Nikon COOLPIX A10: An Inexpensive Camera That Takes Great Photos
By Yvonne

Nikon COOLPIX AP10: A Cheap Digital Camera that Takes Amazing Photos, But Has a Disappointing User Experience. To see if the Nikon COOLPIXA10 could deliver, we took hundreds of images in every condition.

Nikon Coolpix A10

We like this
  • It feels good to hold your hands

  • Controls are simple to use

  • Excellent photo quality

The Things We Hate
  • There is a long wait between shots

  • Navigation through scene menus is difficult to understand

  • HD video can be noisy

  • You can't swap out your SD card when the camera is still on

If you are able to get the shot right away, the Nikon COOLPIX A10 is a great tool for taking high-quality photos. However, the waiting time makes it frustrating.

Nikon's COOLPIX a10 was purchased so that our expert reviewer could fully test it and evaluate it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.

Nikon COOLPIX 10 is Nikon's latest entry-level digital camera. It is a pocket-sized camera that promises excellent quality photos without any learning curve. To find out how well it fulfills this role, we tested the Nikon COOLPIX A10.

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Design: Looks great with natural controls

It's a beautiful camera, with flashy silver highlights and a black rear. The camera measures 3.5 feet wide by 2.25 feet tall and is 0.75 inches deep (on the narrow side) and 1 inch on the wide side. It has all controls on the right. The bulge extends from 0.75 to 1 foot. This is perfect for holding the camera comfortably. There are several controls on the top of the camera—the on/off button, the shutter, and the zoom controls.

You'll find several buttons on the reverse, such as play, menu and video. You can also access the directional input to navigate the menu as well as control flash, auto-timer and expose. You must open the battery compartment to access the SD card. This means that you cannot switch the SD card out without first turning the camera off. You can buy any standard AA battery for the Nikon COOLPIX a10, and it will accept them all. The lens cover can be opened by turning the camera upside down. It extends out from the camera to maximum 2 inches. It weighs in at 5.7 ounces. This camera is just right to feel solid, but not too heavy to be awkward to use.

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Installation: Easy and straight forward

Setup is easy for most point-and shoot cameras. The camera was easy to set up. We simply inserted the AA batteries and the SD card, which were not included. We followed the usual steps (date, time etc.) and then it turned on. The camera was then ready for action.

It was difficult to figure out how the controls worked. The'scene' button is one of many buttons found on the back. The menu will open with the scene selector, scene options, selective colour, smart portrait and an auto mode. You can choose from 15 scene options, including pet, beach, landscape, nightscape, sports and pets. These modes are discussed in detail below.

You can access the main functions of your camera by pressing the menu button. However, it is not difficult. You can use the photo and video settings easily. The rest of settings are not important, aside from date stamps and electronic vibration resistance (EVR). You can turn EVR off automatically if your hands are shaking.

Related Reading: Nikon Coolpix L340 Review: A Disappointing Bridge-style Camera

Photos Quality: Amazing photos with an unsatisfying user experience.

Every point-and-shoot digital camera has a headline number of megapixels. The Nikon COOLPIXA10's 16MP ceiling is fairly typical. However, the number of megapixels doesn't necessarily reflect the quality or quantity of photos it produces. The Nikon COOLPIXA10 was taken out by us to test its capabilities. We shot photos in all settings, including indoor pets shots and nightscapes. In almost all situations, the COOLPIX can produce high-quality photos.

Image stabilization and zoom impressed us the most. We gave the camera to the most inept tester and asked him to take photos at each zoom level. This included both digital and optical zoom. The photos came out beautiful, despite his shaking hands.

When you stare at an indicator that is constantly static, the sheen of quality images quickly wears off.

While almost all cameras can work well under great lighting, the true test comes at night. We also shot some photos of Chicago's skyline in the late-night scene mode on the A10. The first few photos we took were blurry at best, but once it stabilized itself we got an evening scene. A couple of sunset shots were also taken in both auto and'sunset' modes. Each mode captured the scene well, with 'auto' focusing on the foreground and'sunset on the sun. The 'pet mode' allowed for continuous photography, which was useful when trying to motivate a cat. A lot of settings felt bloated, with few of them being useful, while others were more marketing tools than practical.

It was frustrating to take a photograph. The camera would not allow us to take a picture until the recording was complete. This caused a huge delay in the time between photos. Although the Nikon COOLPIX A10 is packed with cool features, they won't be of much help if you wait for it to stop recording. We initially thought that it was normal shutter lag. However, the time between shots belie this explanation.

Nikon COOLPIX 10 is more than a point-and shoot camera. The menu section allows you to manually adjust white balance or ISO. However, these options only work if your camera is set up in scene mode. Indoor photos can see a significant difference with manual white balance. Although the auto-camera mode was able to do a decent job, photos still looked a little yellow. The colors became more precise after we adjusted the white balance. The ISO settings range from 80 up to 1600. The Nikon COOLPIX A10 also allows you to change exposure settings, ranging from -2.0 to 2.0 on ⅓ increments. This is useful in the event that the auto does not do the job correctly, however the camera generally did an excellent job of exposure.

Quality Video: Noisey and grainy in any kind of light

The Nikon COOLPIX 10's video capabilities feel almost second-nature. There are many settings and options available for the camera to take photos, regardless of whether you prefer them manual or preset. Video is not as flexible. There are only three resolution options: 720,480 and 240. The screen doesn't display stats and information when recording like it does when taking photos. Zooming in and out is possible, but it doesn't tell you if the zoom is using digital or optical zoom.

Video was taken indoors as well as outdoors in both the shade and sun. The indoor video quality was poor, even though it could be heard. Outdoors in bright sunlight made the experience worse. Comparing an iPhone SE (12MP camera) with the iPhone, we found that it had significantly better video quality under all lighting conditions. This camera isn't the right one if you are looking for quality video.

Software: It's not worth it to mention

For movies and photos, the Nikon COOLPIX A10 supports.jpg files. The SD card is the best way to get your photos back, but Nikon also offers ViewNXi, which has both video and photo editing software. The problem is that we could not figure out how it would install on our Macs. After downloading the correct files, we tried several times to follow the instructions but it didn't work.

The Nikon COOLPIX A10 can take beautiful photographs, but the user experience is terrible.

The COOLPIX A10 is compatible with many other photo libraries software so it didn't take long to get used to Nikon. The COOLPIX 10 does not include a USB cable, which is a bit disappointing. Although the Nikon COOLPIX A10 has basic editing capabilities, they don't make sense unless you own a computer with sufficient processing power. Although you have the ability to apply some gimmick filters and crop images, it is not worth trying any editing with this small screen. This feels more like an Instagram feature that a marketing executive created to make sure the COOLPIX was ready.

price: A low-priced camera that has major flaws

It costs $75 to list the Nikon COOLPIX A10, which is about the same as entry-level digital cameras. The camera takes good photos so that you can capture some great vacation shots at the beach and camping, without having to expose expensive equipment to the elements. The only thing that we are not happy with is the long delay in taking pictures.

Competiton: Phone and camera options

iPhone 6s: It's getting harder to justify buying a separate digital camera for our smartphones. Although the iPhone 6s has a 12-megapixel camera, it is not as powerful as the COOLPIX 16 but this really doesn't matter if you need to print very large images or require high resolution photos. It often takes better pictures than the COOLPIX's A10. And its video capabilities are better. The price is slightly higher than the Nikon COOLPIX 10 and it doesn't have as many exposure or ISO options. Prices ranged from $100 to $250, depending on which options you choose. However, for the same price you get an iPhone with all its additional functions.

Polaroid IS048: The polaroid II048 digital camera is a basic one. It's half as expensive as the Nikon and has about the same features. The iS048 is waterproof up to 10 feet and designed for outdoor use. The iS048 outdoor camera is a good alternative to the COOLPIX 10. It costs $40.

Final Verdict

Beautiful photos but a frustrating user experience.

The Nikon COOLPIX A10 can take beautiful pictures, but the user experience is terrible. The camera is difficult to use, and it locks up after each photo. When you stare at the warning sign for prolonged, static periods of time, it quickly loses its quality. The performance of entry-level cameras is much higher.


  • Coolpix A10 Product Name
  • Nikon Product Brand
  • UPC 18208265183
  • Prices from $75.00
  • Weight 5.7 oz.
  • Product dimensions 3.5x2.25x0.75 in.
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC compatible memory cards up to 128GB
  • Ports USB mini-B, SD card slot
  • 17. MB internal memory
  • Sensor 1/2.3 in. Type CCD; approximately. 16.44 Million total pixels
  • Lens 5x optical zoom. Focal length: 4.6 to 23.0 mm. F/-number : f/3.2–6.5. Construction: 6 elements divided into 5 groups.
  • Digital zoom 4x
  • Focus range W- 50 cm; T- 80 cm; Macro 10 cm
  • ISO 80 - 1600
  • Shutter Speed 1/2000- First; Fourths Fireworks Scene
  • Aperture f/3.2 & f/8
  • Setting the exposure intervals between -2.0 and 2.0 with 0.3 intervals
  • Flash range: W] 1ft 8in.-11ft., [T]2ft8in-5ft6in
  • Photo resolution reduced to 16 MP by VGA (640x480).
  • Video Resolution: 720,480,240 at 30 frames per second
  • Tripod socket 1/4 ISO 1222)
  • What's included? Quick start guide in English, Quick start guide in Spanish, Warranty card, Camera strap and 2 AA batteries

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