Nikon COOLPIX L10
- Tiny design, Low price tag
- Image quality issues, Very slow shutter speed
Nikon's COOLPIX L10 is a decent choice if you're looking for a low price unit to use as a backup camera or are taking your first steps into the world of digital photography. However, the 5 megapixel sensor does exhibit a few problems and the slow shutter speed will be unbearable for more experienced photographers.
Price$ 149.00 (AUD)
In the days where megapixels are the buzz word, it's rare to find a camera below 7. But Nikon's latest entry level unit, the COOLPIX L10, defies this trend by packing in a 5 megapixel sensor. This may seem surprising to some, but with a price tag this low it's understandable. The unit suffers a little with regards to picture quality and doesn't have the most robust feature set in the world, but for occasional happy snaps it does the job, and the tiny design makes it suitable as a second camera for on the road photographs.
We ran the L10 through our usual combination of subjective tests shots and Imatest software to make a thorough assessment of the image quality. It performed as expected and will produce pictures that are fine for making 4in x 6in prints, but not great for anything much larger.
There was prolific noise, which wasn't helped by the fact that ISO can't be manually adjusted. It appears the camera is set on auto, and thus you'll often wind up taking shots at a higher sensitivity than you'd like, resulting in excess noise. Our test shots achieved a score of 1.14% in this area, which is quite a bit higher than most models. The noise was evident in the shots although it was largely white and quite fine, meaning it won't be too obtrusive at smaller magnifications.
Similarly, in our sharpness test the L10 scored 1160, which is again behind the competition. Our test shots looked relatively good when viewed at normal magnifications, but at full size they lost a little clarity. This was particularly evident in our motherboard test shot which lost a fair bit of crispness in areas of fine detail.
The clarity of the pictures was also impacted on by the chromatic aberration, for which Imatest gave a score of 0.135%. There was a little blurring towards the corners of the frame but haloing was notably absent for the most part. That being said, our outdoors shots did lose a fair bit of clarity in high exposure areas thanks to purple fringing.
We found most colours were quite accurate. Everything was slightly oversaturated, but that is a common trait of most mid range consumer cameras and the balance will be pleasing for most people. Imatest gave the L10 a score of 9.82 for colour, which is a decent but not outstanding result. It showed that most of the inaccuracy came in the primary colours, with red, green and blue all exhibiting some error.
We also ran our speed tests on the L10, but it achieved less than impressive results. Its shutter lag was extremely slow at .2 of a second, which will have a big impact if you regularly snap off spontaneous pictures. The unit also took 2.4 seconds to start-up and take its first picture, which is a little sluggish. Fortunately shot-to-shot time was quite speedy at 1.2 seconds.
The feature set is fairly standard for a Nikon compact, with the notable absence of manual ISO controls. There are however a variety of white balance and colour presets and 15 scene modes for more novice users. Nikon's best shot mode makes another welcome return. This option captures your pictures at a variety of exposure settings, allowing you to pick and chose the best looking combination. Also thrown into the package is a Face Detect focus mode, which as usual is a brilliant inclusion. Turning this option on makes human faces the focal point of the picture; ideal for users who find themselves regularly photographing family and friends.
The one big selling point of this model is its design. Measuring 89.5mm x 60.5mm x 26mm and weighing just 115g, it is a tiny unit which is ideal for throwing into a bag and forgetting about. Many people are more than happy to sacrifice a little image quality and functionality for a slim and petite design, and if so, the L10 will be right up your alley.
The unit is constructed entirely of plastic, but it feels relatively sturdy and should be able to handle a few knocks. The controls are in a standard Nikon configuration and the directional pad and mode switch should cause no problems, even for novice users.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 BlackBerry Passport review: A smartphone going nowhere
- 2 Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: A flagship at 4.6-inches
- 3 Microsoft Surface Pro 3 Windows 8.1 tablet
- 4 Samsung Galaxy Tab S (10.5) 4G review
- 5 TomTom Runner Cardio GPS watch
Best Deals on GoodGearGuide
Latest News Articles
- Samsung Knox devices approved for government use by NSA
- Apple's Yosemite OS shares Spotlight search terms by default
- First products from Apple-IBM deal to come next month
- Smartsheet, the project management tool cloaked as a spreadseet, adds visualization
- Telstra misled customers on smartphone warranties: ACCC
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTDigital Account ExecutiveNSW
- FTMarketing Communications Operations Manager - Global Tech Market leaderNSW
- FTTechnical Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness development manager - retargettingNSW
- FTBusiness ManagerNSW
- FTSales Account ExecutiveNSW
- CCConsumer Product Marketing ManagerNSW
- FTBusiness Development Manager | Sales ManagerNSW
- FTPartner Marketing Communications Manager - Leading Global Tech BrandNSW
- FTAccount ExecutiveNSW