Nikon A

Nikon Coolpix A front
  • 16MP - APS-C Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 100 - 6400 (Push to 25600)
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 28mm (F2.8) lens
  • 299g - 111 x 64 x 40mm
  • Announced June 2013
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Nikon A overview

Nikon A is Nikon's Large Sensor Compact camera first introduced on June of 2013. The camera features a 16MP, CMOS APS-C size sensor with a peak resolution of 4928 x 3264.

The A is placed #51 out of 65 in Large Sensor Compact cameras and all-around #379 out of 1465 for cameras in our collection. You can use our Smart camera filter to see camera listings based on your custom factors.

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The following is a diagram of multiple criteria used in the scoring system.

Nikon A Pros and Cons

Here is a list of upsides and downsides of the Nikon A based on factors which are generally seen as necessary in a camera.

built-in flash
comes with face detect focusing
comes with tracking focus
exports RAW files
good resolution screen (921 k dot)
great flash sync speed (1/2,000s)
lighter than average in class (299 grams)
MP count good (16 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
pretty good screen size (3 inch)
very good min ISO (100)
video res high (1920 x 1080 pixels)
you can focus manually
can't change focal length (28mm)
cannot switch lens (fixed lens mount)
display isn't selfie friendly
does not have image stabilization
lack of phase detect AF
low frames per second (4.0 frames/s)
missing HDMI port
missing headphone port
missing mic port
missing Time Lapse mode
no moving screen
slow max aperture (f2.8)
terrible battery power (230 per charge)
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Nikon A Sensor specs

The measurement of the sensor on the Nikon A is 23.6mm x 15.7mm (APS-C). The 371 mm² sensor can resolve 4928 x 3264 pixels .

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The CMOS sensor boasts 16 megapixels and includes a native ISO range of 100 to 6400. The ISO can also be extended electronically to a maximum of 25600. RAW photos are saved which means that you have more margin for error.

The image underneath shows the A's sensor size in comparison to other common sizes. The A sensor comes with a crop factor of 1.5 and is displayed in green.

Nikon Coolpix A sensor size Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon A dimensions

Nikon A weighs about 0.66 lb (299 gr or 10.55 oz) and the dimensions of the camera is 111mm x 64mm x 40mm (4.4" x 2.5" x 1.6"). The weight of general Large Sensor Compact camera is 396 gr and the Nikon A is lighter as compared to its rivals.

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Down below is a image of the Nikon A next to a soda to help you to have a feel for its size.

Nikon Coolpix A dimensions scale

The top view underneath will highlight the button arrangement on the A.

Nikon Coolpix A topview buttons dials

Nikon A Lens details

The A includes an inbuilt lens offering a constant focal length of 28mm meaning that you have no flexibility to zoom.

At it's widest 28mm, it offers an aperture of f2.8 and that is fairly sluggish and not good in low light conditions and you will likely struggle to capture a shallow depth of field. You would also have to up your ISO setting giving you noisy photographs.

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Nikon A Connectivity

The A has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • GPS Yes

Cameras that incorporate NFC or Bluetooth compatibility are able to be controlled wirelessly by smartphones. You will be able to send pictures and in some cases adjust camera settings without connecting physically with the camera.

Some apps also give a Liveview and press the shutter when you aren't close to the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it can easily be hooked up to an external monitor. Virtually all cameras enable you to charge the battery using the USB socket.

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Nikon A Video details

The highest video quality on the Nikon A is 1920 x 1080 and it can record in MPEG-4 and H.264 format. 1080p quality delivers a great balance between quality and file size but FULL HD won't leave you with much room to crop. The body doesn't include a mic or headphone port which means you have absolutely no control over your audio. It is probably a better idea to purchase an alternative model should you require better audio in your video clips.

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Nikon A Weather Sealing

Nikon A doesn't have weather proofing so wet conditions can damage the camera.

Nikon A Display and Viewfinder

The Nikon A features a 3" fixed display screen having a resolution of 921k dots.

Sadly the display screen is not a touch screen.

Nikon Coolpix A screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The ViewFinder details regarding Nikon A are the following:

  • ViewFinder Optical (optional)

In those sunny outdoor conditions that make the camera screens washed out and tricky to view, viewfinders are rather helpful.

Nikon A Shutter details

Nikon A continuous shooting rate is 4.0 frames/s. The highest shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

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Nikon A Flash and Hot shoe details

Nikon A includes both in-built flash and external flash ability. The highest flash sync is 1/2000 seconds.

Nikon A Autofocus details

Nikon A includes only Contrast Detect Autofocus and does not have Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection autofocusing is more snappier and precise as compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera features Face detect which can be useful for people photography.

It also includes Tracking Autofocus for moving things. Nikon A includes manual focus in case it is required during low light scenarios or you need to have more precise focus control.

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Nikon A Battery life

The battery power (EN-EL20) in the Nikon A is fashioned to last for 230 photos according to the CIPA measurements which is lesser in comparison with its competition. The typical Large Sensor Compact camera battery life is 301. Leica X-U features the highest (450) battery life within this class of cameras.

Underneath is a list of Large Sensor Compact cameras that have the highest battery life:

Nikon A for specific categories of photography

The following graph presents a overview of the Nikon A for specific categories of photography. To understand more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Nikon A Portrait photography advice

The Nikon A receives a points tally of 74 which is above average, and means the camera is a good option for portrait photos. Shooting portrait photos leans greatly towards sensor size, RAW support plus the ability to work with external lighting.

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has manual focus
high flash sync speed (1/2,000 seconds)
megapixel count good (16 megapixels)
sensor size is nice (APS-C)
comes with face detection focusing
delivers RAW formats

Nikon A Street photography information

With a nice score of 71, the Nikon A is a fine choice to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera comes with a fine balance of image quality and portability.

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sensor size is decent (APS-C)
exports RAW files
lighter than others (299 grams)
no moving screen
lack of image stabilization

Nikon A Sports photography features

A decent sports photography points total of 47 means the Nikon A is relatively appropriate for shooting sports. A camera really should have excellent tracking and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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megapixel count decent (16 megapixels)
nice sensor size (APS-C)
supports tracking focus
focal length is fixed (28mm)
low frames per second (4.0 fps)
no image stabilization
terrible battery life (230 per charge)
does not have phase detect autofocus

Nikon A Travel photography information

Portability is extremely critical when selecting a camera for travel. On the whole, the Nikon A gets a very good 63 as a travel camera which is a good option to buy for your journeys.

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lighter than others (299 grams)
resolution is good (16 megapixels)
built-in flash
lack of Time Lapse recording
terrible battery power (230 per charge)
display is not selfie friendly
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)

Nikon A Landscape photography information

When you're looking to purchase a camera for landscape photos, the most significant aspect is going to be image quality. The Nikon A and it's moderate rating of 54 for a landscape camera is fairly suited in the current market.

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manual focus
nice screen size (3")
good MP (16MP)
sensor size is good (APS-C)
supports RAW formats
can't switch lens (fixed lens mount)
can't change focal length (28mm)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f2.8)
lack of image stabilization
terrible battery pack (230 shots)
missing Time Lapse function

Nikon A as a Vlogging camera

A camera for vlogging really should posses a articulating screen, microphone input and if possible IBIS. Taking everything in to account, the Nikon A is not really very good for vlogging as it delivers a dreadful score of 31.

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supports face detect autofocus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
lighter than competition (299g)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)
does not posses selfie friendly display
no image stabilization
no mic support

Nikon A Alternatives

If you are interested in alternatives to the A, below is a list of the top ranked cameras that fall within the class of Large Sensor Compact.

The line chart just below provides you an overview of the A vs it's top scored rivals listed above.

Following are several cameras you may consider as alternate options. To read a thorough comparison, visit the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Brand Name
Nikon Coolpix A
Large Sensor Compact
Body design
Large Sensor Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
23.6 x 15.7mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Full resolution
4928 x 3264
RAW data
Max native ISO
Max boosted ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detect AF
Contract detect AF
Phase detect AF
Cross focus points
Lens mount
fixed lens
Lens focal range
28mm (1x)
Maximal aperture
Macro focus range
Crop factor
Range of display
Fixed Type
Display sizing
3 inch
Display resolution
921k dot
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Display technology
TFT LCD monitor
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Optical (optional)
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Lowest shutter speed
30 secs
Highest shutter speed
1/2000 secs
Continuous shooting speed
4.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Change WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
11.50 m
Flash modes
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow-sync
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Highest flash sync
1/2000 secs
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30, 25, 24fps), 1280 x 720p (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30, 25, 24 fps)
Max video resolution
Video file format
MPEG-4, H.264
Mic jack
Headphone jack
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
299 grams (0.66 lb)
111 x 64 x 40mm (4.4" x 2.5" x 1.6")
Battery life
230 shots
Battery form
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2, 5, 10 or 20 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage media
Storage slots
Price at launch