Nikon Coolpix is considered a point-and-shoot camera. It is not a DSLR, it has no mirror at all. Also, a Coolpix camera has a smaller sensor and a fixed lens.
Usually, a DSLR camera has a bigger sensor and the ability to change lenses on the go. On the other hand, most Nikon Coolpix cameras have a tiny 1/2.3″ sensor.
The size of the sensor is important in determining the quality of your photos. The larger the sensor, the higher quality can be expected from your camera.
Nevertheless, for most amateurs and hobbyists, the size of the sensor does not matter. They just want to take photos and share them with friends or family.
So, if you are just starting out in photography, then a Nikon Coolpix camera is perfect for you.
I’m still using my Nikon Coolpix A, which is a high-end point-and-shoot camera because it’s small and easy to carry around. It also takes great pictures, especially when you are taking photos in low light conditions.
I bought this wonderful compact back in 2015. The camera is still working perfectly fine, and it has never let me down. I have used my Coolpix A to take photos and some videos during my travels in Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and Australia.
Advantages of Coolpix cameras
Even though Coolpix cameras are far behind when it comes to sensor size and resolution, these cameras are still popular with many photographers because of the following reasons:
1. They are small and compact, so you can carry them around easily. Coolpix cameras are a great choice for photographers who want to travel light.
The cameras have a very small form factor, which makes them perfect for carrying around in your pocket anywhere you go.
2. Fixed lens. Believe it or not, having a fixed lens can be a good thing. It allows you to take pictures with a specific focal length, so you don’t have to worry about changing the lens when you want to get a different shot.
Most Coolpix cameras have a zoom lens, a 35-105mm (35mm Equiv.) lens or higher, and it’s a very versatile range. You can use it for landscapes, portraits, and more. Perfect for travel photographers who don’t want to carry around a bunch of gear.
By using this lens, you also have the ability to optically zoom up to 40x!
3. Generally, point-and-shoot cameras are very easy to use. They are designed for beginners and casual photographers looking to take better shots. The cameras have a lot of automatic settings that make it very easy to get good shots. It is actually like shooting with your smartphone.
4. Nikon Coolpix cameras also tend to be very affordable, which makes them a good option for anyone who wants something simple and inexpensive. With the exception of Nikon Coolpix A, which can cost around $580 in the used market.
5. And lastly, these cameras are like candies, they come in many different colors. They have a sleek and compact design, which makes them look very attractive and cute.
Differences between DSLR cameras and Nikon Coolpix
Now, I want to talk about the differences between DSLR cameras and Nikon Coolpix. I will make this section very simple and brief because I don’t want to confuse you.
1. The main difference between these two is the size of their sensor. DSLR cameras have a larger sensor than point-and-shoot or compact cameras.
DSLRs can capture more details and colors from the scene. And able to capture a much wider range of light, from shadows to highlights.
On the other hand, a Nikon Coolpix camera has a smaller 1/2.3″ sensor, which means it cannot capture as many details and colors as a DSLR camera.
This is why Nikon Coolpix cameras have less dynamic range than DSLRs. Nevertheless, the image quality of a tiny Coolpix is actually good when shooting outdoor scenes.
One thing worth noting is, Nikon Coolpix cameras are designed for amateur photographers who don’t need to take professional-looking photos but want to have fun with their cameras.
2. DSLR cameras have interchangeable lenses which can be changed according to the type of photography you are doing. Nikon Coolpix cameras don’t have interchangeable lenses, instead, they have fixed zoom lenses.
3. Coolpix cameras are smaller and more pocketable than DSLR cameras. Honestly, I oftentimes found myself bringing my Coolpix A more than my bulkier Canon 6D Mark II when I just want to take casual photos around my neighborhood.
4. A Nikon Coolpix camera is far easier to use than a DSLR camera. The controls are streamlined and easy to understand, so it’s perfect for beginners who want to try photography without being overwhelmed by all the buttons on a DSLR.
With Coolpix, you can literally just point and shoot! The camera can do everything for you, all you have to do is point your camera at your subject and fire away!
5. Lastly, DSLR cameras are more expensive than point-and-shoot cameras. While it’s true that you get what you pay for, many people simply don’t want to spend a lot of money on photography equipment if they’re just starting out.
What Coolpix is the best for you?
There are many different Nikon Coolpix cameras to choose from, each with its own unique set of features. Depending on your needs, one type of camera may be better than another.
Here are 3 Coolpix cameras that I have experience with and would recommend.
1. Nikon Coolpix S7000
The Coolpix S7000 is an ultra-compact camera that can easily fit in your pocket. It can zoom up to 20x, has a Vibration Reduction feature to help with blurry images, and has a 3-inch screen that makes it easy to preview your photos.
You can also record 1080 Full HD video with this camera. Moreover, it has built-in Wi-Fi and NFC that allow you to connect the camera to a smartphone or tablet, send photos through email or upload them onto social media.
I really like the size of this camera, it’s so easy to use and there are some options for experienced photographers as well such as the Scene mode.
Its image quality can rival newer iPhones and it’s a great way to capture those moments on your travels. The photos are sharp and crisp. The colors are accurate and have enough detail, which is very useful when doing close-up shots.
Overall, if you’re looking for a pocketable and affordable camera that you can bring with you anywhere, then the Nikon Coolpix S7000 is the one for you.
2. Nikon COOLPIX A
Fair warning: I’m a little biased with this camera. I’ve been using it for the last 7 years and I absolutely love it.
The Nikon COOLPIX A is a small camera that’s easy to use and has incredible image quality. You can get amazing shots with this camera, even in some low light environments because of its f2.8 aperture.
This camera is not for everyone, especially for total beginners. And why is that? Because, unlike the Coolpix S7000 which has a zoom lens, the Nikon Coolpix A only comes with a fixed 28mm (35mm equivalent) lens.
It means you’re stuck with that focal length. You can’t zoom in or out. If you want to get a different shot, then you need to move around.
This is why I don’t recommend this camera for first-time users, but if you’re an experienced photographer and want something small, compact, and easy to carry around then this is the one for you!
However, this camera has a bigger 16MP APS-C sensor which means it can take better images than other point-and-shoot cameras.
Another great thing about this camera is, you can even shoot in RAW format with it. Think of this camera as a Nikon D7000 but in a compact body.
The image quality is fantastic! Sharp, punchy colors with great detail. Even in low light environments, this camera is still able to produce great images.
All in all, if you’re ready to spend a little more money for a high-end point-and-shoot camera then the Coolpix A is worth every penny.
3. Nikon Coolpix B500
Last but not the least, the Nikon Coolpix B500 is another great point-and-shoot camera for beginners. It’s similar to a DSLR in terms of form factor.
It can easily be mistaken as one, so if you like something that looks like a DSLR but don’t want to spend a lot of money on one, then this is the perfect camera for you.
The B500 may not be as pocketable as the two cameras above, but this camera can zoom up to 40x! If you’re a fan of shooting the moon, wildlife, and some sports then this is definitely a great option for you.
In terms of image quality, as long as you’re shooting under good lighting conditions, the Nikon B500 is capable of taking some beautiful images.
It can also do macro shots that have enough detail and sharpness to make your photos stand out.
Emma Lucy is the Founder & CEO of Emma Lucy Photography. She has over a decade of experience shooting weddings and other intimate events. She also tests the latest digital camera bodies, lenses, analog cameras, and other gear from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and other camera brands. She is From London and currently lives in the United States of America, where she spends most of her time as a self-employed professional photographer and writer.