At the 2014 CP+ Camera and Imaging Show in Japan, Nikon will show off several new Coolpix point-and-shoot models, ranging from a budget rugged camera to a 60x ultra-zoom. Some are evolutionary models of existing products, so there’s nothing brand spanking new, except some performance enhancements and new features. We’re also starting to see more Nikon models with Wi-Fi built in.
At $129, the S32 is Nikon’s affordable rugged point-and-shoot. The camera has a significant upgrade over its predecessor, the S31, thanks to a 13.2-megapixel CMOS sensor instead of a 10-megapixel CCD; with the CMOS sensor, the camera can shoot videos in Full HD (1080p). Its ruggedness has also been enhanced: It’s waterproof down to 33 feet and shockproof up to 5 feet – not freeze-proof though. The S32 has a price bump over the S31, but the stronger specs are worth it.
The AW120, which succeeds the AW110, is Nikon’s higher-end rugged compact. Specs wise, the AW120 retains all the features of the AW110 but has a faster 5x optical zoom lens (f/2.8-4.9, versus f/3.9-4.8 in the AW110) that’s also wider (24-120mm). It also has a faster continuous shooting mode at 6.6 frames per second, and Nikon added its Dynamic Fine Zoom (DFZ) with Hybrid Vibration Reduction feature that maintains high image quality in the first 2x of digital zoom; it’s still digital zoom, which isn’t great, but you’ll get improved quality. Like the AW110, the AW120 has a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, Wi-Fi and GPS (for geotagging your location), Full HD 1080 movie capture at 60i, 3-inch OLED panel. Ruggedness is also the same: waterproof down to 59 feet, shockproof up to 6.6 feet, and freeze-proof down to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. The camera will cost $350 when it goes on sale in March – a $100 premium over the AW110 – and come in orange, blue, black, and camouflage. Nikon is introducing a new optional chest harness mount and colored silicone jackets for extra protection.
Moving up the line, we head toward the higher-end point-and-shoot models. The S9700, available this month for $350 (in black and red), is a long-zoom compact with a 30x optical zoom (25-750mm, f/3.7-6.4) and 60x DFZ, with Lens Shift VR image stabilization. The 16-megapixel (1/2.3-inch back-illuminated CMOS sensor) S9700 has Wi-Fi and GPS, a 3-inch OLED screen (921k dots), 1080/60i video capture, and Hybrid VR (hardware and software) for video stabilization. Unlike long-zoom bridge cameras that have a bulky form-factor, the S9700’s appeal is its compactness.
The P340 compact, a step-up from the P330, has a large 1/1.7-inch 12.2-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, allowing this small camera to capture better image quality. It has a 5x optical zoom (10x DFZ) with a wide-angle lens (24-120mm), and an aperture range of f/1.8-5.6. Besides PASM shooting modes, the P340 can shoot in RAW. It has a 3-inch (921k-dot) LCD, Wi-Fi, ISO of up to 6,400, and a mode dial with nice resistance that you’d find in cameras like DSLRs. Available in March, this compact with advanced shooting features will cost just $380.
The 16.1-megapixel P530 long-zoom bridge camera takes on the more recognizable DSLR-like form-factor, but it’s smaller and lighter. It has a 42x optical zoom (24-1,000mm, 84x DFZ) with Lens Shift VR image stabilization. It uses a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, captures video at 1080/60i, and has PASM shooting modes and a 3-inch LCD. The handy feature in the P530 is the electronic viewfinder, giving you a DSLR-like framing option. There’s no Wi-Fi built in, but it supports Nikon’s optional WU-1a wireless adapter. The $350 P530 is available this month, in black or red. (Interestingly, the P520 has GPS and a swivel display, which the P530 lacks. The P520 has an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor, but it isn’t back-illuminated.)
Finally, we have the P600, which is a new model to the Coolpix lineup. Similar-looking to the P530, the DSLR-like bridge camera has a wide-angle 60x zoom lens (24-1,440mm) with Lens Shift VR, 120x if you use the DFZ digital zoom. The P600 uses a 16.1-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, a 3-inch vari-angle swivel LCD, Wi-Fi, PASM shooting modes, and an electronic viewfinder. It has a battery life rated at 330 shots. With the ultra-zoom capability, Nikon added two scene modes for Moon and Bird Watching photography. The camera is available this month for $500, and comes in black or red.