The Coolpix 5400 is a digital camera with its own identity. The camera has a black coloured body and weighs about 320 grams (net). The material of the body exists mainly of magnesium and at the back some components exist of a durable and firm plastic. The camera has a firm and steady grip. As soon as the camera is in your hand it is obvious why the grip has this size. The rubber coating on the grip also ensures the comfort when holding the camera. It isn’t difficult, even for a large hand to manage a small compact camera like the Coolpix 5400.
The 4x Zoom-Nikkor lens has been placed at the front of the camera with right above it the built-in flash. On top of the camera a Hot-shoe has been placed to enable the use of an external Nikon Speedlight flash like the SB80DX, 50DX, 28 DX, 30, 28, 27, 26, 25, 23 and 22s type Speedlight. Unfortunately not all functions of the external flash are being supported, like the Coolpix 5000. The main disadvantage is the lack of support of the automatically zoom-in of the flash head.
The back of the camera contains a very useful Vari-angle LCD monitor. This offers the user an enormous amount of freedom in the way of taking photographs. Whether it is low by the ground or far above the head, this Vari-angle monitor makes it very easy. I have to tell you that, comparing to the Coolpix 5000 the size of the LCD monitor has decreased in size to a 1.5-inch. However the resolution of the monitor has increased from 110.000 to 134.000 pixels. The LCD monitor has an outstanding quality, it delivers superior image quality, bright and colourful, and the visibility in bright sunshine is not a problem either for this monitor. The anti-reflection coating is definitely doing its job! The grip of the camera contains a memory slot and a battery compartment. The memory slot is shut by a large size cover. The cover can be opened very easily but this doesn’t influence the writing or reading process. The bottom of the grip contains a 680mAh 7.4V Lithium Ion rechargeable battery, the EN-EL1.
The extensions needed to connect the camera onto a computer or television are all standard included. One side of the grip has an AC-adaptor connector, the other side of the camera has a USB and Audio/Video connection. Unfortunately Nikon has still chosen the USB 1.1 interface connection and not the much faster USB 2.0. It is annoying having to wait several minutes before the transfer of a larger amount of high resolution images is completed.
The powerful 4x optical zoom lens begins at a favourite focal of 28mm. From a photographic point of view, the 28mm focus is very useful in small rooms (sitting room, pictures of interiors) but also outside with wider objects (landscapes, architecture). Usually the emphasis is on the tele-lens whereas the wide-angle lens offers more perspective photographing the day to day subjects. As told before the Coolpix 5400 contains a 28mm, but with the tele range of 116mm the user can also make outstanding portrait pictures. The lens reacts quickly to the zoom button and does 19 little steps to get from wide-angle to tele-lens. The brightness measured from 28mm is f2.8 until f4.6 in 116mm. To set focus the zoom lens reacts quickly, but experiences some problems when trying to focus in dim-lit conditions. An AF-supporting light could offer the solution to solve this small problem definitively.