Nikon Coolpix L5 Review

Review Date: December 11th 2006
Author: Gavin Stoker

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Page 1
Introduction / Features
Page 2
Ease of Use
Page 3
Image Quality
Page 4
Sample Images
Page 5
Design
Page 6
Specifications
Page 7
Conclusion

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 7M Fine mode, which gives an average image size of around 2 - 3Mb.

Noise

There are no selectable ISO settings available on the Nikon Coolpix L5, just an Auto setting. Although there is noise visible in shadow areas, its level of intrusion is more than acceptable, given its price and the beginner market at which the L5 is pitched.

Auto ISO (100% crop)

 

Sharpening

Here are two 100% crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are very slightly soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. Unfortunately you can't change the in-camera sharpening level.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   
   

Chromatic Aberrations

Although the Nikon Coolpix L5 displays some pixel fringing between areas of high contrast on close inspection, it's by no means the worst offender in its price bracket.

Example 1 (100% Crop)
Example 2 (100% Crop)
 

Macro

The Nikon Coolpix L5 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 4cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle. The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

Macro Shot (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash settings on the Nikon Coolpix L5 are Auto, Auto with Red-eye Reduction (In-Camera Red-Eye Fix), Off, Fill flash, and Slow sync. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (38mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (38mm)

ISO 64
ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (190mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (190mm)
ISO 64
ISO 64
   

And here are some self-portraits. As you can see, the Flash On setting caused quite obvious red-eye. with the Red-Eye Reduction option reducing the effects (although not entirely).

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Flash - Red-Eye Reduction

Flash - Red-Eye Reduction (100% Crop)
   

Night Shot

The Nikon Coolpix L5's maximum shutter speed is only 4 seconds, which is not good news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1 second at f/2.9 at ISO 200. Here is a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)
   

Overall Image Quality

Although the Nikon Coolpix L5 displays some pixel fringing between areas of high contrast on close inspection, it's by no means the worst offender in its price bracket. With Vibration Reduction set to 'normal', delivered images are reassuringly sharp, given that this is still an entry level model, while colours left to full auto default are realistically and naturally rendered. Greens in particular are lushly convincing and reds vividly saturated. Skin tones are slightly cool, if we're being picky. Unsurprisingly the L5 delivered its best, most evenly exposed and uniformly sharp results under clear blue skies. And although there is noise visible in shadow areas, its level of intrusion is more than acceptable, given its price and the beginner market at which the L5 is pitched. Overall a better than expected performance from the Nikon Coolpix L5; although hardly class-leading overall, the beginner market should be more than happy with the results straight from the camera.

Page 1
Introduction / Features
Page 2
Ease of Use
Page 3
Image Quality
Page 4
Sample Images
Page 5
Design
Page 6
Specifications
Page 7
Conclusion

DIWAPhotographyBLOG is a member of the DIWA organisation. Our test results for the Nikon Coolpix L5 have been submitted to DIWA for comparison with test results for different samples of the same camera model supplied by other DIWA member sites.

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