Nikon Coolpix L3 review: Nikon Coolpix L3

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.4
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 5.0
  • Performance: 6.0
  • Image quality: 7.0
Review Date:

The Good Simple to use; solid image quality.

The Bad Sluggish performance; can't change light-sensitivity setting manually; noticeable vignetting.

The Bottom Line The budget-minded Nikon Coolpix L3 produces good-looking photos but offers few options.

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The Nikon Coolpix L3 is the midrange member of Nikon's simple, inexpensive L-series digital cameras. The 5-megapixel camera sports a 3X optical zoom lens, a handful of useful scene modes, and a small price tag. It's not the fastest, sharpest, or sleekest digital camera on the market, but this little shooter produces good-looking images for the price.

Compact and light, the L3's silver plastic body is fairly stylish for such a low-end camera, though at just less than 1.5 inches thick, the Coolpix L3 is a little too fat to slip into your jeans. Fortunately, its light frame weighs less than six ounces even with an SD card and two AA batteries, making it comfortable to carry in a jacket or purse.

Controls are simple and direct, though thicker-fingered users may find the recessed buttons awkward. The top side of the camera holds a large, round shutter-release button and a smaller, rectangular power button. The latter isn't as responsive as we would've liked, and it needs to be held down for a few seconds to start up the camera.

The back panel holds the rest of the camera's controls. A small zoom rocker; a mode slider for switching between automatic, scene-assist, and movie modes; a four-way-plus-OK control pad; and menu, review, and trash buttons sit next to the Coolpix L3's 2-inch LCD. The control pad lets you navigate the camera's menu system or directly access the flash, timer, and macro modes.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Nikon Coolpix L3

Part Number: 25544 Released: Feb 27, 2006
Low Price: $286.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Feb 27, 2006
  • Digital camera type Compact
  • Optical Zoom 3 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
  • Sensor Resolution 5.1 Megapixel
    5.1 Megapixel
  • Lens 38 - 116mm F/3.2
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/2.5"