Nikon Coolpix L23 review

Ben Pitt
22 May 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
inc VAT

A seriously low price, but with disappointing automatic exposures and no way to adjust settings, you get what you pay for.



1/2.9in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 5.0x zoom (28-140mm equivalent), 170g

We don't see many compact cameras like the L23 these days, with its AA batteries and bulbous body to accommodate them. Then again, not many cameras are this cheap. Bear in mind that rechargeable batteries aren't included when weighing up this camera against models with Li-ion batteries, though.

Nikon Coolpix L23

The lens is surprisingly well specified with its 5x zoom range, starting at a wide-angle 28mm equivalent focal length. Most of the other specs reflect the low price, with a basic VGA-resolution video mode and barely any control over photographic settings. The menu includes a continuous mode and white balance control – including a custom white balance option – but there's no way to adjust the ISO speed, metering or autofocus. Even face detection is absent, except in the Smart Portrait scene preset, which combines it with a gimmicky smile-detect function.

Nikon Coolpix L23 back

The lack of control would be fine if the L23 picked the best settings automatically, but in low light with the flash suppressed it invariably resorted to excessively long shutter speeds, which led to blur. It's no surprise that a camera this cheap doesn't include optical image stabilisation, but without it there's little hope that shutter speeds as slow as 1/6 seconds will result in blur-free shots.