"First Look" reviews of Nikon Coolpix 2100, 3100 posted!|
(Tuesday, February 18, 2003 - 00:01 EST)
Nikon's been cutting a wide swath in the digicam market for some time now, generally moving from the higher-end products that define their traditional market position to lower-end, lower-cost, increasingly consumer-friendly offerings.
The latest in this trend are the Coolpix 2100 and 3100, near-twin cameras sharing virtually all features apart from their CCD chips, LCD displays and lens designs. Very small and light, they fit well into most pockets, but are large enough to be gripped easily by those with larger than average hands. A nice complement of features and exposure modes, plus some real innovation in scene-mode operation.
Both cameras feature a unique "framing assist" feature that overlays guidelines on the LCD viewfinder screen to help novice users line up various types of shots. (Single-person portrait, subject left, center, or right, double-person portrait, etc.) The outline guides work with the cameras' sophisticated scene-mode focus and exposure algorithms to help deliver accurately focused and exposed photos every time.
Unfortunately, I can't attest to how well these modes worked in actual practice, as the evaluation units we received for the First Look reviews still had a lot of rough edges in their firmware. Hence, no sample photos accompany these First Look reviews, nor any performance measurements.
Final judgement will obviously have to wait until I can get my hands on production models to test, but the size and features of these new Nikon models look pretty compelling. Particularly that new framing-assist option.
Stay tuned for more info later, but for now, you can read my first-look reviews of the 2100 and 3100 to whet your appetite.