For anyone looking at getting a decent, mid-level point-and-shoot with the look and feel of an SLR, the Nikon Coolpix L120 is by far the best choice, even with its few shortcomings!
As a semi-professional photographer who primarily shoots film (but is slowly converting to digital) I always have kept at least a digital P&S camera with me to get those "quick" shots that I can't get because of the time involved in setting up the shot in an SLR. My previous camera, the Minolta DiMAGE S414 had been getting long in the tooth and was starting to glitch. A friend gave me his Nikon Coolpix E5200 and I was immediately hooked on Nikon's legendary imaging quality. However, the 5-megapixel sensor in the Coolpix E5200 was short of what I truly needed, so the same friend who gave me the E5200 also let me try out his Coolpix L110. I was blown away with how well the photos turned out! In my quest to buy my own Coolpix L110, I had heard back in February that Nikon was releasing the Coolpix L120, with a 2-megapixel increase over the L110 and several new features. Having read the first reviews of the camera, it seemed like a sure winner, so I took the plunge on March 14th of this year and secured one for myself.
Instantly, I was hooked on it. Right out of the box, this camera is a winner! The settings, user-interface, the sleek design and the nifty zoom selector on the lens barrel makes this camera worth every penny. In the short time I have owned it, I have already taken approximately 1,200 photos with it; everything from nature, bridges, even the sun! (with a solar filter, of course). And with its fantastic 21x optical zoom, I can photograph a car at more than a quarter-mile away and be able to clearly read its license plate!
The only drawback I can see is that Nikon has left out the ability to manually control your aperture and shutter speed settings (instead, leaving that for the Nikon Coolpix P500 which I was unimpressed with). However, those small shortcomings are overwhelmed by the simplicity this camera offers. Itching to get into Panorama photography, without the need for an expensive SLR with built-in panorama stitching? Consider it done! With this camera's Panorama-Assist feature (which overlays a small portion of the image onto the screen for the next shot to be composed), and the supplied Arcsoft Panorama Maker Pro 5 software, Panorama-style photography has never been more affordable. Looking to enhance photos with HDR-like color clarity? Consider that done, also! This camera supplies with it built-in D-Lighting that preserves the color intensity of an image yet bringing out the details otherwise hidden within dark shadows. Also supplied, incase you don't want to edit your images in-camera, is Nikon's own View NX-2, which not only includes D-lighting enhancement filters, it also offers a host of other image-editing capabilities!
In short, this camera has the competition beat! I would recommend it (I have the black version) over anything else.
I purchased the Nikon L120 about a month ago in preparation for a trip we were taking to California. Although I was impressed by several of the features I read about, such as the extended zoom and pseudo-dslr design, I still had some concerns about a couple of features such as the complaints about focusing and lack of manual controls. After shooting about 200 pictures, I am happy to report that I will be keeping the camera.
I'll address my concerns about the reported concerns others expressed. First was the concern over focus. At one point, the camera was having trouble focusing on a shot of the sea and horizon. Everything was blurry and only items within 20-30 ft. would be in focus. I tried several different modes, including landscape and beach, but it did not cure the problem. At that point, I decided to just turn it off and turn it back on and that solved the problem. There must be some issue with the algorithms which pick certain items to focus, but the old "off and on" trick fixed it and I had no other problems, even under similar circumstances. The other issue was of the lack of manual modes. Except for the focus issue, I had no problems with exposure under any conditions, inside, outside, bright lights, dim, flash, portraits, etc.
Now onto the good things. Battery life is very good. I took over 200 pictures with regular alkaline batteries. Although I had lithium batteries ready to go, it has not been necessary to use them. With battery life that good and the fact that it uses 4 AA batteries, I don't think I"ll go to the expense of lithium batteries.
I really like the form factor of the camera. The bulge on the right side is very handy and you can hold it securely with only a couple of fingers. Taking the lense cap on and off is annoying, especially when you forget to take it off after you power it up. However, it's no more annoying than it was in the old days of analog cameras. Also with the plain old lense cap, there are no concerns with sand jamming up exterior shutters. The camera is too large to fit in your shirt pocket but not too big to fit in a coat pocket or purse/backpack. I think it's an acceptable compromise on size. Zoom is excellent. Seals which were several hundred yards away looked like we were right on top of them. I did not experience any shutter lag, although I have not used the camera in burst or sports mode yet. Video mode is about what you would expect for a hand held camera. OK, not great, but works well enough for that quick video when you need more than a still camera.
To sum it up, I like the battery life, picture quality, good assortment of modes, adequate flash range and fantastic zoom. The camera definitely has a few quirks but ones I decided I can live with. I give it a solid 9 out of 10.
I recieved this camera just a couple of days ago. Wow what a fantastic surprise! My two previous digital cameras were a Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ10 which I purchased in 2009 for a bicycle tour. While the camera had a lot of good things going for it a couple of problems stuck out which I could not tolerate. 1st and foremost it was very poor in bad lighting and the flash did not compinsate. 2nd..it really needed to be held steady any movement created a blurry picture. Declining light only made the issue worse. My other digital is a Nikon Coolpix 4300 which I bought 6 or 7 years ago to handle an online website. I love that camera, great pictures. good in bad light, not much zoom capability but could deal with that. The big problem...It was designed with an odd memory card which is hard to get and did not hold as much as comparable cameras today. I still use this camera for my website.
Good luck with Nikon and poor luck with Lumix I decided to chance another Nikon. Wow again..quick focus, Holds a common SD card, great zoom capabilities, and best of all it opperates very well in poor light conditions, in fact I forced a poor light condition under my desk with no flash and worked beyond belief! Add to those good reviews the fact they have redesigned the zoom key and placed it on the left side on the lens (can you say 35mm like)long, long, long over due.
If your thinking about one...make the plunge. A+A+A+
I couldn't wait until this camera was released and it was worth the wait! I love how it looks, the bronze is beautiful, and it sits well in my hand. It felt comfortable from the very first holding. I like how the lens cap attaches--can never get lost, but not in my way either. Easy to use right out of the box. After reading the comments on it's predecessor the Nikon L100 and L110, I did two things immediately. I used fresh lithium batteries instead of the ones it came with, and I, after a few too many blurry photos, upped the ISO. The photos are fabulous so far! I am enjoyed playing around with the black and white setting and got some stunning results, just from sitting in my chair indoors, focising on ordinary items and my dog in my living room! I'm having fun experimenting with the different settings in the menu and recently took some very interesting night shots on my street. Macro is stunning. I found some great cases at Target and Walmart, but the one I bought fits so nicely is a small Lowenpro, it was under $20 with room enough for the camera with strap, and a little pouch for an extra set of batteries. I cannot comment on the video, as I have not used this feature yet. I've only had this bronze beauty for two weeks but so far I am very impressed!
I took my time, did a big research.
I've read hundreds of reviews. Bought it yesterday at J&R for $305 after tax.
I'm very pleased with it, love it (performance, picture and build quality).
It looks big on a picture, but it's perfect size in reality.
I was going to spend around $550 but I couldn't find anything matching
this one in terms of picture quality (I did research on that).
I was going for Nikon Coolpix P500 but changed my mind because people really unhappy with overall performance.
Canon G12 and Nikon 9000 have no zoom...
Same story with all others (Canon, Nikon, Lumix, Sony, FujiFilm).
Other manufactures I don't even consider in this price range.
And speaking about CMOS sensors advantage... They are good only in big full size.
They undeperform in 1/2.3 and even 1/1.7 sises. Fact.
I can tell this from my own experience with Canon 50D vs Canon SX1.
I'm not a Nikon sales man because I'm a huge fan of Canon (T3i is the best!)
but this time I'm going for compact one for the beach, rain, snow kind of camera.
What I was trying to say is that for this money I think it's hell of a camera.
Although this camera looks like a SLR Camera it is not, it is however an excellent point and shoot camera with some features you would find on a more expensive SLR for quite a bit less money. If you are an amateur photographer with some basic knowledge of photography, this feature rich camera might just be the camera for you.
I was looking for a camera that looked good like a SLR, had a great zoom, fairly easy to use and could get off multiple shots fast and of course produced some good end results. This camera so far has done it all plus some. I did not realize there where so many features on this camera until I put there CD in my PC and downloaded all there material.
Instead of me trying to explain everything about the camera I have found a wonderful United Kingdom web site that has done an excellent extremely detailed review on this camera. It has pages of review on all aspects of it plus photos and video taken with this camera. Much more thorough than I could ever be. Just go to " photographyblog.com " and in there review section type in Nikon Coolpix L120 Camera for there review.
I put some zoom photos that I took on the product page. These where taken the 1st day I got the camera. The photo,s of the Loquat tree are the actual 1st and 2nd photos I took with this camera. I will be adding new photos as I get more familiar with it.
So far I like the Nikon L120 very much with a few small exceptions. Not quite a 5 star camera but closer to 5 than 4 stars. So 5 stars it is for now since it is doing most everything I expected it to do when I ordered it.
PS ::: I have the red version and love it. Definitely a sharp, eye catching camera. Also if you have not seen my photos under related images on the product page, take a look I think you will be impressed with the zoom results. Thanx, Rich
This is an amazing camera. I wasn't sure I was buying the right camera for what I wanted to do but this is just exactly what I wanted. It's amazingly easy to use, takes GREAT pictures, and the video feature is the best. I love how easy it is to record video with this camera. And the mic picks up sound easily. The only thing I would add to this camera is a volume control to boost up the sound when taking video. My husband likes the 20X zoom feature. Brings everything right to you. I would totally recommend this camera to anyone thinking of upgrading their point and shoot. This camera is well worth the price.
I bought this Nikon over a month ago and have already taken over 1,000 photos on it. All I can say is wow. First of all the battery life for me was great. I was not to keen on the 4 AA batteries that were required to be used because i never had good luck with that type of camera. My first set of batteries that I used took over 600 photos and that is using the flash most of the time. The zooming on this is great. Now when there is a really far zoom, don't expect it to be top notch photo but the anti-shacking option on this camera helps with the far photo shots. I have a 16 gig SD card in mine and with the max mp turned on to 14.1 i am able to get over 4,000 photos on one card. Now the photos, it really does a good job for a point and shoot camera. It does take some time to learn the camera but there are two settings that make it much easier to use. One is the easy mode, and the other is the Auto mode. Both are good for starters or just to get a good couple quick shots off. Attached are a few photos I have taken with this camera in all different light conditions. I hope this helps everyone that want's to find a good point and shoot camera with good zoom and good photo quality.
I have had this for about a month and love it....I am still learning all of the features but I have to say that this is the best camera I have owned. The images are very clear and bright, zoom is fast and so is shutter time. I have a 2 year old so the quick response time in the picture helps alot. I also like the pet photo function.
My old Nikon was 2003 vintage Coolpix 885 and great back then but the menu had died in it so
considering trying to get it fixed vs getting a new camera, I shopped around.
I'm glad I did. This Camera has only one flaw if it can be called that, the lens cover isn't quite as good as the one for my older model. It does however come with a tiny cord to attach it to the camera which was cool! No more setting it down and then looking for it. You need to be careful installing the batteries properly. I ought a couple of the Transcend 16 gb memory cards through Amazon. Walmart had a 4 pack of their Lithium best AA batteries so I bought and used them. I popped them in, popped in a memory card and then had to read the book to see how to turn it on and WHAM! I was taking pics. You can edit them real easy right in the camera as I tested it on my wife getting out of the shower who immediately demanded I remove them. I did.
The menu is now intuitive and easy to maneuver compared to my Nikon Coolpix 885.
I really do need to read the book though since this camera has outstanding features. The picture quality, I can't believe how good it is.
The larger screen is really really nice. The software I had already tried with my older camera. I love it. You get the manual on a CD along with a cd with the software. The Macro which another poster mentioned is just great and one of the reasons I bought this one. I bought a $7 Zeikos case for it and it's perfect.
I'm as tickled as I can be. I was hesitant at first spending more for it than other brands, but my experience with my previous Nikon Coolpix 885 already leaned me towards this one. It's really well packed in it's box complete with cables and straps and 4 Energizer AA alkaline batteries. Being able to get batteries at Walmart is a huge plus. You can buy rechargeable ones with a charger as well.
What's not to like? I spent the extra $ and am 100% completely satisfied.
I'm so satisfied that now I'm going to try seeing if I can get the 885 menu restored through Nikon and give that camera to my niece as it still does take great pics......but not like this unit does.
OH yes, and I DO like the fact it's a bit larger than other compact models.
It easier to hold it steady since I grew up with a lot bigger older cameras.
We're buying some property with outstanding views and I can't wait to take pics with this camera to share with family and friends.