The Nikon Coolpix L100: with 15x optical zoom, is this chunky superzoom the perfect compact for shooting from afar? Mike Lowe investigates...
Image Quality & Value For Money
Nikon L100 Image Quality
The L100’s lens is, for this price point, top quality as far as compacts go. There is no light fall-off and only a hint of chromatic aberration, making for detailed prints at A4 and beyond. Under dim light the usually ‘fair’ grain does get notably more prominent, amplified by the stunted 3-megapixel size in Hi ISO mode which further quashes image quality into a much softer affair.
Nikon L100 sample image – Normal (10MP) vs Hi ISO (3MP) scene
Perhaps one of the most exciting things that comes bundled in the Nikon L100’s box is the Panorama Maker software. Often in-camera panorama stitching (as offered by many other manufacturers) can provide results that look decent on a small screen, but in reality the threading is a bit of a pig’s ear at full size. The L100 avoids this problem as the Panorama Maker assembles truly convincing mergers with seamless joins in a matter of seconds.
Nikon L100 sample image – stitched panorama (using software provided)
Nikon L100 Value For Money
With so many cameras on the market, you want to know that dipping into your pocket for a penny under £240 is going to bring the goods. The Nikon L100 delivers on the superzoom front and at a reasonably low price when aligned against its competitors. But £240 isn’t just pocket money, it’s a serious whack of cash.
The AA batteries certainly won’t be for everyone either (not that there’s a choice) – but what happened to the rechargeable li-ion battery? Whilst some may enjoy the option of using rechargeables or buying new batteries for immediate power-up, that all comes at extra cost over time and helps nobody if the shop’s closed…