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Nikon Coolpix SQ

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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 14:26   #1
Andy Holt
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Exclamation Nikon Coolpix SQ

Is anybody using or considering using the new Coolpix SQ?

Quite a few Digiscopers reckon that the Coolpix 990 produces sharper images than the 995 or 4500 (me included, and I now own all three cameras).

The CP990 has a 3x zoom lens, whereas the 995 and 4500 have a 4x zoom lens. If it is the 3x lens of the 990 that makes it better suited to Digiscoping, then the new Coolpix SQ, which has a 3x zoom lens may be a really good Digiscoping camera. It's only 3mp, but that should mean you can store tons of images on your Flash cards and the card transfer rate should be fast for continous shooting.

Nikon also say that the SQ has an improved engine:

"The COOLPIX SQ uses a newly developed dedicated engine. In other words, it's lightning-fast. Startup is almost instantaneous. The multi-area autofocus is the fastest in its class, and next-shot preparation and shutter release transpire so quickly that you'll forget to worry about missing the shots you're chasing."

So have we got a cheap! (advertised at £333 by Digital Depot in Stevenage). Superfast Coolpix with the same optical performance as the CP990 in the pipeline???????

Answers on a postcard to..........
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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 16:50   #2
Richard Ford
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Andy

As you know I have been looking into the differences between the different Coolpix Cameras available recently, I too would be interested to hear a review of this camera. Itís a similar twist in the middle design isnít and the price sure sounds appealing.
I have researched the pros and cons of each and discussed this with a few other digiscopers including you. I think its difficult to gauge how much blame you can put on the 4X zoom V the 3X of the 990, but one things is for sure that the 990 is held in high regard with a lot of people, some believe its yet to be bettered. Maybe this is the camera to change their minds. The truth is that all Coolpix cameras are capable of producing excellent images given the perfect conditions.

I have a feeling you may be in the queue to purchase this camera Andy, so let us know how it performs and how digiscoping friendly it is.

When are we going to get a Coolpix 6MP camera I wonder?

All the best

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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 16:56   #3
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Just looked and its £303.99 on Amazon
http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/...931228-4178258

Very interesting looking camera, go on Andy buy one and tell us all about it.

Here is another review and pictures for thouse who are interested.
http://www.dpreview.com/news/0302/03021804nikoncpsq.asp



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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 17:20   #4
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Hi Richard
Another point in favour of my 4x against 3x zoom theory was Gerd Rossen's recent experience with the Coolpix 5000.

Now Gerd has mixed feelings about this as he's struggling to get shots in focus and has a much lower success rate than with his other Coolpix cameras. But when he gets one spot on it's sensational. Have a look at the shots of the Kingfisher on his website.

http://www.digital-nature-photography.com/

The CP5000 is another Coolpix with a 3x zoom.

I wish I could afford to keep buying these cameras, but it's just two much money to keep experimenting, so my recent second hand CP990 (which I love) will be my weapon of choice this summer I think!!!
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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 17:36   #5
Andy Bright
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I'm not sure about the SQ ... see other threads on here about it. It's basically a point & shoot with little to no manual control. Any idea on the filter thread size... someone said it's 26mm and the actual lens is smaller than the 9** series.
Have to admit that Gerd's Kingfisher is one of the best shots I've ever seen from a scope... my recent shots were the very next ones on birds-pix... I could've timed that better ;-) Though Gerd seems to prefer the cp5000 for close range shots (Kingfisher from a hide 6m away from the bird)... which isn't typical digiscoping situation.
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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 17:42   #6
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Fair enough Andy H, I have chosen the CP4500 for now at least.
God help my Bank account if a 6MP Digiscoping friendly Coolpix, does come on the market!

Thanks for your recent help BTW. (both Andys)

I agree Gerds Kingfishers are amazing shots, (perhaps he would like to post one in the gallery) but I have seen some amazing stuff from him using the 995, which he rates, at the bottom of the pile. He certainly knows how to use a Coolpix.
Surly in most other aspects the CP5000 is not a digiscoping friendly camera. Perhaps Gerd or Andy Bright, have an opinion about the CPSQ.

Does anyone here own one?

Gerd?
Andy?



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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 20:39   #7
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Give me the money, and I'll buy one ;-)
At the moment, there's no money left for buying a coolpix SQ, my girlfriend borrowed me some money for the CP5000. And at first I have to pay it back .... Or not ;-)

But I think the optical quality of the 3x zooms is a little better then 4x zooms. But I think too, that the focus routine of the 990 is slightly better than the focus programs of the 995, 4500 and 5000. But I really don't know, only speculations.

About the 5000 : I got only good shots at very close subjects ! But they are very good and great details. At hiogher magnifications my 990 works best. And the rate of perfect shots is best with the 990. There are only a few shots with the 5000 that are exactly in focus. And, maybe sounds funny, the coolpix 5000 never focuses exactly at yellowhammers, equal if they are close or if they are far away. ;-) Maybe the camera don't like them ;-)) .. I think the camera has a fcusing problem with yellow subjects...

My kingfisher pics were made from out of a hide at about 6m distance. And they are very sharp even at the original pics without using unsharp-mask. a4 prints look fantastic and a3 prints look good enough too....

But for real digiscoping (birds far away) the camera is NOT the best choice !!! And if you see a rare bird, and if you've only 1 or two shots before it flies off, you need a good working focus with a good rate of producing in-focus pics. And therefore the 5000 isn't the best choice either.

I woulkd be very interested in results of the Coolpix SQ, too. Is there nobody in the list who owns one ??

I just uploaded two of the kingfisher pics....

Greetz
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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 22:19   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gerd Rossen

And, maybe sounds funny, the coolpix 5000 never focuses exactly at yellowhammers, equal if they are close or if they are far away. ;-) Maybe the camera don't like them ;-)) .. I think the camera has a fcusing problem with yellow subjects...
Greetz
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I have a problem with Avocet.... I've tried time and time again to get a sharp photo of one, but even after many trips to shoot them (many times within 20m) I haven't got a good one.
It's not as if there isn't anything for the camera's contrast detection AF to get a lock on!!
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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 22:28   #9
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Oooo...
Thereís a challenge for me then, I will be at Minsmere this weekend. :-)


Funnily enough I have a few Yellowhammer shots taken with the 995 that I thought were crisp and in focus till I saw them on the monitor??!!

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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 22:42   #10
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Yeah, you get up there to Dunwich heath and get some Dartfords :-) Also try for the Cetti's and Bearded Tits .... Bearded Tits are going ot be worth the trouble, but Cetti's are about as boring to look at as anything! The Bearded Tit seem to show well around the path near the South and West Hides.
Watch out for the 'dudes' in their luminous orange jackets :-)
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Old Monday 14th April 2003, 23:14   #11
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Well I must admit I am hoping for a lucky break with Bearded Tits, Avocet, and Dartfords, I have photographed all of them but never to my satisfaction. I do have them locally too.

Certainly would be a challenge to get a good photo (digiscoped or otherwise) of a Cettis, I have them at a few sites here in the south, but I rarely see them in the open, I jumped out of my skin when one sang within a few meters of me a few weeks back, but I didnít see it.

Thanks for the advice Andy. I assume the Marsh harriers are generally too distant to be Digiscoped (though Iím guessing your shot was from Minsmere)?

The main problem (I shouldnít say that really) could be that my Girlfriend will quickly get bored in hides, or waiting for Beardies etc to appear. Not to mention that on the Easter weekend, I could be walking into Dude central. :-)

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Old Tuesday 15th April 2003, 00:11   #12
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The Marsh Harriers put on a good ariel show at Minsmere, but that's not much use to the digiscoper. You can often see them on the ground behind Dingle Marshes, just north along the coast from Dunwich.... but they are a long way away!
A bit lacking in a number of summer migrants last week, bit too cold and wind not favourable for any good numbers.... you should have more luck, with Sedge Warblers and Whitethroat arriving (to name just two).
You can't really avoid the crowds at Minsmere, try going down to the Sluice bushes... the 'dudes' rarely go that extra 50 yards past the sluice. Dunwich heath can be amazingly deserted (at times), may be some Brambling at the feeding station still.... 4 there last Friday, but don't think they'll be there much longer.

Another good stretch is along the path that runs right between Minsmere and Dunwich heath, by the stream... Cetti's all over the place last week along there as well as Bittern on the pools on the Minsmere side.
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Old Wednesday 16th April 2003, 18:41   #13
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I have just been reading the review mentioned earlier on in this thread & apparently there is a full manual mode option on this camera.It comes in addition to the preset scene modes.The one important thing I could`nt see was the filter thread size.Other features include a backlit monitor & macro mode.It`s a very light weight compact little camera.This has got me thinking.
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Old Wednesday 16th April 2003, 19:54   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by stevo
I have just been reading the review mentioned earlier on in this thread & apparently there is a full manual mode option on this camera.It comes in addition to the preset scene modes.The one important thing I could`nt see was the filter thread size.
'Manual' on the SQ seems to mean the ability to change (via the menu) settings like metering mode, white balance and a few other things.... as opposed to manual exposure control. It doesn't offer shutter-priority, aperture-priority nor full manual control. Maybe one of the comprehensive program modes will offer minimum aperture & max shutter-speed and suit digiscopers.

I have found absolutely no mention of filter thread size either... makes me wonder if there is one (given that the camera is aimed at novices et al, maybe there is no need?).... no-one mentions the 28mm threaded Nikon add-on lenses in the reviews?

Lens isn't the same as the cp990 .... slighly worse at f2.7 at wide-angle, and slighlty different focal length coverage than the good 'ol cp990.

Who knows? still maybe a winner for digiscoping.... but I doubt it (espescially without a lens thread).
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Old Wednesday 16th April 2003, 21:00   #15
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Thanks for the quick reply andy,just an idea that at the time looked interesting.
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Old Wednesday 16th April 2003, 22:03   #16
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It would be a very apealing digiscoping camera given it's tiny size and weight.... and the high visibility monitor. The user review that I read said the shuter-lag was bad on it, which surprised me after reading initial reviews.
When all the scopes have built-in 5mp cameras we won't need to worry about all this stuff :-0
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Old Thursday 17th April 2003, 09:30   #17
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I emailed steve's digicam site about their preview of the sq and was told it did NOT have threads for filters.
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Old Thursday 17th April 2003, 16:27   #18
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It's a shame that the lens is smaller and without a thread. It kind of makes this not a Coolpix if we're being pedantic, as I'd have said that being compatible with the various Coolpix lenses etc is what the Coolpix brand should be about.

After starting the thread I did more research and got quite interested after finding out that it had full manual 9 point focus etc. Never Mind :-(

On the positive side, when you look at the results that Gerd Rossen is getting with a CP5000, you have to say that the potential is there, and that high end scopes are fully capable of delivering optically. We just need a cheap superfast high definition digital camera that perfectly compliments our scopes to be released.
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