Disclaimer: I am not paticularly a fan of APS
film and cameras in general. Elsewhere
I have gone into various discussions about the inadequacies
of the Advanced Photo System and how it has failed to live up to its promises.
That being said, if you are going to get an APS camera the Nikon Pronea is the camera to get. It came out some years ago but missed two things:
- The market - people who were buying APS cameras were buying point and shoot cameras. These consumers were not interested in the features of a true SLR with through the lens viewing or adding filters to the
- The price - $400. Well, thats how much it was when it went out. Considering that you could get a point and shoot APS camera for less than half that, this did not sell well.
Thus, "serious" photographers would scoff at the APS, while the 'just want a camera' would scoff
at the price.
Recently, it appears that Nikon has discontinued the Pronea line of cameras and slashed the price - its now on the order of $150 for a Pronea S. This has placed it firmly in the range of people buying an APS camera and caused serious photographers that already have a Nikon lens or two to glance at it again (the wonders of the compatability of the Nikon F-Mount).
The Pronea S is the less sophisticated body of the Pronea series of cameras. True to its APS heritage it supports the selectable aspect ratios
of 'C', 'H', and 'P'. Furthermore, it has mid roll change (often abbreviated as MRC) which many other cameras fail to support.
As with other entry level cameras from Nikon, a number of pre-programmed exposure modes are available:
In addition, the shutter-priority and aperture-priority modes exist to allow for selecting a particular speed or aperture. There is no manual mode that allows for both, however all modes do allow for exposure compensation to under or overexpose
While this doesn't sound all that spectacular, it means quite a bit. You can take 30 second exposures (or bulb!) with this camera - something that you can't do with any of the point and shoot APS cameras. This is perfect for long exposures at night and gives the photographer a much wider range of possible photographs. Shutter speeds range from 1/2000 of a second to 30 seconds plus bulb.
The camera itself is light and small weighing in at just under 12oz and 4.6 x 3.4 x 2.2 inches.
The Pronea 6i is the higher quality model in the Pronea line. This appears to be priced at around $300 currently for the body (compared to the $150 for the Pronea S). The 6i has all of the features of the Pronea S and significantly improves upon them, looking much like an APS Nikon N80.
The Pronea 6i is a bit heavier than the Pronea S weighing just under 20 oz (compared to just over 20 oz for a classic N60 camera) and is a bit bulkier than the S at 5.3 x 3.9 x 2.9 inches.