Launched in March 2013 the $1097 Coolpix A is Nikon’s first compact camera with an APC-S sensor and features the same 16.2-megapixel DX sensor from Nikon’s D7000 DSLR but with its optical low-pass filter removed. Utilizing a fixed NIKKOR 18.5mm f/2.8 prime lens (equivalent to 28mm in 35mm terms) the Nikon Coolpix A has the right ingredients for great image quality so let’s see how it performs.
Not wanting to undermine their DSLR sales Nikon have used a smaller 1-inch sensor in their 1 Series of Hybrid cameras but it seems with the Nikon Coolpix A they’re looking to gain market share in the high-end compact market, too. With less versatile fixed lenses and high price tags it’s a niche segment of the overall camera market however and one that’s already brimming with options like the $1299 Fujifilm X100S, $2798 Sony RX1 and $999 Sigma DP3.
Let’s compare the Nikon Coolpix A’s measurements against high-end compacts, top-end APS-C DSLRs and consider a mirrorless hybrid alternative to put it all into perspective.