Nikon Coolpix A lens review: High performance, compact size

By David Newton - Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Nikon Coolpix A lens performance | Nikon Coolpix A lens versus competition | Conclusion

Straight off the bat, it’s clear the lens fixed to the Coolpix A is a top performer. A DxOMark score of 22 shows that before you even dig down into the details. In fact, in the DxOMark rankings, this lens is fourth overall when compared against other prime lenses mounted on the Nikon D7000 – it is only beaten by three outstanding performers, the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 DG HSM A, the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G and Nikon 85mm f/1.8G. This is certainly rarefied company for a lens on a compact camera.

As soon as we drill down into the individual tests, it becomes clear that this lens performs well across the board. 13P-Mpix for sharpness is very respectable and crucially, the sharpness is really quite consistent across the frame. The distortion score of 0.3% is very good too for a 19mm lens and while vignetting scores -1.7EV and Chromatic aberration 9μm these both represent well-controlled marks on a lens of this type.

The only real downside that could be highlighted with this lens is that it is a prime lens rather than a zoom, and hence offers less versatility. However, given the typical use this camera will be put to, a high quality prime lens actually makes more sense – especially given the inherent compromises in zoom lens design.