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Coolpix 990
by Rick Smith (January 2, 2000)

Nikon Coolpix 990

For their latest version of the 900 series digital camera (see our Nikon 900 review), the Coolpix 990, Nikon has combined a 1/1.8-inch, 3.34 million CCD with a 3x Zoom-Nikkor F2.5-4 8-24mm [38-115mm 35mm equivalent] macro lens capable focusing on an object as close as 0.8 inch. Excellent! The camera has a maximum resolution of 2,048 x 1,536 along with the lower resolutions of 1,024 x 768, 640 x 480 and the 3:2 ratio of 2,048 x 1,360. Images can be stored in either uncompressed TIFF or compressed JPEG Media on CompactFlash media. SanDisk Corporation's SDC-FB4/8/15/30/40/48/64/96 and Lexar Media Corporation's 4X (8MB) are compatible.

The Coolpix 990 can shoot in several modes:

  • Single shot
  • Continuous
  • Multi-shot 16 - 16 frames at 1/16 size in a 4 by 4 grid
  • VGA Sequence - an ultra high-speed continuous mode at approximately 30 frames per second which creates 80 QVGA-size images
  • Movie - up to 40 seconds of QVGA-size images at 15 frames per second.

    Focus can be either continuous autofocus, single autofocus or manual. Autofocus is contrast detecting TTL and either a five area or single spot mode can be selected. Manual focus can be adjusted in 50 steps, ranging from 0.8 in. to infinity, with a peaking indication.

    Exposure can be controlled automatically using 256-segment matrix, center-weighted, spot and spot autofocus area metering or through three manually created and stored "preset" adjustments.

    Shutter priority with sensitivity control, aperture priority, manual and a flexible, programmable automatic mode is also provided, for complete photographic control. Shutter speeds range from 1/1,000 to 8 seconds.

    Five flash modes (Auto Flash, Flash Cancel, Anytime Flash, Slow Sync and Red-Eye Reduction) are also included.

    The lens is made of environmentally friendly glass with Nikon Super Integrated Coating (SIC) applied. All optional Coolpix lenses and accessories including Fisheye, Wide-Angle and Telephoto fit this camera for added versatility.

    The LCD monitor is a 1.8 inch, 110,000 pixel, polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness and hue adjustment. Along with frame, thumbnail, slide show, and zoom playback, the Nikon Coolpix 990 can display a histogram indication & highlight point display with peaking indication. Video output is selectable to either NTSC or PAL.

    It uses four 1.5V AA batteries and they can be alkaline, 1.5V FR6 Lithium, 1.2V Nickel Metal Hydride or 1.2V Nickel Cadmium batteries. Battery life is approximately 90 minutes when using the LCD monitor and four 1.5V FR6 batteries at normal temperature (68 degrees F). The camera can be manually shut off or automatically after one, five or thirty minutes.

    The Nikon Coolpix 990 has both a USB and the serial interface connects to Windows PCs at 115kbps and to Macintoshes at 230kbps.

    Up to five Nikon Speedlights (SB-28, 28DX, 26, 25, 24 or 22s) can be connected through the Multi-Flash Bracket Unit SK-E900 and the built-in Speedlight can be turned off when using external Speedlights.

    The 990's dimensions are 5.9 x 3.1 x 1.5 inches (W x H x D) and the camera weighs 13.1 ounces without battery.

    Copyright 2000 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

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