Nikon Coolpix L810 Review

Nikon Coolpix L810 Review

As far as I can recall, this is Nikon’s longest range maxi-zoom compact. Previously there was the L20, with a 21x zoom — but nothing at this 26x level.

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There is a demand for such cameras. And, as I’ve said before, if you want long zooms, the last thing you want is to lug a heavy DSLR with a pricey and heavy lens … if you could find a DSLR zoom with a 20x plus range!

Nikon Coolpix L810.jpg

Nikon Coolpix L810 back.jpg

The price you pay of course, with such a compact digicam, is a small sensor, usually around 11mm in diagonal. But the benefit with such a small sensor is a comparatively small lens. For the photographer willing to accept the compromise, it’s a win, win situation.

Of course, you lose a few advantages: JPEG is the only still image capture (aside from 3D); while metering is accomplished in matrix, centre-weight and spot modes, there is only an auto exposure mode.

Nikon Coolpix L810 Features

The L810 is a delight to hold, thanks to a substantial, textured speed grip and its light weight. Controls are grouped around the shutter button, so a thumb and forefinger can usually drive all the buttons. I have to say the camera has a marvelous ‘hold me’ appeal!
A surprisingly attractive and useful feature is a second zoom control, built into the zoom barrel’s left side, which allows firmer two-handed operation of the camera.

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The camera’s CCD can hold 16.1 million pixels, with a maximum image size of 4068×3456 pixels, sufficient to make a 34x29cm print. Movies are recorded at a maximum res of only 1280×720 pixels, which seems pretty mean to me, when there are other digicams around the same price level that can shoot Full HD.

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Many will find one rare feature with dramatic appeal, especially if you travel outside the usual spheres of commerce: the power supply is a quartet of AA batteries: you can either single use alkaline or lithium, as well as rechargeable NiCad cells. If you’re up the Limpopo river, with or without a paddle, you will doubtless have more chance of picking up a bundle of alkalines than an opportunity of plugging your charger into mains power!

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While auto exposure is the main ‘go’, there is a large bundle of scene modes which can help the raw amateur make huge leaps in ability: among these are portrait, night landscape, fireworks, panorama and so on. There’s also a 3D shooting facility, with the result viewable on suitable 3D TV sets.

Startup Time

In two seconds from startup, the camera was ready to shoot; each subsequent shot took two seconds to capture.

Distortion

A very slight indication of barrel distortion at the wide end of the zoom; no sign of any problems at the tele end.

Nikon Coolpix L810 ISO Speeds

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Nikon Coolpix L810 ISO 400.JPG

Nikon Coolpix L810 ISO 800.JPG

Nikon Coolpix L810 ISO 1600.JPG

Up to ISO 800 all seems to be ship-shape, but I figure ISO 1600 is not useable due to an increase in noise and a drop in resolution.

Nikon Coolpix L810 Verdict

Quality: about average.

Why you would buy it: longish zoom range; good balance in the hand.

Why you wouldn’t: no Full HD video capture; limited exposure options; poor ISO performance; .

The battery compartment is notoriously hard to open; I never did manage to feel comfortable with it.

The camera is available in three colours: black, red and blue.

Nikon Coolpix L810 Specifications

Image Sensor: 16.1 million effective pixels.
Sensor Size: 11mm CCD.
Lens: Nikkor f3.5-5.9/4.0-104mm (22.5-585mm as 35 SLR equivalent).
Metering: Matrix, centre-weighted, spot.
Shutter Speed: 4 to 1/1500 second.
Continuous Shooting: 4fps.
Memory: SD, SDHC, SDXC cards plus 50MB internal memory.
Image Sizes (pixels): 4068×3456 to 640×480. Movies: 1280x720p, 640×480 pixels.
Viewfinder: 7.5cm LCD (921,000 pixels).
File Formats: JPEG, MPEG4, MPO.
ISO Sensitivity: Auto, 80 to 1600.
Interface: USB 2.0, HDMI mini, AV, DC.
Power: Four AA alkaline or lithium batteries, DC input.
Dimensions:111.1×76.3×83.1 WHDmm.
Weight: Approx. 430 g (inc batteries and card).
Price: Get a price on the Nikon Coolpix L810 at Amazon.

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Nikon Coolpix L810
Author Rating
2

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Barrie Smith is an experienced writer/photographer currently published in Australian Macworld, Auscam and other magazines in Australia and overseas.

Some Older Comments

  • Gurdeep Singh September 29, 2013 04:12 pm

    Hi,
    I bought this camera ( coolpix L810) about an year ago, It's a good camera for beginners but not for professionals. it's autofocusing is very bad. so this is the only drawback of this cam...

  • Rick June 18, 2013 06:28 am

    I hate to say it, but I agree with you about the 810... I was not at all pleased with it. I couldnt wait for my P100 to return from Nikon Service. Maybe its better in manual mode...It did ok in outdoor-good lighting, but that was it.

  • tara June 17, 2013 07:22 am

    I can't even tell you how much I hate this camera. My pocket digital was better than this. The focus is slow for distance and almost worthless. I mean it would focus for one second and then lose it immediately. ISO sucks. Low light image quality sucks. So what if it can take a decent picture in good light at moderate distance? Any old effin camera can do that!!! Shame on you Nikon. Piece of crap. And don't even get me started on the battery situation.

  • Albert Johnston May 21, 2013 07:02 am

    Panorama mode requires the use of a photo editing tool. Adobe Photoshop is the commercial program most people use. There are also some free programs. I use GIMP & find it very satisfactory.

  • Harsha May 17, 2013 02:10 am

    I own a Nikon cool pix cam.... it works good in zoom..... and the image quality is too good i didn't expect that much......
    but am having a problem with panorama mode....... how to make a snap in panorama mode totally as a single image......

  • Albert Johnston May 7, 2013 07:30 am

    A step up from the less expensive P&S. Mainly because of the better quality NIKKOR 26x wide optical zoom lens. Not as portable as the smaller P&S. (Can't put it in a pocket...) VG for Macro... focus to .40 inches, VG telephoto... as long as you use a tripod. 200.00 U.S. on multiple sites. Battery life good w/ NMH. 19 pre-set modes, EZ-auto, Smart Portrait & Auto Modes. This IS a P&S so user controls are limited but you can set the ISO & White Balance (& other things) in Auto mode. Timer is limited to 10 seconds. To get a better idea of just what this camera is capable of, I suggest a visit to
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/nikon810/
    The only issue I have is the Auto Focus. It's a bit slow and has a tendency to "hunt" at times. Other than that, over the last 4 months of use (in which I have taken 3,800+ photos) I have found this to be a great camera.

  • Phil Petrasek May 4, 2013 02:27 am

    I am amazed at all the negative comments about this camera. Yes the camera uses up the Alkaline AA batteries quicker than the NiMH AA batteries. But this camera produced tremendous pictures for me and the Alkaline batteries were fine as long as I could find a place to buy new ones (which was not hard at all - even in Europe). We spent 30 days traveling through Europe last October and all I took was this camera (it was new for me). I could go at least a couple of days taking pictures everywhere with the Alkaline batteries. But I always carried a spare set with me. Now I use the NiMH AA batteries and I can shoot pictures for days and days. Then I simply recharge them. I still carry an extra set of these batteries with me "just in case." I have finally sold my Nikon D80 and D3 and replaced them with this camera. The Nikon L810 takes tremendous pictures, easy to carrry around on extended trips, and even takes decent pictures in low light (if you know how to use the presets).

  • William April 9, 2013 10:24 am

    I think the nikon camera is the best camera and it is so easy to use .You can find more information how , it’s packed full of useful features that can make it a lot easier to take simple shot.

  • Penny K April 7, 2013 12:07 pm

    I've been using my L810 for my amateur photography side job and I think its a great camera, takes nice sharp images but it does take a couple seconds to focus sometimes and I wish its shutter speed was faster but for the money its a great camera

  • Albert Johnston March 19, 2013 03:23 pm

    I have had mine since Christmas. Regular alkaline batteries are good for up to 300 shots in my L810. However... I use Nmh most of the time. ( and a set of Li-ion for back-up.) I initially had some issues with getting sharp pics but then immersed myself in the on-line PDF manual. It's all about giving the auto-focus time to do it's job. It's on the slow side with this camera and in low light can take 1 or 2 seconds. (it even hunts a bit in Macro mode) That being said, it's quite capable... being able to go from 22x (wide angle / macro) to over 500x telephoto. Make sure you use a tripod for any long shots and learn how to use the timer to help avoid any movement. I LOVE my L810! (I've been shooting macro stuff like crazy)

  • Vital Sign January 5, 2013 03:05 am

    Hi Praveen.........

    I'm very passionate about photography...........although I'm not a professional photographer.....but in photography, it's very important to know about Iso sensibility ,exposure control , shutter speed etc.

    However, currently.., I'm having nikon L810 camera......and I'll say this camera performs outstanding in day light.....It's truly a good camera.

    But in case of low light and night mod you'll struggle with Nikon L810.....
    Well..,brother one thing.....that you won't be able to find....in others that is High zoom.

    Frankly saying...,as I'm the owner of L810...,if you are a beginner...........and want to become a good photographer then close your eyes and purchase it.

  • Rick January 5, 2013 02:51 am

    In response to your question/post about the L810; I think you should save up some more $$ and buy a Nikon P100 instead. if you want a good camera for the money,... I got one for a 60th b-day gift (nice!) and am quite happy with it. I posted about the L810 and have found that I had problems with focus when shooting in less-than-perfect lighting.... however, I got some really interesting shots using flash. The usual issues arise from using the built-in flash...i used it to high-light a subject WITH NO BACKGROUND TO SPEAK OF. and it worked quite well. Its better than a point and shoot, but it has its limitations... hope this helps.

  • praveen January 3, 2013 08:08 pm

    hi guys...
    can any one of you...suggest is it good camera...nikon coolpix l810..i am ready buy this camera within two days....i read some reviews like low light..and batteries problem.and what should i do...
    i am the beginning my photography sessions..is it right camera to me?

  • s.sambit7@gmail.com December 28, 2012 11:52 pm

    A very good camera in this price , better than sony dsc h100 and sx160 is . Image color is true instead of just vibrant. Image is sharp after focusing. Can be bought without hesitation. If you set your mind that img. will not be good , they can never be.

  • Rick December 26, 2012 10:17 am

    couldnt agree more, esp at less than perfect light....

  • Mauricio Junqueira December 24, 2012 11:06 pm

    Autofocus doesn't work properly. It find the correct focus and then at the last moment it looses it.

  • Rick November 30, 2012 11:31 pm

    I would say, save up your money some more and get the P100 instead....I was happy with mine...but technology moves on and 10.2 megapixels is past. 16-18 and up is present.and i agree with the complaints about low-light performance. And battery life ..the P 100 battery lasts quite well and charges inside the camera when it is hooked to your laptop to upload pix. The 810 eats Alkaline AA's for dinner. I shot close to 1000 pix withmy P100 and overall it did quite well. Does 1080p HD video too....... right now I am looking at Canon refurbs..... buy off the Canon site or maybe beachcamera.com

  • Raaj Cena November 30, 2012 12:52 am

    I want to by this camera but worried about the batteries can it come with inside batteries

    Plz help

  • Bhagyesh October 30, 2012 01:56 am

    so which one i shud go for sony DSC H-100 or canon Sx160IS powershot ?

  • Ashish October 28, 2012 05:02 pm

    Looks quite a nice camera. Its looks are very much similar to Sony (I dont remember the model no.). but I guess sony's results are better than this one. Still, its gud when comared overall.

    Thanks!

  • Bhagyesh October 27, 2012 05:08 am

    i am totally confused between Nikon Coolpix L120 Point & Shoot, Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Point & Shoot and Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot

  • Bhagyesh October 27, 2012 04:52 am

    so leaving aside nikon L810 wich camera i can get widin 12-13K wid good mp, zoom n other features. i recently saw Canon PowerShot SX160 IS Point & Shoot and Sony DSC-H100 Point & Shoot.

    which one to choose n if any other camera widin des range

    thankq in advance !!

  • Vital Sign October 26, 2012 10:41 pm

    Well...I read a number of reviews on NIKON L810. As far as my opinion is concerned.., I would not like to recommend you this camera...........because I bought this camera and took many pictures.........but the problems are.., when you try to take a picture in low light .....you'll have to take at least 4/5 pictures because at this time ,most of your pictures will get shake and blurry.

    And 1thing...........It's performances are very bad in low light and Sports mood.

  • Eliza October 25, 2012 05:05 pm

    I bought this camera (haven't received it yet),and I'm a firm believer in people needing to learn about the camera and playing with it before saying the pics were not in focus. Too many people want instant focus, blah.

  • TheHandyman October 22, 2012 03:08 pm

    New L810 frequently (eg. 3 out of 15 shots) gets 'Invalid Image" instead of recording picture. Don't know if it is camera or chip. Auto focus "hunts" for interminable amount of time before settling in making for missed photo opportunities. Know of any cure for this? If it weren't for cost and time involved for film I'd dig out my old and totally reliable Nikkormat which would make 10 shots while the L810 is trying to focus!

  • Sameen Khan October 10, 2012 05:38 am

    bhagyesh-

    Good Luck With that :-)

  • Bhagyesh October 10, 2012 01:45 am

    Reviews are confusing me, shud i buy dis camera or no *confusion*

  • Bhagyesh October 9, 2012 10:41 pm

    Hmmmmm newaz my diwali purchase will b dis Nikon L810 :)

  • Shakul October 9, 2012 03:11 pm

    Recently i brought this camera..
    below are my review on camera..
    picture quality are not that much sharp..
    In low light the picture will have lot of noise..
    shutter speed is very slow..

  • Sameen Khan October 9, 2012 07:21 am

    Yes it is ....but i managed myself to afford it..:)..

  • Bhagyesh October 9, 2012 12:20 am

    Very costly :((

  • Sameen Khan October 8, 2012 06:21 am

    Well Yes.... that's Alkaline Batteries he ws talking about...:P...BUT whatever i have shifted to Nikon COOLPIX P510 no tension of alkaline batteries ..:P..

  • Bhagyesh October 2, 2012 09:21 pm

    Can u suggest the best battery and the battery charger forward dis camera n the price of both plz coz m thinking of buying this camera dis diwali so have to research before i buy the things for my camera

  • Traciatim October 2, 2012 01:32 pm

    He's talking about Alkaline AA batteries... they are garbage.

    Buy NiMH AA batteries (and charger) and it will last fine, just like most digital cameras you are used to.

  • Sameen Khan September 30, 2012 09:57 pm

    I am thinking of buying this camera. when i went to the shop to buy it sales person said the batteries wont work nicely.it has low battery life :( on one charge it will take only 50 shots and with some AA batteries it will take only 20-22 pics and then gone i couldn't believe. Is it true..??....i mean "ON ONE TIME CHARGE IT WILL TAKE JUST 50 PICS"....if it is true then this camera is just a piece of crap....but i really wanted to buy this camera coz of the 16.1 mega pixel and the 26x zoom.____Can some one tell me about the battery life of it.. i mean the real truth if on one charge it can take pics around 200 i am buying it....PLz do help me...!!...:(

  • Bhagyesh September 25, 2012 12:27 am

    Apart from dis camera any oder camera wich can fit in my budget and also has gud features??

  • Lisa Coleman September 18, 2012 12:06 am

    this camera was not as good as i thought...will not focus on anything

  • Bhagyesh September 4, 2012 11:00 pm

    And is my decision of buying dis nikon L810 rite decision or any camera wich can match wid dis cameras configuration n plus points n widin dis range?

  • Bhagyesh September 4, 2012 10:57 pm

    Ohh dats nice 500times.is gud bt is der any oder other batteries wich can give more dan dis sony Eneloop batteries?

  • Traciatim September 4, 2012 08:31 pm

    The charge time depends a lot on the charger, and I believe it's about 500 times that you can recharge them. I know I've had my sets for about 2 years and they are still working great.

  • Bhagyesh September 4, 2012 05:58 pm

    Eneloop batteries take a long time to charge completely?
    N also how many times i can charge the same set of eneloop batteries ?

  • Bhagyesh September 4, 2012 05:58 pm

    Eneloop batteries take a long time to charfree completely?
    N also how many times i can charge the same set of eneloop batteries ?

  • Traciatim September 3, 2012 02:16 am

    Sanyo Eneloop NiMH batteries are nice if you are going to be letting them sit for a while before use. If you will be taking them right off the charger and using them in most cases then you can just grab any high capacity MiNH batteries (ebay has the Tenergy one from All Battery in pretty affordable bundles most of the time).

  • Bhagyesh September 1, 2012 03:14 am

    i am thinking of buying this cam L810 but m bit confused wid the batteries..... though i ll b gettng AA x4 wid the cameras bt still for backup i have to buy some good long lasting batteries or else the camera is of no use :((
    can any one suggest me good long lasting batteries for this camera ??

  • Rick meryman August 10, 2012 02:03 am

    I bought one to use while my P100 is being repaired...I miss the fold-out display and the function wheel on top,
    but other than that, its pretty much the same..I didn't expect it to be the same for 1/2 the price. I really have only one complaint: It has the same too-fast zoom which can be a real pain to get just right... My Canon vidcam is much better in that dept. thanx for the soapbox and the review...

  • Camera chic August 1, 2012 08:43 am

    I recently got this camera, I'm an amateur and it's performance in my opinion is superb. I use it with NiMH batteries and the battery life is also good. I recommend this camera to beginners, as well as individuals who want a cheaper solution to a DSLR.

  • Traciatim August 1, 2012 04:36 am

    "you can either single use alkaline or lithium, as well as rechargeable NiCad cells."

    NiMH, NiZn, or Low Self Discharge NiMH are the only batteries anyone should be using for something like this camera. Alkaline will be garbage in a few shots, lithium are far too expensive to even be remotely a plausible choice. And NiCd? Really? In a high drain device? Never ever.