Nikon Coolpix L310 - Bridge Camera With Some Semi-Pro Specs

11/22/2012 9:21:41 AM

A bridge camera with some semi-pro specs yet easy to use

The Nikon L310 is a bridge camera, a camera that sits between compact cameras and much more expensive, pro-level DSLR units. Housed in a fairly small, traditional-style camera body, it features a 14 megapixel sensor and the highlight of this camera a large lens with 21x zoom. The plastic body feels good in the hand, thanks in part to the rubber hand-grip, and it’s fairly light considering that it’s powered by four AA batteries. Unlike many bridge cameras, it’s mostly an automatic, point-and-shoot camera. Rather than giving the user full control over things like aperture size and shutter speed, the L310 instead relies on some general purpose automatic modes and a collection of preset scene modes such as those for indoor, close-up, sport and portrait photography. The 3” 230k pixel screen is a bit stingy but gets the job done, and the menu system is fast and efficiently organized.

Description: Nikon Coolpix L310

Easy Auto us the simplest mode of operation, as it assesses the current shot and tries to select the correct scene preset for the situation. In this mode, you’re almost guaranteed a good-quality shot, and at glance, it should be clear that these shots didn’t come from a cheap compact or a phone camera. Shots in natural light are clear and accurately capture the overall mood. Close up shots with the macro mode are of especially good quality and approach the level you’d expect to see in a glossy magazine.

However, there are problems with image quality due to the relatively small sensor. Zooming in on images on a computer, we find that the pixels become visible sooner than they should on a 14MP camera. It’s not obvious at first but the camera defaults to LQ rather than HQ mode. Why has Nikon done this in an era of high capacity SDHC memory cards and massive hard drives? It’s a shame that 4320x 3240 (14MP) is the only resolution that offers the lower compression rate. Indoor with low light was also a disappointment. At high ISOs, the camera attempts to compensate by selecting shutter speeds as long as a full second, leading to blurry pics unless a tripod is used. The ‘best shot mode’ that takes multiple shots and chooses the clearest one helps here, and thankfully shots that make use of the powerful flash are clear and bright. Video performance was okay but didn’t blow us away, and this camera is not a substitute for a similarly priced camcorder.

Description: Nikon Coolpix L310

It’s a basic, stripped-down camera with a zoom and wide angle capability that puts it ahead of most compacts, but a compact camera in this price range could also offer good-quality pictures and come with features such as GPS, WIFI and integration with social networking sites. For an extra $64 or so, a better bridge camera might offer more manual controls and would be a better bet for someone who wanted to learn about photography. Importantly, overall picture quality is good.


Price: $217.5 (Amazon UK)

Manufacturer: Nikon


Required spec: Windows or later, Mac OS X (10.5.8+), Linux



·         Focal length: 4.5-94.5mm (35mm equiv. 25-525mm)

·         Optical zoom: 21x

·         Max resolution: 14M [4320 x 3240]

·         Video: 480p/720p

·         Power: Four AA batteries. Optional charger

·         Scene types: Portrait, landscape, night portrait, party/indoor, beach, snow, sunset, dusk/dawn, night landscape, close-up, food, museum, fireworks shows, black and white, backlighting, panorama assist, pet portrait

·         Modes: Easy auto, auto, smart portrait, sport


Verdict: Some problems, but produces good quality shots



Quality: 7

Value: 6

Overall: 7


Top 10
SG50 Ferrari F12berlinetta : Prancing Horse for Lion City's 50th
The latest Audi TT : New angles for TT
Era of million-dollar luxury cars
Game Review : Hearthstone - Blackrock Mountain
Game Review : Battlefield Hardline
Google Chromecast
Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 3) - Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad Air 2
Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 2) - Zagg Slim Book for iPad Air 2
Keyboards for Apple iPad Air 2 (part 1) - Belkin Qode Ultimate Pro Keyboard Case for iPad Air 2
Michael Kors Designs Stylish Tech Products for Women
- First look: Apple Watch

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 1)

- 3 Tips for Maintaining Your Cell Phone Battery (part 2)
Popular Tags
Video Tutorail Microsoft Access Microsoft Excel Microsoft OneNote Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft Project Microsoft Visio Microsoft Word Active Directory Exchange Server Sharepoint Sql Server Windows Server 2008 Windows Server 2012 Windows 7 Windows 8 Adobe Flash Professional Dreamweaver Adobe Illustrator Adobe Photoshop CorelDRAW X5 CorelDraw 10 windows Phone 7 windows Phone 8 Iphone