Nikon Coolpix L1 Review

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Nikon Coolpix L1

First Look posted 11/18/2005
Full review posted 1/17/2006

Introduction & Physical Views

Click on the Coolpix L1 to take a QuickTime VR tour

The Coolpix L1 is a compact and lightweight, six-megapixel digital camera with a 5x optical zoom, a large 2.5-inch LCD, and a host of advanced in-camera features that can automatically improve your pictures.

For creative freedom to compose shots, the 5x optical, 38-190mm Zoom Nikkor lens (35mm equivalent) lets users zoom in for tight portraits or zoom out to capture wide-open scenery. The L1 can compensate for insufficient flash or excessive backlighting with the touch of a button, the D-Lighting function will add detail and brighten the image where necessary. The Face-Priority AF function is able to automatically detect the location of a human face within the frame, providing sharp focus on it to produce sharp, clear portraits wherever the subject is positioned in the frame. The In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™ technology automatically detects and corrects red eyes in an image while Blur Warning will alert the user that a shot has been compromised allowing for it to be retaken before leaving the scene.

The newly-designed GUI (Graphic User Interface) enables users to select functions either by name or icon. And, the Help button can be pressed to display simple explanations for functions in the main menu. With a choice a 15 Scene Modes, the L1 gives users the ability to achieve crisp, clear images in a variety of situations such as Beach/Snow, Fireworks, Museum, Party/Indoor and more. Four of the Scene Modes offer Scene Assist to help compose shots for optimal results. To capture moving memories, Movie Mode will record at up to 30 fps with sound.

Additionally, the L1 includes handy features such as Best Shot Selector (BSS), 4x digital zoom, Single and Continuous AF, Choice of White Balance and Noise reduction to ensure better color reproduction in darker lighting conditions. Consumers can record images to an SD Card or onto the 10 MB of internal memory. For added convenience, the L1 uses two AA-size batteries and comes included with PictureProject Software.

Coolpix L1 Features at a Glance:

  • 6.2-megapixel effective CCD for prints up to 13x19 inches
  • Nikkor 5x optical zoom ED glass (38-190mm in 35mm equivalent)
  • Compact, durable and lightweight body
  • Macro focus with AF as close as 1.6 inches
  • Selectable AF: Auto-multi or Center-focus area selection available
  • AF-assist illuminator can be switched on and off at will
  • Exclusive Face Priority AF makes taking incredible portraits easy
  • 256-segment Matrix Metering with Center-weighted, Spot, or Spot AF metering
  • Large 2.5-inch TFT color monitor
  • Program AE and 15 pre-programmed Scene modes
  • Single, Continuous, Multi-Shot 16 modes
  • 640x480 @ 15fps movie with sound, length limited only by memory card capacity
  • Attach voice memos up to 20 seconds to still images
  • Automatic shutter speeds from 1/2000 sec. to 4 sec's
  • Built-in flash with auto, fill, slow sync, and red-eye reduction
  • Nikon's D-Lighting automatically brightens dark images in playback mode
  • In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™ automatically fixes most instances of red-eye in the camera
  • TTL Auto White Balance, 6 presets, custom set and bracketing
  • Exif 2.2 and PictBridge compatible
  • 14MB internal memory and SD memory card slot
  • Plug-n-Play USB connectivity
  • PictBridge direct-print compliant
  • Runs on two AA type batteries

The Coolpix L1 includes PictureProject, NikonView 6, a complete image editing and processing package, alkaline batteries, hand strap, A-V cable, and USB cable. The Coolpix L1 is available now at an MSRP of US$329.95.

Physical Views

Nikon Coolpix L1

Nikon Coolpix L1

Nikon Coolpix L1Nikon Coolpix L1

Nikon Coolpix L1

Nikon Coolpix L1

Nikon Coolpix L1

The Coolpix L1 compared to a standard CD disc.

Nikon Coolpix L1

The 6-megapixel Coolpix L1 and the Coolpix S4.

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Page Two

Coolpix L1 Specifications

CCD 1/2.5-in. high-density CCD
6.2 million effective pixels
Image sizes 2816 x 2112 High
2816 x 2112 Normal
2048 x 1536
1024 x 768
640 x 480
Lens 5x Zoom-Nikkor; f = 6.3-31.4mm (equivalent to 38-190mm) F2.9-5.0 with macro; 9 elements in 7 groups; glass-molded aspherical lens elements included
Digital Zoom 4x 0.2x step digital zoom
Autofocus Contrast-detect TTL AF
Focus range 1 ft 8 in. (50cm) to infinity in normal,
1.6 in. (4cm) to infinity in Macro mode (wide angle)
Focus area Auto (five-area selection), and Center-focus area selection available
LCD monitor 2.5-in., 115,000-dot, amorphous silicon TFT LCD with LED backlight
brightness (5 levels) adjustment, Auto gain-up at low-brightness,
frame coverage: approx. 100%
Auto OFF mode 30 sec.; can be set manually (1/5/30 min.)
Image Storage EXIF 2.2 compressed JPEG compliant with design rule for camera file system (DFC)
QuickTime Motion JPEG (Movie with audio)
Media Internal memory: approx 10MB;
SD memory card (not included)
Shooting modes AUTO
Scene Assist (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait), Scene (Party/Indoor, Beach/Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night landscape, Close up, Museum, Fireworks show, Copy, Back light, Panorama assist), BSS (Best Shot Selector)

Movie with sound (640x480 15fps, 320x240 30fps, 160x120 30fps)

Capture modes Single, Continuous (0.7fps), Multi-shot 16 (16 consecutive frames 1/16 in size)
Exposure metering 256-segment Matrix
Shutter Mechanical and charge-coupled electronic shutter
Automatic 4 sec. to 1/2000 sec.
Aperture Electronically controlled preset aperture
Range: 2 stops (F2.9, F4.9 W and F5.0, F8.4 T)
Exposure control Programmed Auto with exposure compensation (±2 EV in 1/3 EV steps)
Exposure range +2.5 to +16.0EV wide, +4.0 to +17.5EV tele
Best-shot Selector Camera takes up to 10 shots (at approx 2fps) and records the most detailed image of the 10 using anti-jitter logic which is effective for poor lighting, telephoto and macro shooting. Not available when the speedlight is on.
ISO Sensitivity ISO 50 (Auto gain to ISO 200 equivalent)
White balance 1) Matrix Auto White Balance with TTL control
2) Manual or preset for Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Shade, Speedlight)
Self-timer 10 sec. duration
Built-in Speedlight Shooting range 1 ft 8 in - 11 ft 6 in / 0.5 - 3.5m (W), 1 ft 8 in - 6 ft 7 in / 0.5 - 2.0m (T)
Flash control Flash modes:
1) Auto Flash
2) Flash Cancel
3) Anytime Flash
4) Red-eye reduction
5) Slow Sync
Playback menu 1 frame, Thumbnail (4/9 segments), Slide show, Zoom playback (max 8x, position selectable), Shooting information display
Delete function Deletes all frames or selected frames
Interface USB (12Mbps, effective speed: approx 2Mbps), mass storage or PTP
Languages German/English/Spanish/French/Italian/Dutch/Swedish/Japanese/ Simplified Chinese/Traditional Chinese/Korean selectable in menu display
Supported Platforms Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
Mac OS 9.0-9.2 (only built-in USB ports supported)
Mac OS X (10.1.2 or later)
Audio Video output NTSC or PAL (selectable)
I/O terminal Audio-Video output and Digital output terminal
Power requirements Two AA-size batteries (Rechargeable Ni-MH Battery EN-MH1-B2 with Battery Charger MH-71; LR6 alkaline batteries (supplied); ZR6 oxy-nickel batteries and FR6/L91 lithium batteries); AC Adapter EH-62B
Battery life Approx. 100 shots with alkaline, 400 shots with lithium, or 230 shots with EN-MH1-B2 Batteries (based on CIPA standard*)
(W x H x D)
Approx. 3.5 x 2.4 x 1.9 in. (89.5 x 60.5 x 47mm)
Weight Approx. 6.3 oz (Approx. 180g) (without battery and SD memory card)
Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer

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