The Nikon Coolpix L610, announced in August 2012, is a compact travel zoom camera with 14x optical zoom and a 16 megapixel sensor. It is available in black, silver, or red for £154.00
Nikon Coolpix L610 Features
The L610 has a back-illuminated 16 megapixel CMOS sensor and 14x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 25-350mm and has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm. To help you take the sharpest pictures possible there is Lens-Shift VR (vibration reduction) to counteract camera shake. ISO is available up to 3200 to further help picture taking in low light.
To make picture taking as easy as possible there is an Easy Auto Mode which automatically adjusts the camera settings for the detected scene. You can also choose from 19 scene modes such as landscape and portrait. Other shooting modes include Easy Panorama 360°/180° and 3D shooting as well as a retouch menu to add filters and effects to your pictures.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound.
16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
14x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 25–350mm)
Lens-Shift VR (vibration reduction)
3.0 inch 460k-dot LCD screen
Easy Auto Mode with Intelligent AF Control System
Full 1080p HD movie recording
1cm minimum focusing distance
Easy Panorama 360°/180°
Available in in black, silver or red
Nikon Coolpix L610 Handling
It is quite a chunky camera but with a large rubber grip at the front, it should be easy to hold steady when taking your shots, also aided by a dotted area on the back for your right hand thumb. To activate the flash there is a button on the rear above the screen to pop it up. Other buttons found on the rear are movie record, mode selection, playback, menu, delete and a d-pad with includes options for flash, timer, exposure compensation and macro. On the top is the on/off button, shutter release and zoom rocker.
The menu system is well laid out and easy to navigate. The screen is a good size, is bright and clear to view with a decent resolution. Battery life is rated at 120 shots according to CIPA test results, we were able to take 240 shots before the battery went flat. Although expectancy is very short, it uses AA batteries, so as long as you carry extras, there no need to run out of power when out shooting.
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 mode records images at full 16 megapixel resolution, there is also Best Shot Selector and Multi-shot 16 under the continuous shooting options.
Nikon Coolpix L610 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 L610 Sample Photos
Sample Photos - Portraits have good skin-tones with a slight hint of red-eye when using the flash. Under the very pleasant weather conditions, landscape mode takes an excellent shot with superb blues and greens.
Nikon Coolpix L610 Lens test images
Lens Performance - Detail in the images is OK at both ends of the lens, but not ideal if you want to produce large prints, with them being much softer in the corners and purple fringing quite common in contrasting areas. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm which does allow a good macro shot to be taken.
Nikon Coolpix L610 ISO test images
ISO Noise Performance - Images are free of noise at ISO 125 with only a little appearing at ISO 200 and more so at ISO 400. Images are starting to become softer and lose detail at ISO 800 which continues to worsen at ISO 1600. At the highest setting of ISO 3200 lots of detail is lost and is best avoided where possible.
Nikon Coolpix L610 White-balance test images
White Balance Performance - Auto white-balance (AWB) copes really well, under the incandescent lights, with very similar shots produced when using the incandescent preset. Under the fluorescent lights, the AWB setting performed well, with a magenta cast appearing when using the fluorescent preset.
Nikon Coolpix L610 Digital filters
Digital Filters - The L610 has a few colour options to add creativity to your pictures. You can also edit images in playback, with Quick Retouch, D-Lighting, Skin Softening and Filter Effects available.
Video - Below is a video shot full 1080p HD. Optical zoom isn't available during recording, but there is digital zoom.
Value For Money
The Nikon Coolpix L610 is available for £154.00. Below are a number of cameras with a similar amount of zoom, with options available for a wide range of budgets.
In a market where cameras with 10x and more optical zoom available there needs to something which makes a camera stand out from the competition, whether it be features, image quality or price. Unfortunately there is nothing which we feel does for the L610, everything is average. Highlights include colour reproduction, 1cm minimum focusing distance and full 1080p HD video recording. We much preferred the Nikon Coolpix L310, it has more zoom and is priced nearer the £100 mark.
Nikon Coolpix L610 Pros
Compact body with a decent zoom range
Good colour reproduction
Good AWB performance
Full 1080p HD video recording
1cm minimum focusing distance allows for good macro shots
2 year warranty
Nikon Coolpix L610 Cons
Image quality isn't great
Low battery life expectancy
There are better cameras for less money available