are here: Home
Digital Camera Reviews > Nikon Coolpix
Nikon Coolpix L2 Review
Date: May 15, 2006
HANDLING & FEEL
The Nikon Coolpix L2 is quite slim, light
and can be easily carried in a jeans pocket or
fashion purse. It has 23MB of Internal Memory
and uses the Secure Digital (SD) memory card.
The Nikon L2 won't win any design award but is
attractive in its own minimalist way. The body
is dark grey and a raised battery compartment
acts as a handgrip [use of the wrist strap is
highly recommended]. When retracted, the lens
is flush with the body. The lens is off from the
center of the lens barrel and gives it a slightly
Startup is about 2-3 sec. Shutter lag is quite
noticeable at around 1-2 sec. (dependent on AF).
If you prefocus, shutter lag is practically negligible.
We have some concern that the targeted audience
may not particularly know how to pre-focus and
will therefore be disappointed with the shutter
||Colours: overall dark grey with chrome
||Looks: ultra-compact, rounded corners
||Comfortable to hold and operate but
||Controls are on the tiny side and
recessed so it can be difficult to engage
them for those with large hands and
|| Ultra Compact: fits in a jeans pocket
or small fashion purse
||Dimensions: 91W x 60.5H x 26D mm /
3.6W x 2.4H x 1.0D in.
||Weight: 120g / 4.2 oz.
||Takes 2 AA batteries (alkaline, oxyride
or Lithium; rechargeable NiMH)
|SPEED OF OPERATION
||Startup with lens extending about
2.3 cm (1 in.) and LCD turning on in
about 2-3 sec.
||Shutter lag (mostly caused by AF)
about 1-2 sec.; no practical shutter
lag if you prefocus
Included in my review box were 2 rechargeable
NiMH batteries EN-MH1. However, this seems to
be for Canada only; depending on the country or
region of purchase, you may instead get 2 LR6
alkaline batteries (non-rechargeable).
The NiMH batteries can take about 320 shots (CIPA
standard) on a fresh charge. Also included for
Canada is a Battery Charger MH-71 that will recharge
2 new or completely exhausted batteries in approx.
150 min. The Battery Charger comes with a power
The Terminal compartment is on the left side
of the camera (viewed from the back). The rubber
Terminal Cover is quite hard to pull out completely
but, once out, it will rotate totally out of the
way for easy plug-in of the USB cable.
The flash is average and physically placed in
the middle, so your fingers do not get in the
way. You can set the flash to Auto, Auto with
red-eye reduction, Off, Fill flash, Slow Synch.
The top of the camera has the Power ON/OFF button
and the shutter release button on the right side
(viewed from the back). The speaker is at the
far left. The shutter release button is on the
soft side and it's sometimes easy to accidentally
take a picture when you just want to half-press
to lock focus.
Almost all the functions must be accessed through
the MENU button. The Mode selector is found at
the back and is positioned at the very bottom
right; it has AUTO, Scene and Movie.
There are 11 scene modes (Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow,
Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Close Up,
Museum, Fireworks Show, Copy, Back Light, Panorama
Assist), plus 4 with Scene Assist (Portrait, Landscape,
Sports, Night Portrait). Scene Assist basically
superimposes framing guides for a pleasant composition.
You can record movies with sound (until the memory
card is full) at either 640 x 480 or 320x240 pixels
at 30fps or 15fps. Optical zoom can be preset
before recording but is disabled during recording.
BY CONTROL BUTTONS (clockwise starting from
the Zoom Lever)
||4 Way Arrows: Flash, Macro and Self-timer
||Mode Selector (AUTO, Scene, Movie)
The SD Card compartment is on the right side
[viewed from the rear]. Usable internal memory
is approx. 23MB so no SD Card is included in the
box. We recommend purchasing a 1GB [a one-time
buy so you don't have to be concerned with swapping
cards in and out] or as large a card capacity
you can afford.
At the bottom of the camera, the tripod mount
thread is plastic. There is a very nice Battery
Compartment that accepts 2 AA-type batteries.
You won't be able to change batteries when the
camera is on a tripod.
LCD & Menus
There is no viewfinder but a 2.0-in LCD monitor
with, surprisingly, only 86,000 pixels resolution.
This low resolution shows in a display that is
not as clear or sharp as we're used to see or
expect nowadays. I recommend that you try the
LCD out first if you are considering purchasing
this camera. Most entry-level users will probably
be OK with it.
Menus are simple to use since there are not a
lot of options to choose from.
There is no AF-assist Illuminator and auto focus
in low-light and low contrast situations can be
The Nikon Coolpix L2 is a good take-anywhere
digital camera. It handles well (keeping in mind
the small buttons) and succeeds in being a straightforward
and simple-to-operate digital camera for the first
time user. Pre-focusing will get around the slow
AF, and sticking to well-lit subjects will ensure
well exposed images.