If you are looking for an entry level camera, is the L1 a good choice? The camera has it’s share of problems, but does the great picture quality make up for it’s other issues?
In the Coolpix line, there are three main themes that Nikon assigns: Life, Style and Performance. Life is the entry level theme and is what the L1 is considered. It’s designed for people who want a good performing camera for an entry level price. Of course if you are interested in more features, you can opt to shell out more cash for a larger model, but the Life cameras are perfectly suited for anyone who loves taking snapshots.
The camera comes in a nice clean white box that’s tightly packed. The first thing you will pull out is the included PictureProject software and the rather thick manual. I did not take a look at the software during this review.
Included of course is a USB cable so you can extract the photos off the camera and into your computer. Also included though is an Audio/Video cable so that you can connect the camera to your television. One extra I was pleased to see was two rechargeable batteries and a charger. Many digital cameras leave the consumer who purchase these completely separately. This saves time and money.
The camera looks as you’d expect an entry level to look like. The lens helps this camera stand out from other brands, though. The 5x Nikkor lens has a 38-190mm focal length and is equivalent to a 35mm film camera format. The max aperture is f/2.9-5.0 which should allow for some good zoom shots. Another thing that helps the L1 stand out a bit is the large 2.5″ LCD screen on the back. This comes at the loss of a viewfinder though.
In total, there are a total of 13 buttons on the camera which do everything from snapping the photo to bringing up the menu. The buttons are all self explanatory and are easy to use. On each side of the OK button, you have the contrast control, timer, macro setting and flash setting. When you are inside the menu, these buttons also act as navigation.
Compared to the two year old Pentax Optio 30, the L1 is only a tad larger.
Inside the menu, you have countless options available. You can adjust the picture output resolutions, white balance, color balance, macro settings and much more.
Overall, there’s nothing really mind blowing about the camera, but the lens is probably better than you will find on similar models elsewhere.