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  1. 28 of 30 people found this review helpful
     Not great for kid/family pictures 31 October, 2011 On
    We have a Nikon digital SLR that I use and wanted a simpler point and shoot camera for taking pictures of family and kids. The Coolpix L120 had some great specs and reviews, so we decided to try it. We've also have an older Canon Powershot A720is point and shoot camera that we've really liked, but it was starting to not capture all of the shots in focus (seems to be a common problem with digital point and shoots as they get older).

    We really wanted to like the camera - it's comfortable to hold and seems to have all the features we needed. However, our immediate impression was that so many of our shots of the kids were blurred by their motion. It seems to work very well for still images, and as I look back over the previously posted pictures, most of the shots are still ones. If there is any movement (and with kids from 18 months to 7 years, there always is), there is going to be some blur. You don't have any sort of manual control over the shutter speed with this camera, so we were unable to correct for it through any of the modes. There is a sports mode that will shoot many shots consecutively, but the resolution is cut down significantly to about 3Megapixels.

    I looked back over the reviews and found someone else who had a similar experience with the camera. They had recommended a different Nikon point and shoot the Coolpix S8100 that seems to have worked well. We returned this one and purchased a Nikon Coolpix P300. It gives you a little more control as compared to the Coolpix s8100 with a metal case and a very fast lens (f/1.8). The fast lens means that it can choose a faster shutter speed to capture kids before they move. It also has a sports continuous mode that will shoot full resolution shots at a very high speed.

    The pictures with the P300 are night and day as compared to the L120. No more motion blur, and it is very responsive (not as fast as a digital SLR, but still good). The zoom range is much more limited than the L120, but most of our shots are of reasonable distances from the kids at home, outside, or at a party. For this, the camera is excellent. We didn't really buy the P300 for the video, but it works well and looks good.

    In hindsight, we should have paid more attention to the speed of the lens. The Canon point and shoot we have is a f/2.8 lens (which is very good/fast) and the P300 has a f/1.8 lens (which is even better for low light/action photography). I think the L120 with a f/3.1 lens should work well, but it seems that the metering consistently selects a longer shutter time (even with the flash) and we just haven't been able to get good pictures unless the subject is completely still.
  2. 8 of 8 people found this review helpful
     Returned it... Quick. Not good enough for that kind of money. 4 September, 2011 On
    Okay, nobody was expecting DSLR quality from a hyped up super zoom point and shoot, but I did expect it to do better than my old 8 megapixel Canon A590IS. Surprisingly it did not. I was attracted, as I'm sure a lot of people are, by the DSLR look, the impressive zoom capability, and color. Smile detection as well as other features caught my eye, of course. But to start off, the zoom very much failed to live up to the expectations raised by the ads. Anything beyond 2-4x was highly pixelized. In fact, though the colors were superb on this camera, most pictures were far worse in quality than my 8 megapixel point and shoot. I actually had to reduce the size of the images by half in order to cover up this camera's shortcomings. (which obviously makes the print capabilities fall short of the print sizes boasted which were supposed to be better than most point and shoots.) I found the macro to be lacking as well. I did side by side comparisons with my old 8 megapixel Canon A590IS and found that the canon beat it every time in macro, and almost every time in most other areas. Color was one of the exceptions. But I can get the same results by using photoshop to enhance the colors on my old camera's pictures. And yes it's nice to be able to zoom in on a bird in a tree a long distance away, but if the picture is so pixelized that you have to size it down to 300 by 300 pixels in order to make it look good, what's the point? Yes up close, it takes some decent pictures, but don't try to use the zoom. I say keep my a590 which I can buy lenses for until I save up enough for a real dslr. And honestly? If you want an SLR, spend about a hundred bucks or less more and buy a low end DSLR at around 10 megapixels. The image quality will be far better. For now, look up the cheaper point and shoots for around 60-150 and you'll get better shots than this. I can speak personally for the Canon models, but I'm sure some of the more basic Nikons are just as good. My personal experience with super zoom cameras is that they pretty much suck. Don't bother. The added zoom power is worthless if the quality of the photo is bad.
  3. 5 of 5 people found this review helpful
     Poor choice for indoors or for non-stationary subjects (I get blurry pics no matter what I use for settings) 14 March, 2012 On
    I took well over 300 pictures using many combination of settings (auto, scene modes, VR, flash, ISO, etc) at my daughters indoor dance show and unfortunately was not able to find a setting that is going to work acceptably for this situation (indoor, medium light). I found that VR on this camera didn't seem to help much at all if there is much movement in the subject. I also was not able to get pictures of my kids at a birthday party that are acceptable - there is some level of blurriness in almost all of the shots.

    I thought I was having some success with the sports mode (those pics looked Ok on the LCD), but once transferred to the PC, they were unacceptable, even though I used the highest resolution available. I see that Nikon even suggests a different camera for people wanting good indoor or low light photo capability in their recent advertising, so even they don't recommend this model for indoor pics.

    So this camera seems good for outdoors with lots of light, when taking photos of stationary objects or landscapes. But things with movement just aren't working out for me. I returned it since my previous Panasonic SZ7 outperforms this L120 (I was also A/B'ing the two).

    I was also not happy with the clarity of the pictures - they seem a bit off even on stationary objects with lots of light, almost like the autofocus does not work really well. After reading other reviews, it seems that others are also having problems with blurriness indoors or with pictures of people too, so I guess I'm not alone on this.

    Also note that it is possible that my L120 was defective - I just can't believe so many people are giving such good ratings for the most part based on the types of pictures mine gave before I returned it. And I am actually a test engineer by profession and am certain I was setting things up correctly when I did my trials with it, so possibly my camera was defective since I could not get good pictures with it no matter what I did. Thanks for reading.
  4. 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
     Very blurry with indoor photos! 6 December, 2011 On
    I purchased this camera because I liked all the photo settings and options. While the pictures I have taken outdoors turned out pretty good, most of the indoor photos are garbage. If you plan on taking pictures of people, especially kids, indoors with this camera don't bother. Almost every picture I have taken of my kids is blurry, if something moves even the tiniest bit it will be blurry. I've tried all the different settings with and without the flash and they still turn out blurry about 85% of the time. I really wish I would have returned this camera within the returnable time limit from where I purchased it, unfortunately I didn't and I'm stuck with this camera. I'm hoping I can save money to buy a different camera, this was a waste of my money.
  5. 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
     Pros and Cons...Mostly Cons, though. 21 December, 2011 On
    I reluctantly purchased this camera despite the reviews being all over the place. I must say that if you are patient and are not using the zoom very much that the camera is not that bad; however why would one purchase a camera that has its features unusable? The zoom at great lengths is quite difficult to produce a blurry-free picture. The focus time increases as the zoom is extended - an issue NOT seen with most point and shoot cameras at the same distance and NOT an issue for the more expensive bridge cameras (ones like this that are not quite a DSLR, but not a point-and-shoot either). I know that most people are quite upset when a camera does not meet the standards or expectations they had, but you must really read the reviews, play with it at the store, and then make a sound decision about purchasing. I did all these steps and still ended up returning the camera less than 24 hours later because I did not want to "settle".

    If you are wanting an entry-level bridge camera for taking still shots and are quite patient with the focus and reload time, this camera will work for you. If you are looking for quick action shots, long zoom use and such, I would suggest staying with the point-and-shoot or upgrading to a compact camera or DSLR.

    A few things that might sway you one way or the other: the flash is a manual pop-up (good and bad), it takes AA batteries (I suggest buying rechargeable ones from Amazon - they're inexpensive here), it has small internal memory (not found very often in cameras now-a-days), plenty of scene options, easy menus.

    I hope this helps!
  6. 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
     Sweet low ligth pictures ! But blurry pictures ! 24 September, 2011 On
    I 've had it for a while now and this is my review :
    The good :
    Excellent pictures in almost no ligth conditions ! to the point that almost no use of flash is require! its just that great,Ive had other cameras by Canon and none did this good of a job without adjusting any settings!
    Movies look really clear I also got the HDMI cable ,but even whitout it it looks realy good)in HD.
    The zoom is good,and easy to handle.
    The Bad:
    Not much to say,the focusing sometimes may not work but it has to do with the type of ligthing ,if you shoot in low ligth it may have a harder time focusing or if shooting a very brigth object such a ligth bulb ,it also "thinks" a bit before focusing .No Sd card included and no HDMI cable.
    Worth every penny easy to use, easy to download, feels good in the hands.I say Get them while their last,I got the burgundy color and its really nice!
    UP DATE:
    Well I had to send my camera for repair with in a month ! I was recording a video and its started acting weird, the focusing did not work and every time I clicked the shooting button it turned off ! So at Nikon i was told nothing was wrong but instead i was told that the cause of it was that my sd card was almost full. It could be but I'm not too sure.Since I have read about the same problem with other people.
    Any way I was taking pictures xmast nigth and I could not make the flash work for me it did not let me use it ,it did work but not in the auto mode i guess the camera takes over and decides when its needed buyt the pictures were too dark. And lastly you really have to wait a couple of seconds and the subjects must not move a hair or it will be blurry (in low ligth conditions only) I have no time for all this drama i will stick to my D3100 wich really is excellent. I will not recomend this camera any more .I have down graded it from 5 stars to two stars !
  7. 6 of 8 people found this review helpful
     Disappointed 15 June, 2011 On
    UPDATE: I took a few pics with this camera and the issues are the same. I also bought at another warehouse that starts with the letter C, the Coolpix S8100, as that also has good reviews and is fairly zippy in the speed department (bootup, shot to shot and burst mode). The difference is night and day. I am going to post up a picture of a comparison shot I did, with the S8100 right out of the box. Let me put it this way, after two L120's (I REALLY wanted to love this camera), on this one shot of the S8100, I took 8 shots with the L120, and NONE of them came out as clear as the S8100. Only one came close, and after looking at it on the display, I redid the shot, same settings and it was more blurry than before. EIGHT SHOTS!!!!! I ahve a 16GB card, but EIGHT SHOTS for none to come out clear???? Unacceptable. I'm not a fool, I've taken digital photography courses, and know how to hold and shoot a camera. But the quality was unacceptable. I'm glad some of you have taken great pictures. Maybe Sam is getting junk at his club, but TWO???? C'mon. Look for the picture of the Toy Story cups. Its sad to see this camera go, but it must.

    I bought this camera after extensive reviews. Everyone generally seems to like it and only a few complain about the quality and the blurriness of the photos. I am now in that complaining group. We got this camera because our old Canon A540 died on us. I know the wife was the reason as she always complained about the slow shot to shot speed of that one. So while she wanted something faster, I wanted something that had a better zoom, and actually felt like a camera. I was hoping, before it died, to replace it next year, with the Lumix GF3 that was coming out next month. I figured next year's tax money would pay for the camera. However, we couldn't wait, nor did we want to spend $600+ on a camera. sooooo....

    I bought the camera from one of the big warehouse stores. I LOVE the camera in terms of how it feels, the options, etc. The continous mode was great. very speedy. I've held and tested various Fuji and Kodak models, and I wasn't impressed with the menus of the Fujis and the Kodak, i've always felt something was missing. I was told Asthon Kucher used this in a commercial so I joked I would take it back then. since this was the first dSLR-looking camera we had, I started to read the manual to try and figure it out first. I am the one that usually figures the settings out, and the wife usually does the auto.. So, I'd take a few pics of the kids on various settings to see which was better. Throughout it all, the camera was very hit or miss in terms of quality.

    Let me explain. On some shots, like of the kids from about 15 feet away zoomed in, I'd do the Easy Auto and it would be ok. slight blurry of them. I'd move to another mode, and really blurry. I'd go back to the easy and it would be blurry. I'd do several, just to make sure the kids didn't move (while telling them to not move) or I moved, but each time they'd get blurry, some more than others. Same thing with using flash. I don't like how I cannot dial the flash down, like the A540's, but the camera did take better shots without the flash in some instances, than the A540. However, again, sometime the camera would get blurry. I found that in many instances, if the kids were anywhere close, the Auto mode, with Flash fill worked best. But then again, sometimes it was good, others not, but usually it was.

    Outside was better. I took pics of the kids running around in the sprinklers and they generally came out ok.But it wasn't as good as our old pokey A540. For the price of the camera, the pics should have been better. Taking longer zoom pics generally were blurry, even with the vibration and antishake enabled. I tried changing the focusing modes, ISO, etc, and it didn't help. The wife wanted to get rid of it before and get a cheaper one, but I insisted to give it another try as the cheaper ones wouldn't be as fast. However, the quality kept being a disappointment.

    Since I REALLY want to like this camera, I took it back and got another one, which was fine for me, as the price went down, and as a result, the extended warranty did too. So for less then the camera in the 1st place, I got the camera and extended warranty.

    Initial shots showed the same issues, but we will see this weekend. I'll post up an update. However, I am now looking at the Nikon S8100 as it has a 10x zoom, and is very speedy. I may buy that one and do side by sides when I use them both to compare. I also like the Canon S4500 too. Who knows.
  8. 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
     Blurry pictures 21 February, 2013 On
    Bought this camera specifically for a land/cruise Alaska vacation. I was very disappointed in the quality of the pictures. It works great if all you want is 'still' landscapes, but if you have any motion whatsoever or dim light the pictures invariably were blurred. the zoom is adequate for the motor drive portion of the zoom but almost useless regarding the digital zoom. In almost all of the digitally zoomed pictures the subject was almost unrecognizable. Of all the point and shoot cameras I have owned, even those for considerably less money this one is the worst. The 'auto' modes are completely useless when it comes to action shots. It seems the only way to capture a picture with any motion, even if the subject just nod their head, is to use the 'sport' mode. Of course this means you have to discard 6 or 7 pictures to keep one 'good' shot. All in all a major disappointment for a NIKON branded camera.
  9. 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
     Not impressed 29 June, 2012 On
    I got this camera for Christmas. I was so excited, but that excitement faded as I started using the camera. It drains batteries so fast it's getting to be extremely expensive to use the camera. Even rechargeable ones are drained within a day or two. While the zoom on it is pretty amazing, that's about all it's good for. Trying to take pictures of my daughter results in blurry pictures and disappointment over those missed moments. It seems to take forever to reset after you take a picture, so there are many times when I miss getting a shot due to waiting on the camera. I've tried all the settings, and unless the flash is up, anything that isn't zoomed in a lot is blurry. And there are just times when having the flash up makes the pictures worse, so you're left to choose, blurry pictures or super dark pictures.

    I wouldn't recommend this camera to anybody. I've had better pictures come from a cheap digital camera, and for the price of this camera, I was expecting it to act like it was worth the money. It isn't. Save yourself some hassle and keep looking at a different camera. You'll be thankful you did.
  10.  Has a mind of its own 13 October, 2013 On
    The camera replaces a Canon A-70 which until its display failed, took better focused pictures. Plus the Canon has a viewfinder which helps composition. I cannot rely on the Nikon's display to tell me that I am focused. I have also used a Nikon FE, a Rolleicord, Polaroids and a 4x5 view camera and I know what is necessary for good exposure, focus and composition. I don't blame the L120 for being out of focus or for not using the flash but I feel like I am trying to hack or debug it even after reviewing the instructions. This camera is handicapped by its automation.
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