Nikon CoolPix L10 front view
Measuring 3.5" X 2.4" X 1.0" and weighing in at 168 g (5.9 oz), including a pair of alkaline batteries and an SD card; the L10 is the smallest and lightest of the three cameras reviewed. Like the HP M437, the default resolution is 5 MP with medium compression. You can also choose resolutions of 5MP with low compression, along with 3MP, PC (1024) and TV (640). Pictures shot at the highest resolution and lowest compression generated files sizes of between 2.1 and 2.5 MB.
L10 Image mode settings
The top of the camera is very similar to that of the HP M437 - there is only a power button, the shutter release and an opening for a tiny speaker. Viewed from the rear of the camera, the left side of the camera has a door that conceals the mini-USB connection. A door on the right side of the camera covers the SD memory card slot. When inserted, the camera automatically recognizes the SD card and starts using it instead of the 7 MB of built-in memory. Interestingly, the L10 reported that it couldn’t use my 1 GB Kinston SD card that I’ve used in many different cameras. However, it had no problem with my SanDisk 1 GB card.
There is nothing special about the bottom of the camera. There is a standard ¼" tripod mount and a door for the battery compartment for the two AA batteries.
Nikon CoolPix rear view
The rear of the L10, while similar to the other cameras I reviewed, was somewhat of a hybrid. It features a 2.0" (dia.) screen and a slider switch that changes between Auto mode, Scene mode and Movie mode. Like the HP M437, the L10 lacks an optical viewfinder. Above the slider switch, there are dedicated buttons for playback and delete. The delete key only lets you delete a single image at a time, and unlike the Kodak, there’s no un-delete option. Unique to the L10 is a red LED that flashes as it’s charging, and when focusing a picture, lights up if the flash is be used.
Virtually all cameras have a four-way navigation switch with a center button, and the L10 is no exception. However, in addition to menu navigation and scrolling through pictures in playback mode, the navigation keys in capture mode also give you access to the 10-second self timer, flash control (auto, red eye, off, fill and slow sync), close up and EV. Of the three cameras reviewed, the L10 had the best EV control, giving you +/- 2.0 EV control in 1/3 f-stop increments. The menu key takes you to the appropriate set of menus depending on whether you’re in capture or playback mode. Similarly, the zoom in/out control adds additional functions in playback mode. With a picture viewed full frame, the "W" button toggles to a 4 up or 9 up thumbnail view. In menu mode, the "T" key brings up some limited help text.