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Nikon Coolpix L27 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix L27, it has a 16 megapixel sensor and 5x optical zoom.

| Nikon Coolpix L27 in Compact Cameras

Nikon Coolpix L27 Review: Nikon Coolpix L27

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 Review: Nikon Coolpix L27

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.

Videos are recorded in 720p HD.

Nikon Coolpix L27 Review: Nikon Coolpix L27

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 26 - 130mm)
  • Motion blur reduction & electronic vibration reduction
  • 2.7 inch 230 dot LCD screen
  • AA size batteries
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 10cm minimum focusing distance
  • Easy auto mode
  • 18 scene modes
  • 1.2 fps continuous shooting
  • Available in black, red, white, silver and purple
Nikon Coolpix L27 Review: Nikon Coolpix L27

Nikon Coolpix L27 Handling

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.

Shutter Response   0.125 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.75 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   1.05 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.1 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   1.7 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   5.0 secs
Continuous Shooting   1.3 fps

Continuous shooting records in full 16.1 megapixel resolution, but slows after 5 shots.

Nikon Coolpix L27 Review: Nikon Coolpix L27

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.

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 L27 Verdict

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.


Nikon Coolpix L27 Pros

Images will look OK when sharing on Facebook etc.
Good AWB performance
Easy to use
Available in a variety of colours
Excellent value for money

Nikon Coolpix L27 Cons

Not great image quality
Has a very basic set of features
Low battery life


Nikon Coolpix L27 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.2 - f/6.5
35mm equivalent26mm - 130mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCCD
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 resolution230k dot
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus10cm
Focusing modes
  • Face Detection
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 1600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting1.2fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
Video FPS30fps
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationNo
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type2xAA
Battery Life (CIPA rating)200shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x2), USB Cable UC-E16, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix L27

Steve Augeri Lead singer for Journey and the Lead guitaristLloyds of London towerElephant Octopus Mural in East LondonStreet Art LondonDoor to the Bank of EnglandTouch of FallTwisted ShadowQuiet ForestEnd Offby the sealast lightOld barnInterpol building Singapore

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