Nikon Coolpix L25

8/1/2012 11:33:45 AM

Ratings: 3/5

Price: $87


Nowadays, when mobile phones could take photos quite beautifully, why do you have to be concerned about a cheap dedicated camera? There are 2 reasons we can think about. Firstly, a camera has optical zoom, a feature that camera designers haven’t still installed inside the mobile phone. Secondly, there are people who don’t own camera phone. They are too young and not affordable for a smartphone or they don’t want it. However, they still want the camera.

Description: Nikon Coolpix L25

Nikon Coolpix L25

Nikon L25 serves these groups. It’s cheap, quite simple to the most people who are not familiar with hi-tech and it has 5x zoom lens. However, there isn’t optical stabilization system – a rare feature at this price but it has been heard. In addition, there isn’t direction sensor, so portrait format photos have to be rotated manually on the PC. Plastic body is swelled and the use of AA batteries makes its low price isn’t secret, but Nikon tried to mount 3-inch screen into its slim appearance. It even comes with 2 years of warranty.

Controls are pretty basic compared to other point-and-shoot cameras. There is no control for ISO spead, autofocus area or light metering. However, white balance and exposure compensation is included, so you can edit for difficult lighting conditions.

Hot photos

Description: Nikon Coolpix L25

Nikon Coolpix L25

Its performance makes more expensive cameras to be ashamed. It opens and takes photos in 2 seconds and next images are apart for 1.4 seconds. Continuous mode runs at 1.4fps and decreases to 0.7fps after 5 images. In general, the autofocus is quick and reliable, but lacking of light helping autofocus means that sometimes it has to struggle in low light and take 2 seconds when zoom is fully extended. It also has to fight to take photo with flash, where using AA batteries means that we have to wait 12 seconds to recharge flash between taken photos. In terms of advantages, AA batteries last longer than Li-ion batteries and other cheap cameras. Nikon claimed that a pair of NiMH 2300mAh batteries can take 370 pictures.

It’s great to see the capability of HD video recording. On more expensive cameras, we complained about 720p resolution instead of 1080p, inefficient MJPEG encoding capability and lacking of zoom and focus while recording. However, at this price, they are reasonable compromises. The image quality is a bit noisy indoors but details are clear. With a dedicated record button and 15 minutes of clip, it is not a bad effort for a $90 camera.

Modest 10MP sensor achieves a fair balance between noise level and detail, but this 1/3-inch sensor is quite small compared to the normal 1/2.3-inch one. It limits the ability to gather light which increases the noise level. It is attached behind a fairly light lens, opened up to f/2.7 at the wide angle of zoom. It will bring a small advantage for low-light photography, but optical stabilization system will offer greater benefits.

In addition to specifications, image quality is not a huge improvement over what we have seen from cameras of smartphone. Even in clear light, sublte details have been confused with noise and blurred away by noise reduction, and sharp lines seems unclear. In the middle of the frame, it is quite sharp but focus becomes worse at edges, especially in the left of the frame. It is powerful enough to be recognized even after we resized images to fill the computer screen. Nevertheless, it is not the problem at telephoto zoom position.


Shooting in low light reveals the common noise problem from a small sensor. Skin tones are freaked out by colorful tracks; simultaneously there are few beautiful details. We also see that settings are sensitive but sometimes it takes photos at low ISO speed and low shutter speed at 1/3 second. It leads to the vibration.

We will kindly forgive L25 of Nikon because of basic image quality, but bad focus at edges and long shutter speed are a bit complicated with our hobby. We haven’t considered that kind of cheap cameras for a long time, but Optio RS1500 of Pentax is available with $90. Two camera is equal about video recording, but optical stabilization system, larger sensor and sharper lens of Pentax turns it into more bargaining.


Evaluation: Simple operation, 5x zoom and cheap price but image quality of L25 is not worth our humble expectation.

Compact Digital Camera: 10MP (3,648x2,736), 5x optical zoom (28-140mm), LCD 3 inch (230,000 pixel), SDXC slot (20MB internal), 2 AA batteries, 62x97x29mm, 171g, 2 year RTB warranty.

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