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The Nikon Coolpix L810 is a 26x super-zoom digital camera, aimed at those who want a lot of zoom but are on a budget. The L810 is available in bronze, red, blue and black for £229.00.
Picture taking is simple with Easy Auto Mode, which automatically chooses the correct setting for the scene. You can have more control by switching to Auto Mode, there are also plenty of scene modes to choose from as well. Also found in the mode menu is Smart Portrait, which includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof, Skin Softening and Red-eye Fix. Photos can also be taken in 3D mode and viewed on a 3D TV.
The L810 records 720p HD videos with optical zoom available during recording and the camera can be connected to a HDTV via HDMI.
- 26x zoom optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 22.5–585mm)
- Easy Auto mode
- Side zoom lever
- 16 megapixel CCD sensor
- 720p HD video recording
- 3.0 inch 921k-dot LCD screen
- Lens shift VR (vibration reduction)
- ISO 80 - 1600
- Best shot selector (BSS)
- 3D shooting mode
- Smart portrait system
- 19 scene modes
- AA-size batteries
- EXPEED C2 image processing system
The menu systems is well laid out and easy to navigate. The buttons are typical for a compact camera, with a dedicated video recording button appearing on the back, as is the scene mode selection button. There is an extra zoom control button place on the lens barrel. The camera takes 4x AA batteries, with life being dependent on the quality of battery used.
We tested the camera's 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.
|Shutter Response||0.15 seconds|
|Wide - Focus / Shutter Response||0.5 seconds|
|Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response||0.5 - 2.5 seconds|
|Switch on Time to Taking a Photo||2.3 seconds|
|Shot to Shot (without flash)||2.4 seconds|
|Shot to Shot with Flash||4.5 seconds|
|Continuous shooting||0.5 fps|
Focusing speed when using the lens at longer lengths proves to be very unpredictable, if you are focusing on the same area all the time it is much quicker, but if you are trying to photograph moving subjects it's extremely difficult to get a sharp shot. Even if you switch to continuous shooting, 0.5 fps isn't quick enough to help.
Nikon Coolpix L810 Lens test images
Wide-angle | 1/1000 sec | f/3.1 | 4.0 mm | ISO 100
Full Optical Zoom | 1/250 sec | f/5.9 | 104.0 mm | ISO 100
Digital Zoom | 1/250 sec | f/5.9 | 416.0 mm | ISO 100
Macro | 1/13 sec | f/3.5 | 6.6 mm | ISO 80
At ISO 80 images are free of noise but even at ISO 100 there is some starting to appear. Noise progressively increases through ISO 200 and ISO 400, with images produced at ISO 800 have lost their sharpness. Images at ISO 1600 have plenty of noise, with a slight loss of detail, but colour reproduction is still good at the highest setting.
Nikon Coolpix L810 ISO test images
ISO80 | 1/13 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm
ISO100 | 1/15 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm
ISO200 | 1/30 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm
ISO400 | 1/60 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm
ISO800 | 1/125 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm
ISO1600 | 1/250 sec | f/4.0 | 10.5 mm
On a clear, bright day the landscape mode takes a picture with decent blues and greens, but if it's quite dull, results are less impressive. Portraits have good skin tones and a free of red-eye when using the flash.
Nikon Coolpix L810 Scene modes
Landscape | 1/1000 sec | f/3.1 | 4.0 mm | ISO 80
Landscape With Building | 1/1000 sec | f/3.1 | 4.0 mm | ISO 80
Portrait | 1/30 sec | f/4.3 | 13.9 mm | ISO 100
Sport | 1/250 sec | f/4.8 | 20.9 mm | ISO 250
Below are further examples, with the last two using the lens at it's longest.
Nikon Coolpix L810 Sample Photos
Pet Portrait | 1/40 sec | f/4.6 | 17.2 mm | ISO 80
Trees | 1/200 sec | f/3.1 | 4.0 mm | ISO 80
Zoom Example 1 | 1/60 sec | f/5.9 | 104.0 mm | ISO 100
Zoom Example 2 | 1/125 sec | f/5.9 | 104.0 mm | ISO 400
Under the incandescent lights in our studio, the auto white-balance (AWB) and incandescent presets both produce an image with an orange cast. The AWB setting proves slightly better under the fluorescent lights, with a magenta cast appearing when using the fluorescent preset.
Nikon Coolpix L810 White-balance test images
AWB preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
Incandescent preset - incandescent lighting | 1/20 sec | f/3.5 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
AWB preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/6 sec | f/3.5 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
Fluorescent preset - fluorescent lighting | 1/6 sec | f/3.5 | 6.6 mm | ISO 100
The L810 doesn't have a range of digital filters, although there are different colour modes which can be chosen, examples below.
Nikon Coolpix L810 Digital filters
Black And White | 1/5 sec | f/4.3 | 13.9 mm | ISO 100
Cyanotype | 1/5 sec | f/4.3 | 13.9 mm | ISO 100
Sepia | 1/5 sec | f/4.3 | 13.9 mm | ISO 100
Vivid | 1/5 sec | f/4.3 | 13.9 mm | ISO 100
Video ModeBelow is a test video shot at 720p HD, optical zoom can be used during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine YouTube Page.
Value For MoneyThe Nikon Coolpix L810 is currently available for £229.00. Other cameras to consider with the same amount of optical zoom are the Olympus SP-720 UZ at £199.95 and Fujifilm X-S1 EXR at £579.00. With even more zoom are the Nikon Coolpix P510 (42x) at £399.00, Canon PowerShot SX40 HS (35x) at £359.00, Fujifilm FinePix HS20 EXR (30x) at £234.95, Sony DSC-HX100V (30x) at £339.00 and Fujifilm FinePix S4500 (30x) at £199.00.
Nikon Coolpix L810 ProsDecent image quality
Easy to use
Lots of zoom in a compact body
Nikon Coolpix L810 ConsSluggish focusing when using zoom
Slow continuous shooting
Lengthy wait between shots
|VALUE FOR MONEY|
Nikon Coolpix L810 Specifications
|Max Aperture||f/3.1 - f/5.9|
|35mm equivalent||22.5mm - 585mm|
|CCD pixels||16.1Mp (Megapixels)|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3 inch|
|Sensor Size (width)||No Data|
|Sensor Size (height)||No Data|
|Screen resolution||921k dot|
|Shutter speeds shortest||1/1500sec|
|Shutter speeds longest||4sec|
|ISO sensitivity||80 - 1600|
|Optical Zoom with Video||Yes|
|Battery Type||4x AA|
|Box Contents||Camera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x4), Lens Cap LC-CP25 (with cord), USB Cable UC-E16, Audio Video Cable EG-CP16, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD|