updated 08:55 am EST, Tue February 20, 2007
Nikon Coolpix PMA 2007
Nikon today commemorated both the 10th anniversary of its Coolpix line and the upcoming PMA expo with a major update to its mainstream cameras. At the peak is the P5000 (pictured), a bridge between point-and-shoots and entry-level digital SLRs. The 10-megapixel camera benefits from its larger fixed lens through a 3.5X optical zoom; Nikon has also catered to more serious photographers by adding a hotshoe for an external flash and converter attachments for either telephoto or wide-angle shots. Optical stabilization and a special 5-megapixel, ISO 3200 shooting mode are there to help take better photos in active or low-light scenes, Nikon says. The P5000 supports SDHC cards for storage larger than 2GB and ships in March for $400.
Details and photos of the rest of the updates follow after the jump.
At the upper end of Nikon's more traditional compact range are four new models for the S-series. Both the S50 and S50c share a 7.2-megapixel sensor and optical image stabilization, as well as a full-resolution ISO 1600 mode. A 3-inch LCD and 3X zoom are just as common. The S50c adds Wi-Fi, bringing the option of not only transferring photos across a network but also direct photo uploads, sending chosen shots through Nikon's Coolpix Connect to an image server and notifying select people when new photos are viewable online. The two S50 variants should be ready by April for prices of $300 (S50) and $350 (S50c).
Slightly lower in the range are the S500 and S200. Each is capable of 7.1-megapixel shots with 3X zoom, previewed with a 2.5-inch LCD; image stabilization is virtual rather than optical. The models are separated chiefly through style and intelligence: the S500 uses a tougher steel frame versus the S200's aluminum, and gains a stablization mode which simultaneously triggers high ISO, virtual image stabilization, and a best-selection mode. Sensitivity also doubles to ISO 2000. Nikon expects to ship the S500 and S200 in March for $300 and $250 respectively.
Coolpix S500 (top) and S200 (bottom)
The camera maker also addressed its entry-level L models with the Spring 2007 update. Beginning the new range are the 7.1-megapixel L12, 6-megapixel L11, and 5-megapixel L10, all of which sport a 3X zoom lens. The L10 begins the line with a modest ISO 800 and 2-inch LCD, while the L11 brings in a larger 2.4-inch screen to complement its sharper sensor. The L12 adds features only seen in otherwise much more expensive cameras, doubling the ISO to 1600 even as it adds optical stabilization and a slightly improved 2.5-inch LCD. The L series will ship earliest of all the Coolpix updates, arriving in early March at prices of $120 for the L10, $150 for the L11, and $200 for the L12.