Nikon COOLPIX L105 Review and User Manual

Nikon Coolpix L105 is one mysterious camera at the moment. It is available in stores but there is no mention of this camera model on the Nikon site anywhere! Also, I could not find any reviews for this model on the Internet, though there are some unboxing videos and video tests out there on YouTube now as people are buying it at a bargain of $99 at Target. The Target site now says that it is available in stores only.

I’ve bought it on blind faith and will be testing the features in the next few days.

I’m sharing the the user manual for Coolpix L105 that came along on the CD at this link. I could not find this manual on Nikon’s website before buying the camera. The following are my initial impressions.

The Good :

  • 15x optical and 4x digital zoom
  • $99 price tag in a Black Friday deal (new for $199)
  • 720p HD video recording. Video files can be upto 4GB file size or 29 minutes maximum. VBR (Variable Bit Rate) is used while saving the file so the file sizes can differ even for videos of same duration. Some optical zoom feature is available in video mode but then motor noise is captured in the video.
  • Continuous H mode that shoots up to 20 pictures at 11.1 frames/sec. Continuous M mode captures 7.3 fps and Continuous L mode captures 4.4 fps.
  • 3-inch 230k-dot TFT LCD
  • Photos are alright when outdoor or with good lighting conditions
  • The user’s manual claims a battery life of 320 pictures with alkaline, 950 with lithium and 540 with EN-MH2 batteries.

The Bad :

  • Bulky form factor (weighs about 15.3 oz or 432 gms with batteries and SD card), which means it cannot be carried in a pocket. Probably need to buy a cover.
  • Uses 4 AA sized batteries. Plan on buying NiMH rechargeable batteries. Maybe two sets so that you have a spare one available. There is one DC 5 volt connector too for continuous use but the adapter has to be bought separately.
  • The Easy-Auto mode is not good enough and puts a lot of noise in indoor photos. I could fix a lot of that by using another photo modes and inbuilt pop-up flash. If you have the camera then try to experiment with a few modes.
  • Although there is a Panorama mode, it is not similar to the easy-click-and-pan feature of my Sony Cybershot TX7 camera. With L105, you have to click images in sequence and then stitch them together on your computer with the software that comes on the CD.
  • No HDMI output. Only NTSC/PAL.
  • Small internal memory of 102 MB. Have to buy SDHC card. Actually I’m neutral about this because almost all cameras these days come with a small internal memory and need a memory card anyway.
  • No eye view finder. This, again, is not exactly bad because most P&S cameras come without an eye viewfinder these days. A high resolution screen that doubles as a viewfinder and display is the general standard and L105’s 3-inch 230k-dot TFT LCD screen works and looks fine but it is gonna drain the battery.

The Verdict :

There are a lot of auto scene selection modes which would work in most of the situations but low-light images can be noisy or blurry. If you don’t mind carrying around a heavy camera, you can’t beat the $99 discounted price tag for the features available. But if you have to buy it at the full price of $199 then I guess Nikon Coolpix L110 (12 MP, 15x zoom, HD 720p video, HDMI output, 3-inch 460k-dot TFT LCD) or L120 (14 MP, 21x zoom, HD 720p video, HDMI output, 3-inch 921k-dot TFT LCD), which retail at around $200 – 240 price range, would be better choices.

You might want to go through the comments below and find answers to some of the FAQs.

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