Top critical review
231 of 246 people found this helpful
Firmware update could make this camera great
on May 18, 2013
In the couple of weeks I've had the camera, I've really enjoyed it. In good light, it takes great pictures with vibrant colors and the flash works very well. The menu system is well designed which provides easy access to all of the camera's functions. I especially like the GPS features and panorama and 3D modes. Of course, the 22x zoom is great.
One big problem however is the cameras operation in even moderately low light situations. There are times when it refuses to focus even in normal indoor lighting especially when the zoom is being used. This prevents even taking a flash photo. It's especially frustrating since it seems to start out with a good focus and then veers away from it when it locks in. I'm hoping this is just a bug that could be fixed in firmware. My son's camera from a competitor works perfectly every time in identical situations.
The omission of an AC adaptor that allows operation of the camera (in addition to charging) is baffling. The cumbersome battery substitute adaptor is a poor alternative to this obvious feature. Not a deal breaker though.
Most importantly, certain basic functions are missing from the firmware. It's as if a marketing guy told the engineers to get rid of every extra item that could confuse a user rather than sensibly tucking them away into a separate area for when the user gains more experience. Here is a list of seemingly simple changes that I hope find their way into a firmware update before I have to decide whether to return the camera:
1. Get rid of the GPS log warning when powering down or at least let the user dismiss it. Waiting 10 seconds before you can put it back in your pocket gets annoying very quickly.
2. Provide basic shutter and aperture priority modes. The camera often makes wrong decisions, especially in dim light, and this would provide a fallback.
3. Provide additional focus modes for infinity (without having to be limited to a landscape scene) and maybe a distance focus control for situations where the automatic modes don't work. This may not be necessary if the engineers can get the low light focusing to work properly.
4. Allow control over how long the preview shows after taking a picture.
5. Allow edited images (zoomed, softened, etc) to be transferred via wifi. The instructions don't say they can't be transferred but they are disabled with an X through them on my iPhone with the Nikon app.
6. Allow full res images to be transferred to a smart phone via wifi.
There are probably more missing basic features but these are the ones I noticed right away. The first three especially are reason enough to return the camera if they are not fixed. It would be a shame for such a great camera to be hobbled by substandard firmware. Since I generally enjoy using the camera, I really hope Nikon is listening and has the technical skills to fix the problems.