The Nikon Coolpix L27 was announced in January 2013 alongside the L28 and is an entry-level compact camera with an RRP of just £69.99. It has a 16.1 megapixel sensor and 5x optical zoom lens, available in a range of colours including black, red, white, silver and purple.
Nikon Coolpix L27 Features
The Nikon Coolpix L27 has a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor and 5x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 26-130mm. To help you take the sharpest possible pictures there is motion blur reduction and electronic VR (vibration reduction). The L27 is powered by AA sized batteries.
To help make the camera simple to use there is Easy Auto mode which automatically adjusts the camera settings for the detected scene. There are also 18 scene modes to choose from and the Smart Portrait System, which includes a smile timer, blink proof alert and red-eye fix.
The Nikon Coolpix L27 has a stylish looking plastic body and is chunkier on one side where the AA batteries are housed. To aid grip there is a dotted area for your right hand thumb on the rear. There is typical set of buttons for a compact camera. On top is the on / off button, zoom rocker and shutter release. On the back are movie record, scene, playback, menu and delete buttons as well as a d-pad which gives access to flash, timer, macro mode and exposure compensation.
The d-pad also lets you cycle through the menus, with the OK button for making you preferred selection. The menu system is set out well and easy to navigate - indeed in auto mode, the only option available is image size. The 2.7 inch screen has a low 230k dot resolution, but you'd expect that for a budget camera. It has an anti-reflection coating and brightness adjustment.
Battery life is rated at 200 shots according to CIPA test results, this isn't a lot, but as the camera has a limited set of features, it should last for a decent amount of time. AA batteries are also easy to find in most locations. 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.
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot without Flash
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous shooting records in full 16.1 megapixel resolution, but slows after 5 shots.
Nikon Coolpix L27 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 L27 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Images have good colours and are well exposed. When shooting portraits skin tones are OK, but there is red-eye when shooting with the flash.
Nikon Coolpix L27 Lens test images
Lens Performance - When shooting wide the images have a decent amount of detail in the centre, but are very soft in the corners and edges, with purple fringing appearing in the our test shot above. When using the zoom, detail also reduces slightly in the centre of the images, with chromatic aberration evident as well. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 10cm, detail when shooting macros isn't too good.
ISO Noise Performance - The L27 doesn't allow you to manually set the ISO speed, it's done automatically. Noise is low at ISO 80 and 100, with a little appearing as the ISO speed increases through 200 and 400. At ISO 800 images are very soft with detail missing. When trying to shoot in dark conditions to use ISO 1600 we found the L27 struggled to even focus.
Nikon Coolpix L27 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) performs really well, with a colour cast when using the incandescent preset. The results are very much the same under the fluorescent lighting - the AWB performs well, but there is a colour cast when using the fluorescent preset.
Nikon Coolpix L27 Digital filters
Digital Filters - When shooting in auto mode you can choose one of five colour options, with examples of each above.
Video - Below is a video recorded in 720p HD. Quality is good, but you can't use the optical zoom during recording.
Value For Money
The Nikon Coolpix L27 is one of the cheapest cameras available, priced at just £49.99. The L28 has more megapixels and a bigger screen, available for £66.44. Other entry-level cameras include the Fujifilm FinePix AX650 at £49.99, Olympus VG-180 at £64.99, Canon PowerShot A1300 at £55.80 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-FS50 at £73.42.
With a camera priced at just £50 it's reasonable to say you shouldn't expect fantastic image quality and the L27 certainly doesn't deliver it. If you're wanting a cheap camera and prefer to share your images on the web, you might not be too disappointed. The camera is easy use, so it would make an ideal gift for a young child, plus it is available in a number of colours.