The 6-megapixel Nikon Coolpix L11 is the big brother to Nikon's entry-level model, the L10 and, as such, benefits from a larger LCD screen.
Entry-level cameras vary from the outstandingly bad to the surprisingly good, and Nikon’s compacts in the past have fallen into both camps. This new model, though, is closer to the latter ilk.
The L11 has a 3x optical zoom and is pretty much auto-everything, with only a set of scene modes and Program in the way of exposure control. There’s still ±2EV exposure compensation, and the usual flash, macro and movie options, but don’t expect to be able to change ISO, metering or other exposure essentials, though.
Where it gains kudos is in its face detection feature and in Nikon’s take on anti-shake. Rather than add Optical Image Stabilisation, or even sensor-based IS, the camera analyses the edges of the picture you have just taken, before indicating if it’s blurred and asking if you want to save it. This is all well and good, but annoying on a bright afternoon when there’s no reason for camera shake, other than when having to hold the camera three feet in front of you to take a picture (as there’s no stabilising optical viewfinder).
This isn’t a bad performer for its spec and price. Images are generally well exposed, sharp and noise free – in bright light. It needs a little help when shooting overly bright or dark subjects, in which case, exposure compensation is on hand to manually help. Highlights tend to blow out in overly contrasty situations – so be careful on your Spanish holidays – but otherwise this is an efficient point-and-shooter with good image quality.
The Nikon Coolpix L11 is a competent point and shoot camera, but that’s all it does – no bells, no whistles and no control. An ideal first camera for the more technically challenged members of your family.