Nikon Coolpix L120 megazoom camera
Nikon Coolpix L120 review: A simple compact camera with a massive 21x optical zoom
- Simple to operate
- 21x optical zoom
- Image stabilisation
- Noticeable chromatic aberration
- Can't handle overly bright conditions
- Noticeable feathering after ISO 400
The Coolpix L120 is a simple compact camera with a huge 21x optical zoom. Its image quality isn't great and it can struggle to properly expose very bright scenes. Overall though, its versatile lens and good ease of use make it a perfect camera for a novice photographer.
Price$ 299.00 (AUD)
The Nikon Coolpix L120 is a relatively cheap megazoom camera that's dead simple to use. There is nothing difficult about this camera at all — simply point it, adjust the zoom if it tickles your fancy, and press the shutter button. The camera will do all the work and you won't have to think about any exposure settings at all. You can select a scene mode or a different ISO setting if you want to, but that's about it.
Because the Coolpix L120 is an automatic camera, it can sometimes struggle in situations where the light is too bright and with scene that have a lot of dynamic range. That said, its overall quality is decent for uploading photos to social networking sites or printing them at up to A4 size. It has a 14-megapixel sensor and a 25mm wide-angle lens with a 21x optical zoom, which results in a massive range of 525mm.
If you want an inexpensive camera (that's to say, one under $300) with a versatile lens, then the L120 is definitely worth considering. With built-in image stabilisation, images shot at maximum zoom actually look quite clear and aren't spoiled by camera shake. This depends on whether you're shooting in bright light or in relatively dark conditions; for the latter, you'll definitely need to make use of a tripod and the timer.
The clarity and colour accuracy of the L120's images are decent, and you can get some good results with this camera when the lighting conditions are right. However, it has noticeable problems when exposing bright scenes. Highlights will often be blown out and chromatic aberration will tarnish areas with high contrast objects. This is similar to other inexpensive compact cameras such as the Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FH2 and Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W530. Furthermore, shooting in dark environments will result in images that look a little feathered around the edges and poorly defined if the camera decides to use an ISO speed above 400. When a high ISO speed is used, you should avoid cropping photos as these blemishes will become a lot more visible.
You can see the chromatic aberration clearly in the light areas where the sky is poking through the leaves. Furthermore, the highlight on the trunk is blown out.
With its 21x optical zoom, the L120 does a good job of getting nice and close to distant subjects.
Pictures can be framed through the good quality 3in LCD; however, like the screens on most compact cameras, it can be mighty difficult to see while outside on a bright day without any shade. Apart from that, the L120 has simple controls and it's easy to operate — it even has two zoom rockers so that can use whichever one is more convenient for you. Its shutter button has a distinct two-step feel to it and there is a beefy handgrip so that you can hold the camera comfortably.
The handgrip is beefy as it needs to house the four AA batteries that power the camera. The good thing about the camera using AA batteries is that you can just pop into the nearest store and purchase more if you ever run out of juice while you're out and about. There is ample room for your thumb on the rear of the camera and also a dedicated button for video recording. A mode dial is missing, but you can change from auto mode to one of 17 scene modes by pressing the 'scene' mode button just next to the main menu controls.
In video mode, the L120 will struggle to quickly adjust to changing light. It can't autofocus while in video mode, so you'll have to select the focal length you want and stick with it for an entire scene. Videos are recorded in MOV format at a resolution up to 1280x720.
For $299, the Coolpix L120 is definitely worth it if you want a big-zoom camera, but just bear in mind that it will struggle to properly expose images when there is lots of bright light or dynamic range. Apart from that, its image quality is decent and photos taken at the maximum zoom will look clear if the light is good. We also think it's a very comfortable and easy camera to use, making it a good choice for novice photographers.
Become a fan of PC World Australia on Facebook
Follow PC World Australia on Twitter: @PCWorldAu
Stay up to date with the latest news, reviews and features. Sign up to PC World’s newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Toys for Boys
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Xbox One X
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Panasonic Announces Compact, Lightweight ultra-telephoto LEICA Lens
- Panasonic announce still-shooter flagship G9
- Sony Announces Development of New G Master Super-Telephoto Full-Frame E-Mount Lens
- Sony Expands Full-frame E-mount lens lineup
- Sony’s New Full-Frame α7R III Interchangeable Lens Camera promises to delivers both resolution and speed
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- CCDeployment ManagerVIC
- FTSystem Specialist - Operational Technology SystemsOther
- TPProject ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Digital Producer | 6 Month ContractOther
- FTReporting Analyst - Planning & ForecastingOther
- FTHFC Capacity Planner | 6mth ContractOther
- CCSenior Technical Business AnalystNSW
- FTNetwork Engineer, Voice & DataOther
- FTSAP CRM FunctionalistOther
- FTDigital BAOther
- CC.net DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Incident & OperationsOther
- CCSAP HR Functional ConsultantNSW
- CCLinux AdministratorNSW
- FTService Team LeaderACT
- CCPega Resources Required - Developers & ArchitectsACT
- CCDigital Content ExecutiveNSW
- CCIntel IT ArchitectNSW
- CCLSS BPMN Process Improvement AnalystVIC
- FTChange ManagerOther
- FTDevops Engineer X 2 positionsOther
- FTJunior Account Manager - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- CCDatabase Systems SpecialistNSW
- TPInstructional DesignerNSW
- CCDynamics AX Functional Consultant ? Finance | Supply ChainQLD