My New (Old) Nikon, And Why I Had To Have It!

As you may know by now, I have a new camera, and I am back to Nikon with this one! I have been trying to find a particular kind of camera for a while, and the ones I have from the era have all lost their chargers or have other issues. Well, out of the blue, my friend Mike got in touch with me about a camera he was getting rid of, as someone was throwing it away, and I took possession of a hardly used Nikon P50 Coolpix camera!

I know what you are all saying, it is a camera from 2008 so it is going to be rubbish, plus you already own a Fujifilm X-T3, Olympus E-PL8, a Google Pixel 6 and a Fuji Instax Evo as well as numerous film cameras. And of course, you are correct! But I have stopped shooting with film after many decades because of the price, and as much as I love the film simulations of the Fujifilm range of cameras, there is something very different about this camera from Nikon, and the sensor that it uses.

From my chat with Bing AI: “A CCD sensor produces images that look more like film because it captures light in a different way than a CMOS sensor. A CCD sensor has a single amplifier for the whole array of pixels, while a CMOS sensor has an amplifier for each pixel. This means that a CCD sensor has less noise and more uniformity in color and brightness than a CMOS sensor. A CCD sensor also has a higher dynamic range, which means it can record more details in the shadows and highlights of an image. A CCD sensor can also produce more accurate colors, especially in the blue and green regions of the spectrum, because it does not use a color filter array like a CMOS sensor. A color filter array is a grid of red, green, and blue filters that covers the pixels of a CMOS sensor and allows only one color of light to reach each pixel. This reduces the amount of light that reaches the sensor and creates color artifacts and moiré patterns in some situations. A CCD sensor does not need a color filter array because it uses a beam splitter to separate the light into three channels: red, green, and blue. Each channel is then recorded by a separate CCD sensor, which preserves the full resolution and color information of the image . A CCD sensor can also have a larger pixel size than a CMOS sensor, which means it can collect more light and have better low-light performance. However, a larger pixel size also means a smaller image sensor format, which affects the angle of view and depth of field of the lens. A CCD sensor is more expensive and consumes more power than a CMOS sensor, which is why most digital cameras use CMOS sensors nowadays. However, some photographers still prefer the look and feel of CCD sensors, especially for shooting landscapes, portraits, and fine art.”

Of course, all this means nothing with the images as an example, and here are images from my first outing with the camera. There are absolutely no changes to the images other than resizing for the website (from 2448×3264 to 900×1200). It is an 8.1mp camera, so there is still plenty of room to crop if needed.

As for features, the P50 has an equivalent focal range of 28-102mm, although maybe due to weather conditions, my distant images today taken at 102mm were unusable, although of course some of the flower shots at close range came out perfectly fine. The camera has full manual mode, P mode, and various auto modes. I used P mode and controlled the aperture and exposure compensation when needed. Macro mode is great, and the camera can focus extremely close!

The camera is very small, and fits easily into the smallest of pockets, and it has a bright back screen, plus an actual view-finder, which may be small, but it does the job nicely! It is powered by 2 AA batteries, so there is no issue with keeping power… well, apart from the fact that there is an issue with the contacts, as the last user left the batteries in the camera, so they leaked, but my good friend Mike has cleaned this up, and a little piece of silver paper makes sure that the power flows freely.

I was happy to see that the focus hit every time, the camera focused quickly and the images came out the same exposure as they looked on the back screen. The viewfinder however does not seem to show love exposure, but I rarely use that on this camera.

So, why do I want to use this camera? Because it is small, it is fun and the images are beautiful and genuinely analogue looking. They could be old film scans! No editing at all required, and that is the fun. It is basically a film camera in digital form. I have yet to try any of the other colour profiles, other than standard, but they will be an experience!

Now, enough chat, I am going to print some of these images out!

Published by Mark G.Adams

Fujifilm And Olympus Documentary Photographer, YouTuber & Blogger.

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