First Week with the Nikon Coolpix A by Julien Hautcoeur


First Week with the Nikon Coolpix A

by Julien Hautcoeur

Hello Steve,

I’m Julien Hautcoeur from Bust it Away Photography.

You posted one of my blog posts that I sent to you last February about the Voigtlander 40mm F2 Ultron.
Thank you very much for that; it was very nice.

I wanted to share with you the rest of my experience. I still have the Voigtlander 40mm and I love it so much that I also got the 58mm f1.4 to add-on my D700. As I really love wide angle lenses I was thinking of getting the Voigtlander 28mm f2.8, which is the same size as the 40mm. But even if those lenses are pancakes and make my D700 less bulky, it is still not a very pocketable solution.

After hours of thinking and hesitation (as usual with cameras) about getting the Voigtlander or an other alternative, I found a refurbished Coolpix A for a very reasonable price.  When this camera was released last year I went to see and try it in my local store and I really liked the feeling.
It is a robust and very small camera with a high quality sensor and a nice 28mm (FX equivalent) f2.8 lens.  It’s only problem is its price which is debatable.

Anyway, the refurbished price was low enough to make me order it and I received it just before a two-day trip in a yurt in the middle Gatineau Park close to Ottawa, Canada. I took it with me and decided to only use this new camera. I had the D700 in my bag in case the Coolpix A’s battery would be too short, but finally I got enough to cover the whole week-end.

My experience with the Coolpix A has been really great, the biggest advantage compared to my DSLR is definitively that I don’t disturb people, it is very quiet and discreet in my hand. My main concern was the AF, but by using the Fn1 button set on AF-ON it is quite responsive and I have been satisfied with it.

The most important point is that I got pictures that I am happy with. The 28mm if wide enough to be close to people and to get that life feeling.  It also captures beautiful landscapes as well as details. The low Iso are very clean, and I used it up to 2000 Iso. The color pops and it fits quite well in my Nikon D700 flow. You probably understand that I’m happy with my choice.

The Coolpix A won’t replace my DSLR, but it will be my little camera option for my every day photo opportunities: 28mm on the Coolpix A and 40mm on the D700.















Thank you

Julien Hautcoeur @ Bust it Away Photography


  1. I too have recently got the Coolpix A its a great little camera. However I really enjoy my Nikon D3 primarily because of the full frame (I have Nikon 24, 50, 85 & 180) and the viewfinder.
    Just got the Nikon optical viewfinder for the A and this works great. The af led can still be seen when focus is established a small green light visible in the corner of my eye.
    Overall this allows normal SLR type handling, it works very wel.

  2. Your pictures are wonderful thank you for sharing. I have had the opportunity to use the Nikon Coolpix A after having borrowed it from a friend. I totally love the files it produces and the ease of use I just had one issue with this camera was the slow focusing, the colours are wonderful and it fits perfectly in the shirt pocket. As a photojournalist working out of India I would have loved to use the optical view finder which was not available in the market. Thanks again for the share

  3. Nice set Julien, one question, when you assigned AF to fn1, was AF quicker or was it just easier to focus this way making it a touch quicker to get focus? Cheers.

    • Bunny, I wondered that too. Just set F1 to AF on but unfortunately it seems to disable the AF on the shutter release as well! Nice try nice if both operated af but got to have it on the release button. Regards

  4. Nice pictures and such recognizable colors! I’m still very, very satisfied with my A. It really is a secret little gem. (and beats the GR in my opinion in color and exposure imho…) Enjoy!

    • I have the GR and I do have to say that the colors and exposure consistency just don’t hold up to my Canon dslr.

      But for some reason when I convert the GR photos to black and white, they look so good it almost feels like cheating.

  5. Great pictures! I also have a Coolpix A that I picked up brand new on sale for 330€, what a bargain and what a camera! I use it when I don’t want to lug my D600 around and I have been really impressed with the picture quality. Fabulous camera that fits in my pocket, what more can one ask for?

  6. Thank you for sharing! I love the pictures, I was very interested in the A too and would have bought it even for the list price if only it had either a 24 mm or shorter or a 35 mm lens. 28 to me is in the middle of nowhere: to short for people, too long for landscapes. It’s a pity, because I really loved the handling. But seing your pictures, I may well get one for a reasonable price. Thank you!

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