Nikon Coolpix L810 Compact Super-Zoom Digital Camera Review, Photos, Video, Sample Images

If you’re in the market for a digital point-and-shoot camera with a lot of zoom and excellent image quality but you can’t afford anything to pricey then the new Nikon Coolpix L810 might be of interest to you. The Nikon L810 is a compact 26x super-zoom digital camera with a 16 megapixel CCD sensor.  The L810 is available in 4 colors – bronze, red, blue, black and can be purchased on our website for less than the average retail price. 
Retail Price: $279.99 
Our Price: $249.99

The Nikon Coolpix L810 comes equipped with a 16 megapixel CCD sensor and 26x optical zoom lens, which is a 35mm equivalent of 22.5 – 585mm, ideal for shooting landscapes and close-ups of distant objects. To help take blur free images the camera has lens-shift vibration reduction and motion detection to help compensate for camera and subject movement.

Picture taking is simple with Easy Auto Mode, which automatically chooses the correct setting for the scene. You can have more control by switching to Auto Mode, there are also plenty of scene modes to choose from as well. Also found in the mode menu is Smart Portrait, which includes Smile Timer, Blink Proof, Skin Softening and Red-eye Fix. Photos can also be taken in 3D mode and viewed on a 3D TV.
 

The L810 records 720p HD videos with optical zoom available during recording and the camera can be connected to a HDTV via HDMI.

Below is a quick overview of the Nikon Coolpix L810′s key features:
  • 26x zoom optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 22.5–585mm)
  • Easy Auto mode
  • Side zoom lever
  • 16 megapixel CCD sensor
  • 720p HD video recording
  • 3.0 inch 921k-dot LCD screen
  • Lens shift VR (vibration reduction)
  • ISO 80 – 1600
  • Best shot selector (BSS)
  • 3D shooting mode
  • Smart portrait system
  • 19 scene modes
  • AA-size batteries
  • EXPEED C2 image processing system
As far as looks and feel go, the Nikon L810 has a plastic body but comes with a generous rubber hand grip,  making the camera extremely easy to hold. When switching it on you have to ensure you remove the lens cap beforehand as an error message is displayed otherwise.You don’t have to remove the lens cap or switch the camera on to view your images, simply press and hold the playback button to do so. The 3 inch LCD is bright and is easy to see in all lighting conditions, you can even go into the menu settings and change the LCD’s brightness or keep it on LCD auto mode and the camera will automatically select the best brightness for whatever shooting conditions you may be in. 

The menu system is well laid out and easy to navigate. The buttons are typical for a compact camera, with a dedicated video recording button appearing on the back, as is the scene mode selection button. There is an extra zoom control button place on the lens barrel. The camera takes 4x AA batteries, with life being dependent on the quality of battery used. I am not a fan of the non-rechargeable batteries for digital camera use but some find it convenient especially if they are shooting somewhere for an extended period of time where no outlets or power sources will be available. 

Below are results from testing the L810′s performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. The test was done with 6 or more shots with the calculated average presented below. 
 
Shutter Response   0.15 seconds
Wide – Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 seconds
Full zoom – Focus / Shutter Response   0.5 – 2.5 seconds
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   2.3 seconds
Shot to Shot (without flash)   2.4 seconds
Shot to Shot with Flash   4.5 seconds
Continuous shooting
  0.5 fps

Focusing speed when using the lens at longer lengths proves to be very unpredictable, if you are focusing on the same area all the time it is much quicker, but if you are trying to photograph moving subjects it’s extremely difficult to get a sharp shot. Even if you switch to continuous shooting, 0.5 fps isn’t quick enough to help.
The Coolpix L810 produces images which are well exposed with decent color reproduction, some purple fringing is evident in contrasting areas. Detail is good in the center of images, but around the edges and corners they are clearly softer. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of 1cm, meaning you can get close enough to take a well detailed macro shot.
Below are macro photos taken with the Nikon Coolpix L810

 
At ISO 80 images are free of noise but even at ISO 100 there is some starting to appear. Noise progressively increases through ISO 200 and ISO 400, with images produced at ISO 800 have lost their sharpness. Images at ISO 1600 have plenty of noise, with a slight loss of detail, but color reproduction was still good at the highest setting.
On a clear, bright day the landscape mode takes a picture with decent blues and greens. I happened to be shooting with the Nikon L810 on a very bright and sunny summer day.
The auto white-balance (AWB) and incandescent presets both produce an image with an orange cast. The AWB setting proves slightly better under fluorescent lights, with a magenta cast appearing when using the fluorescent preset.
The L810 doesn’t have a range of digital filters, although there are different color modes such as black-and-white, sepia, vivid, and blue which can be chosen, examples below.

There’s no doubting the L810 has a handy amount of optical zoom and is capable of taking a decent picture, but it isn’t great if you are looking for a camera capable of shooting fast moving pictures, such as sports. Focusing just isn’t quick enough and it is sluggish between shots, not even continuous shooting mode is going to help. But if you are looking to take pictures of landscapes and other static objects and are looking for some extra zoom, the new Nikon Coolpix L810 is compact digital camera to consider.
H and B Digital.com is selling the new Nikon Coolpix L810 for below the average price – $249.99 instead of $279.99
For pricing and availability, go to our online store or visit us at our retail location in Manhattan, NYC.

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