Nikon Coolpix L25 Review

March 8, 2013 | Matt Grayson | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon Coolpix L25 is an easy to use digital compact camera aimed at the novice user, featuring a 10 megapixel CCD sensor, 5x optical zoom, 720p HD video recording and AA battery compatibility. Designed to be fully automated, the L25 will think the picture through for you meaning all you have to do is aim and press the button. The best part of the Nikon Coolpix L25 is the price. At around £50, the L25 is within reach of even the tightest of purses and is available in red, black, gold and silver.

Ease of Use

The design of the Nikon Coolpix L25 follows a few years of tradition. The simple arrangement of a slim body with a small grip to the left (which has a double purpose of increasing one-handed shooting capability and housing the bulkier AA batteries). The small lens on the front is surrounded by thick silver rings – possibly to make it look bigger than it actually is.

On the top, the small power button is sunken into the body to prevent getting confused with the shutter release button and switching the camera off by accident when you're taking that crucial shot. By contrast, the large shutter release is much larger than traditional buttons on other cameras and its likely purpose is to simply shout at you that it's what you should be pressing. After all, no-one can resist pressing a big button. The zoom rocker is wrapped around the shutter release for easy operation of a probing index finger while holding the camera up at arm's length. The lens is a standard 5x optical Nikkor zoom type. In 35mm terms, its range is 28-140mm.

Move onto the back and the design is a tried and tested layout. Towards the top of the Nikon Coolpix L25 is a small red button that gives direct video recording regardless of the mode you're in at the time. Slightly above this is a flash charging light which will flicker while the flash is recycling. To the left is a small thumb rest. The L25 has a 3inch screen on the back which is actually bigger than some more expensive cameras. It's not the brightest screen and the colours are a bit flat so it's worth waiting until you get home to look at them before deleting them.

The button with the green camera is the shooting mode button and has four options. You can choose between Easy Auto, Scenes, Smart portrait and Auto. easy Auto is signified by a green camera with a heart icon. It analyses the scene as you shoot and adjusts the camera mode to suit what is in the frame. For example, if you're on holiday taking a picture of a really interesting lizard and it's filling the frame, the camera will see the closeness of the subject and automatically put the camera into macro mode. Scenes allows you to control the scene mode you'd like the camera to use. The camera won't deviate from this instruction unlike in Easy auto where it could adjust as many times as it likes.

Nikon Coolpix L25 Nikon Coolpix L25
Front Rear

Towards the bottom there's a Smart Portrait mode which will adapt to the situation while ensuring a good portrait and finally, the Auto mode will still do everything for you but allow you to make simple adjustments such as white-balance, continuous shooting and colour options. This latter setting will add a digital cast to the pictures and there's four to choose from: Vivid colour, Black & white, Sepia and Cyanotype. These are accessed through the menu button that is found at the bottom of the camera next to the delete button. Although that can only be used in playback.

The navigation dial has secondary commands on it to ease your photographic experience. There's options to adjust the flash settings, change the self-timer, exposure compensation or switch on macro. Simply pressing the appropriate button then selecting the desired setting is all it takes.

At this price point you're not going to get a metal body. There's possibly a metal skeleton to add some rigidity but the outer casing is plastic. The build doesn't feel any worse than a model double this price though. There's no lock on the battery door and the batteries are AA type. While this is more appropriate for a camera of this kind, they exert pressure on the battery door which could pop open if caught.

Nikon Coolpix L25 Nikon Coolpix L25
Front Top

The memory card sits next to the batteries in the same compartment. One useful factor is that Nikon have added SDXC compatibility to the L25. These types of cards have huge capacities with a theoretical top limit of 2Tb (terabytes, or 2048Gb). There wouldn't be a reason at all why you'd want a card that big for a camera like this but the fact that they put it there is welcoming. The screen isn't the best quality. It does its job but there's a certain quality lacking that gives it the appearance on the screen of a 1980's video camera. However, this doesn't record on the pictures.

The menus have been simplified to make using them a lot easier for the type of consumer that the Nikon Coolpix L25 is aimed at. There's no metering or focusing options. There's not even an ISO setting which will make our noise test interesting. On the most open menu setting – the one when in Auto – there's three tabs: One for shooting, one for video and one for the set-up area. The first tab holds settings for the aforementioned white-balance, resolution, continuous shooting modes and colour options.

The video tab has only one option for resolution. There are three choices of QVGA (320x240 pixels), VGA (640x480 pixels) and HD 720p (1280x720 pixels). A lot of people think that HD has to be 1080 but it doesn't. 1080 is generally regarded as FullHD, 720 is still classed as HD quality. The final option is the set-up menu. It's much more in-depth than the other menus and changes settings such as the language, date & time, video mode and automatic sleep mode. There's also a setting to change the blink warning when taking portraits and Eye-fi upload enable. For this last option you need an Eye-fi compatible memory card (a memory card with built in wifi).

Nikon Coolpix L25 Nikon Coolpix L25
Memory Card Slot Bettery Compartment

Start up time from the off position to switching on, focusing and taking a picture, the Nikon Coolpix L25 produces a respectable 2.5sec performance. That's a standard time for a digital compact camera in the beginner point and shoot category so it falls in with other models nicely. Continuous shooting starts off fast but slows as the buffer begins to fill. We got three pictures in the first 1.5sec but then only managed nine in total over a ten second period. The camera does download fast though, we got those pictures onto the card and were ready to shoot again by the 12th second.

Pressing the blue arrow button switches over to the Playback mode. When the picture first comes on the screen, there's some basic shooting information. Don't expect too much, there's only the date, image number, file order and resolution used. In the menu, there's some basic editing available such as D-Lighting (a programme that increases the dynamic range of the image by retaining detail in the shadows and capping burn out in highlights), skin softener and rotate. There's also slide-show options, protect images and copy.

In the box, you'll find a camera – which is useful, two AA batteries to get you started, a wrist strap,  USB cable, a paper-based Quick start guide which looks embarrassingly big to be a quick guide but is actually multi-lingual. There's also two CDs, one with the full instruction manual on it and the other has Nikon's ViewNX2 editing suite.

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.


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 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.



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)


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 (100% Crop)


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)


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)

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Coolpix L25 camera, which were all taken using the 10 megapixel High JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1280x720 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 40 second movie is 145Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon Coolpix L25

Front of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix L25

Front of the Camera / Lens Extended

Nikon Coolpix L25

Isometric View

Nikon Coolpix L25

Isometric View

Nikon Coolpix L25

Rear of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix L25

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Nikon Coolpix L25

Rear of the Camera / Turned On

Nikon Coolpix L25

Rear of the Camera / Shooting Modes

Nikon Coolpix L25

Rear of the Camera / Shooting Menu

Nikon Coolpix L25

Rear of the Camera / Movie Menu

Nikon Coolpix L25

Rear of the Camera / Playback Menu

Nikon Coolpix L25

Rear of the Camera / Setup Menu

Nikon Coolpix L25

Top of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix L25

Side of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix L25

Side of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix L25

Front of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix L25

Front of the Camera

Nikon Coolpix L25

Memory Card Slot

Nikon Coolpix L25

Battery Compartment


The Nikon Coolpix L25 is unsurprisingly easy to use. After all that's what it's designed for. Let's not forget that this is a camera designed for newcomers and/or technophobes. The simplicity of its menu systems can be frustrating to someone with even a grain of photographic knowledge. Let it be said that if you knew what ISO was for before this review then this camera isn't for you. However, if you're not that person; if you're a person that just wants a camera to take on holiday or on nights out, then this is perfect.

It's built to a standard we'd expect at this level: it's not perfect but we don't expect it to be. Everything works fine, the start up and ready time is relatively fast apart from the flash cycling time which is painfully slow. As a side note, if you're using flash and it's charging, the Nikon Coolpix L25 won't allow you to take a picture which is really annoying. No matter how logical it is. If you've had a higher spec camera in the past and this is either a stop over until you get something else or an expendable holiday camera, then the screen will take some getting used to.

The Nikon Coolpix L25 does have a couple of little nuggets though, that could entice you. First of all, the Eye-fi compatibility. This is great for holidaying because the camera will be able to send your pictures to a computer of your choice when it gets to a wifi zone. The SDXC compatibility will mean larger capacities to take more pictures if you're on a long journey.

Arguably the most important benefit to the Nikon Coolpix L25 is the price. The sub-£50 threshold has generally been a market for the very low spec cameras. Much lower than this. A year ago, this camera would've been £100. So what's happened? Either the build quality has dropped slightly, materials to build the cameras are cheaper or Nikon are making them cheap to make them more enticing in the war against camera phones. Whatever the reason is, at the moment it seems to be benefiting the consumer nicely. We recommend the Nikon Coolpix L25 as long as you fit into the consumer type we've described above.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 3.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 3
Value for money 4.5

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon Coolpix L25 from around the web. »

Simple operation, a 5x zoom and a rock-bottom price, but image quality falls short of our modest expectations
Read the full review » »

Nikon’s Coolpix L25 is a budget, £69.99, 10-megapixel snapper with 720P HD video and ease of use at its core. But what type of Nikon is it that you get for less than £70? What Digital Camera investigates.
Read the full review » »

The Nikon Coolpix L25 is an entry level compact camera with a 10.1 megapixel sensor, 3 inch screen, 5x optical zoom lens, electronic vibration reduction and is powered by AA batteries. It is available in black, white, red and silver for less than £50, and is the lower specification version of the Nikon Coolpix L26.
Read the full review »


*Unless otherwise stated, all figures are for a camera with a fully-charged Rechargeable Battery operated at an ambient temperature of 25°C.

Product name COOLPIX L25
Type Compact digital camera
Effective pixels 16.1 million
Image sensor 1/2.3-in. type CCD; approx. 16.44 million total pixels
Lens 5x optical zoom, NIKKOR lens
Focal length 4.6-23.0mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 26-130 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
f/-number f/3.2-6.5
Construction 6 elements in 5 groups
Digital zoom Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 520 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
Vibration reduction Electronic VR (still pictures)
Autofocus (AF) Contrast-detect AF
Focus range (from lens) [W]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity, [T]: Approx. 80 cm (2 ft 8 in.) to infinity Macro mode: Approx. 10 cm (4 in.) (wide-angle position relative to the triangle mark) to infinity
Focus-area selection Center, face detection
Monitor 7.5-cm (3-in.), approx. 230k-dot, TFT LCD with antireflection coating and 5-level brightness adjustment
Frame coverage (shooting mode) Approx. 98% horizontal and 98% vertical
Frame coverage (playback mode) Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical
Media Internal memory (approx. 20 MB), SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
File system DCF, Exif 2.3, and DPOF compliant
File formats Still pictures: JPEG Movies: AVI (Motion-JPEG compliant)
Image size (pixels) 16M (High) [4608 x 3456(fine)] 16M [4608 x 3456] 8M [3264 x 2448] 4M [2272 x 1704] 2M [1600 x 1200] VGA [640 x 480] 16:9 [4608 x 2592]
Shooting Modes Easy Auto, Scene (Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night portrait, Party/indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/dawn, Night landscape, Close-up, Food, Museum, Fireworks show, Black and white copy, Backlighting, Panorama assist, Pet portrait), Smart Portrait, Auto
Continuous Shooting Single (default setting), Continuous (Up to 4 images at about 1.2 fps), BSS (Best Shot Selector), Multi-shot 16
Movie HD 720p (default setting): 1280 x 720/approx. 30 fps, VGA: 640 x 480/approx. 30 fps, QVGA: 320 x 240/approx. 30 fps
ISO sensitivity (Standard output sensitivity) Auto (auto gain from ISO 80 to 1600)
Metering 256-segment matrix, center-weighted (digital zoom less than 2x), spot (digital zoom 2x or more)
Exposure control Programmed auto exposure with motion detection and exposure compensation (-2.0 to +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
Shutter Mechanical and charge-coupled electronic shutter
Speed 1/2000-1 s 4 s (Fireworks show scene mode)
Aperture Electronically-controlled ND filter (-2.7 EV) selection
Range 2 steps (f/3.2 and f/8 [W])
Self-timer Approx. 10 s
Range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto) [W]: 0.5 to 3.6 m (1 ft 8 in. to 11 ft) [T]: 0.8 to 1.7 m (2 ft 8 in. to 5 ft 6 in.)
Flash control TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
Interface Hi-Speed USB
Data Transfer Protocol MTP, PTP
Video output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
I/O terminal Audio/video (A/V) output; digital I/O (USB)
Supported languages Arabic, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power sources Two LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries Two FR6/L91 (AA-size) lithium batteries Two EN-MH2 rechargeable Ni-MH batteries (available separately) AC Adapter EH-65A (available separately)
Battery life Still pictures*: Approx. 200 shots when using alkaline batteries Approx. 680 shots when using lithium batteries Approx. 350 shots when using EN-MH2 batteries Movies: Approx. 50 min when using alkaline batteries (HD 720p) Approx. 3 h 20 min when using lithium batteries (HD 720p) Approx. 1 h 55 min when using EN-MH2 batteries (HD 720p)
Tripod socket 1/4 (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 96.0 x 59.7 x 28.8 mm (3.8 x 2.4 x 1.2 in.) (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 164 g (5.8 oz) (including battery and SD memory card)
Temperature 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Humidity Less than 85% (no condensation)
Supplied accessories Camera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x2), USB Cable UC-E16, ViewNX 2 Installer CD, Reference Manual CD
Optional accessories Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries EN-MH2-B2 (set of two EN-MH2 batteries), Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries EN-MH2-B4 (set of four EN-MH2 batteries), Battery Charger MH-72 (includes two rechargeable Ni-MH batteries EN-MH2), Battery Charger MH-73 (includes four rechargeable Ni-MH batteries EN-MH2), AC Adapter EH-65A, Audio Video Cable EG-CP14

Your Comments

Loading comments…