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Nikon CoolPix L10

Playback Mode

The playback menu on the CoolPix L10 has the normal features you’d expect such as tagging images for printing, deleting and protecting images and creating a slide show. In addition, however, there are several unique functions. First, when viewing a full-frame image, if you press the OK key, you get the option of applying "D-Lighting" to the image. D-Lighting will attempt to correct for underexposure or backlighting and will apply those changes to a copy of your original image. Similarly, you have the option of creating a small image, suitable for email from the menu. You can also add voice annotation to an image and you have limited in-camera cropping capabilities.

CoolPix L10 playback menu

In The Field

I was fortunate to have been able to test the L10 during a sunny day. I shot pictures throughout the day, at dusk and at sunset. All of the images, with the exception of mode-specific shots, were shot on Auto with no EV compensation. I was pleased to see that Auto mode tended to keep the ISO speed low - in fact, it remained at 64 for virtually all the images I shot. As you would expect, those shots exhibited very little noise. Shots taken zoomed to the maximum 3X optical range showed crisp focus at infinity. I also took some shots indoors with the flash disabled. After taking a shot, the camera warned me that the image was blurred and asked if I wanted to save it. I decided to try out the BSS (best shot selector) mode with the same subject. I took eight exposures and the one that the camera selected to save was, indeed, crisp considering that it was a handheld one-fourth second exposure. Interestingly, the EXIF information on that image showed an ISO of 383.

Here are few additional test images that I shot:

What’s spring without dandelions? This was shot using the close-up scene mode

Shot on Auto mode, the L10 did a good job with a difficult lighting condition. The bright sky, the white cherry tree and the bushes in shadow might have tricked other cameras.

Shot taken just before sunset in Auto mode

Each of the cameras in our low-cost digital imaging roundup has a feature set that will appeal to different sets of consumers. The HP PhotoSmart M437 was the simplest camera to operate, while it produced excellent photos with its nine shooting modes. The Kodak EasyShare C533 offered more shooting modes and an optical viewfinder but had a smaller screen that some might find less desirable. The addition of a sharing or printing dock (not reviewed) provides an all-in-one solution that some will find attractive. However, though lacking a viewfinder, I found the Nikon CoolPix L10 to have the best rounded feature set of the cameras I reviewed. It featured more shooting modes than either of the other cameras, and easily won bragging rights for video. And, it took great pictures.

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