Nikon Coolpix L25 Review

4.0
March 8, 2013 | Matt Grayson |

Image Quality


All images were taken at full resolution unless otherwise stated. The resolution of the Nikon Coolpix L25 is 10 megapixels. It's possible to use the camera in either fine or normal quality. Using normal retains the same amount of pixels but when the processor analyses the picture, it will shed more information than using the fine setting. This results in a smaller file. For example, our tests hot of a teddy bear are 4.65Mb in high quality and 2.16Mb in normal. The difference on the menu is a star icon on the 10Mp menu.

Noise

Taking the ISO test images was certainly troublesome. There's no provision for adjusting the ISO setting manually on the camera so we had to use less light with each shot to try and force the camera to increase the ISO. It did at first but we could only get to ISO 200 before too much ambient light was available and the camera was coping.

What we found was that ISO 80 and ISO 100 give beautiful, crisp results – they are around a third of a stop apart so it's hardly surprising – but the difference between ISO 100 and ISO 200 is immense. Edge definition has broken down and is starting to fail. Colour noise is starting to appear in lighter parts of the shadow and black areas. Lighter areas are ok but then we'd expect that at this setting. What we think is that as the ISO steps up, what we can't see in our test is that the noise will get a lot worse.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 100 (200% Crop)

 
 

Sharpening

Sharpening the pictures can be necessary on some of the pictures from the Nikon Coolpix L25. However, it's advisable to be cautious. If the ISO setting is on anything over ISO 100, it's likely that artefacts and edge degradation will be more enhanced as illustrated in our example of an eye which was taken at ISO 200.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix L25 has a 5x optical zoom. In the terms of the camera, that's 4–20mm, but we generally look at it in 35mm terms which would be 28-140mm.

28mm

140mm

File Quality

The Nikon Coolpix L25 has two compression ratings at full resolution. The highest quality has a star designation next to the image size in the main menu. A typical image at this size is around 5Mb while knocking it down to the normal setting without the star will shave off roughly 2Mb of information.

High (4.65Mb) (100% Crop)

Normal (2.16Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

We managed to find traces of chromatic aberration – purple fringing – but it only appears rarely and at extreme edges of the frame. To that end, it's a good result and shouldn't impair your overall enjoyment of looking at pictures you've taken.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

Macro

In macro mode, the Nikon Coolpix L25 has an unusual sweet spot of focus. The centre of the frame is focused and there seems to be a drop off of sharpness quite early. However, having a scout around the frame of our sample shot shows up some other areas of focus such as the rear wall towards the top of the frame and a section of table towards the bottom right of the frame.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

Flash

Using the Nikon Coolpix L25 at wide-angle shows a slight amount of vignetting which then dissipates as the lens is zoomed out. Enabling flash doesn't stop the vignetting from happening and we also noticed a slight drop of light at full zoom with flash switched on.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (140mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (140mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

The Nikon Coolpix L25 does give red-eye when the flash is fired during portraiture. We switched on the red-eye reduction which is a pre-flash system on the L25. That cleared the problem easily enough and it's good to see a low end Nikon not relying on digital red-eye correction systems.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

Because we can't control the ISO on the Nikon Coolpix L25, the pictures are let down to a degree. We can deal with the white-balance so that the dark orange cast in our sample image is a more realistic yellow.

Images are noisy because the ISO has been ramped up to improve the shutter speed. However, the night scene image got a better exposure. In auto, the camera has over exposed and bleached out the street light.

Night Scene

Night Scene (100% Crop)

   

Night Auto

Night Auto (100% Crop)

Entry Tags

3 inch LCD, compact, wide-angle, 720p, nikon, beginner, 5x zoom, coolpix, 10 megapixel, 28mm, wide angle, AA battery, Nikon Coolpix L25 Review, l25, nikon l25 review

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