Nikon L15 Review

 
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Nikon Coolpix L15 Performance


Timing and Performance

A bit on the slow side for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

3.5 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.

Shutdown

2.3 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds
(2 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

The Coolpix L15's performance here is very slow, starting with its slow startup time of 3.5 seconds.

 

Mode switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.2 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

1.6 seconds

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

0.9 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching times are on the slow side as well.

 

Shutter response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.85 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.97 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Prefocused

0.184 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Shutter response is on the slower side of average for both zoom settings, at 0.85s and 0.97s respectively. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of only 0.184 second, which isn't the fastest on the market, but not too bad.

 

Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.19 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG

1.84 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG

0.97 second (1.03 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG

1.21 seconds (0.83 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

12.1 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are also a little slower than average, at about 2.19 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera appears to capture shots continuously in single-shot mode without having to stop and clear the buffer. Continuous burst mode is also quite slow, at 1.03 frames-per-second for more than 20 large/fine JPEG frames, and even slower at the lowest resolution setting (0.83 frames per second). The flash takes a whopping 12.1 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot.

 

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

688 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Download speeds are slower than most cameras these days.

 

Overall, the Coolpix L15 isn't the fastest camera on the market. However, it should be responsive for most normal shooting conditions, though using the flash will slow you down.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Good life for standard AA alkalines, though we strongly recommend rechargeables.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries, LCD on,
(CIPA standard)
160
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, LCD on,
(CIPA standard)
330
AA lithium batteries, LCD on,
(CIPA standard)
580

The Nikon Coolpix L15 uses two AA batteries for power, and ships with a set of ordinary alkalines. We strongly recommend you pick up a couple of sets of good-quality NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good-quality charger, as they'll save you many times their cost over the life of the camera.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Nikon Coolpix L15 accepts SDHC/SD/MMC memory cards, and includes about 25MB of internal memory.

Image Capacity with
25MB Internal Memory
Fine Normal
3,264 x 2,448
Images
6
10
File Size
4.0 MB
2.3 MB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
-
16
File Size
-
1.5 MB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
-
26
File Size
-
937 KB
1,024 x 768
Images
-
95
File Size
-
263 KB
640 x 480
Images
-
188
File Size
-
133 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC or SD memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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