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Nikon Coolpix L620 Review

Nikon Coolpix L620 Review - The Nikon Coolpix L620 has a 14x optical zoom lens, 18.1 megapixel sensor and can shoot at 10 fps, Daniel Bell reviews.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Nikon Coolpix L620
Price : £180
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Nikon Coolpix L620 Black (3)

The Nikon Coolpix L620 was announced in August 2013 - it has a 14x optical zoom lens and 18.1 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor. It is available in black and red for around £180.

Nikon Coolpix L620 Black (4)

Nikon Coolpix L620 Features

The Nikon Coolpix L620 has an 18.1 megapixel CMOS sensor and a 14x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-350mm. To help keep images are sharp as possible there is optical image stabilisation and the camera can shoot at up to 10 fps.

The L620 has an easy auto mode which automatically adjusts the camera settings, there are also 18 scene modes to choose from. Other modes include easy panorama (360° & 180°) and you can apply creative effects and filters to your images, such as monochrome and sepia. Night Portrait and Night Landscape modes combine consecutive shots to minimise noise and blur.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with optical zoom and stereo sound available.

Nikon Coolpix L620 Black (5)

Key Features

  • 18.1 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 14x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25-350mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 460k LCD screen
  • Creative filter and effects
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 125 - 3200
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • 10 fps continuous shooting
  • Easy panorama mode
  • Available in red and black
Nikon Coolpix L620 Black (6)

Nikon Coolpix L620 Handling

The Nikon Coolpix L620 has a plastic body with a well sized rubber hand grip. On the rear is a dotted area for your right hand thumb. The camera is fairly light and the lens retracts completely back into the camera making it comfortable to carry in your pocket.

To activate the pop-up flash there is a switch on the back of the camera. On the top of the camera is the on / off button which sits alongside the shutter release and zoom rocker. On the rear are mode, playback, menu and delete buttons as well as a d-pad. This is used to navigate the menus as well as giving quick access to the flash, exposure compensation, self-timer and macro.

The rest of the camera is filled with the 3.0 inch LCD screen which has a good 460k dot resolution and is bright and clear to see in most light - it also has an anti-reflection coating. The L620 has the same menu system which is found on all the latest Coolpix cameras, it is well laid out and easy to use.

Battery life is rated at 150 shots according to CIPA test results, this is quite disappointing - but as the camera is powered by AA batteries, it should be easy enough to get hold of new ones. 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   0.125 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   1.0 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.5 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   2.1 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   4.6 secs
Continuous Shooting - H   10 fps
Continuous Shooting - L   2.1 fps
Continuous Shooting - H: 120 fps   122.5 fps
Continuous Shooting - H: 60 fps   60 fps

Continuous shooting H & L both record in full resolution with the 120 fps and 60 fps modes restricted to VGA and 1 megapixel sized images only. Focusing is a little too slow and can mean you miss your shot if you are trying to shoot moving subjects such as children or pets.

Nikon Coolpix L620 Black (7)

Nikon Coolpix L620 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Nikon Coolpix L620 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Images are bright and colourful, with portraits having decent skin tones as well as being free of red-eye when using the flash. You can further enhance your portrait shots with skin softening in the playback menu.

Nikon Coolpix L620 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail throughout the zoom range and purple fringing is kept to a minimum. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm, this allows for a decent macro shot.

Nikon Coolpix L620 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 125 and remains so, with sharp images produced, at ISO 200, 400 and 800. Image quality remains good at ISO 1600, noise causes a little softening in places, which only worsens slightly at ISO 3200.

Nikon Coolpix L620 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) takes an image with a slight colour cast, the incandescent preset performs well. The AWB copes excellently when shooting under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset having a strong magenta cast.

Panorama 180 | 1/1250 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 180 | 1/1250 sec | f/3.5 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and are well stitched together. There is a slight issue when shooting 360º panoramas - quite often shooting will finish a little too early, leaving a black area down the right hand side - this can easily be cropped out though.

Nikon Coolpix L620 Digital filters


Digital Filters - The L620 has a few colour options available when using auto mode. For more creativity there are a number of filters which can also be selected, there are a number of examples above. You can also apply filters after shooting via playback.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD video. Quality is good, a video recorded using the optical zoom can be found on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.



Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix L620 is available for around £180. There are a number of cameras available with a similar amount of zoom, such as the Canon IXUS 255 HS at £189, Sony Cybershot WX200 at £179, Panasonic Lumix DMC-SZ9 at £148, Olympus Stylus VR-370 at £170, Samsung WB30 at £99 and Fujifilm FinePix T500 at £87.

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.

Nikon Coolpix L620 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix L620 is a mixed bag. It has a decent set of features such as full 1080p HD video recording, optical image stabilisation and 10 fps continuous shooting, but the camera can leave you waiting to process shots and focus, the battery life is also quite poor. Ultimately though, image quality is good and you can shoot all the way up to ISO 3200 without image quality suffering too much, this is great for shooting in low light. The 14x optical zoom lens is also handy for a pocketable camera.


 

Nikon Coolpix L620 Pros

Full 1080p HD video recording
Optical image stabilisation
10 fps continuous shooting
Has a rubberised hand grip
Good image quality

Nikon Coolpix L620 Cons

Can be frustratingly slow at times
Battery life is poor
Difficult to shoot a full 360º panorama

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Nikon Coolpix L620 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/3.3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent25mm - 350mm
Optical Zoom14x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels18Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution460,000 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1600sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity125 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.9fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoNo Data
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeAA x 2
CIPA Rating150
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x2), USB Cable UC-E6, Audio Video Cable EG-CP16, ViewNX 2 CD, Reference Manual CD
Dimensions
Weight240g
Width108mm
Height68.4mm
Depth34.1mm

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