Nikon L3 Review

 
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Nikon Coolpix L3 Performance


Timing and Performance

Nikon Coolpix L3 Timing
Good to slightly slow speed for a consumer camera.

.
Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
3.0 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy
Shutdown
2.6 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens
Buffer clearing time
8 seconds
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.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
1.0 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
3.6 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
1.6 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.78 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.48 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.040 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
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
2.02 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to 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
0.61 second (1.63 frames per second);
8 frames total;
8 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.58 second (1.22 frames per second);
1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Flash recycling
7 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
750 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

The Coolpix L3's performance ranges from good to just a little slow, depending on what you're trying to do. Startup time is a little sluggish at 3.0 seconds, but shutter lag is very good at wide angle and telephoto. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure also results in a very good time, at 0.040 second. Shot to shot cycle times are another slight slow-down, at about 2.19 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, though it can capture 20 shots or more this quickly. Continuous-mode speed is also on the slower side of average, at about 1.63 frames/second, for up to eight shots in succession. The flash takes about seven seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, slightly slower than average. Download speeds are also on the slower side. Bottom line, the Coolpix L3 isn't the best choice for capturing fast paced action, but it should handle average consumer shooting needs fairly well.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Short battery life with alkalines, though better results with lithium AA cells.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries
200
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries
330
AA lithium batteries
630

The Nikon Coolpix L3 uses two AA-type batteries for power. The table the number of shots the camera is capable of, based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions. Given the very short run time associated with AA alkaline batteries, I highly recommend picking up a set of NiMH or lithium rechargeable batteries and keeping a spare set freshly charged and on hand.

Storage
No card is included with the Nikon Coolpix L3, although it accepts SD/MMC cards; approximately 23MB RAM is built into the camera.

Image Capacity with
23MB Internal Memory
Fine Fine
2,592 x 1,944 Images 9 18
File Size 2.6 MB 1.4 MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images - 29
File Size - 864 KB
1,024 x 768 Images - 99
File Size - 254 KB
640 x 480
Images - 213
File Size - 119 KB

I strongly recommend buying at least a 128MB card, preferably a 256MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

Nikon L3

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