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Nikon Coolpix L810 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £197
inc VAT

A noisy sensor and unreliable autofocus undermine some impressive specifications


1/2.3in 16.0-megapixel sensor, 26.0x zoom (22.5-585mm equivalent), 430g

Some people buy digital cameras based purely on brand, specs and price, and Nikon has them in its sights with the L810. The Nikon brand carries some gravitas, and with a 26x zoom, 16-megapixel sensor, 3in 921,000-dot screen, HDMI out, a choice of four colours and a price just shy of £200 including VAT, it’s bound to stand out on the shop shelves.

Nikon Coolpix L810

The 26x zoom is a little way off the similarly priced Olympus SP-810UZ with its 36x zoom. However, the L810’s zoom range starts at an unusually wide 22.5mm equivalent focal length. It’s not a huge gain over the 24mm focal length commonly offered elsewhere but it’s still welcome for landscape and architectural photography.

The chunky lens barrel and generous rubber-coated handgrip give the air of an enthusiasts’ camera, but the truth is this is a point-and-shoot camera with a big zoom. There’s no electronic viewfinder, no manual exposure or focus controls and the screen isn’t articulated. Elsewhere, there are signs of cost-cutting, with four AA batteries – rechargeable batteries not included – and no orientation sensor, so portrait-shaped photos must be rotated manually.

Nikon Coolpix L810

The menu options are stripped right back, with ISO speed and white balance but no control over the metering or autofocus. Even face detection isn’t available in Auto mode, although it does appear in a couple of Portrait scene presets. This is worrying, as zooming in with an ultra-zoom camera gives a narrow depth of field, so it’s more of a problem when the camera focuses on the wrong thing.

Nikon Coolpix L810

The self-timer function is stuck at 10 seconds, whereas virtually every other camera we test includes a two-second option to avoid shaking the camera when shooting with a tripod. This function is especially useful on ultra-zoom cameras because they’re much more susceptible to shake, so it’s a shame not to find it here.

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Basic Specifications

Rating **
CCD effective megapixels 16.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 921,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 26.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 22.5-585mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,608×3,456
File formats JPEG; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied 50MB internal
Battery type 4x AA
Battery Life (tested) 450 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, mini HDMI, DC in
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 430g
Size 77x111x89mm

Buying Information

Warranty two-year RTB
Price £197

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range f/3.1 (wide), f/5.9 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controls none
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 1cm
Auto-focus modes multi, face detect
Metering modes multi, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer, smile detect, 3D

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