Nikon Coolpix L19 review: Nikon Coolpix L19

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good AA batteries are practical and give good battery life; easy to use for beginners; low price.

The Bad Weak wideangle capability; no manual ISO control; modest resolution.

The Bottom Line The Nikon Coolpix L19 is very similar to the Coolpix L20, but about £30 cheaper, which really changes the equation. The lower specs don't matter in a camera designed for budget-conscious beginners. The L20 looks expensive for what it does, but the L19 is spot-on

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Good grief, do they still make 8-megapixel compacts? Yes they do, and the bargain-basement Nikon Coolpix L19 can be yours for just £90 or thereabouts. You don't get cutting-edge camera design with the L19, but you do get a cheap and sturdy snapper that's perfect for the rough and tumble of family life.

The L19 might not be the sort of camera you'd buy for yourself, but it's ideal for giving to people who don't know anything about photography and don't particularly want to. It's the cheaper version of the Coolpix L20 , with a smaller screen -- 69mm (2.7 inches) instead of 76mm (3 inches) -- and 2 megapixels less. Neither of these points matter one jot. The LCD resolution is just the same, so the L19's screen is smaller but sharper, and 8 million pixels are perfectly adequate for a family snapper. Best of all, though, the L19 sneaks under that £100 price barrier and looks much more attractive as a result.

Now that's barrel distortion. Nevertheless, the L19's lens is pretty sharp and the colours and exposure are very good (click image to enlarge)

It's plasticky and lump-esque, but the L19 feels sturdy. Like the L20, it runs on a pair of AA batteries. There's no fussing over chargers -- just pop in a couple of alkalines, wait until they run out and pop in a couple more. You should get a couple of hundred shots from a single set too, so the L19 is both practical and economical to run.

The L19 has a smaller screen than the L20, but, because the resolution is the same, it's actually sharper

It's also easy to work. Just start it up, press the 'mode' button on the top and decide whether you want 'easy auto', a scene mode, smile mode, movie mode or standard auto mode. In theory, easy auto mode chooses one of a handful of scene modes automatically. In practice, you just leave it to get on with the job -- the shots seem to come out fine, anyway.

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Where to Buy

Nikon Coolpix L19

Part Number: CNETNikon Coolpix L19

Typical Price: £90.00

See manufacturer website for availability.