/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

Nikon Coolpix L820 sample pictures

Nikon's budget-friendly 30x zoom L820 is an able outdoor shooter. Check out this examination of its photo quality and capabilities.

Joshua_Goldman.jpg
Joshua Goldman
35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_ISO.jpg
1 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

ISO comparison

As with most entry-level point-and-shoots, you'll want to give the L820 as much light as possible. Photos are best at and below ISO 200. As the sensitivities increase, so do the noise and smeary details from noise reduction. Also, colors appear slightly washed-out and muddy from noise from ISO 800 and above.

This, combined with the increased softness at higher sensitivities, means the indoor and low-light photo quality without a flash just isn't very good. So again, as long as you have plenty of light and don't do more than share photos online or make the occasional 4x6-inch print, the L820 takes good snapshots and, really, better ones than cameras with similar features at this price.

35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_color.jpg
2 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Color

The camera's color performance is one of its best attributes, though again it's dependent on using ISO 400 or lower. At those sensitivities, colors appear bright and vibrant without looking unnatural. Exposure is good, but as usual with compact cameras, highlights will occasionally blow out.
35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_macro.jpg
3 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Macro

With some assistance from the zoom lens, the L820 can shoot close-ups down to 0.4 inch from a subject. However, you'll probably want to use a tripod to get the sharpest shots. The optical image stabilization is good, but as soon as you extend the lens, your apertures shrink and the camera either goes with slower shutter speeds or a higher ISO to compensate (the L820 opted for the latter here, using ISO 360).

View full size.

35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_zoom_range.jpg
4 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Zoom range

For a sub-$200 camera, the L820 has quite the zoom range, going from an ultrawide-angle 22.5mm (top) to 675mm (bottom) (35mm equivalent).
35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_panorama.jpg
5 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

Easy Panorama

If you like to capture really wide shots, the L820's Easy Panorama, which is unfortunately buried in the scene modes, lets you do it quickly. Just press the shutter and pan the camera up, down, left, or right and it will shoot and stitch the photos together for you. You can choose from 180 or 360 degrees (pictured is a 180-degree shot). The results are OK as long as you don't look too closely.

View full size.

35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_9057_23_125.jpg
6 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

ISO 125 (23mm)

This slide as well as those that follow are available for you to view at full resolution. Note that these are large files and will take time to download and view.

View at full size.

35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_9057_675_125.jpg
7 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

ISO 125 (675mm)

35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_9070_23_125.jpg
8 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

ISO 125 (23mm)

35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_9084_43_125.jpg
9 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

ISO 125 (43mm)

35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_9145_675_360.jpg
10 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

ISO 360 (675mm)

35617791_Nikon_Coolpix_L820_9181_234_180.jpg
11 of 11 Joshua Goldman/CNET

ISO 180 (234mm)

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

More Galleries

2022's best TV shows you can't miss on Netflix, HBO, Disney Plus and more

52 Photos
Nintendo Switch: The best games to play right now

More Galleries

Nintendo Switch: The best games to play right now

41 Photos
Subaru Solterra STI feels like a natural extension

More Galleries

Subaru Solterra STI feels like a natural extension

5 Photos
2022 Porsche Cayenne adds snazzy Platinum Edition

More Galleries

2022 Porsche Cayenne adds snazzy Platinum Edition

9 Photos
Movies coming in 2022 from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2022 from Marvel, Netflix, DC and more

58 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos