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Nikon Coolpix L100 Evaluation | Trusted Evaluations

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Tremendous-zoom cameras are sometimes additionally known as bridge cameras, as a result of historically they’ve occupied a place between the on a regular basis client territory of compact cameras and the extra unique land of the digital SLRs. Most of them have optionally available guide publicity, a number of metering and autofocus choices and different superior options, which may make them a little bit of a frightening prospect for anybody who doesn’t know the distinction between aperture and shutter pace. The vast majority of the camera-buying public simply need a digicam that they will level and click on, and be assured of getting an excellent image in most conditions, with out having to fiddle round deciding on the suitable capturing mode or worrying in regards to the ISO setting.

Sadly this has meant that almost all customers have been restricted to 3x zoom compacts, however now Nikon has produced a super-zoom digicam with the straightforward controls of a point-and-click compact. It’s known as the Coolpix L100, and I’m having a look at it at the moment.

The L100 doesn’t have many direct rivals, however there are different child super-zooms that are lots cheaper than its £230 retail worth, together with the Fuji FinePix S2000HD (£150) and even cheaper nonetheless the Kodak Z8612 IS (£110). Each of those fashions embrace a spread of guide choices and superior controls.

At first look the L100 shouldn’t be a very impressive-looking digicam. It’s small for a super-zoom, measuring 110 x 72 x 78 mm, and appears even smaller because of the lack of the same old viewfinder turret sported by most bridge cameras. Nevertheless when loaded up with 4 AA batteries it’s surprisingly heavy for its dimension, weighing roughly 455g ready-to-shoot. On selecting it up it instantly seems like a high quality digicam, and nearer examination reveals Nikon’s common glorious construct high quality and end, with tight match strains between panels and solidly mounted controls. The battery/card hatch has a locking catch and the tripod bush is made from steel.

The form of the physique is much like most different super-zoom cameras, with a distinguished handgrip and huge lens barrel. The grip is sort of huge, to accommodate the batteries, however because of the dimension of the digicam it’s relatively brief, and there’s not an enormous quantity of room between the grip and the lens barrel. Nonetheless the digicam is comfy to carry, and the rubber coating on the grip and the textured thumbgrip on the again make it safe and straightforward to carry regular with one hand.

The L100 has no viewfinder, but it surely does have an excellent three-inch LCD monitor, with a decision of 230k dots and an excellent anti-reflective coating. It’s sharp, vibrant, and works properly outside in vibrant daylight, and it even has an excellent viewing angle all spherical, besides from under. In the event you maintain the digicam above your head, as you would possibly to shoot over a crowd, the viewfinder picture just about disappears.

Like all super-zoom cameras the obvious characteristic is the lens. The L100 follows the current pattern to incorporate wide-angle capabilities, and has a 15x zoom equal to 28-420mm, with a most aperture of f/3.5-5.4. Many current super-zoom cameras, together with Nikon’s personal Coolpix P90 (evaluation coming quickly) have optical zoom of properly over 20x, however these are solely actually helpful when used with a tripod. For a digicam designed primarily for hand-held use 15x is in regards to the sensible restrict. The L100 options sensor-shift vibration discount to cut back motion blur at longer zoom settings.

The L100 is a quite simple digicam. It has the identical capturing modes and menu system because the Coolpix L20 point-and-shoot compact, and is simply as simple to make use of. Nearly all digicam capabilities are computerized, with the extent of guide management restricted to picture dimension, white stability (though this defaults to Auto), drive mode and a really brief listing of color choices (vivid, black and white, sepia or cyanotype). Even these choices are disabled in Straightforward Auto mode, through which solely picture dimension is adjustable.

There aren’t any guide publicity choices aside from the same old publicity compensation of +/-2EV, and there aren’t any focusing mode choices aside from toggling macro mode on and off. The surprisingly highly effective flip-up flash has 5 modes, together with red-eye discount, compelled flash and night time portrait mode, making it essentially the most difficult characteristic on the digicam.

Other than the Auto and Straightforward Auto modes, the L100 has a Scene mode with 14 scene packages together with panorama stitching and backlight compensation, a film mode able to capturing 25-minute clips in VGA decision at 30fps with mono audio, and a particular mode with three extra options. It has a Sport Steady mode, which restricts the picture dimension to 3 megapixels however can shoot 30 frames at as much as 13fps, a Smile Shutter mode which makes use of face detection to set off the digicam when the topic smiles, and a Excessive ISO mode which additionally restricts picture dimension to 3 megapixels however units the as much as 3200 ISO.

You would possibly assume that having such a restricted vary of options and choices would show limiting, and to a sure extent it does, however there’s a sure Spartan attraction to the L100’s simplicity, and there’s no denying that it’s ridiculously simple to make use of. Not having to fret about particulars like ISO setting, metering, focus level, shutter pace or depth of area – since you may’t regulate them anyway – means it’s a must to simply belief the automation and focus on composing your image, and the superb zoom vary and responsive management offers it an enormous quantity of versatility on this respect. It’s a good digicam to make use of, and shortly grows on you.

By way of efficiency the L100 isn’t precisely glowing, but it surely’s not too dangerous both. It begins up in a little bit below three seconds, and shuts down once more in about two and a half seconds. In single-shot mode and most picture high quality it could possibly shoot as soon as each 1.5 seconds for 3 frames, however then it slows right down to a couple of shot each three seconds. In steady capturing mode it shoots at about 1.5 seconds per body, but it surely’s exhausting to guage precisely as a result of there isn’t a audio cue to let you already know when it’s really taking an image.

Not so way back Nikon was having some issues with the autofocus on its zoom cameras, however fortunately these days are lengthy gone, and the AF system on the L100 is significantly better. It’s not the quickest on the earth, but it surely’s fast sufficient and doesn’t decelerate an excessive amount of at longer zoom settings. It’s in fact at its greatest in good gentle, however its low gentle efficiency isn’t dangerous both. The one weak level is the AF help lamp, which is a bit weedy and solely has a helpful vary of about 1.5m.

The perfect information is the picture high quality, which is superb below nearly all circumstances. Not too surprisingly the outcomes are just about equivalent to the Coolpix L20, which implies that publicity and focusing are just about good on a regular basis. Nevertheless it additionally implies that color rendition in commonplace mode is distinctly over-saturated, and Vivid mode is eye-searingly lurid. Brilliant reds and yellows have a tendency to look as featureless blobs of color with no element.

The lens high quality is superb, with glorious edge-to-edge sharpness in any respect focal lengths, and what little barrel distortion it does produce is corrected mechanically in digicam. It does endure from a little bit of chromatic aberration in direction of the sides of the body, however I’ve definitely seen lots worse. The general degree of element is superb, and with file sizes of round 4.3MB they’re not over compressed, however nonetheless pictures have a distinctly over-processed look.

One issue is assessing picture noise. The L100 has no guide ISO management, and it appears that evidently its computerized setting may be any worth between 80 and 1600, nevertheless once I was in a position to persuade it to shoot at 400 ISO it produced good clear footage with little or no picture noise. The high-ISO setting at three megapixels is a bit ropey, however then that setting would solely be used below excessive circumstances anyway. All in all of the L100 produces good high quality footage with a minimal of fuss.


The Nikon Coolpix L100 is a just about distinctive digicam combining the simplicity of a totally computerized level and shoot compact with the large wide-angle 15x zoom lens and picture stabilisation of a sophisticated super-zoom digicam. It’s properly made, sensibly designed, sufficiently small to be readily moveable, and takes excellent snapshot footage in nearly all conditions. It’s a bit costly in comparison with some attainable rivals, however it’s a very likeable little digicam.

”Over the subsequent few pages we present a spread of take a look at photographs. On this web page the complete dimension picture on the minimal and most ISO settings have been lowered to allow you to see the complete picture, and a sequence of full decision crops have taken from authentic pictures at a spread of ISO settings to indicate the general picture high quality. These ISO take a look at pictures are shot indoors utilizing mirrored pure gentle for max consistency. ”


That is the complete body at 400 ISO. All of the take a look at photographs on the opposite pages have been shot at 80 ISO.


At 400 ISO the picture is clear and sharp with minimal picture noise.


That is the complete body at 938 ISO. The Excessive-ISO setting can go as much as 3200 ISO, however is proscribed to 3MP.


Picture high quality seems a bit like a telephone digicam at this setting.


”A variety of common take a look at photographs are proven over the subsequent two pages. In some circumstances, the complete dimension picture has been lowered for bandwidth functions, and a crop taken from the unique full decision picture has been positioned under it to indicate the general picture high quality. Another footage could also be clicked to view the unique full-size picture. ”


Right here’s the same old element take a look at shot of the West Window of Exeter Cathedral, so that you can examine with different cameras. See under for a full res crop, or click on to see the entire image.


Though the extent of element is sweet, the picture seems over-processed, with some slight artefacting.


With distortion management turned off there may be some barrel distortion at huge angle.


Identical shot with distortion management on.


Centre sharpness is sweet…


…and nook sharpness isn’t too dangerous, though there may be some chromatic aberration.


”Listed here are some common take a look at photographs to assist consider the digicam’s total picture high quality, together with dynamic vary, color rendition and the zoom vary of the lens. Some footage could also be clicked to obtain the complete dimension authentic picture. ”


The 28mm-equivalent wide-angle finish is sweet for panoramic landscapes.


Taken from the identical spot as above at full zoom, equal to 420mm. The darkish spots look like grime on the sensor of my brand-new evaluation pattern, which is a bit worrying.


Color replica is a bit too vivid, even in commonplace mode.


Dynamic vary could possibly be lots higher.


The D-Lighting characteristic, utilized in playback mode, helps a bit, however not a lot.


The L100 has its limitations, however it could possibly flip in some good outcomes.


Rating intimately

  • Worth 8

  • Picture High quality 8

  • Construct High quality 9


Digital camera kind Tremendous Zoom
Megapixels (Megapixel) 10 Megapixel
Optical Zoom (Instances) 15x
Picture Sensor CCD
Picture Stabilisation Optical
LCD Monitor 3 in
Flash modes Constructed-in Flash
Video (max res/format) 640 x 480
Reminiscence card slot Safe Digital (SD) Card, Safe Digital Excessive Capability (SDHC) Card, MultiMediaCard (MMC)

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