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Gear Day on the BPrints Blog, and Beginner’s Day at Nikon

August 6th, 2013 No Comments

The past 24 hours have seen a far-higher-than-normal number of gear announcements.  So much so that all we can do is take in some highlights!  What’s more, it’s an all-Nikon post today.

Only a few hours back (among other announcements), Nikon announced two new Coolpix cameras, both meant for beginners.  Softpedia carried a brief announcement of both items; DPReview focussed on one of them, the S6600, while Popular Photography aimed its sights on the other, the L620.

The latter camera, the L620, is set up to be a super-zoom at a super price: you get 25 to 350mm of range for only around $250.  As almost always with this class of camera, the drawback – also qualified with an ‘only’ – is the aperture range of F3.3-5.9.  Another drawback is the lack of manual modes but newbies should be pleased with not only the scene modes but the 18.1 megapixels on a 1/2.3″ CMOS sensor.  Nikon is marketing this kit to soccer moms: with this camera it’s “easy to capture amazing memories from a baby’s first steps to a big hit at a little league baseball game.”

The calling card of the S6600 is ‘connectivity,’ so this one’s probably targetted to the iPad- and smartphone-equipped Instagram crowd.  Another clue as to the targeted demographics is that, with a fully-articulated LCD, this kit is ‘selfie friendly.’  A little more expensive than the other Coolpix, it has 16 megapixels on its CMOS sensor and a similar small downer in the aperture range of F3.3-6.3; however, the two Coolpix entries are so different that they don’t eat each other’s lunch.  Above all, this kit has builtin WiFi and even gesture control so as to appeal even further to the ‘Connected Crowd.’    

Petapixel writes that earlier today, Nikon announced three pieces of gear, a Coolpix, a speedlight, and a zoom.  All three easy-to-use and inexpensive-to-buy items are targeted to novices and beginners.  The Coolpix is the L620 mentioned above.

The zoom is a 18-140mm F3.5-5.6 for APS-C cameras, with improved stabilization and autofocussing.  

Which makes for a perfect transition to a story titled The Rise of the F/4 Zoom Lens.  Peter Kolonia on Popular Photography identifies the increasingly ‘popular’ F4.0 zoom which he calls a “happy median” between function and utility, and price, and also a few more criteria that he lists.

The “just right” mix of constant aperture, weight, optics and price of an F4.0 zoom just can’t be beat according to the “handful of pros” Kolonia spoke with.  Do you have one of them?  Your neighbourhood Wedding Pro probably does.


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