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Nikon Coolpix L10
It seems like the photography bug has bitten the whole world. Camera manufacturers are going all out to cater to every consumer need as well. No more is a digital camera out of reach for the average man. I remember a time when buying a digital camera meant shelling out at least Rs. 15,000 plus for the most basic of digicams, but now with the obscene amount of options and variations available, you the consumer, can have your pick at a price that you can afford. The Nikon Coolpix L10 is just such a camera. It's not out of reach, money-wise, and it's perfect for just carrying around for you snap-happy people out there.
There's nothing new about the design of the L10. As digicams go, it's purely average in looks. One of those you've seen one you've seen 'em all designs. But it's conveniently small and light. Again, much like the Pentax M20 (LINK), it uses normal AA cells, so no charger is required. But the batteries do tend to add a bit to the weight. But on the whole the camera weighs just 125g.
On the top you'll see the speaker, the power button and the shutter release button.
The rear of the camera has a 2.0 inch display. Although it's clear maybe it could have been bigger. I mean do they really need so much space at the bottom to write their name? But realistically the reason is that it reduces the cost. So thats a good thing. If you want a larger screen, be prepared to fork over some more dough people. The other function buttons are spaced quite well though. That's very important for easy navigation.
On the bottom you'll find the battery compartment and unlike most other models, the SD card slot has a separate compartment oh the side right next to the
Let's start with the interface, well then again it's so standard and plain, it's really not impressive enough to mention anything that'll stand out.
So the L10 is a 5.0 megapixel camera with 3x zoom. The clarity is, ok at best. Nothing to write home about (but you can send the pictures though).
The L10 is a pretty average camera and it's just perfect for the regular point-and-shoot user. What I fail to understand is why, when in auto mode, the options for selecting self-timer or macro on the D pad is followed by a Yes or No option. It would have been simpler to just press the button and have get the option activated. The exposure option however is simple, simply press and move the dial up or down to adjust it. And for the life of me I simply could not understand the reason for the the flash not activating.
Another oddity I experienced was when a picture is taken and is relatively clear, it gives you an option of storing it or deleting it because the camera thinks it's a blurred image (though it didn't seem so). But if I took a picture and shook the camera for a truly blurred incomprehensible image, it would get saved without so much as a 'peep' out of the camera. It took me awhile but I finally figured it out the reason for the 2 oddball situations. In the menu there's a setting for BSS (Best Shot selector) that basically selects the best picture out of many. If you've selected this option you cant use the flash. So there you go.
Other than that the other features are pretty standard with menu options for choosing your image size and quality, white balance options, burst mode the BSS option and color options like black and white, sepia, cyanotype and vivid color.
In the scene menu there are plenty of settings for various conditions like in-door party, fireworks, sports, dusk and dawn face priority AF, etc. There's even a setting for changing the menu display to icons. I would not recommend this as it's really difficult to view as the icons are rather tiny. There's even a playback option to convert the images to a smaller size like 320x240 or 160x120 pixels and of course the option for leaving a voice memo for any picture.
Word of advice before using the camera please read the manual. Oh and do carry it with you just in case you get a bit confused.
Despite the few oddball settings I have to admit I was pleasantly happy with the picture quality. Though the colors were good they weren't great. It does take at least 3 - 4 seconds between shots, which I think is a little too long. It does take just about a second or 2 to start up which is a plus however.
Close ups with macro were quite good actually. The colors were clear, and although the level of detail is not perfect it's quite sharp.
Outdoor pictures are clear however you will notice a bit of the color fading in certain areas and images of the trees with plenty of leaves tend to get too saturated together making it look like a lump of green. You will also be able to notice the darkening and blurring around the edges quite clearly.
Night mode does pick up the lights around to brighten up the image, but there still is plenty of digital noise and grain if you look closely. I wont say the pictures in night mode are great but yes, they are okay for a camera like this.
But on the whole the picture quality is pretty good for a ultra-budget camera.
So the camera has a few odd glitches of sorts but once you find your way around the menus and you've memorized the manual, you're good to go. I will say that this is a great camera for a first timer. With a price tag of just around Rs. 10,900 (MRP) that Nikon offers the L10 at, which includes a carry case, SD card and rechargeable batteries you can still find it at a street price of approximately Rs. 6,500 (but the package wont include the case, card or rechargeable batteries), now that's a real bargain. So the bottom line is - it's a great value for the money with decent pictures. But maybe the image quality could have been a teeny tiny bit better though, but oh well... can’t have everything for that price now can you? And the pictures are still pretty good.
|Dimensions||90 x 61 x 26 mm|
|LCD Type||2.0", 153,000 px|
|ISO Sensitivity||Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1000, Manual|
|Aperture||F2.8 - F5.2|
|Format||JPEG (EXIF 2.2)|
|Scene Modes||Landscape, Night, Snow, beach, Portrait, close up, sunset, dawn/dusk, fireworks, backlight, face priority, panorama assist, night portrait, indoor party, museum|
5 positions, plus manual
|Flash||Auto, On, Off, auto red-eye reduction, slow sync|
|Self Timer||10 secs|
|Street Price||Rs. 6,500|