• History of the Nikon Coolpix family

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    1917 Three of Japan's leading optical manufacturers merge to form a comprehensive, fully integrated optical company known as Nippon Kogaku K.K. 
    1932 Nikkor adopted as brand name for camera lenses. 
    1948 Nikon I 35mm format rangefinder camera marketed. 
    1969 Renown for their tough and robust construction, the ultimate test of a Nikon camera's strength occurred during the Vietnam war.  A Nikon F1 took the brunt of a bullet and saved a war photographers life. 
    1983 Nikon marketed its first autofocus compact camera, the Nikon L35AF/ONE-TOUCH. 
    1997 Nikon PC Card-type Digital Camera Coolpix 100 (330k pixels) marketed.  Nikon Personal Imaging Assistant Coolpix 300 (330k pixels) marketed. 
    1998 Nikon's Coolpix 600 (1.28 million (mega) pixels ("MP")) and the Coolpix 900 (1.28 MP), with it's innovative swivel body design is released.  Later that year a few features of the Coolpix 900 are improved and marketed under the 900S and 910 product names 
    1999 Release of Coolpix 700 (2.11 MP), and Coolpix 950 (2.11 MP).  Coolpix 800 (2.1 MP) released at end of year. 
    2000 Marketing of Coolpix 990 (3.3 MP). 
    2001 Nikon Coolpix 995 (3.3 MP) (adding pop-up flash) is released. Coolpix 775 (2.1 MP) released in late summer.  Coolpix 5000 (5 MP) appeared in fall. 
    2002 Nikon released several new models: the Coolpix 2500 (1.92 MP) in february, the Coolpix 2000 (1.99 MP), 5700 (4.92 MP) and 4500 (3.87 MP) in may, the Coolpix 4300 (3.87 MP) in august, and the Cooplix 3500 (3.14 MP) in september.
    2003 The Coolpix 2100 (1.92 MP) and 3100 (3.14 MP) released in february.

    The Coolpix series: CP 995 (left), CP 4500 (center) and CP 990 (right)
    The Coolpix series: CP 995 (left), CP 4500 (center) and CP 990 (right)

  • The current model recommended for digiscoping purposes: COOLPIX 4500.

  • European (left) and american (right) versions of the Coolpix 4500
    European (left) and american (right) versions of the Coolpix 4500

    Innovative, award-winning design and performance have made Nikon’s Coolpix cameras a benchmark in digital photography. With the Coolipx 4500, Nikon set the bar even higher by proposing a 4x Zoom Nikkor lens (and improving the camera’s shooting performance with a built-in, pop-up flash). Add to that unique features and technologies such as White Balancing Bracketing, Saturation Control and Noise Reduction modes. The result, the Coolpix 4500 is a digital camera that is driven by the photographer’s imagination and offers the power and ease-of-use to be as creative as you want to be.

    With 4 megapixels, the Coolpix 4500 digital camera can deliver true resolution up to 2,272 x 1,704 pixels. The combination of a swivel monitor, a small lens and internal zoom make the Coolpix 4500 digital camera an ideal camera for digiscoping. The 5-Area Multi-Autofocus allows the user to select which zone to focus on, such as the eye of the bird. With the classic manual mode, the digiscoping fine-tuning remains possible.
    The only disadvantage for travelling digiscopers is the need for expensive Nikon batteries, instead of the usual AA-lithium batteries (easy to carry and buy even in the remote parts of the world). 

    Click here to read the Digital Photography Review complete evaluation on this model.

    Nikon Coolpix 4500 specifications:

    Image sensor : 1/1.8" CCD (4.13 million total pixels) 4.0 million effective pixels

    Color depth : 24 Bit RGB

    Picture modes : Exif 2.2 (uncomp. TIFF-RGB or comp. JPEG), Design rule for camera file system (DCF)

    4 Quality Modes : Fine (1/4 JPEG), Normal (1/8 JPEG), Basic (1/16 JPEG), Hi (Uncomp. TIFF-RGB)

    6 Resolution modes: 2272 (2272x1704), 1600 (1600x1200), 1280 (1280x960), 1024 (1024x768), 640 (640x480), 3:2 (2272x1520)

    Internal memory : None 

    Memory card : CompactFlash (type I & II)(Compatible with 512MB/1GB IBM Microdrive) 
    16MB Compact Flash Card included

    Viewfinder type : Real-image zoom optical viewfinder, +/-2 Diopter adjustment 

    LCD display : 1.5 TFT LCD (LED-BKL) with brightness adjustment (5 levels)

    Lens : 4x Zoom-Nikkor (10 elements in 8 groups), 4x digital zoom

    Focal length : 7.85-32mm (equivalent to 38-155mm) 

    Focus type : Contrast-detect TTL AF: 5-area Multi AF or Spot AF selectable; Single AF mode, Continuous 
    AF mode, Manual Focus (50 positions, focus confirmation image) Focus distance : - 11.8 (30cm) - infinity
    19.7 (50cm) at widest zoom angle
    0.8 (2cm) - infinity in Macro mode

    Filter size : 28mm

    Sensitivity : Auto or Manual (ISO 100, 200, 400, 800)

    Exposure modes : Programmed Auto with Flexible Program [P], Shutter-Priority Auto [S], Aperture- Priority 
    Auto [A], Exposure Compensation [M] (+or-2 EV in 1/3 EV steps), Auto Exposure Bracketing Exposure range 
    EV -2.2 ~ +17 (W), EV -0.3 ~ +18.1(T)(ISO 100 equivalent)

    Aperture : F2.6-5.1 (max), 7-blade iris diaphragm, 10 steps in 1/3 EV increments 

    Shutter : Shutter Mechanical and charge-coupled electronic shutter; 8 to 1/2,300 sec., and Bulb (up to 5 min.) 

    White balance : Matrix Auto White Balance with TTL control, 5-mode Manual with fine tuning (Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Speedlight), Preset, White Balance Bracketing

    Self timer : 10 sec. or 3 sec. duration

    Time between shots : Less than 1.5 sec.

    Burst mode : Continuous, Ultrahigh-speed Continuous (approx. 30 fps for 70 QVGA-size images), Multi-Shot 16 (5 fps, 16 frames, 1/16 size) 

    Built in flash : Auto pop-up type Speedlight, Flash modes (Auto Flash, Anytime Flash, Slow Sync, Red Eye 
    Reduction with pre-Flash, Flash Cancel). Effective flash distance : - approx. 0.5 - 3.0m (1.6 - 9.8 ft.) (W)
    approx. 0.5 - 1.6m (1.6 - 5.2 ft) (T) 

    External flash sync : External Speedlight Multi-flash sync terminal connects to external Nikon Speedlight (SB Series) through the Multi- Flash Bracket Unit SK-E900; built-in Speedlight can be cancelled when using external Speedlight(s)

    Date & time stamp : Yes 

    Video mode : Quick Time Motion JPEG, Movie with audio (35 sec. for QVGA-size images at 15 fps)

    Audio annotation : Yes

    Power source : Rechargeable Battery EN-EL1 (included),

    1x 2CR5/DL245 lithium battery (optional),

    AC adapter EH-53 (optional)

    Interface : USB 1.1 

    Video out : NTSC & PAL (user selectable)

    Dimensions : 5.1 x 2.9 x 2.0 (130 x 73 x 50mm) 

    Weight : 12.7 oz. (360g) (without battery)

    System requirements : 
    Windows System
    Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP (Home & Pro)
    300MHz Pentium or later
    Built-in USB ports
    64MB RAM (128MB or more recommended)
    256MB Hard Drive Space
    800x600 Display or better with High Color
    CD-ROM drive required for installation 

    Macintosh System
    Mac OS 9.0 - 9.2, OS X (10.1.2 or later)
    iMac, G3 (Blue/White), G4 or later, iBook, PowerBook G3
    32MB RAM (64MB or more recommended)
    256MB Hard Drive Space
    800x600 Display or better with thousands of colors
    CD-ROM drive required for installation