The Coolpix L310 was added to Nikon's Life range in February 2012 and is a budget, 21x optical zoom camera. It is available in black for £149.95. The Nikon Coolpix L310 has been updated by the Nikon Coolpix L320.
Nikon Coolpix L310 Features
The L310 has a 14 megapixel CCD sensor and 21x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-525mm. There is sensor shift VR (vibration reduction) to help reduce the effect of camera shake.
Shooting is made easy thanks to Easy Auto mode, which automatically adjusts the cameras settings for the scene. There are also 17 scene modes which can be manually selected as well as Sports Continuous and Smart Portrait System. This includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof, Skin Softening and Red-eye Fix.
Videos are recorded at 720p HD, with optical zoom available during recording.
14 megapixel CCD sensor
21x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-525mm)
Sensor shift vibration reduction (VR)
3 inch LCD screen
Sports continuous mode
720p HD video recording
ISO 80 - 6400
1cm minimum focusing distance
Smart Portrait System
Nikon Coolpix L310 Handling
The L310 offers a rubberised hand grip as well as a rubber pad on the rear for your thumb, making it an easy camera to grip. As you may expect for a budget camera, the body is made from plastics, but it does have a metal tripod socket and a lock to keep the battery and memory card cover firmly in place. Nikon also supply a lens cap with the camera.
The menus system is simple and easy to navigate using the d-pad. The other buttons are typical for a digital compact, with a movie record button placed on the rear. The 3 inch LCD screen is clear and easy to view.
The L310 is powered by four AA batteries, meaning it'll be easy to find replacements when necessary. It has a CIPA rating of 420 shots, we managed in excess of this number during testing, the number of shots will very much depend on the quality of batteries used.
We tested the cameras performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot (without flash)
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous shooting mode records at full 14 megapixel resolution, with Sports continuous limited to a maximum of 3 megapixels.
Nikon Coolpix L310 Performance
Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.
Nikon Coolpix L310 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - landscape mode takes pictures with excellent blues and greens, with portrait shots being free of red-eye with good skin tones. The third shot above is one of a series taken using Sports continuous mode.
Nikon Coolpix L310 Lens test images
Lens Performance - colour reproduction is pleasing and detail is acceptable, although soft in the corners. There is also some purple fringing, particular evident in the shot above where the full optical zoom has been used. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm, this allows the camera to take a decent macro shot.
Nikon Coolpix L310 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - noise is well controlled at ISO 80 and 100, with very small amounts appearing at ISO 200 and 400. At ISO 800 there is a significant increase in noise, causing a loss of both sharpness and detail. Images at ISO 1600 are very soft with white dots appearing. ISO 3200 and 6400 images have a substantial amount of noise, but the image size is limited to 3 megapixels when using these settings.
Nikon Coolpix L310 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - the AWB preset does a good job under our studio lighting. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB preset gives a slight orange cast, with the incandescent preset having a very slight green cast. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB preset performs well, with the fluorescent preset a near match.
Nikon Coolpix L310 Digital filters
Digital Filters - The L310 has a number of colour modes which can be applied during shooting. There aren't many editing options in playback, although you can select d-lighting.
Video - below is a video shot at 720p HD. Optical zoom is available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube Page.
Other than having 21x optical zoom there aren't many other features that particularly stand out on the L310, but it is capable of taking good pictures with excellent colour reproduction. It's unusual to see a budget super-zoom camera with such good rubber grip, there is also a lens cap and a metal tripod socket, thumbs up to Nikon there.
Although lacking in features, the Nikon Coolpix L310 takes good pictures, has a decent zoom range and is good value for money.
Nikon Coolpix L310 Pros
Good zoom range
Value for money
1cm minimum focusing distance
Comes with a lens cap
Generous rubber grip
Image quality is OK
Excellent colour reproduction
Auto white-balance performs well
Nikon Coolpix L310 Cons
Not many attractive features
Noise is high from ISO 800