Nikon Coolpix 995 – Back to the future!

I always wanted one of these.

This camera came out about the time I bought my first digicam, a Canon Powershot S100. I couldn’t justify the cost back then, as I was still shooting mostly film.

I was impressed by the swiveling body – it was a way to take selfies before camera phones and cameras with rotating screens. Full PSAM (Program, Shutter, Aperture, Manual) controls meant I could shoot and maintain the same level of control as I’d get with my film camera of choice, a Canon AE-1 Program. The Coolpix series cameras have a threaded len mount, meaning you could add a wide angle lens, telephoto lens, neutral density filter or polarizer. a 3.34 megapixel CMOS sensor gives it that retro digicam look that photographers are looking for these days. The chunky body and rubberized accents give a positive grip. The tiny little viewscreen takes a bit of getting used to.

The Coolpix 995’s macro mode and manual focus gives the camera more of a film camera feel.

What sold me on the camera is having a proper optical viewfinder with a diopter adjustment. Instead of composing a picture looking at a small viewscreen, I can look through a bright optical viewfinder – and with the diopter adjustment I can shoot without glasses. Shooting through a viewfinder is a pleasant experience – I can concentrate on composition, light, and feel much more instinctually.

Shooting with the 995 brings comments from people on the street, shooting with one is akin to wearing a film camera around your neck. One oddity of the camera is that the auto-focus continually adjusts, even when not shooting. It results in an audible chattering noise as the stepper motor adjusts the focus. I found a way to turn it off, but it resets when the batteries die.

This was my creative shooter of choice, until I found its successor, the Nikon Coolpix 4500, for a similar price.  It uses the same filter threads and same batteries as the 995, but has a metal body and is smaller and lighter.



Body type Compact
Max resolution 2048 x 1536
Other resolutions 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h 4:3
Effective pixels megapixels
Sensor photo detectors megapixels
Sensor size 1/1.8″ (7.144 x 5.358 mm)
Sensor type CCD
ISO Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800
White balance presets 5
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization No
Uncompressed format TIFF
JPEG quality levels Hi, Fine, Normal, Basic
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 38–152 mm
Optical zoom 4×
Maximum aperture F2.6–10
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (1.2x – 4x in 0.2x steps)
Manual focus Yes (50 positions)
Normal focus range 30 cm (11.81?)
Macro focus range cm (0.79?)
Screen / viewfinder
Screen size 1.8?
Screen dots 112,000
Touch screen No
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Optical (tunnel)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/2300 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Built-in flash Yes (pop-up)
Flash range 7.00 m
External flash Yes (Nikon Speedlight sync terminal)
Flash modes Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, Slow, Off
Self-timer Yes (3 or 10 sec)
Exposure compensation ±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions 40 sec 15 fps
Storage types Compact Flash (Type I or II)
Storage included 16 MB CompactFlash
USB USB 1.0 (1.5 Mbit/sec)
Remote control Yes (Wire(Optional))
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Nikon EN-EL1 Lithium-Ion & charger included
Weight (inc. batteries) 420 g (0.93 lb / 14.82 oz)
Dimensions 138 x 82 x 40 mm (5.43 x 3.23 x 1.57?)
Other features
Orientation sensor No
Timelapse recording No

Posted on February 21st, 2024 in | Comments Off on Nikon Coolpix 995 – Back to the future!