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Nikon Coolpix L320 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix L320, it has a 16 megapixel sensor and 26x optical zoom.

| Nikon Coolpix L320 in Compact Cameras
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Nikon Coolpix L320 Review: Nikon Coolpix L320

The Nikon Coolpix L320 was announced in March 2013 and is a superzoom compact camera with 26x optical zoom and a 16.1 megapixel sensor, updating the popular value zoom, the L310. It is available for £175.00.

Nikon Coolpix L320 Review: Nikon Coolpix L320

Nikon Coolpix L320 Features

The Nikon Coolpix L320 has a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and 26x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 22.5-585mm. There is lens-shift VR (vibration reduction) to keep images as sharp as possible. In continuous shooting mode it can record at 1.2 fps.

When shooting there is easy auto mode which adjusts the camera settings automatically for the detected scene. There are also 18 scene modes to choose from and the smart portrait system, which includes self-timer, blink proof alert, skin softening and red-eye fix.

Videos are recorded in 720p HD.

Nikon Coolpix L320 Review: Nikon Coolpix L320

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 26x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 22.5-585mm)
  • Lens-shift VR (vibration reduction)
  • 3.0 inch 230k dot LCD screen
  • Easy auto mode
  • AA batteries
  • 720p HD video recording
  • ISO 80 - 1600
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Smart portrait system
  • 1.2 fps continuous shooting
Nikon Coolpix L320 Review: Nikon Coolpix L320

Nikon Coolpix L320 Handling

The Nikon Coolpix L320 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. 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 the 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.
 You can view your pictures when the camera is off by pressing and holding the playback button.

The L320 menu system is easy to navigate. Nearly everything is set through the menu button. The 3 inch screen is bright and clear, but has a low 230k dot resolution. Battery life is rated at 310 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 810 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   0.6 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.75 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.25 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   2.9 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   3.5 secs
Continuous Shooting   1.1 fps

Continuous shooting records at full 16 megapixel resolution, although it slows down after 5 shots.

Nikon Coolpix L320 Review: Nikon Coolpix L320

Nikon Coolpix L320 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 L320 Sample Photos

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

Nikon Coolpix L320 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is OK in the centre of the images, but are soft in the corners, particularly in the top left where they look blurry. Purple fringing isn't much of a problem in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm, this does allow for a fairly decent macro shot.

Nikon Coolpix L320 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Images are low in noise at ISO 80, 100 and 200, but at ISO 400 images are soft. Some detail is lost at ISO 800, with lots of detail lost at ISO 1600 and some of the colours look smudged in places.

Nikon Coolpix L320 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the auto white balance (AWB) performs extremely well, with the incandescent preset taking a picture that has an orange cast. Again, the AWB performs well under the fluorescent lights, with the fluorescent preset producing a magenta cast.

Nikon Coolpix L320 Digital filters

Digital Filters - The L820 has colour options to help you take unique and creative pictures, with examples above.

Video Below is a video recorded in 720p HD. You can also used the optical zoom during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix L320 is available for around £175.00. Cameras with a 26x optical zoom include the Fujifilm X-S1 at £419, Pentax X-5 at £160 and Sony Cybershot DSC-H200 at £150. If you opt for slightly more zoom, the following cameras have 30x optical zoom; 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 L320 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix L320 is a decent enough camera if you want a model with plenty of optical zoom but have a limited budget. There is some issues with images being blurry in the corners, our review sample had even more blur in the top left hand corner. If you mainly share your images on the web then the quality shouldn't be an issue, particularly as colour reproduction is good.


Nikon Coolpix L320 Pros

Decent amount of zoom
1cm minimum focusing distance good for macros
Rubberised hand grip
Good battery life
Images have good colours
Good auto white balance performance

Nikon Coolpix L320 Cons

Only 720p HD video recording
Images look blurry in top left corner
Limited features


Nikon Coolpix L320 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.1 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent22.5mm - 585mm
Optical Zoom26x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (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 dots
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1500sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity80 - 1600
White balance
    Exposure Comp+/-2
    Shooting Options
    Continuous shooting1.2fps
    Movie modeYes
    Video Resolution
    • 1280x720 HD 720p
    Video FPS30fps
    Stereo SoundNo
    Optical Zoom with VideoYes
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationYes
    USBUSB 2
    Card Type
    • SD
    • SDHC
    • SDXC
    File Type
    • JPG
    Power Source
    Battery TypeAA batteries
    Battery Life (CIPA rating)310shots
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsCamera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x4), Lens Cap LC-CP25 (with cord), USB Cable UC-E16, ViewNX 2 CD-ROM, Reference Manual (CD-ROM)

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    Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix L320

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    Abbath 8 Indonesia
    22 May 2015 1:01PM
    I have nikon l320 .. And i wanna know how to take shutter speed at 1/1500 .. Please tell me .. Im studies

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