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Nikon Coolpix L830 Review

Daniel Bell reviews the Nikon Coolpix L830, an easy to use camera which has a 34x optical zoom lens and 16 megapixel CMOS sensor.

|  Nikon Coolpix L830 in Compact Cameras
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Nikon Coolpix L830 Plum (7)

The Nikon Coolpix L830 was announced in January 2014 and is a budget camera which has a 34x optical zoom lens. It also has a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and has a number of quick effects which can be applied to pictures before and after shooting. The L830 is available for around £200.

Nikon Coolpix L830 Plum (3)

Nikon Coolpix L830 Features

The Nikon Coolpix L830 has a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 34x Nikkor optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 22.5-765mm. It has Hybrid VR (vibration reduction), which combines lens shift VR and electronic VR, to reduce camera shake.  When shooting moving objects you can use Target Finding AF which identifies and focuses on your subject.

To make picture taking easy there is Easy Auto mode which optimises the camera settings for you. You can also choose from 18 scene modes, which includes panoramas. There is the Smart Portrait System which includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof alerting and Red-Eye Fix. After shooting your portraits they can be enhanced using Advanced Glamour Retouch, which includes retouch effects such as add make-up and hide eye-bags. You can also edit your images via the Retouch menu with a range quick effects, which includes Selective Colour.

Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with optical zoom and stereo sound.

Nikon Coolpix L830 Plum (12)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 34x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 22.5-765mm)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3.0 inch 921k dot tiltable LCD screen
  • Runs on AA-size batteries
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 125-1600 (ISO 3200 available when using Auto mode)
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • 6.7 fps continuous shooting mode
  • Easy panorama mode
  • Available in red, black or plum
Nikon Coolpix L830 Plum (8)

Nikon Coolpix L830 Handling

The Nikon Coolpix L830 has a plastic body - the plum version is very shiny! The L830 looks like a small DSLR, with a chunky lens barrel and large rubber hand grip. There is also a rubberised patch on the rear for your right hand thumb. There is a pop-up flash, with a button on the side to raise it up.

There are two ways to adjust the zoom, there is the zoom rocker on the top as well as a lever on the side. Also on the top is the shutter release and on / off button. On the rear are movie record, mode, playback, menu and delete buttons as well as a d-pad for cycling through the menus. The d-pad also gives quick access to the flash, exposure compensation, macro and self-timer. The menu system is well laid out and easy to navigate.

Also on the rear is the 3.0 inch tiltable screen which has an excellent 921k dot resolution. The lack of an anti-reflective coating does make it difficult when viewing the screen in bright sunlight. The screen tilts 85° downward and 90° upward, making it easy to shoot with the camera held up high or low down.

Battery life is rated at 300 shots according to CIPA test results, which is very good for a bridge style camera. 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   0.25 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.75 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.35 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   1.1 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   2.3 secs
Continuous Shooting H   6.0 fps
Continuous Shooting L   2.1 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 120 fps   121.6 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 60 fps   65.6 fps

Continuous shooting H & L modes both record in full 16 megapixel resolution, the 120 fps mode is limited to VGA sized images and the 60 fps mode is restricted to 1 megapixel images.

Nikon Coolpix L830 Plum (13)

Nikon Coolpix L830 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 L830 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images have decent colour reproduction. The portrait mode takes images with very soft skin and decent tones, although there is a little red-eye when using the flash. The night scenery mode is capable of a good low light shot, even when shooting handheld.

Nikon Coolpix L830 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Images have a decent amount of detail at both ends of the lens, although detail clearly reduces in darker areas. Purple fringing can be seen on contrasting areas of the image, but it's kept under control - images also suffer from barrel distortion. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm which allows you to take an impressive macro shot.

Nikon Coolpix L830 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 125, 200 and 400. Noise isn't much of a problem at ISO 800 either, but there is a slight softening in some areas of the image. Images become a little softer at ISO 1600, but image quality becomes significantly worse at ISO 3200.

Nikon Coolpix L830 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights the Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well, the incandescent preset performs slightly better though. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB performs excellently, with the fluorescent preset taking an image with a clear colour cast.

Panorama 180 | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 180 | 1/640 sec | f/3.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125

Panorama 360 | 1/800 sec | f/3.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 360 | 1/800 sec | f/3.2 | 5.1 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - Panorama images have a decent amount of detail and are generally well stitched together. The only issue is the low sun in our 360º panorama, which has caused problems with the exposure - but you could crop this out.

Nikon Coolpix L830 Digital filters

Digital Filters - The L830 comes with a range of special effects for creative shots - we have included examples of each above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD. Quality is good and when using the optical zoom there is no sound of the lens movement picked up by the microphone.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix L830 is available for around £200. Other budget cameras with a similar amount of zoom include the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS (30x zoom) at £202, Fuji FinePix S4800 (30x zoom) at £124, Samsung WB1100F (35x zoom) at £249.99 and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 (35x zoom) at £170. If you have more budget there are a number of premium compact cameras with lots of optical zoom that are small enough to fit in your pocket. Options include the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60 (30x zoom) at £349 and Sony Cyber-shot HX50 (30x zoom) at £246.

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 L830 Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix L830 offers plenty of features - highlights include its 36x optical zoom, hybrid VR and the tilting screen which has a 921k dot resolution. With the amount of optical zoom on offer, some users may prefer a camera that has a viewfinder, which is lacking on the L830. Image quality is decent, and with its price tag of around just £200, it is a camera we are pleased to recommend. 

  The Nikon Coolpix L830 offers plenty of zoom and decent image quality for a very reasonable price.  

Nikon Coolpix L830 Pros

Lots of optical zoom
Hybrid VR
Large rubberised hand grip
Good value for money
Tilting screen with excellent resolution
Great for macro shots

Nikon Coolpix L830 Cons

Barrel distortion is an issue
Screen difficult to view in bright sunlight
No viewfinder
Exposure issues in panorama shots


Nikon Coolpix L830 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3 - f/5.8
35mm equivalent22.5mm - 765mm
Optical Zoom34x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCMOS
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 resolution921k dot
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • Centre
  • Manual
  • AF Tracking
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1500sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
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 SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type4x AA
Battery Life (CIPA rating)300shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x4), Lens Cap LC-CP25 (with cord), USB Cable UC-E16, Audio Video Cable EG-CP16, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix L830

BeetleJumping SpiderMagnificent Black SwanScottish Ambulance ServiceMerry  ChristmasOOPS!!!!!!!!! Spelling MistakeFlyColors~~~It's all about the weather~~~In perfect harmonySnow clinging to the bushes"Forgotten"Gold Faced FlyFall along the Walla Walla RiverGrey Squirrel

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11 Mar 2014 10:51AM
I am looking at both the Nikon l820 and L830. It looks like you give a little better performance to the L820. Which has better overall image quality? Which is best at full zoom? Are both good at night photography or is one better than the other. The L820 is on sale, but if the L830 is better then I pay the extra. Thanks in advance.

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