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Awesome camera
Oct 15, 2010 06:42 PM 2573 Views

Picture Quality:

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The streamlined blue and silver case design of the Coolpix  2000 follows the design aesthetic of the previous Coolpix 2500, moving  away from the black & chrome of Nikon's enthusiast and professional  models and toward the softer look they seem to be pursuing for their  more consumer oriented products. The Coolpix 2000 is housed in a case  entirely constructed of plastic, rather than the metal and plastic  combination seen in the 2500 and other higher-end Coolpix models. This  was doubtless required in order to bring the product in at a retail  price that would compete in the entry-level market, but the less  substantial case seems only average, not conveying the sense of solidity  and ruggedness I've come to associate with the Nikon brand. Nikon has  assured me that the Coolpix 2000 is every bit a Nikon camera, but I'm  still left wishing they'd at least made the plastic a bit thicker in  places.

Built to be portable and compact, the  Coolpix 2000 is small enough for travel, with very few protrusions to  catch on pockets of purses. Quick on the draw with its forward-facing  lens and automatic lens cover, the Coolpix 2000 is ready to shoot  quickly, taking only 3.3 seconds from power-on to its first shot. As  noted, its silver and blue tones are reminiscent of the previous Coolpix  2500 model, though the camera's dimensions are slightly larger. Still,  the Coolpix 2000 will fit comfortably into a larger coat pocket, pants  pocket or purse, and comes with a convenient hand strap. The Coolpix  2000 offers a 3x optical zoom lens and a 2.0-megapixel CCD for capturing  quality image that can be printed as large as 8x10 inches. Since the  camera operates mainly under automatic control, its control layout and  menu display are very user friendly, with a host of features controlled  externally.

The Coolpix 2000 doesn't have an  optical viewfinder, providing only a 1.5-inch color LCD monitor for  composing images. This could make it more difficult to see what you're  doing in bright daylight, but on a positive note, the LCD viewfinder is  very accurate, showing fully 97% of the final frame area. Although the  LCD monitor does provide more accurate framing than an optical  viewfinder, it also decreases battery life because you have no option  but to keep the display running whenever you're shooting. - Definitely  plan on carrying an extra set of batteries on any extended outings with  the 2000.

The camera's 3x, 5.8-17.4mm zoom lens(equivalent to a  38-114mm lens on a 35mm camera) offers maximum apertures from f/2.8 to  f/4.9, depending on the zoom setting. The camera uses contrast-detection  autofocus, and focuses in normal mode from 1.0 feet(30 centimeters) to  infinity. In Macro mode, the camera focuses as close as 1.6 inches(4.0  centimeters), automatically switching to continuous autofocus operation  to adjusts focus constantly(as opposed to only when the Shutter button  is half-pressed).(The Coolpix line has always performed very well in  the macro category, and the Coolpix 2000's minimum focusing distance of  1.6 inches is outstanding.) Focus remains under automatic control, but  an Infinity focus mode is available for quick shots of distant subjects.  Turning on the camera triggers the shutter-like lens cover to open, and  the lens to extend forward about an inch or so. In addition to 3x  optical zoom, the Coolpix 2000 offers a maximum 2.5x digital zoom, which  lets you "zoom" in even closer. As always though, so-called "digital  zoom" only enlarges the center pixels of the CCD's image, and so  directly reduces image quality. The 2.0-megapixel CCD produces  high-resolution images, good enough for printing to 8x10 inches with  reasonable detail, as well as lower-resolution images for sending via  email or for printing as 4x6-inch snapshots.

Keeping with the  tradition of the Coolpix line, the Coolpix 2000's exposure control is  very straightforward. Operating primarily under automatic control, the  Coolpix 2000's user interface is quick to learn. Most of the exposure  options are controlled through the multi-page LCD menu system, though a  handful of external controls access basic features. A Mode dial on top  of the camera controls the operating mode, with five preset "Scene"  modes, an Auto setting, and Movie and Playback modes. Aperture and  shutter speed remain under camera control at all times, but the exposure  menu offers a few options to adjust the image. Exposure Compensation  brightens or darkens the image from -2 to+2 exposure equivalents(EV)  in one-third-step increments. A White Balance adjustment offers five  preset modes, an Auto setting, and a Custom setting for manually  determining the color balance. The Coolpix 2000 has three metering  modes, which include 60-Segment Matrix, Center-Weighted, and Spot. ISO  is rated at 100 during normal shooting, but the Coolpix 2000  automatically raises it to 400 in the Night Portrait mode. You can also  adjust the overall sharpness of an image, and access Nikon's Best Shot  Selector mode, which automatically chooses the least blurry image in a  series. The Coolpix 2000's built-in flash is effective to approximately  8.8 feet(2.7 meters), and operates in Auto, Red-Eye Reduction, Anytime  Flash, Flash Cancel, and Slow Sync modes.

The five preset Scene  modes configure the camera for specific shooting situations. Accessed  via the Mode dial, "scenes" include Party/Indoor, Back Light, Portrait,  Night Portrait, and Beach/Snow. Each mode optimizes the camera for  capturing the best images in what could otherwise be difficult shooting  conditions. Exposure times on the Coolpix 2000 range from 1/1, 000 to a  maximum of one second, the latter of which limits the camera's low-light  shooting capabilities somewhat. Still, the Night Portrait mode, which  combines flash with slow shutter speeds seems to do a good job of  capturing natural-looking photos in limited light. Night Portrait mode  also enables the automatic Noise Reduction feature, which reduces image  noise from longer exposures. Other camera features include a Self-Timer  mode, which provides a three- or 10-second delay between the time the  Shutter button is pressed and the time image is actually captured. A  Continuous Shooting mode captures a rapid series of images while the  Shutter button is held down, with the actual number of images dependent  on the size and quality settings, as well as the amount of memory card  space. There's also a Multi-Shot 16 mode, which captures 16 thumbnail  images in sequence, arranged in rows of four in the final image. A Movie  mode captures moving images, without sound, at approximately 15 frames  per second. The length of recording time depends on the amount of  available CompactFlash card space, and appears in the LCD monitor.

The  Coolpix 2000 stores images on CompactFlash(type I) memory cards, and  comes with a 16MB Lexar "starter" card. Given the Coolpix 2000's 1, 632 x  1, 224-pixel resolution size, I'd recommend picking up a larger memory  card so you don't miss any important shots.(Memory cards are cheap  enough these days that really suggest you purchase at least a 64 MB card  along with your camera.) Images are saved in JPEG format, with three  compression levels available. A CD-ROM loaded with Nikon View 5  accompanies the camera, compatible with both Windows and Macintosh  platforms(including Windows XP and Mac OS X). Nikon View provides minor  image editing and organization tools, for downloading, cataloging, and  enhancing images. The camera comes with a set of four single-use AA al

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