Nikon Launches Five New Coolpix Consumer Cameras

The new lineup offers something for everybody, from cheap and idiot-proof to feature-packed consumer models; most are designed for use underwater to 130 feet.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

February 16, 2005

3 Min Read

Nikon today unveiled five new cameras that range from easy to use to powerful, but all in compact sizes.

All five feature Nikon-patented features like In-Camera Red-Eye Fix technology, which automatically detects and corrects red eye without any action by the user; Nikon's D-Lighting feature, which can be selected in Playback mode and which compensates for insufficient flash or excessive back lighting; Blur Warning, which alerts users when they just took a blurry shot because of motion; and PictBridge technology, which enables users to print directly to a printer without a PC.

Cheap And Easy

Three of the new cameras are designed for low cost and ease of use -- and to produce pictures that don't need to be improved or enhanced on a PC with photo-editing software.

The lower-end cameras include the 4-megapixel Nikon Coolpix 4600, the 5.1-megapixel Nikon Coolpix 5600, and the 7.1-megapixel Nikon Coolpix 7600.

Ease-of-use features include a new "Help" button that displays a description for each selected function on the main menu.

Like previous Coolpix cameras, the new ones have Scene Modes -- Sunset, Fireworks, Indoor, Portrait, etc. - that automatically optimize settings for specific lighting conditions.

The Coolpix 4600 and 5600 cameras also feature an entirely new Scene Mode called Underwater Mode, which results in true-to-life colors underwater. The cameras can be taken to a depth of 130 feet when used with Nikon's optional WP-CP3 waterproof case.

All the new cameras can shoot video in any of three sizes. Coolpix 5600 and 7600 can capture video with sound.

Each of the cameras comes with 14 megabytes of built-in storage space, but they do not have removable media slots.

The cameras' 1.8-inch LCD screens consume less power than previous models, according to the company.

The cameras run on AA batteries.

All three low-end cameras will be available in March. The Coolpix 4600 will sell for $199.95; the 5600 for $279.95; and the 7600 for $379.95.

Two Cameras For Finicky Photo Freaks

Nikon's two higher-end cameras, called the 5900 and 7900, sport 5.1-megapixel and 7.1-megapixel CCDs, respectively.

They feature all-metal designs; two-inch LCD displays; and a new Face-priority AF feature. The Face-priority AF function is designed to automatically identify and focus on human faces in the shot, rather than background or foreground objects.

They also feature high-precision Multi AF with a choice of 99 manually selectable areas, 5 choices for Auto select AF.

The cameras are powered by EN-EL5 lithium-ion batteries and are compatible with disposable Duracell CP1 lithium batteries, according to the company. The 7900 and 5900 take significantly more shots per battery charge. The 7900 can take about 220 shots per charge and the 5900 about 270, according to Nikon.

Both cameras feature continuous shooting at approximately 1.7 and 2 fps respectively.

Both cameras boast 3x Zoom-Nikkor ED Glass lenses with a focal range equivalent to that of a 38-114mm lens in 35mm format. In addition to the optical zoom, the cameras offer 4x digital zoom.

A voice memo function records up to 20 seconds of sound that can be attached to an image.

The cameras are 3.5 x 2.4 x 1.4 inches in size and each weight about 5.3 oz. without battery or memory card.

Like the low-end 4600 and 5600 models, the 7900 and 5900 cameras have Underwater Mode and can be used with the WP-CP3 waterproof case.

Movies are captured at 30 frames-per-second.

The 5900 will be available in March for $349.95. The 7900 won't be out until April 2005 and is priced at $449.95.

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