Nikon Coolpix L100 Mega Zoom Camera Review
Features and Technology
Nikon’s new Sport Continuous Scene Mode is one of the big attractions of this camera. This mode lets you capture up to 30 images at up to 13fps. There’s a catch, however: In order to get this quantity of images and this speed of shooting, you must accept that the camera will lower the image quality to 3MP. For times when you don’t want to miss an important shot and you’re willing to put up with a smaller file, the function works very well. After enabling the Sport Continuous Scene Mode, all you have to do is hold the shutter while the camera captures the pictures.
The L100 also has another burst mode that lets you take advantage of the camera’s 10MP resolution while still capturing action shots. As you should expect, this continuous shooting mode is slower than the Sport Continuous Scene Mode. While in the full-resolution continuous shooting mode, you’ll be able to capture up to seven pictures at a rate of about 1.2fps in 10MP Normal (3648) mode.
Although we’re not sure how useful it is, the L100 also offers a Multi-shot 16 mode. This mode takes 16 shots at a rate of about 7.5fps each time the shutter button is pressed. The camera then arranges these pictures into a single picture. Image mode is locked at 5MP Normal (2592) when shooting in auto mode and locked at 3MP Normal (2048) in high sensitivity mode.
To help users take the best possible portrait shots, the L100 uses Nikon’s Smart Portrait System. This system integrates in-camera red-eye fix, Face-Priority AF, Smile Mode, and a Blink Warning feature. The Enhanced Face-Priority AF feature can detect up to 12 faces from a variety of angles. Smile Mode releases the shutter when the camera detects your subject is smiling. Finally, Blink Warning will display a message to let you know when the camera has detected that your subject blinked during a shot.
The L100 uses 4-Way Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization in order to reduce the effects of camera shake and increase your chances of having a sharp picture. The four components that make up this feature include Optical VR image stabilization, Motion Detection, High ISO 3200, and Best Shot Selector.
The Optical VR image stabilization helps to compensate for movements by moving the image sensor. This is particularly helpful in low-light and unsteady conditions. Motion Detection works by detecting moving subjects and adjusting the camera’s shutter speed and ISO setting to help compensate for the movement and stop the action. A high ISO capability up to ISO 3200 enables the L100 to capture images even in low light conditions without a flash. Using the maximum ISO setting may not be your best option, however, since you’ll be limited to 3MP images and have a much greater chance of noise within the picture. Finally, Nikon’s Best Shot Selector feature takes up to 10 pictures automatically while the user holds the shutter button and then automatically saves the sharpest image.
You won’t find a ton of creative effects on the L100, but the camera does offer five different color options that you can apply before shooting. Here’s a closer look at each of them:
Click to enlarge
The L100 uses a 1/2.33 inch CCD sensor which is common for this type of camera. Compared to a DSLR’s image sensor, this sensor is significantly smaller. As a result, the quality of images can never be quite as sharp or exact as a DSLR with the same megapixel rating. Despite this, the average user who should be happy with the image quality a 1/2.33 inch CCD sensor can provide. This is especially true for users who seldom print enlargements since the quality difference between the two sizes of sensors is extremely hard to differentiate with your average 4x6-inch print.
You’ll find five white balance options on the L100. Four of these options (auto, daylight, incandescent, fluorescent, cloudy, and flash) are predefined. The fifth option, called Preset Manual, lets you measure a portion of the scene (preferably a white area) and create a custom white balance.