Despite all the fancy, feature-rich cameras we've seen this year, 2006 may make its mark as the year that features went by the wayside in digital cameras. Just as Olympus's FE series brings new meaning to the idea of point and shoot, Nikon's L series eschews features in favor of simplicity. Exposure control consists of scene modes and exposure compensation. Of course, if you don't want any control, there's always the full auto mode.
As you might expect, the camera's specs won't blow you away, but for its price, they're not bad. It has a 6-megapixel CCD sensor; a 3X optical, 38mm-to-116mm f/3.2-to-f/5.3 zoom lens; and a 2.5-inch, 115,000-pixel LCD screen. According to Nikon, the L6 can shoot up to 1,000 images on a pair of lithium batteries; the company even includes a pair of Energizer AA e2 lithium batteries with the camera. If you use alkaline AAs, the battery life drops to 400 shots, but that's still very impressive for a point-and-shoot camera like this.
The L6 is comfortable to hold and, with all its controls on the right-hand side of the camera, one-handed shooting is a definite possibility. Nikon makes use of the thickness of AA batteries to fashion a subtle grip on the L6's right side. Though certainly small enough to fit in a jacket pocket, the L6 has some heft; it weighed 5.4 ounces, with batteries and SD card, on our lab scale.