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Nikon Coolpix L29 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix L29, an easy to use camera with 5x optical zoom and a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor.

| Nikon Coolpix L29 in Compact Cameras

Nikon Coolpix L29 Review: Nikon Coolpix L29 (4)

The Nikon Coolpix L29 was announced in January 2014 and is an easy to use compact camera, with a 5x optical zoom lens and 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor. The L29 is available for £74.99 in silver, red, purple or black.

Nikon Coolpix L29 Review: Nikon Coolpix L29 (2)

Nikon Coolpix L29 Features

The Nikon Coolpix L29 has a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor and a 5x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 26-130mm. To keep images sharp there is Motion Blur Reduction.

To make the camera easy to use there is an Easy Auto mode, which adjusts all of the camera settings automatically. You can also manually choose from 17 scene modes and you can also apply a number of filter effects to your pictures. There is also a Smart Portrait System which includes a Smile Timer, Blink Proof alerting and Red-Eye Fix.

Videos are recorded in 720p HD.

Nikon Coolpix L29 Review: Nikon Coolpix L29 (5)

Key Features

  • 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 26-130mm)
  • Electronic VR (vibration reduction)
  • 2.7 inch 230k LCD screen
  • Smart Portrait System
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 10cm minimum focusing distance
  • Available in silver, red, purple or black
Nikon Coolpix L29 Review: Nikon Coolpix L29 (7)

Nikon Coolpix L29 Handling

The Nikon Coolpix L29 has a plastic body and is thicker on one side where the AA batteries are placed. The top of the camera has an on / off button, zoom rocker and shutter release. Buttons on the rear include movie record, menu, playback, mode and delete. There is also a d-pad which is used to cycle through the menus - this also gives you quick access to the flash, self-timer, macro and exposure compensation.

Also on the rear of the camera is the 2.7 inch LCD which has a 230k dot resolution - this is a low resolution screen, but typical for a budget camera. The menu system is easy to navigate, thus making the camera even easier to use. This does mean that you lose some control over your picture taking, for example, you're not able to manually change the ISO speed.

Battery life is rated at a poor 200 shots according to CIPA test results. If you use EN-MH2 batteries you can expect 380 shots, or 650 shots if you upgrade to lithium AA batteries. 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   0.6 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.8 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.8 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   1.6 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   6.2 secs
Continuous Shooting   1.0 fps

Continuous shooting records in full 16.1 megapixel resolution.

Nikon Coolpix L29 Review: Nikon Coolpix L29 (1)

Nikon Coolpix L29 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 L29 Sample Photos

Sample PhotosImages have good colour reproduction and are well exposed. Performance in low light is decent, whether it's using the flash or a longer shutter speed. The Smart Portrait System allows for decent portrait shots, there is strong red-eye. Portraits can also be enhanced using skin softening, available via the playback menu.

Nikon Coolpix L29 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail when shooting at both ends of the lens, although purple fringing is quite strong in contrasting areas of the images. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 10cm, this makes it difficult to shoot decent macro shots.

Nikon Coolpix L29 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 80, 100 and 200. Images become at ISO 400, with a substantial amount of detail lost at ISO 800. Image quality is poor at the highest setting of ISO 1600.

Nikon Coolpix L29 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - The Auto White Balance (AWB) performs excellently under both the incandescent and fluorescent lights. Under the respective lights, the incandescent and fluorescent presets both produce images with strong colour casts.

Nikon Coolpix L29 Digital filters

Digital Filters - Under colour options there are five options, we've included examples of each above. There are also a few filter effects available in playback.

Video Below is a video recorded in 720p HD. Quality is OK, there's no optical zoom available during recording, but you can use digital zoom.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix L29 is available for £74.99. There are plenty of other cameras available that have a similar specification. Options include the Sony Cybershot W710 at £64.99Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS1 at£54.99 and Canon PowerShot A3500 IS at £79.99.

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 L29 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix is a cheap compact camera, it doesn't have many features, but it is easy to use. This makes it an ideal first camera for someone new to photography. Images have decent colour reproduction, so they look fine when resized for use on the web. You'll also want to have plenty of spares on hand, as the batteries have a CIPA rating of just 200 shots. The L29 can be purchased in a variety of colours.

Nikon Coolpix L29 Pros

Easy to use
Images have decent colour reproduction
Available in a range of colours

Nikon Coolpix L29 Cons

Lacks features
10cm minimum focusing distance
No optical image stabilisation
Low screen resolution
Poor battery life


Nikon Coolpix L29 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 L29

Church towerBlueberryDogNatureFlowersStatue of LibertyLiliesmemorial statueMatthias ChurchParlament in Budapest, HungaryThe painter, the photographer and the music graphic-makerStatue of Liberty on Gellért Hill, in BudapestThe Chain Bridge in evening-lightMarzipan PeelingMy friend is taking photos

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