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.