Sunday, May 27, 2012

Nikon Coolpix L120 Mini Review

Even though there doesn't seem to be a lot of interest in cameras based on the hits from my previous blog entry about the Nikon Coolpix P5100, some of my friends/colleagues asked me about my thoughts on the Nikon Coolpix L120 after I used it on my vacation so I've decided to write my thoughts about the L120 on my blog.

Even though my old Nikon Coolpix P5100 still worked (and I was/am happy with the picture quality), there was a sale on the Nikon Coolpix L120 at the time so I decided to purchase it as my point and shoot camera. Because of the smaller and more compact size of my old Nikon Coolpix P5100 (and the fact that it can use an external hotshoe flash which I own) and it can take high quality pictures/videos, I bring this camera with me most of the time but when I go on vacation/trips, I normally will bring my Nikon Coolpix L120.

One of the things that I like about the Nikon Coolpix L120 is the fact that it takes standard AA batteries (it uses 4 batteries). This is somewhat unusual for Nikon since most of their cameras use proprietary Nikon batteries with the newer Nikon D-SLRs using proprietary Nikon batteries where 3rd party batteries can't be used at all because of a chip on the battery that the camera looks for.

The fact that the Nikon Coolpix L120 uses standard AA batteries was the reason I purchased this camera when it was on sale since it has happened to me in the past where my camera batteries ran out of charge during my vacation and I wasn't anywhere near my hotel room so I couldn't recharge my batteries. By using standard AA batteries, I can purchase these batteries almost anywhere/anytime if my rechargeable batteries run out of power. Also, since I have a lot of rechargeable AA batteries, I don't really expect there to be an issue with me running out of power when I am taking pictures.

Another thing I like about this camera is that the zoom is very good (21x optical zoom wide) and it is better than on my older P5100.

Another reason for my purchase of the L120 when it was on sale was because it offered a slightly better resolution over my P5100. The resolution of the Coolpix L120 is rated as being 14.1 MP whereas the Coolpix P5100 is rated as being 12.1 MP. However, megapixels are not everything when it comes to picture quality. The picture quality is largely dependant on the lens and I've never had any problems/issues with the lenses from the Nikkor lenses on my Nikon cameras.

Compared with my P5100, my L120 is a simpler camera to use. It is a simple point and shoot camera (whereas my P5100 had some camera picture taking control/settings similar to DSLRs). The Nikon Coollpix L120 has pre-set scene shooting modes (indoor, outdoor, portrait, landscape, etc.). There are 17 scene modes.

It doesn't have an optical viewfinder. When taking pictures, if it is very bright, it might be difficult to see your subject using the LCD screen. My old P5100 had both a optical viewfinder and the LCD screen.

The L120 being more of what I would consider to be an entry level simple point and shoot camera, doesn't support external hotshoe flash.

In terms of the picture quality, I find that it takes very good pictures outdoors. Indoors, you have to remember to change the settings for the shooting scene mode since I've found that the easy auto scene mode doesn't handle the white balance very well indoors.

This was taken with the easy auto mode. You can see how there is an orange-like colour because of the white balance. The above picture was taken at the MGM Grand - Las Vegas.

This picture was taken with the indoor scene mode. This picture was taken at the Venetian Las Vegas.

One of the things that I don't like about the L120 is that it uses a clip/click-on lens cover. The reason I don't like it (or I prefer the lens cover on my Nikon Coolpix P5100 which uses an automatic lens cover) is because sometimes I've forgotten to remove the lens cover and I've turned on the camera either purposely or accidentally. This causes the lens to extend but the lens cover prevents the lens from extending. This can damage the lens camera motor (which has happened to me in the past with one of my digital cameras when it accidentally turned on while it was in my tight/small camera bag).

I find that this P&S camera is fairly large for a point and shoot camera. This camera won't fit into my older camera bags because of the size. What takes up the majority of the size is the lens which is larger than what you get with most point and shoot cameras.

If you have any questions/comments regarding my experience with my Nikon Coolpix L120 (or anything written on this blog), please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section. Please note that comments are moderated and any comments that contain a URL link or hyperlink will automatically be flagged as being spam and will not be posted.


  1. Best picture i've ever seen. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    1. Thank you Harjeet Singh for taking the time to read and comment on my blog.