Nikon CoolPix 5200, Traveling with a Side-kick
The dictionary defines side-kick this way: A companion or close friend. In the days of the Old West, a side-kick was a cowboy's traveling companion, perhaps his best friend. They looked out for each other, watched each other's back, and when the chips were down, you could always rely on your side-kick to be there for you. In the movies, it was Tonto who could always be counted on to be there when the Lone Ranger ran out of silver bullets.
As a professional photographer, I've come to understand the value of having a side-kick. Now, while this side-kick doesn't eat, sleep, or hand you silver bullets, it comes pretty darn close. On my photo tours, you'll often see folks with back-up camera bodies just in case there is some sort of mechanical breakdown. Lately, though, I've been amazed by the number of people who are carrying these very small, very light, yet high-quality compact digital cameras with them.
While it isn't always convenient to pack and carry all my big SLR equipment with me, the CoolPix 5200 can go with me anywhere. You know, kind of like a side-kick (and you thought I couldn't tie this all together). Having a riding side-kick along with you isn't something I have a patent on, just check out Joe's article and see what he used to photograph the Fiat.
Without getting too involved with every feature (I'll include Nikon's own specs at the end of this article for you), let me just say that when you handle as many different cameras as I do, it doesn't take long to recognize the really good ones. For example, while the 5200 is very compact, thanks to its metal body it has a very solid feel. It has a 3X zoom which is fine for a camera this size.
The LCD is large and bright enough to read and see in most outdoor situations. The dial on top allows you to easily switch shooting modes from programmed auto to sports, portrait, landscape and movie clips, as well as accessing different programmed scene settings.
The most commonly used features such as flash, self-timer, exposure compensation and the close-up features are available right on the thumb pad, eliminating the need to go into the camera's easy-to-read menu, quite as often. Once you are in the menu, you have a variety of options available allowing you to customize settings to your personal needs. To use my son Jesse's terminology: "Sweet!"
Of course, the Nikon CoolPix 5200 is not meant to replace my D100, but I have found many instances where the 5200 was much easier to use, less obvious, and the right camera for the moment. Because it is a 5.1 mega-pixel digital camera, the quality has been outstanding. A lot of thought has gone into this camera and quite frankly, it has been the envy of many of my friends.
Compact Ideas: You would think that the most obvious use for this type of camera would be for family snapshots, and to take with you on vacation. Here are some of the other uses I've found for this camera.
These are just a few of the reasons that I take the CoolPix 5200 with me just about everywhere. If I didn't honestly believe that this great little camera was up to the job of taking great photographs, I wouldn't say so. Did I mention that I liked it so much, I bought the camera?
The Nikon CoolPix 5200 is one great little side-kick!