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Nikon Coolpix L19 review

Ben Pitt
22 Apr 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
88
inc VAT

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Specifications

1/2.5in 8.0-megapixel sensor, 3.6x zoom (41-145mm equivalent), 130g

We usually approve of brightly coloured cameras, but the L19's metallic mauve is hideous.

Thankfully, it's also available in silver. It's the cheapest of Nikon's recent models, and although the design isn't sizzling with style, the rounded corners make it feel robust. We can imagine this camera surviving rough treatment from children.

The 3.6x zoom range is better than we'd expect at this price, but it's only 41mm at the wide-angle end, so you'll need to step back further than usual. The 2.7in screen seems generous, but its colours looked washed out. Photographic controls are basic. With no ISO speed, metering or autofocus options, the camera relies almost entirely on its automatic mode. Exposure compensation, flash, white balance and resolution are the only image-related controls on offer. Luckily, this wasn't a problem in our tests, with well-judged exposures in a wide range of light conditions. Detail levels in outdoor shots were good rather than excellent, but because it's an £88 camera we can't imagine anyone being disappointed. Shots taken indoors without the flash were fairly grotty, displaying smudged details and noisy shadows. Surprisingly, though, the results were better than the same shots taken with Nikon's pricier S630, below.

The L19 was also streets ahead of the S630 for performance. It took just 1.5 seconds between shots in the single drive mode and turned in a respectable 1.1fps in continuous mode. The use of AA batteries meant that flash photos were around four seconds apart, though.

As a budget camera, the L19 hits all the right notes: it seems robust and is easy to use, it's responsive and takes pleasing photos. However, it's narrowly beaten by Pentax's Optio M50. The M50 is slower but has a 5x zoom, better controls, a smarter design, a Li-ion battery and marginally better image quality. It's available for £90 including VAT from www.comwales.com.

Basic Specifications

Rating****
CCD effective megapixels8.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.5in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size2.7in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom3.6x
Zoom 35mm equivalent41-145mm
Image stabilisationnone
Maximum image resolution3,264x2,448
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied20MB internal
Battery type2x AA
Battery Life (tested)440 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV
Body materialplastic
AccessoriesUSB cable
Weight130g
Size61x97x29mm

Buying Information

Price£88
Supplierhttp://www.microdirect.co.uk
Detailswww.nikon.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)auto
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlsnone
Manual focusNo
Closest macro focus5cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, face detect
Metering modesmulti, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer