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Nikon CoolPix 4500

Nikon updates the hugely successful Coolpix 995, adding a full 4.0-megapixel CCD!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 5/29/2002

4.0-megapixel sensor delivers 2,272 x 1,704 images
Typically well-designed Nikon user interface & controls
32 Megabyte SDRAM buffer for two second cycle time
Enormous creative control and flexibility
White balance bracketing and noise reduction modes extend capability.
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Manufacturer Overview

Nikon is one of the few companies that you can say truly needs no introduction in the world of photography. Their name has been identified with professional and high-end amateur photography for a good 5 decades now, and they've been very successful at translating that long history of expertise into the digital arena. Their 2.1 megapixel Coolpix 950 and 3.3 megapixel Coolpix 990 and Coolpix 995 digicams have led the popularity charts at the high end of the "prosumer" market segment since their respective introductions. The key has been their combination of excellent picture quality with an amazing range of features, all calculated to give the photographer the maximum control over the picture-taking process.

Now, Nikon has updated the 995's design to create the Coolpix 4500. The biggest change in the new model is an increase in resolution to 4.0 megapixels, rather than the 3.1 megapixels of the 995. The case design is also quite different, retaining the swivel design that's been a hallmark of this line of Coolpix models since their introduction, but adopting a much sleeker, smoother contour overall. The popup flash now hides completely inside the case when not in use, greatly contributing to the smoother outline. Along with the case redesign, the user interface is slightly modified as well, to cope with the removal of one button that was present on the 995 but not on the new model. Having now seen a production model of the 4500, I can say that its image quality is very much in line with that of the 995 it replaces: I think this is going to be a very popular model. Probably not enough differences to entice 995 owners into upgrading, but it'll certainly be an attractive option for owners of 990s or 950s wanting to take the next step. Read on for all the details!

High Points

  • 4.0-megapixel CCD delivering image resolutions as high as 2,272 x 1,704 pixels.
  • 1.5-inch LCD monitor and real-image optical viewfinder.
  • 4x optical zoom, 7.85-32mm lens (equivalent to a 38-152mm lens on a 35mm camera).
  • Manually adjustable apertures from f4.1-f/10.5.
  • User activated digital telephoto in incremental steps from 1.1x to 4.0x.
  • Continuous and Single autofocus modes with multiple focus areas and manual focus with distance readouts.
  • Infinity and Macro focus modes.
  • Variable ISO with Auto, 100, 200, 400, or 800 equivalent settings.
  • Auto, Scene (16 settings), Program, Flexible Program, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, and Manual exposure modes.
  • Single, Continuous, Ultra High Speed Continuous, Multi-Shot 16, and Movie shutter modes.
  • White balance with Auto, Manual, Fine (Outdoors), Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, and Speedlight options.
  • Shutter speeds from eight to 1/2,300 seconds as well as a Bulb setting for longer exposures (up to five minutes).
  • Built-in, pop-up flash with Auto, On, Off, Slow Sync, and Red-Eye Reduction modes.
  • External flash sync terminal.
  • USB interface.
  • Image capture in compressed JPEG or uncompressed TIFF.
  • Images save to CompactFlash memory cards (Type I or II) or IBM Microdrive, 16MB CompactFlash card included.
  • NTSC video cable (PAL for European models).
  • Power from EN-EL1 lithium-ion battery pack (charger and AC adapter included).
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compatibility.

What's New
Since many of our readers are already familiar with the previous Coolpix 995 model, I thought it'd be helpful to include a list of the new features Nikon has included on the 4500. Here's what I noticed as new to the 4500:

  • Larger, 4.0-megapixel CCD. - Improved resolution and detail.
  • All magnesium-alloy metal case. (Hearkening back to the 990.)
  • "Official" support for IBM MicroDrives, 512MB and 1GB models.
  • New, maximum five-minute Bulb exposure time, and faster 1/2,300 shutter speed in some modes.
  • Scene mode with 16 preset "Scenes."
  • Two scene modes are completely new to Coolpix line - Panorama assist and multiple exposure
  • New "Macro Cool Light" - mentioned in 4500 brochure.
  • Tighter control layout, at the cost of the status display panel.
  • One touch upload supported, a la the same function on the 775, 885, and 2500.
  • Audio recording capability for movies, as well as audio annotation of captured images.
  • New pop-up flash design gives sleeker contour, but still has (fairly) good separation from the lens.
  • Popup flash deploys automatically (995 had a manual latch).
  • Perspective mode in Playback mode changes vertical perspective. (Pretty amazing, really, the first time I've seen this in a digicam!)
  • No Mode dial, Playback mode is accessible from any shooting mode.

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