Following a decision to downsize from my old DSLR camera, and weeks of reading reviews, watching youtube unboxing vlogs and looking longingly (and somewhat cluelessly) through department store camera displays, I ended up bagging the Nikon Coolpix A900.
I wanted something easy to use with a powerful zoom that looks like a modest everyday holiday maker camera. No more carrying bulky lenses around and looking like the paparazzi every time I point and shoot. Though I’m not knocking DSLR cameras – they are unbeatable for top quality shots, hands down. I just wanted to lighten my load when I’m away – that’s all.
Travelling light has never been a strong point!
A Few Thoughts
Ironically, the Coolpix A900 is pretty heavy for a compact camera, a bit bulky, and certainly not pocket sized (much bigger than a credit card) though I guess this is to be expected given the size of the lens and generous flip screen.
I should point out that I’m not a professional photographer by any means and I tend to use my cameras in the most basic way (to start with anyway), so this will be a quick ‘Jo Bloggs’ type of review based on my use of it so far.
Like reviewers before me had warned, I immediately noticed that the Coolpix A900 struggles a bit indoors with low light, more so than my DSLR, but to be fair it does a pretty good job overall, I haven’t had any significant disappointments to recall. Natural daylight is always the best light for taking photographs and the Coolpix takes good care of this business.
Another thing, when the lens is extended to full capacity the picture gets a bit blurry and shaky – it becomes very hard to keep the focus steady, so I end up having to zoom out to locate and get the target back in focus.
Sometimes I can hear a bit of whirring sound when the lens is extended almost fully – which is not great if you need the audio from footage you’re recording – but to be fair, I only noticed this once or twice when the lens was almost completely extended. On the whole, you don’t need to extend the lens much to take decent pictures or capture video footage.
I still haven’t been able to find a comfortable padded strap for this camera – I’m still looking.
The musical “ta da” chime that plays each time you switch the camera on is very loud and annoying, then I figured out you can silence this so that’s great. You really don’t want to announce to everyone around you that you have just switched your camera on – particularly if you’re tying to take a discreet picture.
The flip screen is fantastic, perfect for selfies or awkward angles and a dream for vloggers.
The battery life seems really good, though I’d recommend getting few spare batteries (EN-EL12 Nikon batteries – there around £20 each on Amazon ) and have them charged to take out with with you, especially if you’re going to be out all day and probably taking a lot of pictures.
The Coolpix A900 is certainly a good compromise against carrying a hefty DSLR around, and it’s fairly compact for such a large powerful zoom. If you’re not looking for anything too high tech or ‘photographer-looking’ I’d say the Coolpix is a reliable and versatile one to try.
Although the Coolpix presents as a compact camera – you can’t really hide this in you pocket – discretion is not it’s middle name but it certainly more discreet than a DSLR.
I’ll update this post if my thoughts change – but for now its a thumbs up.
Ps: happy snapping!