Is it possible to get amazing pictures from a cheap digital camera? Buying a Nikon Coolpix L11 Digital Camera is certainly not going to break the bank. It’s currently selling for about $90 at a number of online retailers. But, can you get great pictures out if it, or will it bring you nothing but heart ache and lousy pictures. Let’s take a look at some of the less appealing features of the Coolpix L11 by Nikon, and find out.
One of my biggest complaints with digital cameras and digital camera manufacturers, is the exclusion of an optical viewfinder. Sure, we all love the cool factor of having a nice big LCD screen to view pictures with. But, not if a larger LCD means sacrificing a viewfinder. Especially on a camera the eats batteries like the Coolpix L11. Having a viewfinder, means you can still take pictures, even with dying batteries. It’s a bit of a vicious circle… bigger LCD = no space for viewfinder = batteries die sooner… and no user option to switch to viewfinder mode.
The other problem with a big LCD screen on a low priced camera, is the quality of the screen. The LCD on the L11, is somewhat grainy, but usable when used indoors. At least it’s quite readable. Going outdoors however is a different story. There is technology to make LCDs readable in bright sunlight, and it works great. I have it on my marine grade GPS chart plotter, but that’s an $800 toy. Trying to view the LCD on the Coolpix L11 on a sunny day, is next to impossible. An optical viewfinder, would of course resolve this problem (see earlier complaint).
The power saving feature, while a good idea for the L11, was not implemented very well by Nikon. The camera tends to take about a minute to shut off, when it decides it’s no longer being used. During that time, you can’t stop the shutdown, and even powering it back on, is not the most intuitive process.
A typical complaint with pretty much every camera in this price range, and even $100 more, is the big lag time between taking pictures. Primarily caused by the flash recharging, and the camera taking a long time to save the last photo to the memory card. You can get faster memory cards, and stronger batteries, but they won’t make much of a difference. Some of the faster memory cards cost almost as much as the Nikon Coolpix L11. Your better off just getting a better camera.
As if I haven’t given you enough reasons to stay away from buying a Nikon Coolpix L11, here’s a few more to ponder:
- main settings dial is too small and susceptible to operator error
- night pictures or low light pictures turn out very grainy
- the flash is not effective beyond a range of six feet
- USB connector cable is non standard (micro USB)
- older model Coolpix 2100 actually performs better
- color accuracy suffers on indoor pictures