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Nikon Coolpix L26 Overview

Posted: 01/31/2012

Are you new to photography, or just looking for a camera that keeps things simple and affordable? If so, Nikon had you in mind when it designed the Coolpix L26. Its friendly, approachable body is available in three colors--red, silver, or black--and is compact enough to slip in a jacket pocket or purse, keeping it close to hand when you need it.

The Nikon L26 is based around a sixteen megapixel CCD sensor, offering plenty of resolution for fairly large prints, even after allowing generous room for cropping. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 80 to 1,600 equivalents, about par for the course. A Nikkor-branded 5x optical zoom lens offers focal lengths from a useful 26mm wide angle to a moderate telephoto, enough to cover most typical shooting situations. Focusing is possible to as close as ten centimeters in macro mode.

On the L26's rear panel is a 3.0-inch LCD monitor, by far the most common size used in digital cameras these days, and a little larger than the screens still used by some entry-level models. There is, of course, no optical or electronic viewfinder on this model.

Catering to the entry-level market, the Coolpix L26 offers a generous selection of 26 scene modes that let you tailor the look of your images without needing to understand the subtleties of shutter speeds, apertures, and ISO sensitivities. There's also Nikon's Smart Portrait System, which aims to make it easier to get a good portrait photo. A Best Shot Selector function captures ten images, and then discards all but the one the camera judges to be the best of the group.

As well as still images, the L26 can capture high definition movies at 1,280 x 720 pixel (720p) resolution. No information on frame rates or compression types was available at press time.

The Nikon L26 stores images and movies in a not-so-generous 19MB of built-in memory, or on removable Secure Digital cards, including the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC types. Power comes courtesy of two standard AA batteries, and Nikon rates the L26 as capable of around 350 shots on a pair of EN-MH2 rechargeable NiMH batteries. (In a pinch, you can get 200 shots with Alkaline disposables, or 680 shots with Lithium disposables.)

The Nikon Coolpix L26 goes on sale from February 2012 in the US market, priced at around US$120.