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Nikon Coolpix L820 Review

Nikon Coolpix L820 Review - Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix L820, a digital camera with a 16 megapixel sensor and 30x optical zoom lens.

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Category : Compact Cameras
Product : Nikon Coolpix L820
Price : £210
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification
Nikon Coolpix L820

The Nikon Coolpix L820 was announced in January 2013 and is a superzoom camera with a 30x optical zoom lens. It also has a 16 megapixel sensor and full 1080p HD video recording. The L820 comes in plum, blue, red or black and costs around £220.

Nikon Coolpix L820

Nikon Coolpix L820 Features

The Nikon Coolpix L820 has a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and 30x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 22.5 - 675mm. To help keep your images as sharp as possible there is lens-shift VR (vibration reduction). You can shoot at 8 fps in continuous shooting mode.

When shooting there is easy auto mode which adjusts the camera settings for the detected scene. There are also a number of scene modes, filters and smart portrait mode. The latter includes a smile timer, blink proof alert and glamour retouch. When you've finished shooting you can edit your pictures in the retouch menu. This includes filters such as selective colour and cross screen.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound. The L820 can be connected to a HDTV for playback via a HDMI cable.

Nikon Coolpix L820

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CMOS back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 22.5-675mm)
  • Lens-shift (VR) vibration reduction
  • 3.0 inch 921k dot LCD screen
  • Side zoom lever
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 125 - 3200
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Smart portrait system
  • Retouch menu
  • AA batteries
  • 8 fps continuous shooting
Nikon Coolpix L820

Nikon Coolpix L820 Handling

The Nikon Coolpix L820 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. The camera comes supplied with a lens cap, but you have to make sure you remove it before switching the camera on as the causes a lens error warning to pop up on the screen. You can view your pictures with the lens cap on, just press and hold the playback button when the camera is off.

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 to 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.

The L820 has Nikon's new menu layout, which is easy to navigate. Nearly everything is set through the menu button. The 3 inch screen is bright and clear and has a respectable 921k dot resolution.

Battery life is rated at 320 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 870 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   0.25 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.45 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   0.175 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   2.4 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.4 secs
Continuous Shooting H   7.1 fps
Continuous Shooting L   2.0 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 120 fps   113.7 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 60 fps   60.0 fps

The continuous H & L modes record at full 16 megapixel resolution, with the 120 fps and 60 fps recording at VGA and 1 megapixels respectively.

Nikon Coolpix L820

Nikon Coolpix L820 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 L820 Sample Photos


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 below have been taken using the zoom at its longest length - great for shooting wildlife.

Nikon Coolpix L820 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Detail is decent at both ends of the lens, although a little soft in the corners. There is a slight hint of purple fringing in places, but it's fairly well controlled. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm which allows for a good macro shot to be taken.

Nikon Coolpix L820 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - Images are low in noise at ISO 125 and 200, but they do become softer at ISO 400. Noise increases a touch at ISO 800 with detail lost and very soft images produced at ISO 1600. Noise causes a lot of detail to be lost at ISO 3200.

Nikon Coolpix L820 White-balance test images


White Balance PerformanceUnder the incandescent lights, the auto white balance (AWB) and incandescent preset perform well, taking almost identical images. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB performs well, with a magenta cast when using the fluorescent preset.

Panorama 1 | 1/1250 sec | f/3.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 1 | 1/1250 sec | f/3.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125

Panorama 2 | 1/1250 sec | f/3.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 2 | 1/1250 sec | f/3.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - You can shoot 180° and 360° panoramas, they have a good amount of detail and are stitched together well.

Nikon Coolpix L820 Digital filters


Digital Filters - The L820 has both colour modes and filters to help you take unique and creative pictures.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. You can also used the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page. You can also record high-speed and slow motion videos at 8x4x2x0.5.



Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix L820 is available for around £220. Other cameras which 30x zoom include the Canon Powershot SX500 IS at £190, Sony Cybershot DSC-HX200V at £269 and Fujifilm FinePix S4800 at £150Sony 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.

Nikon Coolpix L820 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix L820 packs plenty of zoom and image quality is good. If you like shooting wide landscapes, you'll appreciate the wide 22.5mm lens, you can also zoom in to isolate your subject. It is quite heavy, but the screen has a decent resolution and the hand grip is rubberised. We also like the full 1080p HD video recording, battery life, 8 fps continuous shooting and the range of colours available.

 
  The Nikon L820 is great for wide landscapes, zooming in on distant subjects and has good image quality.

Nikon Coolpix L820 Pros

Plenty of optical zoom
Good image quality
Available in a range of colours
8 fps continuous shooting
Rubberised hand grip
Decent screen resolution
Good battery life
Very wide lens

Nikon Coolpix L820 Cons

Error message if you leave lens cap on
Perhaps a little over priced
Quite heavy
No manual controls

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Nikon Coolpix L820 Specifications

ManufacturerNikon
Lens
Max Aperturef/3 - f/5.8
35mm equivalent22.5mm - 675mm
Optical Zoom30x
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
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 resolution921k dot
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1500sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
ISO sensitivity80 - 1600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.2fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS30fps
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiNo
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type4x AA
CIPA Rating300
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera 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
Dimensions
Weight430g
Width111.1mm
Height76.3mm
Depth83.1mm

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix L820

headland skyhartlepool headlandwhitby ukheadland lighthouse reflectionboat coming into headland docksstreet lights whitbythe birdsDawsholm Park GlasgowBending Lighthartlepool powerlighthouseheadlandhartlepool skymarina
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Comments


I think the sensor type is CMOS.
Please check the image sensor at specification above.

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YoBellzaa e2
7 224 England
22 May 2013 8:09AM
Yes, you're right, thanks.
FabioD 1
24 May 2013 3:27PM
Hello, I'm new to the site. I would like to have someone's opinion.
I was planning to buy a new camera; I like to travel when I can and I wanted a camera with good zoom and wide angle capabilities. I'm practically a beginner, so I'm not interested in high-end stuff.
After a few day's research a found three interesting models which should do fine for me :
Fujifilm HS25 EXR;
Nikon Coolpix L820
Canon SX500 IS
They are all in the same price range. Any thoughts ?
Hello, FabioD,
I prefer Nikon L820. Nikon is very trusted brand in quality.

Maybe this compare will help you decide:
http://snapsort.com/compare/Fujifilm-HS25-EXR-vs-Nikon-Coolpix-L820
http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-PowerShot-SX500-IS-vs-Nikon-Coolpix-L820


Quote:Hello, I'm new to the site. I would like to have someone's opinion.
I was planning to buy a new camera; I like to travel when I can and I wanted a camera with good zoom and wide angle capabilities. I'm practically a beginner, so I'm not interested in high-end stuff.
After a few day's research a found three interesting models which should do fine for me :
Fujifilm HS25 EXR;
Nikon Coolpix L820
Canon SX500 IS
They are all in the same price range. Any thoughts ?

FabioD 1
24 May 2013 4:11PM

Quote:Hello, FabioD,
I prefer Nikon L820. Nikon is very trusted brand in quality.

Maybe this compare will help you decide:
http://snapsort.com/compare/Fujifilm-HS25-EXR-vs-Nikon-Coolpix-L820
http://snapsort.com/compare/Canon-PowerShot-SX500-IS-vs-Nikon-Coolpix-L820

Hello, I'm new to the site. I would like to have someone's opinion.
I was planning to buy a new camera; I like to travel when I can and I wanted a camera with good zoom and wide angle capabilities. I'm practically a beginner, so I'm not interested in high-end stuff.
After a few day's research a found three interesting models which should do fine for me :
Fujifilm HS25 EXR;
Nikon Coolpix L820
Canon SX500 IS
They are all in the same price range. Any thoughts ?



Thanks for your opinion.Smile
11 Jun 2013 7:24AM
hello,
as much as I would this feature, I can't find the "switch on the lens barrel that adjusts focal length". Could this be a mistake? or am I just missing it maybe (if so what does it look like) thanks!
Chris
pfufle 1
23 Jun 2013 4:42PM
what is its digital zoom at vga or 1 megapixel...can it use it for wildlife photography? (im not a pro but for a hobby)

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