Really great review. A couple short comments... In the "what's new" section. ISO 400 is not new, the 990 has ISO 400. Bulb exposure to 60 seconds isn't really new either, the 990 can do 60 seconds also (but with no noise reduction, you have to run your own software to subtract a dark frame of course) Focus confirmation isn't new either, unless they have changed it, the 990 has that too. "Lighter weight"...
Nikon says that it does not actually officially support the microdrive on their web site, so that can't be "new". Question, Are you saying that it can only buffer two "Fine" mode shots? The 990 can buffer 3 to 4. Thanks, Bryan..
One question, when is it going to be available to the public?..
Hi Bryan - Thanks for the comments. - Yipes, looks like I missed quite a few points on the What's New, I'll check all them. On the MicroDrive Nikon told me verbally that it was OK for 512 and 1GB drives. I should maybe check because in looking at the printed material I have, it doesn't say anything about it. It's definitely problematic with the 340 MB units, as I have one here and it only sorta works. (As do many cameras.) On the buffering, yup, that's what I'm saying: It could be a prototype thing, but my unit here will only take two large/fine and then pauses.
Maybe this is something that could change in production, but I'd thought the hardware was pretty well finalized, it'd just be firmware changes from here...
How does the internal flash compare to the flash on the 990? Is it the same flash but put farther from the lens? Or is it a better flash?..
Too bad cameras aren't treated like computers in terms of software: The coolpix 990 and 995 seem to differ only slightly in terms of hardware. I'm sure it would be technically possible to add some of the new software features into the 990 with a firmware upgrade, but it's probably impossible from a "marketing droid" point of view... The noise reduction for long exposures would be a nice addition to the 990. Maybe Nikon could charge a few $$ for firmware updates that add significant new features. There's no focus assist light and no support for using one with an external flash. The most reliable focusing method in a restaurant or club is to use manual focus.....
Nice review. Congrats. 1. What is the max flash sync speed? The 990 is 1/60th? (which is just too slow for REAL outdoor fill flash. The original N90 had 1/250th 6 years ago). 2.
3. There is no specific mention of compatibility with new Nikon SB-50 Speedlight in the Nikon website .pdf? 4. No specific mention of campatibility with MC-EU1 Remote Release, although it is pictured? 5. There is no specific mention of compatibility with new Nikon sync cords such as the 10' SC-19 in the Nikon website .pdf? I do not see why it would be incompatible, but I'd like to see it in writing, or hear it from you. 6.
Are these Lithium batteries somehow related to IBM Microdrive considerations? I can see where running out of juice while writing to disk is not a good idea. 8. What is the model designation for the AC Adapter? The 990 required us to buy a new one because the 950's could not be used. Thanks for the review...
When is it going to be in the stores? I didn't see a release date. Thanks!.
About 15 years ago, at sea north of the Faroe Islands, a military plane airdropped my Nikon gear into the water, without parachutes. I sent crew in a ship's boat to recover my 3 Pelican PLASTIC cases. That was about $15,000.00 worth of F3's, and the fastest Nikkors from 24mm -> 300mm f/2.8, plus all the other stuff. Enroute from Boston to Holy Loch, Scotland, British Airways misplaced part of my luggage. Ship captains are well advised not to delay sailing to wait for their personal property; but the Royal Navy is more than accommodating to US "research" vessels. The point here is that PLASTIC is very sturdy case material.
Whereas there is not much downside to a plastic camera case, plastic lenses might be a problem. On the other hand, I still have a plastic Nikon E75-150 zoom lens. More than 15 years old, it still tests in the top 5 of all zooms ever made. Note that ALL the best zooms are only 2x -> 2.5x unlike this stinker 4x zoom on the 995. I think it is physically impossible to make the 995 zoom better, even as good, as the 990 lens..
I can answer part of this... 1. The 990 actually uses about 1/110 second for flash sync, although it shows as 1/60 on the screen. Check your shots. If you want to sync the 990 at higher speeds, it will sync up to 1/1000 second with the flash if you use shutter priority mode; that should be fast enough for your application. 2.
At 150 mm, the 995 is f5.1 I think. 8. The only reason that they had a new adapter for the 990 was that the 950 + AC adapter didn't meet FCC RF emission requirements. The "new" adapter is the same capacity, but with the addition of a small ferrite choke to suppress RF. Many people used the 950 adapter anyway, I hear.
Bong - Don't know for a direct comparison, we don't have a 990 here any more to compare with. In our flash range test, the 995's flash really doesn't seem to reach nearly as far as that on the 990. A good part of this could be because of the lens, and the smaller maximum aperture (f/5.1 at max zoom, vs f/4.0) - This is a consequence of the longer-ratio zoom lens, as we run the lens out all the way to telephoto on that test. I'll see if we can do a comparison, with the 995's lens set at the zoom that gives a f/4 aperture, see how it compares. I'd definitely not call it "improved" though. Sean - I was told it'd be in stores in "July" a little while back, will email Nikon today to get an update.
2 - Maximum aperture: f/5.1 at maximum zoom, vs f/4 (at a shorter focal length) with the 990. 3 - Don't know about the SB-50, I'll ask Nikon. 4 - Don't know about the remote, but 99% certain it works. 5 - Don't know about the sync cords, but I'll ask. 6 - Looks like you assumed wrong: Internal flash (on my prototype anyway) still turns off, looks like the flash button switches to controlling the external flash.
7 - A guy from NikonTech indicated that a big part of the LiIon thing is to achieve compliance with environmental recommendations. Don't know if it's true or not, but he said that in a couple of years, that's the only kind of batteries any of the cameras will have in them. Could be an urban myth, or could be true, I don't know. MicroDrive compatibility BTW, is very much up in the air: I'd been told verbally it was compatible, but then their printed material seems to say pretty unequivocally that it isn't. Go figure.
8 - A little uncertain on the AC adapter front. The one sold for the 880 works (EH-21). The unit that's going to be supplied with the cameras is a charger only, no AC adapter function. FWIW, the EH-21 is rated 8.4 volts at 1.3 amps to the camera...