Nikon Coolpix A vs Panasonic FZ100
The Nikon Coolpix A and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in March 2013 and July 2010. Both the Coolpix A and the FZ100 are fixed lens compact cameras that are based on an APS-C (Coolpix A) and a 1/2.3-inch (FZ100) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 16.1 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 14 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
|Nikon Coolpix A||Panasonic FZ100|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|28mm f/2.8||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|16.1 MP, APS-C Sensor||14 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor|
|1080/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO 100-6400 (100-25600)||ISO 100-1600 (100-6400)|
|Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder (202k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 921k dots||3.0" LCD, 460k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|4 shutter flaps per second||11 shutter flaps per second|
|230 shots per battery charge||410 shots per battery charge|
|111 x 64 x 40 mm, 299 g||124 x 82 x 92 mm, 540 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix A and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100? 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 Panasonic FZ100 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The Coolpix A can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the FZ100 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Panasonic FZ100 is considerably larger (43 percent) than the Nikon Coolpix A. Moreover, the FZ100 is substantially heavier (81 percent) than the Coolpix A. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the Coolpix A nor the FZ100 are weather-sealed.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Nikon Coolpix A»||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.6 in||10.5 oz||230||n||Mar 2013||1,099||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Panasonic FZ100«||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Jul 2010||499||Panasonic FZ100|
|Canon SX60« »||5.0 in||3.7 in||4.5 in||22.9 oz||340||n||Sep 2014||549||Canon SX60|
|Canon SX50« »||4.8 in||3.4 in||4.2 in||21.0 oz||315||n||Sep 2012||429||Canon SX50|
|Fujifilm X100T« »||5.0 in||2.9 in||2.0 in||15.5 oz||330||n||Sep 2014||1,299||Fujifilm X100T|
|Fujifilm X100S« »||5.0 in||2.9 in||2.1 in||15.7 oz||330||n||Jan 2013||1,299||Fujifilm X100S|
|Fujifilm X-E2« »||5.1 in||3.0 in||1.5 in||12.3 oz||350||n||Oct 2013||999||Fujifilm X-E2|
|Leica X Vario« »||5.2 in||2.9 in||3.7 in||24.0 oz||450||n||Jun 2013||2,850||Leica X Vario|
|Leica V-LUX 3« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.7 in||19.0 oz||410||n||Dec 2011||949||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Panasonic FZ200« »||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150« »||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499||Panasonic FZ150|
|Ricoh GR II« »||4.6 in||2.5 in||1.4 in||8.9 oz||320||n||Jun 2015||699||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR« »||4.6 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||8.6 oz||290||n||Apr 2013||799||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N« »||4.3 in||2.4 in||1.4 in||9.5 oz||480||n||Feb 2013||499||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5R« »||4.4 in||2.3 in||1.5 in||9.7 oz||330||n||Aug 2012||749||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6« »||4.7 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||12.2 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||999||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3« »||4.6 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||11.1 oz||470||n||May 2012||599||Sony NEX-F3|
|Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. 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 FZ100 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 55 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors 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. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon Coolpix A features an APS-C sensor and the Panasonic FZ100 a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The sensor area in the FZ100 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 FZ100 offers a 4:3 aspect.
In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.
With 16.1MP, the Coolpix A offers a higher resolution than the FZ100 (14MP), but the Coolpix A nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 4.78μm versus 1.41μm for the FZ100) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the Coolpix A is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 7 months) than the FZ100, 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon Coolpix A implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the Coolpix A for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 24.6 x 16.3 inch or 62.6 x 41.5 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 19.7 x 13.1 inch or 50.1 x 33.2 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 16.4 x 10.9 inch or 41.7 x 27.6 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic FZ100 are 21.6 x 16.2 inch or 54.9 x 41.1 cm for good quality, 17.3 x 13 inch or 43.9 x 32.9 cm for very good quality, and 14.4 x 10.8 inch or 36.6 x 27.4 cm for excellent quality prints.
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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 are ISO 100 to ISO 1600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-6400.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Nikon Coolpix A||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.4||13.8||1164||80||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Panasonic FZ100||1/2.3||14.0||4320||3240||1080/60i||..||..||..||..||Panasonic FZ100|
|Canon SX60||1/2.3||14.2||4608||3072||1080/60p||19.2||10.8||127||39||Canon SX60|
|Canon SX50||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/24p||20.3||11.2||179||47||Canon SX50|
|Fujifilm X100T||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X100T|
|Fujifilm X100S||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X100S|
|Fujifilm X-E2||APS-C||16.0||4896||3264||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Fujifilm X-E2|
|Leica X Vario||APS-C||16.1||4928||3272||1080/30p||23.4||12.7||1320||78||Leica X Vario|
|Leica V-LUX 3||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||..||..||..||..||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Panasonic FZ200||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.1||10.8||114||37||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||1/2.3||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60p||19.4||10.9||132||40||Panasonic FZ150|
|Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.5||972||78||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.8||12.5||1067||74||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5R||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||910||78||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||23.7||13.1||1018||78||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3||APS-C||16.0||4912||3264||1080/60i||22.7||12.3||1114||73||Sony NEX-F3|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the FZ100 provides a faster frame rate than the Coolpix A. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ100 has an electronic viewfinder (202k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the Coolpix A relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. 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 Panasonic FZ100, and comparable cameras.
|Nikon Coolpix A||optional||n||3.0||921||fixed||n||1/2000s||4.0||Y||n||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Panasonic FZ100||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||11.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ100|
|Canon SX60||922||n||3.0||922||swivel||n||1/2000s||6.4||Y||Y||Canon SX60|
|Canon SX50||202||n||3.0||461||swivel||n||1/2000s||2.2||Y||Y||Canon SX50|
|Fujifilm X100T||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100T|
|Fujifilm X100S||2360||n||2.8||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||6.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X100S|
|Fujifilm X-E2||2360||n||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/4000s||7.0||Y||n||Fujifilm X-E2|
|Leica X Vario||optional||n||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/2000s||5.0||Y||n||Leica X Vario|
|Leica V-LUX 3||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Panasonic FZ200||1312||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/4000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||202||n||3.0||460||swivel||n||1/2000s||12.0||Y||Y||Panasonic FZ150|
|Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N||optional||n||3.0||460||tilting||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5R||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||Y||1/4000s||10.0||n||n||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6||2359||n||3.0||921||tilting||n||1/4000s||10.0||Y||n||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3||optional||n||3.0||920||tilting||n||1/4000s||5.5||Y||n||Sony NEX-F3|
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 FZ100 is equipped with a zoom lens, while the Coolpix A comes with a built-in prime. The FZ100 has a 25-600mm f/2.8-5.2 optic and the Coolpix A offers a 28mm f/2.8 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end, as well as more tele-photo reach at the long end than the Nikon. Both cameras offer the same maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the Coolpix A and the FZ100 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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Nikon Coolpix A||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||none||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon Coolpix A|
|Panasonic FZ100||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ100|
|Canon SX60||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon SX60|
|Canon SX50||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon SX50|
|Fujifilm X100T||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X100T|
|Fujifilm X100S||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Fujifilm X100S|
|Fujifilm X-E2||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Fujifilm X-E2|
|Leica X Vario||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica X Vario|
|Leica V-LUX 3||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica V-LUX 3|
|Panasonic FZ200||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ200|
|Panasonic FZ150||Y||stereo||none||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Panasonic FZ150|
|Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Ricoh GR II|
|Ricoh GR||Y||mono||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Ricoh GR|
|Sony NEX-3N||-||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-3N|
|Sony NEX-5R||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-5R|
|Sony NEX-6||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Sony NEX-6|
|Sony NEX-F3||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Sony NEX-F3|
Both the Coolpix A and the FZ100 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The FZ100 was replaced by the Panasonic FZ150, while the Coolpix A does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Panasonic websites.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Nikon Coolpix A better than the Panasonic FZ100 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Nikon Coolpix A:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (16.1 vs 14MP) with a 9% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Features a larger and more technologically advanced imaging sensor.
- Richer colors: The sensor size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger sensor captures a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger sensor produces good images even in poorly lit environments.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x64mm vs 124x82mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 241g or 45 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 7 months of technical progress since the FZ100 launch.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ100:
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (11 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (410 versus 230) out of a single battery charge.
- Sharper images: Has stabilization technology built-in to reduce the impact of hand-shake.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (55 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in July 2010).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (10 points each). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. 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 Panasonic FZ100 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Prime Lens Compact Camera and Best Superzoom Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the Coolpix A or the FZ100. 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 following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Fujifilm X-A5 vs Nikon Coolpix A
- Fujifilm X-A7 vs Nikon Coolpix A
- Fujifilm X70 vs Nikon Coolpix A
- Nikon 1 J4 vs Panasonic FZ100
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Olympus E-P3
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Panasonic G3
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Panasonic L10
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Panasonic TZ95
- Nikon Coolpix A vs Sony RX10 II
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Pentax K-5
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony A6000
- Panasonic FZ100 vs Sony H400
Specifications: Nikon Coolpix A vs Panasonic FZ100
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||Panasonic FZ100|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||28mm f/2.8||25-600mm f/2.8-5.2|
|Launch Date||March 2013||July 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 1099||USD 499|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon Coolpix A||Panasonic FZ100|
|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||14 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4928 x 3264 pixels||4320 x 3240 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.78 μm||1.41 μm|
|Pixel Density||4.37 MP/cm2||49.86 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||100-6400 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-25600 ISO||100-6400 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||Panasonic FZ100|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||202k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||460k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon Coolpix A||Panasonic FZ100|
|Autofocus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||4 shutter flaps/s||11 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||Intervalometer built-in||no Intervalometer|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-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||Panasonic FZ100|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon Coolpix A||Panasonic FZ100|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||230 shots per charge||410 shots per charge|
111 x 64 x 40 mm
(4.4 x 2.5 x 1.6 in)
124 x 82 x 92 mm
(4.9 x 3.2 x 3.6 in)
|Camera Weight||299 g (10.5 oz)||540 g (19.0 oz)|
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