Nikon Coolpix A

DSLR power packed into a simple point-and-shoot

Image: Hugh Threlfall

When camera makers want you to know that a product is low-key, isn’t festooned with fancy features and is not for the herd but is of supreme quality with a matching price, they go for a simple name, usually with a subfusc 1 in there somewhere, and an X to imply special-ness. So we had the Leica X1 a few years ago, and there’s a Sony RX1 (which at around £2,500 costs even more than the Leica X2).


And in a similar vein, I give you the Coolpix Nikon A. It looks like a simple point-and-shoot travel camera, and on one level it is just that. The A has no athletic swinging screen, no zoom, just a couple of nice, sensible, well-placed controls. Pick it up, though, and it’s a beautifully chunky, purposeful machine with a reassuringly serious price (even if that’s less than those of some of its direct competitors).


And its abilities are prodigious. The A is the smallest camera around featuring a DX-format CMOS sensor, one of the biggest you can get. The 16.2-megapixel photos it makes are then processed by Nikon’s EXPEED 2 engine, as used in many of its DSLR cameras. In fact, the A is really a DSLR in pocketable form.