Nikon Coolpix A vs W300
The Nikon Coolpix A and the Nikon Coolpix W300 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in March 2013 and May 2017. Both the Coolpix A and the W300 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (Coolpix A) and a 1/2.3-inch (W300) sensor. The Coolpix A has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the W300 provides 15.9 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix A and the Nikon Coolpix W300? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon Coolpix A and the Nikon W300 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The Coolpix A can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the W300 is available in three color-versions (black, orange, yellow).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon W300 is somewhat larger (4 percent) than the Nikon Coolpix A. However, the W300 is markedly lighter (23 percent) than the Coolpix A. It is noteworthy in this context that the W300 is splash and dust-proof, while the Coolpix A does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing. More than that, the W300 is water-proof up to 30m and can, thus, be used for underwater photography.
Concerning battery life, the Coolpix A gets 230 shots out of its EN-EL20 battery, while the W300 can take 280 images on a single charge of its EN-EL12 power pack. The power pack in the W300 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon Coolpix A||111 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099|
|2.||Nikon W300||112 mm||66 mm||29 mm||231 g||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|3.||Fujifilm X100T||127 mm||74 mm||52 mm||440 g||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299|
|4.||Fujifilm X100S||127 mm||74 mm||54 mm||445 g||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299|
|5.||Fujifilm X-E2||129 mm||75 mm||37 mm||350 g||350||n||Oct 2013||999|
|6.||Leica X Vario||133 mm||73 mm||95 mm||680 g||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850|
|7.||Olympus TG-5||113 mm||66 mm||32 mm||250 g||340||Y||May 2017||449|
|8.||Panasonic TS7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|9.||Ricoh WG-60||123 mm||62 mm||30 mm||193 g||300||Y||Oct 2018||279|
|10.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|11.||Ricoh GR||117 mm||61 mm||35 mm||245 g||290||n||Apr 2013||799|
|12.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|13.||Sony HX80||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||245 g||390||n||Mar 2016||349|
|14.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|15.||Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||120 mm||67 mm||43 mm||345 g||360||n||Sep 2012||999|
|17.||Sony NEX-F3||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The W300 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 65 percent) than the Coolpix A, which puts it into a different market segment. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon Coolpix A features an APS-C sensor and the Nikon W300 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the W300 is 92 percent smaller. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 5.6. The sensor in the Coolpix A has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the W300 offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 16.1MP, the Coolpix A offers a slightly higher resolution than the W300 (15.9MP), but the Coolpix A nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.78μm versus 1.33μm for the W300) due to its larger sensor. However, the W300 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 2 months) than the Coolpix A, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixels. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the Coolpix A has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Nikon Coolpix A has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix W300 are ISO 125 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 125-6400.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|1.||Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80|
|6.||Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78|
|10.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
|Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the W300 provides a better video resolution than the Coolpix A. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Coolpix A is limited to 1080/30p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The Coolpix A and the W300 are similar in the sense that neither of the two has a viewfinder. The images are, thus, framed using live view on the rear LCD. That said, the Coolpix A can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DF-CP1. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Nikon Coolpix A, the Nikon W300, and comparable cameras.
|1.||Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|2.||Nikon W300||none||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||Y|
|3.||Fujifilm X100T||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|4.||Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8 / 460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0/s||Y||n|
|5.||Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0/s||Y||n|
|6.||Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0/s||Y||n|
|7.||Olympus TG-5||none||n||3.0 / 460||fixed||n||1/2000s||20.0/s||Y||Y|
|8.||Panasonic TS7||1170||n||3.0 / 1040||fixed||n||1/1300s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|9.||Ricoh WG-60||none||n||2.7 / 230||fixed||n||1/4000s||8.0/s||Y||n|
|10.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|11.||Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0 / 1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|12.||Sony WX800||none||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||Y||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|13.||Sony HX80||638||n||3.0 / 922||tilting||n||1/2000s||10.0/s||Y||Y|
|14.||Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0 / 460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0/s||Y||n|
|15.||Sony NEX-5R||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0/s||n||n|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||2359||n||3.0 / 921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0/s||Y||n|
|17.||Sony NEX-F3||optional||n||3.0 / 920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5/s||Y||n|
|Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.|
The Nikon Coolpix A has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
The W300 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the Coolpix A comes with a built-in prime. The W300 has a 24-120mm f/2.8-4.9 optic and the Coolpix A offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the W300 provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Coolpix A. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Coolpix A and the W300 write their files to SDXC cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix A and Nikon Coolpix W300 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|2.||Nikon W300||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||Y|
|3.||Fujifilm X100T||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|4.||Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|6.||Leica X Vario||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Olympus TG-5||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|8.||Panasonic TS7||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-|
|9.||Ricoh WG-60||-||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|10.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|11.||Ricoh GR||Y||mono / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|12.||Sony WX800||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|13.||Sony HX80||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|14.||Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo / mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Sony NEX-5R||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|17.||Sony NEX-F3||Y||stereo / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the Coolpix A has a hotshoe, while the W300 does not. This socket makes it possible to easily attach optional accessories, such as an external flash gun.
Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the W300 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.
The W300 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Nikon. In contrast, the Coolpix A has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). There has not been a direct replacement model for the Coolpix A from Nikon. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon Coolpix A better than the Nikon W300 or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix A:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More framing options: Can be equipped with a hotshoe-mounted accessory-viewfinder.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in March 2013).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix W300:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/30p).
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 68g or 23 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (280 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- Water-proof: Is rugged and sealed and can thus be used for underwater photography (up to 30m).
- Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (65 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 2 months of technical progress since the Coolpix A launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the W300 is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 9 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon Coolpix A and the Nikon W300 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Travel-Zoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the Coolpix A and the W300 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why expert reviews are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon Coolpix A||4/5||+||..||75/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2013||1,099|
|2.||Nikon W300||..||+||..||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||389|
|3.||Fujifilm X100T||5/5||+||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Sep 2014||1,299|
|4.||Fujifilm X100S||5/5||+ +||..||81/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2013||1,299|
|5.||Fujifilm X-E2||4/5||..||..||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||999|
|6.||Leica X Vario||3/5||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jun 2013||2,850|
|7.||Olympus TG-5||..||+ +||..||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||449|
|8.||Panasonic TS7||..||+||..||..||..||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|9.||Ricoh WG-60||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||279|
|10.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|11.||Ricoh GR||5/5||..||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2013||799|
|12.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|13.||Sony HX80||..||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2016||349|
|14.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|15.||Sony NEX-5R||..||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749|
|16.||Sony NEX-6||5/5||+ +||..||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||999|
|17.||Sony NEX-F3||4/5||..||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon G16 vs Nikon W300
- Fujifilm GFX 50S vs Nikon W300
- Fujifilm X-T4 vs Nikon W300
- Fujifilm X100 vs Nikon Coolpix A
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Panasonic G6
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Panasonic TZ200
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Sony A7S III
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Sony A9
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Sony HX350
- Nikon D3400 vs Nikon W300
- Nikon W300 vs Panasonic G95
- Nikon W300 vs Samsung NX30
Specifications: Nikon Coolpix A vs Nikon W300
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon Coolpix A||Nikon W300|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/2.8||24-120mm f/2.8-4.9|
|Launch Date||March 2013||May 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 1,099||USD 389|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon Coolpix A||Nikon W300|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.6 x 15.6 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||368.16 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.3 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||16.1 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.78 μm||1.33 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.37 MP/cm2||56.73 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 6,400 ISO||125 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||125 - 6,400 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||80||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||23.4||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.8||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1164||..|
|Screen Specs||Nikon Coolpix A||Nikon W300|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||no viewfinder|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon Coolpix A||Nikon W300|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Built-in Flash||Built-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon Coolpix A||Nikon W300|
|External Flash||Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Geotagging||no internal GPS||GPS built-in|
|Body Specs||Nikon Coolpix A||Nikon W300|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Waterproof body (30m)|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||230 shots per charge||280 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
111 x 64 x 40 mm
(4.4 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
112 x 66 x 29 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.1 in)
|Camera Weight||299 g (10.5 oz)||231 g (8.1 oz)|
Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.