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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.
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
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.
|Shutter Response||0.125 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.45 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.65 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||1.85 secs|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||2.2 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||2.6 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||0.74 fps|
|Sports continuous||13.3 fps|
Continuous shooting mode records at full 14 megapixel resolution, with Sports continuous limited to a maximum of 3 megapixels.
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Nikon Coolpix L310 Sample Photos
Landscape | 1/160 sec | f/8.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 80
Portrait | 1/60 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 200
Sports Continuous | 1/400 sec | f/5.8 | 94.5 mm | ISO 400
Pet | 1/160 sec | f/4.7 | 23.2 mm | ISO 500
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
Wide Angle | 1/200 sec | f/8.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
Optical Zoom | 1/500 sec | f/5.8 | 94.5 mm | ISO 100
Digital Zoom | 1/160 sec | f/5.8 | 378.0 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/13 sec | f/3.5 | 7.3 mm | ISO 80
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
ISO80 | 1/10 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 80
ISO100 | 1/13 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 100
ISO200 | 1/25 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 200
ISO400 | 1/50 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 400
ISO800 | 1/100 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 800
ISO1600 | 1/200 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 1600
ISO3200 | 1/400 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 3200
ISO6400 | 1/800 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 6400
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
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/15 sec | f/3.5 | 7.3 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset- incandescent lighting | 1/15 sec | f/3.5 | 7.3 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/3.5 | 7.3 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/4 sec | f/3.5 | 7.3 mm | ISO 100
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
Colour Options Black And White | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 80
Colour Options Cyanotype | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 80
Colour Options Sepia | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 80
Colour Options Standard Colour | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 80
Colour Options Vivid | 1/5 sec | f/4.5 | 18.6 mm | ISO 80
D-lighting | 1/200 sec | f/8.7 | 4.5 mm | ISO 100
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.
Value For MoneyThe Nikon Coolpix L310 is available for £149.95. We have reviewed a number of compacts with a similar level of zoom, with cameras covering all budgets. There is the Olympus SP-620 UZ (21x zoom) at £139.00, Olympus SZ-14 (24x zoom) at £149.95, Pentax Optio VS20 (20x zoom) at £165.00, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ48 (24x zoom) at £239.00, Fujifilm FinePix F770 EXR (20x zoom) at £249.00, Olympus SZ-31MR (24x zoom) at £254.00, Canon PowerShot SX260 HS (20x zoom) at £264.00, Panasonic LUMIX DMC-TZ30 (20x zoom) at £279.00, Sony Cyber-Shot HX20V (20x zoom) at £324.00 and Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ150 (24x zoom) at £364.00.
You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.
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|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 ProsGood 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 ConsNot many attractive features
Noise is high from ISO 800
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Nikon Coolpix L310 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.1 - f/5.8|
|35mm equivalent||25mm - 525mm|
|CCD pixels||14.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||230k dot|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/4000sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 6400|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Box Contents||Camera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x4), Lens Cap LC-CP22 (with cord), USB Cable UC-E6, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, User's Manual CD|