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The Nikon Coolpix L320 was announced in March 2013 and is a superzoom compact camera with 26x optical zoom and a 16.1 megapixel sensor, updating the popular value zoom, the L310. It is available for £175.00.
When shooting there is easy auto mode which adjusts the camera settings automatically for the detected scene. There are also 18 scene modes to choose from and the smart portrait system, which includes self-timer, blink proof alert, skin softening and red-eye fix.
Videos are recorded in 720p HD.
- 16 megapixel CCD sensor
- 26x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 22.5-585mm)
- Lens-shift VR (vibration reduction)
- 3.0 inch 230k dot LCD screen
- Easy auto mode
- AA batteries
- 720p HD video recording
- ISO 80 - 1600
- 1cm minimum focusing distance
- Smart portrait system
- 1.2 fps continuous shooting
The Nikon Coolpix L320 has the look and feel of a small DSLR. It has a chunky rubberised hand grip and a rubber pad on the rear for your thumb. On the lens barrel is a switch for changing the focal length, you can also adjust the zoom using the zoom rocker.
There is a button the activate the pop-up flash and on / off button on the top of the camera. On the back are movie record, scene mode, playback, menu and delete buttons as well as a d-pad and OK button for cycling through the camera menus. The buttons on the d-pad can be used to set the flash, self-timer, exposure compensation and macro mode. You can view your pictures when the camera is off by pressing and holding the playback button.
The L320 menu system is easy to navigate. Nearly everything is set through the menu button. The 3 inch screen is bright and clear, but has a low 230k dot resolution. Battery life is rated at 310 shots according to CIPA test results when using alkaline batteries, so you've a good chance of a day or two shooting before requiring a change, although this will depend on the quality of batteries you purchase. You can get 810 shots if you use lithium batteries instead.
We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.
|Shutter Response||0.175 secs|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.6 secs|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.75 secs|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.25 secs|
|Shot to Shot without Flash||2.9 secs|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||3.5 secs|
|Continuous Shooting||1.1 fps|
Continuous shooting records at full 16 megapixel resolution, although it slows down after 5 shots.
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Nikon Coolpix L320 Sample Photos
Portrait | 1/30 sec | f/4.3 | 13.9 mm | ISO 200
Landscape | 1/1500 sec | f/3.1 | 4.0 mm | ISO 80
Low Light | 1/5 sec | f/4.3 | 13.9 mm | ISO 400
Pet Portrait | 1/250 sec | f/4.7 | 19.1 mm | ISO 160
Zoom Example 1 | 1/125 sec | f/5.9 | 104.0 mm | ISO 100
Zoom Example 2 | 1/200 sec | f/5.9 | 104.0 mm | ISO 80
Sample Photos - Images are well exposed with good colour reproduction. Portraits have decent skin tones and are free of red-eye when using the flash. The last two pictures above have been taken using the zoom at its longest length - great for shooting wildlife.
Nikon Coolpix L320 Lens test images
Wide Angle | 1/1000 sec | f/3.1 | 4.0 mm | ISO 80
Some Optical Zoom | 1/1000 sec | f/4.6 | 17.2 mm | ISO 80
Full Optical Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.9 | 104.0 mm | ISO 80
Macro | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm | ISO 80
Lens Performance - Detail is OK in the centre of the images, but are soft in the corners, particularly in the top left where they look blurry. Purple fringing isn't much of a problem in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm, this does allow for a fairly decent macro shot.
Nikon Coolpix L320 ISO test images
1/15 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm | ISO 80
1/20 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm | ISO 100
1/40 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm | ISO 200
1/80 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm | ISO 400
1/160 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm | ISO 800
1/400 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm | ISO 1600
ISO Noise Performance - Images are low in noise at ISO 80, 100 and 200, but at ISO 400 images are soft. Some detail is lost at ISO 800, with lots of detail lost at ISO 1600 and some of the colours look smudged in places.
Nikon Coolpix L320 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 5.3 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/25 sec | f/3.3 | 5.3 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.4 sec | f/3.3 | 5.3 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 0.4 sec | f/3.3 | 5.3 mm | ISO 100
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the auto white balance (AWB) performs extremely well, with the incandescent preset taking a picture that has an orange cast. Again, the AWB performs well under the fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset producing a magenta cast.
Nikon Coolpix L320 Digital filters
Colour Option - Standard | 1/4 sec | f/4.4 | 15.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour Option - Black And White | 1/4 sec | f/4.4 | 15.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour Option - Cyanotype | 1/4 sec | f/4.4 | 15.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour Option - Sepia | 1/4 sec | f/4.4 | 15.3 mm | ISO 80
Colour Option - Vivid | 1/4 sec | f/4.4 | 15.3 mm | ISO 80
Digital Filters - The L820 has colour options to help you take unique and creative pictures, with examples above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in 720p HD. You can also used the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.
Value For MoneyThe Nikon Coolpix L320 is available for around £175.00. Cameras with a 26x optical zoom include the Fujifilm X-S1 at £419, Pentax X-5 at £160 and Sony Cybershot DSC-H200 at £150. If you opt for slightly more zoom, the following cameras have 30x optical zoom; Canon Powershot SX500 IS at £190, Sony Cybershot DSC-HX200V at £269 and Fujifilm FinePix S4800 at £150. Sony have also just released the Cybershot DSC-HX50, a pocketable camera with 30x optical zoom, available for around £350.
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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Nikon Coolpix L320 ProsDecent amount of zoom
1cm minimum focusing distance good for macros
Rubberised hand grip
Good battery life
Images have good colours
Good auto white balance performance
Nikon Coolpix L320 ConsOnly 720p HD video recording
Images look blurry in top left corner
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Nikon Coolpix L320 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.1 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||22.5mm - 585mm|
|CCD pixels||16Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||230k dots|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1500sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 1600|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||AA batteries|
|Box Contents||Camera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x4), Lens Cap LC-CP25 (with cord), USB Cable UC-E16, ViewNX 2 CD-ROM, Reference Manual (CD-ROM)|