Nikon Coolpix L810 Review

The Nikon Coolpix L810 (starting at $220, Amazon) has an interesting design that mimics the body of a pricey single-lens-reflex or SLR camera, the kind the pros use. It also boasts 26x optical zoom with a wide range of focal lengths, from the equivalent of 22.5mm for wide-angle shots to 585mm telephoto for zooming in on distant subjects. Apart from that, though, the camera's performance and features are similar to those of our top budget picks, judging by Nikon Coolpix L810 reviews.

An expert from Camera Labs calls the camera is easy to use and points to the 3-inch LCD, which has a high resolution of 921K dots and displays very clear images. Gripes that appear in Nikon Coolpix L810 reviews generally regard speed: Multiple experts find the continuous shooting rate, autofocus, and/or general performance a little slow. A CNET expert also found that some photos shot in low light were not very good quality -- hardly an unusual weakness in a point-and-shoot camera. A review at Tech Radar notes that pictures show little noise or graininess up to ISO 800, where other budget cameras perform well only through ISO 400 or lower. Also, the shutter lag is slight, which means that the camera records images almost as soon as you press the shutter button.

The Nikon Coolpix L810 comes with 720p high-definition video recording and optical image stabilization. As you'd expect, it saves photos to SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards. Unlike most budget cameras, though, this model runs on four AA batteries, rather than a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Nikon Coolpix L810 reviews indicate that the batteries should last long enough for the camera to take about 300 photos -- longer than a battery pack on a single charge. This model has an HDMI port in addition to a USB 2.0 port.

The Nikon Coolpix L810 certainly has more and better features than you'll find in a sub-$100 camera. No cheap model comes close to matching the 26x optical zoom or high-resolution LCD, nor includes an HDMI port for watching video on a big screen. The camera's performance and image quality, though, aren't dramatically better than those of a top camera that costs less than half the price.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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