Nikon Coolpix L20 Review

Simple and Easy

Picture
Nikon Coolpix L20 Ease of Use 10
Features 6
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 9
Photo Quality 8
Style 8
Lowlight 8
Macro 8
Value for Money 8
10 Megapixels
3.6x Zoom
3 inch LCD Screen
96.5 x 61 x 29 mm
135g

Overview

The Nikon Coolpix L20 is an incredibly simple digital camera. It is aimed at anyone looking for a simple point and shoot camera who wants a relatively cheap camera. It has 10 megapixels, a 3.6x optical zoom lens and a large 3inch LCD screen.

Why Buy The Nikon Coolpix L20

Digital cameras do not come any more straightforward than the Coolpix L20. It is also one of the cheaper models from a recognised brand. It takes a decent photo and is good value for money.

Main Features

Megapixels:
Zoom:
LCD Screen:
Dimensions:
Weight:

10
3.6x
3 inches
96.5 x 61 x 29 mm
135g

Macro:
HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Batteries:
Memory Cards:

5cm
No
No
AA
SD/SDHC

Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

A small amount of detail is lost where the sun catches the lighter areas of the shot and there is too much brightness for the pixels to cope with. Overall the Coolpix L20 manages to produce a sharp shot that compares well with cameras in this price bracket. The colours and lighting the camera packs into the shot help to give it a vivid look.

As I have seen from other cheaper Nikon digital cameras there is a tendency for darkness to show in the corners of this photo. This is likely to be an issue with this type of shot when the zoom lens is not being used. Sharpness is good at the centre of photo, but it does slide as you move out towards the edges.

The result with the zoom fully extended is much better. The shot is sharper all round and most of it is retained towards the edges.

Overall I am happy with the sharpness of the photos. The only weak spot out of my scenic shots is the distant scene where the zoom is not being used. I find with Nikon digital cameras it is a good idea to use the Landscape scene mode when shooting outdoor scenes. This helps to produce much sharper photos.

Portraits

This is about as much as you can ask for from this type of camera. The shot is in sharp focus, the colours are warm and you should be able to take plenty of pleasing portrait shots.

I like this portrait shot too. The lighting is evenly distributed. Colours are natural and the level of flash light is kept low enough to ensure there is minimum light bouncing back off the face.

There is noise showing up in this picture. It is still an acceptable effort, but you are likely to have to revert to flash whenever the light is less than perfect.

Macro and Colours

The level of detail the Coolpix L20 manages to bring out is very impressive. For a cheaper camera this is a good macro shot. If you do take close up shots of shiny objects you may notice a small amount of purple fringing in places.

The colours are one of the big plus points for the Coolpix L20. They help to add life to the photographs. I also like the way Nikon seems to be able to add a bit of extra brightness to their photos.

Summary

The Coolpix L20 performs very well for a cheaper compact digital camera. Many of the photos I produced with it are above average.

See sample images link arrow

Style

The Coolpix L19 has the larger size and plastic body that you would normally associate with this type of camera. When I say larger size this is when compared to pocket cameras. There is a raised, grip area on the front.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash
Turn on Time

0.34 seconds
13.85 seconds
0.55 seconds
26.86 seconds
3.9 seconds


Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Easy Excellent. I cannot think of any digital cameras that are easier to use than this one.

Points I Like

Ease of use - colours - picture quality

Where it Could Improve

Darkness can creep into corners when the lens is zoomed out

Verdict

If you are looking for a cheaper digital camera that takes a good picture and is extremely easy to use then you cannot go far wrong with the Nikon Coolpix L20.

Product Shots

Front View

Front View

Back View

Back View

Top View

Top View

Sample Menus

 menu scene modes

setup playback

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Related Pages

Nikon Coolpix L20 Review Nikon Coolpix L20 Specification Nikon Coolpix L20 Sample Images Nikon Coolpix L20 Features Canon Powershot A480 vs Nikon Coolpix L20 Nikon Digital Cameras

Review Date

April 2009

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