes on sale at the end of February.
Easy Share Cameras
Finally, we've got the Coolpix S9700 and S9600, which are designed to be slender pocketable cameras which can out-shoot your smartphone and share via Wi-Fi. Both have 1/2.3-inch 16-megapixel CMOS sensors, an Expeed C2 image processing engine, and 5-axis Hybrid VR (Vibration Reduction). The S9700 uses a F3.7-F6.4 25-750-mm equivalent lens, while the S9600 has a smaller focal range with its F3.4-F6.3 25-550-mm equivalent lens.
Other differences include the S9700 featuring a 3-inch 921k dot OLED screen, compared with the 460k dot LCD offering on the S9600. While both have built-in Wi-Fi for easy sharing or remote control functionality, the S9700 also has GPS baked-in. Both cameras can shoot Full HD video at 1080p 30/25 fps and can shoot a burst of full resolution stills at around the 7 fps mark.
The Coolpix S9700 and S9600 will both be available from the end of February. The S9700 will set you back $350 while the S9600 is yet to have its price confirmed.