Nikon Coolpix L830 Review

March 25, 2014 | Jack Baker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


The Nikon Coolpix L830 represents the new pinnacle of Nikon’s budget-conscious, easy to use Coolpix L-series. Considering its relatively attractive price of £229.99 / $299.95 / €279, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Headline specs are its 34x zoom lens, giving a very useful focal length range of 22.5-765mm (in 35mm camera terms). To ensure sharp shots at such long focal lengths, the L830 also utilises Nikon’s Hybrid Vibration Reduction system. At the heart of the camera is a 16.0-megapixel CMOS sensor capable of a maximum ISO3200 sensitivity and Full HD video capture. Externally the most notable new feature is a high-resolution, 921k-dot monitor which can be tilted up and down. The Nikon Coolpix L830 also follows the L-series trend of being powered by AA batteries.

Ease of Use

The first thing that strikes you about the Nikon Coolpix L830 – apart from the questionable colour of our test example – is its bulk. At 510g ready-to-shoot and 111 x 75.8 x 91.2mm, it’s only marginally smaller than Nikon’s entry-level D3300 DSLR. That does give the L830 excellent ergonomics though, with a chunky finger grip and sizable rubberised thumb panel that make the camera feel particularly secure in the hand.

However, where a DSLR would give you plenty of creative control and a conventional viewfinder, the Nikon Coolpix L830 has neither. Control-wise you have to rely on one of two automatic modes. Smart Auto will intelligently select one of 18 different scene presets according to your subject and apply optimal shooting settings, or you can switch to the standard Auto mode to control ISO sensitivity and white balance. Alternatively each of the 18 scene presents can be manually selected, and here’s also where you can choose the Easy Panorama feature. This extra is a welcome addition given the L830’s cheaper stable mate, the L330, lacks an automatic panorama mode. Unfortunately the final result is resized to just 920 vertical pixels and you’re restricted to either a 180 or 360-degree pan. Nikon does also include a further 11 fun effects such as selective colour, toy camera and sepia, or you can opt for Smart Portrait mode which detects both smiling and blinking, automatically removes any red-eye and smooth’s skin complexion.

Very nice, but apart from a few extra special colour effects, both the L330 and the outgoing L820 share the same shooting features. In fact there’s not a lot to differentiate the L830 from its predecessor. Sensor specification remains unchanged, with both cameras packing a 1/2.3” 16.0-million pixel CMOS sensor with a sensitivity range of ISO125-3200. The two cameras also share Full HD video recording with stereo sound and a wind noise reduction feature, but strangely the newer model has to make do with a slower continuous shooting rate. 8 frames per second at full resolution for a 6-shot burst has now been reduced to 6.8fps for 5 consecutive shots.

Nikon Coolpix L820 Nikon Coolpix L820
Front Rear

Optically the two cameras are also very similar. The Nikon Coolpix L830 does up the total zoom range from 30x to 34x, however the maximum 22.5mm-equivalent wide angle setting remains unchanged, and its f/3-5.8 aperture is almost identical to the older model as well. The L830 also employs the same Hybrid VR system to help counteract camera shake. This works by moving the lens to compensate for any unwanted motion, but if extra correction is needed the camera can automatically take two shots at varying shutter speeds and combine the best bits of each.

Likewise the Nikon Coolpix L830 also inherits the same rocker switch on the left of the lens barrel to control zooming. This is in addition to the conventional zooming ring around the shutter release button and means you can zoom with your left hand and leave your right hand free to snap the shot. However whichever control you use, the L830 only has a single zoom speed which is reasonably fast but makes precise focal length adjustment quite hit or miss.

Nikon Coolpix L820 Nikon Coolpix L820
Front Tilting LCD Screen

Also mounted on the left of the Nikon Coolpix L830 is the pop-up flash release button, as well as a simple connectivity line-up of a USB port and an HDMI output. Up top is the shutter release, primary zoom control and power button, along with twin microphones. The rear of the L830 is similarly spartan, with a well-cited dedicated video record button, plus the usual buttons for scene selection, playback, delete and the main menu. The circular directional pad also controls exposure compensation and the self-timer, along with flash and macro settings.

But the main point of interest on the L830’s rear panel is that new tiltable monitor. Resolution remains unchanged from the L820 at a generous 921,000 dots, but now you can extend the screen outward and tilt it approximately 90 degrees up or down. That is the limit of its movement though, so you won’t be able to flip the screen around to protect it during transportation, or view yourself whilst snapping a selfie. It’s not the sleekest piece of kit either, adding a considerable bulge to the back of the camera. The display panel itself is worth a mention though, as unlike the cheaper L330, this monitor not only adds plenty more pixels, it also boasts much-improved viewing angles and slightly enhanced colour accuracy.

Nikon Coolpix L820 Nikon Coolpix L820
Top Battery Compartment

Under the Nikon Coolpix L830 lurks a plastic tripod mount and a single flap covering the memory card and battery compartment. This design can be problematic when you want to remove the SD card and instead end up with four AA batteries at your feet. Then there’s the issue of the power source itself. Granted, AA batteries are readily available and mean you don’t have to hunt down a charging point to regenerate a typical Li-ion battery, but the relatively low price tag of the L830 is slightly less appealing once you factor the extra £20/€25/$30 you’ll need to part with to get some cost-effective NiMH rechargables. At least with a pack of these fuelling the camera they’ll power up to 680 shots per charge, with even regular alkaline cells capable of a very healthy 390-shot lifespan.

Whatever the power, the Nikon Coolpix L830 is ready for action in around one second, and in good light its autofocus system locks on to a subject almost instantaneously. In less optimal conditions the camera takes a fraction longer to finds its mark, but is still more than adequate and an improvement over the autofocus performance of its L330 sibling. The only focussing niggle is one which seems to plague Coolpix compacts, and that’s a resistance for the camera to macro focus when in Smart Auto mode. To reliably exploit the L830’s 1cm minimum focussing distance, you’ll need to engage standard Auto mode, then enable macro focussing using the macro mode button. It’s not the slickest process.

Fortunately Nikon’s tried and tested menu system makes it a breeze to switch shooting modes and alter other settings. It’s far from the most visually impressive interface, but it’s fast to navigate and easy to read under bright sunlight. Good job too, as with so few manual controls you’ll need to scroll through the menu system to change modes or manually adjust ISO sensitivity.

Image Quality

Although the Nikon Coolpix L830’s bulk may give it a slight resemblance to a DSLR, its image sensor is just a tiny fraction of the size. Anything larger and you’d also need to scale up the lens, meaning pretty soon the camera would end up being about two feet long.

However a small sensor can’t match the image quality of a larger device, and the L830 proves this point. In bright light these sensor limitations are most apparent in scenes of fine and distant detail, such as grassy landscapes. Here such images take on a slight watercolour effect when viewed full size as image processing attempts to blur away grain and noise. Venture indoors or shoot in low light at ISO400 sensitivity or beyond and noise levels increase, as does the amount of detail lost due to overzealous image smoothing. Colour speckling is visible but well controlled right up to the maximum ISO3200 sensitivity, but the amount of grain and image smoothing at this setting makes it very much a last resort.

These traits are common to many small-sensor cameras, but the Nikon Coolpix L830’s image quality isn’t helped by a tendency to underexpose in contrasty conditions. Compose a shot with bright highlights and dim shadows and the camera’s exposure metering will err on the side of caution, retaining highlight detail but leaving the overall exposure looking much darker with murkier colours than in reality. For the most part the L830 does produce vibrant yet realistic colours though, but its auto white balance can be fooled, occasionally producing undersaturated images.

Lens performance is much better, with good corner sharpness and almost no barrel distortion at wide angle. A negligible pincushion effect is visible when zoomed in, but unless shooting brick walls is your thing, it’s not a problem. Point the L830 at a high contrast scene and the lens will produce some chromatic aberration (purple fringing), but again the effect isn’t distracting and is no worse than similar cameras. Finally Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system works wonders and is essential for counteracting camera shake when zooming in.


The Nikon Coolpix L830 has six sensitivity settings ranging from ISO125 to ISO3200 at full resolution.

ISO 125 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso125.jpg iso200.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix L830’s 34x zoom lens achieves a maximum wide-angle focal length equivalent to 22.5mm, and is capable of a telephoto reach of 765mm (in 35mm-camra terms).



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg


Nikon compacts haven't had any benefit from a boost in sharpening previously, but the L830 seems to accept it. We put it down to the better ISO results. The smoother images will look better when they're sharper.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

File Quality

Shooting the Nikon Coolpix L830 at its maximum 16.0MP resolution in Fine JPEG quality produces images 5-7MB in size. You can choose to downgrade to Normal quality at this resolution, whereby the file size roughly halves.

Fine (100% Crop)

Normal (100% Crop)

quality_fine.jpg quality_normal.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon Coolpix L830 suffered from som eobvious chromatic aberrations in areas of high contrast throughout the frame.

Chromatic Aberrations 1

Chromatic Aberrations 2

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The Nikon Coolpix L830’s lens will focus as close as 1cm from a subject, however depth of field becomes very shallow at this extremely close distance.


Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The pop-up flash on the Nikon Coolpix L830 has four settings: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill flash & Slow sync. Shooting a white surface from a distance of 1.5m, the flash provides even coverage with the lens zoomed in, though some vignetting is visible in the wide-angle shot.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (22.5mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (22.5mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (585mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (585mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Whether the flash is set to standard Auto mode – or Auto with red-eye reduction – the camera successfully avoids any trace of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Vibration Reduction

Getting sharp shots at the kind of long focal lengths the Nikon Coolpix L830’s lens is capable of would be near-impossible without Vibration Reduction, as you can see from the shots below. Activating VR makes a huge difference and ensures shots like this stay crisp.

Vibration Reduction On (100% Crop)

Vibration Reduction Off (100% Crop)

antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg


Night photography is easy with the Night Landscape mode, which works whether you’re shooting hand-held or on a tripod.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg


The Nikon Coolpix L830 offers eleven colour effects, all of which are previewed live. Your options are: Soft, Nostalgic sepia, High-contrast monochrome, High key, Low key, Selective colour, Pop, Super vivid, Cross process, Toy camera effect 1 & Toy camera effect 2.



effects_01.jpg effects_02.jpg


High Key

effects_03.jpg effects_04.jpg

Low Key

Selective Color

effects_05.jpg effects_06.jpg



effects_07.jpg effects_08.jpg

Cross Process

Toy Camera 1

effects_09.jpg effects_10.jpg

Toy Camera 2



Backlighting automatically captures two exposures of a high-contrast scene to record shadow and highlight detail separately, then merges them into a single HDR image.

Backlighting Off

Backlighting On

backlighting1.jpg backlighting1a.jpg

Easy Panorama

Easy Panorama just requires you to pan the Nikon Coolpix L830 whilst it captures and stitches the images into either a 180 or 360-degree panorama.


Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Coolpix L830 camera, which were all taken using the 16 megapixel Fine 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 1920x1080 pixels at 25 frames per second. Please note that this 14 second movie is 27.8Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon Coolpix L830

Front of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Front of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Front of the Nikon Coolpix L830 / Pop-up Flash

Nikon Coolpix L830

Side of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Side of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix L830 / Image Displayed

Nikon Coolpix L830

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix L830 / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix L830

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix L830 / Tilting LCD Screen

Nikon Coolpix L830

Top of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Bottom of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Side of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Side of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830

Front of the Nikon Coolpix L830

Nikon Coolpix L830
Front of the Nikon Coolpix L830
Nikon Coolpix L830
Memory Card Slot / Battery Compartment


Like its baby brother, the L330, the Nikon Coolpix L830 is a puzzling prospect. Both cameras are certainly easy to use, but no more so than most cameras with an intelligent automatic mode. Neither can the L830 bring anything remarkable to the table in terms of image quality, performance or features. Sure, it is competitively priced, but you’ll still need to factor the extra cost of a set of rechargeable AA batteries. Ultimately it’s left to that 34x zoom lens to seal the deal.

But you should really ask yourself whether this is enough to compensate for the L830’s extra bulk, as at this price point there’s no shortage of superzoom compact cameras that’ll give you at least a 20x zoom reach. The extra telephoto ability of the Nikon Coolpix L830 may be useful on a handful of occasions, but being able to slip a smaller, lighter camera in your pocket is always appealing.

Performance-wise the L830 isn’t a bad camera. It’s quick to focus and produces a fair amount of detail and punchy colours in the right conditions. The high-resolution monitor performs well beyond the price tag may suggest, and its tilting ability makes high and low angle shots a doddle.

However the fact remains that the Nikon Coolpix L830’s image quality is nothing special, and is outclassed by smaller compact cameras costing the same or less. The sensor’s lack of dynamic range and overly-cautious exposure metering make low light and high-contrast shots look drab and lifeless, whilst you need optimal lighting and a close subject to retain good detail levels. At least optically there’s little to complain about though.

Should the Nikon Coolpix L830’s price fall in the coming months then it may be worth the money. But until then it’s hard to make a compelling case for the camera when it falls short of most compacts in almost every way except ultimate zoom reach, ergonomics and perhaps screen quality.

3.5 stars

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

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon Coolpix L830.

Canon PowerShot SX510 HS

The Canon PowerShot SX510 HS is a small super-zoom camera with a 30x zoom lens. The Canon SX510 also offers 12 megapixels, a 3-inch LCD screen, wi-fi and GPS connectivity, full manual controls and 1080p HD movies. Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot SX510 HS review now...

Fujifilm FinePix S4800

The new Fujifilm FinePix S4800 is an affordable super-zoom camera that boasts a 30x zoom lens. Other standout features include a 16 megapixel sensor, a 3 inch LCD screen, manual controls and 720p movies, all for under £150 / $175. Read our in-depth Fujifilm FinePix S4800 review now...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 is an affordable super-zoom camera featuring a 35x zoom lens with a huge focal range of 25-875mm. Other highlights of the Panasonic LZ30 include a 3 inch LCD screen, 720p HD movies, Manual shooting mode and a 16.1 megapixel CCD sensor. Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 review now...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ60

The Lumix DMC-TZ60 is Panasonic's new flagship travel-zoom compact camera for 2014. The TZ60 (also known as the ZS40) adds a 30x wide-angle zoom lens, lens control ring, RAW file format, focus peaking and an electronic viewfinder to last year's TZ40/ZS30 model. Read our Panasonic DMC-TZ60 review to find out if it's still the best travel-zoom camera...

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V

The Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V is a new pocket camera with a massive 30x zoom lens. The HX50V also features built-in wi-fi and GPS tracking, full 1080p high-definition video with stereo sound, a 20 megapixel CMOS sensor, high-resolution 3-inch screen, manual shooting modes, 10fps continuous shooting, 3D photos, ISO range of 100-12800 and fast auto-focusing. Read our in-depth Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V review to find out if it's the best travel-zoom camera...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon Coolpix L830 from around the web. »

The Nikon Coolpix L830 was announced in January 2014 and is a budget camera which has a 34x optical zoom lens. It also has a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and has a number of quick effects which can be applied to pictures before and after shooting. The L830 is available for around £200.
Read the full review » »

The Coolpix L830 takes over as this year's entry-level bridge in Nikon's 2014 camera line. It keeps last year's 16-Megapixel CMOS sensor but gets a new 34x zoom lens (22.5-765 mm) and five-axis stabilisation in video mode. Rather than adding an electronic viewfinder—which would no doubt have been small and unpleasant anyway—Nikon has instead loaded the L830 with a 3" tilting display with 921,000 dots.
Read the full review »


Number of effective pixels 16.0 million
Image sensor 1/2.3-in. type CMOS; approx. 16.76 million total pixels
Lens NIKKOR lens with 34x optical zoom
Focal length 4.0-136 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 22.5-765 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
f/-number f/3-5.9
Lens construction 12 elements in 9 groups (2 ED lens elements)
Digital zoom magnification Up to 4x (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 3060 mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
Vibration reduction Combination of lens-shift and electronic VR
Motion blur reduction Motion detection (still pictures)
Autofocus (AF) Contrast-detect AF
Focus range [W]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity, [T]: Approx. 1.5 m (5 ft) to infinity. Macro mode: Approx. 1 cm (0.4 in.) (when zoom is set to middle position) to infinity. (All distances measured from center of front surface of lens)
Focus-area selection Face priority, manual with 99 focus areas, center, subject tracking, target finding AF
Monitor 7.5 cm (3-in.), approx. 921k-dot (RGBW), wide viewing angle TFT LCD with 6-level brightness adjustment, tiltable approx. 85° downward, approx. 90° upward
Frame coverage (shooting mode) Approx. 99% horizontal and 99% vertical (compared to actual picture)
Frame coverage (playback mode) Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical (compared to actual picture)
Media Internal memory (approx. 59 MB), SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
File system DCF, Exif 2.3, and DPOF compliant
File formats Still pictures: JPEG. Movies: MOV (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: LPCM stereo)
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]; 1:1 [3456 x 3456]
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, Easy panorama, Pet portrait), Special effects, Smart portrait, Auto
Continuous Shooting Single (default setting), Continuous H (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 6.7 fps and the maximum number of continuous shots is about 5), Continuous L (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 2.1 fps and themaximum number of continuous shots is about 33), Continuous H:120 fps (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 120 fps and the maximum number of continuous shots is 50), Continuous H:60 fps (the frame rate for continuous shooting is about 60 fps and the maximum number of continuous shots is 25), BSS (Best Shot Selector), Multi-shot 16
Movie 1080/30p (default setting): 1920 x 1080/16:9, 1080/25p (default setting): 1920 x 1080/16:9, 1080/60i: 1920 x 1080/16:9, 1080/50i: 1920 x 1080/16:9, 720/30p: 1280 x 720/16:9, 720/25p: 1280 x 720/16:9, iFrame 720/30p: 1280 x 720/16:9, iFrame 720/25p: 1280 x 720/16:9, 480/30p: 640 x 480/4:3, 480/25p: 640 x 480/4:3, HS 240/8x: 320 x 240/4:3, HS 480/4x: 640 x 480/4:3, HS 720/2x: 1280 x 720/16:9, HS 1080/0.5x: 1920 x 1080/16:9
ISO sensitivity (Standard output sensitivity) ISO 125-1600. ISO 3200 (available when using Auto mode)
Exposure metering mode Matrix, center-weighted (digital zoom less than 2x), spot (digital zoom 2x or more)
Exposure control Programmed auto exposure and exposure compensation (-2.0 - +2.0 EV in steps of 1/3 EV)
Shutter Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter
Shutter speed 1/1500-1 s. 1/4000 s (maximum speed during high-speed continuous shooting). 4 s (Fireworks show scene mode)
Aperture Electronically-controlled ND filter (-2 AV) selection
Aperture range 2 steps (f/3 and f/6 [W])
Self-timer Can be selected from 10 s and 2 s
Flash range (approx.) (ISO sensitivity: Auto) [W]: 0.5-9.0 m (1 ft 8 in.-29 ft). [T]: 1.5-4.5 m (5-14 ft)
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
HDMI output Can be selected from Auto, 480p, 720p, and 1080i
I/O terminal Audio/video (A/V) output; digital I/O (USB). HDMI micro connector (Type D) (HDMI output), DC input connector
Supported languages Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power sources Four LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries. Four FR6/L91 (AA-size) lithium batteries. Four EN-MH2 rechargeable Ni-MH batteries (available separately). AC Adapter EH-67 (available separately)
Battery life¹ Approx. 390 shots when using alkaline batteries. Approx. 1180 shots when using lithium batteries. Approx. 680 shots when using EN-MH2 batteries
Movie recording (actual battery life for recording)² Approx. 1 h 10 min when using alkaline batteries. Approx. 3 h 55 min when using lithium batteries. Approx. 2 h 5 min when using EN-MH2 batteries
Tripod socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 111.0 x 75.8 x 91.2 mm (4.4 x 3.0 x 3.6 in.) (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 508 g (1 lb 2.0 oz) (including batteries and SD memory card)
Temperature 0°C-40°C (32°F-104°F)
Humidity 85% or less (no condensation)
Supplied accessories Camera Strap, LR6/L40 (AA-size) alkaline batteries (x4), Lens Cap LC-CP28 (with cord), USB Cable UC-E16
Optional accessories AC Adapter EH-67, Audio Video Cable EG-CP16, Hand Strap AH-CP1, Battery Charger MH-73 (includes four EN-MH2 rechargeable Ni-MH batteries), Rechargeable Ni-MH batteries EN-MH2-B4 (set of four EN-MH2 batteries)

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