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Nikon Coolpix L1
Nikon Coolpix L1

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Ultra Compact Digital Cameras category.

Nikon Coolpix L1

Editor's Review

It's what's on the inside that counts, right? It seems improbable to think that a camera with 1.9" depth might be too big, but we've been spoiled with super slim ultra compacts for too long now. It's small, alright, but it could be smaller. The Nikon Coolpix L1 isn't the most stylish camera, but the 6.2 megapixel sensor and 5x optical zoom should look quite appealing through the 2.5" LCD screen. Nikon's D-Lighting system takes care of badly lit photos, and a simple 'help' button explains all the complicated menu options for the beginning photographer.


  • 6.2 megapixels
  • 5x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • autofocus
  • 2 "AA" batteries
  • Release Date: Sep 06, 2005

Shop for L1 Accessories

Nikon Coolpix L1 Reviews

Nikon Coolpix L1 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 2.0 out of 5
l1 is crap (Sarah — 11/28/2008)

the only way to get a semi focused picture in ANY lighting is to have the flash on. Even with the flash on its blurry sometimes. i paid WAY too much for this crap fest camera.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good camera with a few issues (Kelly — 07/16/2008)

I've had this camera for 2 years now. Most importantly, it takes high quality pictures which many people comment on. It has a large viewscreen and is sturdy. However, there are a few cons:
-in low light conditions, the pictures are blurry and not very good quality at all
-flash response time is very slow
-start up time is slow
-its a bit bulky
-battery life is an issue
-when viewing pictures the information stays on the screen
-not alot of options to play around with, but your basic point and shoot
-no viewfinder

I'm happy with the quality of pictures it has given me for a point and shoot. I bought it mainly for the 5x zoom which many other models do not have.

  • 4.0 out of 5
In General (Kelly Schuler — 09/27/2007)

This camera certainly eats up your batteries, make sure that you have some backups when out shooting pics and/or movies.

Zoom does not function during movie mode which is the only thing that I wish it had. Also has a slow shutter speed which causes may pictures to be a bit blurry.

A actually love this little camera though, It does take great pics. And has many functions in such a little camera. Fits great in my purse. Value is good as well, although I did pay allot when I firat purchaced it about 2 years ago, but the price has come down considerably since then..Great little camera for the money. I talk it wherever I go.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best Camera Ever Owned!!! (Sarah — 12/26/2006)

The quality of these photos are amazing. I went to Washington DC with this camera and was shocked by its picture quality. I took pictures of the white house and capital building, etc. and couldn't believe the detail. Every thing looked very crisp and shadows were in perfect places to make everything seem very natural. Color was true-to-life. Only complaint is that it doesn't have image stabilizer. It also goes through batteries very quickly. I would recommend using lithium AA if possible. Knowing what I know now, I would still buy the camera today even though it is shy of the 10 megapixels everyone is reaching for now.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Picture Quality (Darshan Singh — 11/15/2006)

It is very good camera purchased this camera one month ago I'm totally impressed. I find it very easy to use & the picture quality and Movie quality is very good.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Late Focus (Darshan Singh — 11/12/2006)

Camera function is good, picture quality good but focus is some late,and one more point in movie mode zoom function is not available in movie mode otherwise is movie quality is very good

  • 4.0 out of 5
Blur, shake, flash (Faketrix — 10/24/2006)

This camera is great for outdoors but indoors?? hmmm.... i always prefer the backlit flash because of the soft images but its a struggle to get sharp pics. most pics are blurred out or have ghost like patterns caused by camera shake. on the other hand, pics taken with full flash appear 'hard' with too much contrast. if anyone has a solution to this problem, please advise.
that apart, its a great cam!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Product Crafted for the Amatuer user with Facilities close to a Pro. (Rajesh — 10/10/2006)

I had gone through a lot of Reviews about diffrent manufactures, finaly after lot of research, discussions with diffrent camera owners & studying their experience I settled for the Coolpix L1, Purchased One & started using it without reading the Manual, I was not happy with the results, Then opened the Manual, Spent 45 minutes understanding the pretty simple & straight information, Then experimented the functions on the Coolpix, Bravo "This is something I had never expected" the Kind of results deliver at diffrent settings is Awesome, I Tried all possible modes, Darl, Bright, Low Lit Room, High Lit Background, & more the snaps have come out too good. the clarity excellent, the Zoom at 5x Optical is great, I appreciate the Craftsmanship of Nikon Engineers building a great Product. I have a 1GB SD card which stores 1000+ Shots, or 26 Min if Video,

Please Use Rechargable Coopix 2000Mh Rechargable Battries, Lithium Battries will be still better.
Do make sure you read the manual before handling, That's the key to getting best results from your camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
L1 is really good and easy to use and transfer (prasad rao — 09/28/2006)

I am using this L1 since past two is really good and easy to handle and best thing i it is easy to transfer from cameras to desktop.I find it handy and if you take spare batteries it is very useful.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Excellent camera for beginners (James — 09/12/2006)

POS: -2.5" bright lcd.
-20X combined zoom is very usefull and cool for such a small camera.
-it has excellent macro(close up) performance.
-strong flash.
-D-lightning( to bright your images—VERY useful)
-and finally great image quality.

Cons: In low light conditions pictures tend to get blurred.

Slow performence- If you want a camera for sports or action forget this camera.( though for me it isn't an issue)

Battery Life: It really eats up AA bateries quickly so beware to buy a set of rechargable batteries. With rechargable batteries battery life will be good.

Conclusion: It's a great camera for beginners just like me and I am really satisfied with the pictures i took with it.

If you want a user friendly, small digital camera with great image quality you better check this one out.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good choice for the price. One of the best in the its class. (Alleo — 08/28/2006)

Pros. Picture quality and handling are excellent, especially portraits. Color rendering is excellent.

Cons. A bit noisy at higher ISO than Canon 520. Slow while using flash.

Please don't run this camera on AA batteries!!! Use re-chargable accumulators 2000mAh and higher.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Begginers Luck (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've only had the camera for 2 days and it's my first digital camera but i LOVE it! it has so many options for picture taking, it's sleek, huge screen and very convenient and easy to operate. For those that don't like, the only thing I can think is that you didn't read the manual before using the camera. IT'S GREAT!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Amazing stupidity (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Reviewers Please !! First of all you bought a Nikon for the quality of the image ! Nikon lenses, Excellent. You want to compose for a point and shot image and you saw the shot through an excellent 2.5 view finder!!! Your complaints of battery life are so dumb. Carry a couple of spare Li or other rechargeables AA's. Are you still buying AA strips at Costco? Americans are really stupid. REad the Manuel, nimrods.

  • 5.0 out of 5
GREAT BEGINNER CAMERA! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Get a clue people. This is a $200 entry level point-and-shoot camera. Such cameras are not made for sports action and you won't get a good flash pic from a distance greater than 8 feet. Sturdy build (dropped 2x on wood floor with no problem) and picture quality is excellent. Also takes great movies. The 5x zoom is incredible for a pocket-size camera, but you must remember zooming all the way out to 5x cuts down on available light, so make sure you have enough (using Best Shot Selector also helps). The 2.5 inch screen is beautiful (the best out there). You'll be tempted to leave it on and pass it around for everyone to see, but beware: doing so for long will really eat batteries. With normal use (about 1/2 flash) I get 100-120 pics with alkalines and about 400 with rechargeables (2200mh). That's OK for me. In camera editing features are also handy. Overall, a great camera for beginners or anybody looking for an easy point-and-shoot with a great lens and screen.

  • 4.0 out of 5
use 2700mah rechargeable batteries (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

these prolong life beyond my wildest dreams,well nearly.not great for fast pics but great picture quality,depth and awesome zoom.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Excellent camera for the price (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Just bought the Coolpix L1 at Costco Warehouse. I owned a an older 3 mp Nikon digital that my daughter dropped and broke. This camera is terrific! Takes great pictures and using Sanyo rechargeable Ni-MH batteries I have taken close to 75 (mostly flash) pictures at fine resolution and some short movies on a 1 gig card without running out of power. This camera is also very simple and intuitive.

For users who think this camera takes poor pictures ... please READ the user manual. It takes excellent pictures if you understand the auto focus feature and use it properly. I think it takes better pictures than the Canon Sure-Shot that my brother-in-law owns.

The only reason that I am not giving this camera 5 stars is because of the lag time between pictures. It seems quite long at times, but most compact digitals are the same. Originally I wanted the Nikon digital SLR (no lag time between pictures), but for me having a camera that would fit easily in my purse turned out to be a better option. I can take pictures of my kids at a whim.

I love the portrait setting and how it seeks out a persons face for auto-focus. This is a really cool feature.

Just like my older Nikon there are all kinds of settings for indoor, night-time, beach conditions that help create better pictures under various conditions. Nikon has since added the d-lighting, white balance and other features since my older camera and I love those features too.

All in all this is a GREAT camera. Big Bang for the buck!!!! Read the user manual and play around with the features. You will not regret buying this camera.

  • 3.0 out of 5
I like it - with a couple of exceptions (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I like this camera. It's my first digital and it is easy to use. I have mainly used it for outdoor shots (all types of light-I live in Seattle)of cars (still) and gardens. The photo quality has been excellent. I have not had a problem with battery life using rechargeable batteries. The two minor inconveniences I find are the lag time between shots (especially when using the flash) and no view finder. The screen, though nice and large, can be hard to see clearly in bright light. For my purposes it is a nice little camera and I'm happy with it.

  • 3.0 out of 5
the best digital camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

ı want to buy a digital camera.I serch on computer. And I found a wonderful one.This is nikon coolpix L1.

  • 1.0 out of 5
What a piece....... of crap (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

What the hell is wrong with this thing? I hook it up to my computer to download pics to and it just dies. Just changed batteries and get same results.

  • 5.0 out of 5
I love it! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've taken a couple of thousand pics with this, and I have had no problems. I love the 5x zoom. It has incredible detail on the pictures, the colors are beautiful and it's small enough to carry all of the time. The only down side for me has been the weight. It is heavier then most of the point and shoots. I use rechargeable batteries and I always keep a spare- so that has not been an issue. I have never had a lens error message come up yet. I am very pleased with the D-ring adjustment for lighting feature that works wonders in poor lighting situations. All in all, I am very
happy with this camera.

  • 4.0 out of 5
User friendly, batteries go off early, time between pix (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

It's too early to say anything. but i must agree with the bad battery part and time between pictures. Not that bad a buy I feel!

  • 2.0 out of 5
Great pictures but... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I really do like the camera. Easy, great pics but I just hit my 2nd LENS ERROR - camera dead and back to the repair shop. Boo!

  • 3.0 out of 5
Battery Life Awful!!! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera takes wonderful pictures!!! However, it has several very bad features:
1. it eats batteries. I use rechargeable and run through 2-4 pair each time I use it.
2. When you pull the camera out of the case, the setting on the top changes and you have to remember to re-set it.
3. The batteries die almost immediately.
4. The on-off is easily confused with the tele/wide angle and I keep turning it off when I want to use the wide angle.
5. The batteries die.
I won't buy another Nikon. Sorry!!

  • 2.0 out of 5
Picture download to PC trouble (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I am disappointed with this Camera that I recieved for Christmas.I connect to my PC WIN XP sp2 and the pictues stop downloading about 30 pictures into download,I have newly charged batteries installed.Does anyone have an idea why?

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good quality camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This is my first digital camera. I have used plenty before, but never owned my own. So far the L1 has been great for me. I do agree the camera eats a lot of power and would be wise to carry spare batteries. Motion pics could be a problem to if you are taking pics of your kids soccor game. I chose this camera because I live in Alaska and the still photo quality is excellent. If you want deep picture quality this is the camera for the price. I would grade this 8 out of 10 overall due to it being slow and the amount of power it uses. 10 out of 10 in picture quality. The detail is incredible.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great Pictures, But Two Exceptions (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera has proved itself of taking great pictures. It's easy to use, read, and understand. It even comes with an easy help button. The only two poor factors of this camera would be it's pictures for sports & movement. Video is excellent, sound is perfect, and pictures are great quality. Still, moving images are hard to capture and I've found the only way to fix that is with using FLASH. Anyone having this same problem, be sure to use FLASH while taking a picture of a moving object.
Other poor factor is battery. I've read people complaining enough abuot the battery, but I found nothing is wrong. You just need a good set of rechargeable batteries. I recommend NI-MH recharchable batteries. They last VERY long.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Bad for dog pics! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this camera because I loved the pics of my dog that my friend shot with an older Coolpix. Oddly enough, although the older version had fewer megapixels, her pictures turned out much more vibrant and sharper than mine, with this new model. I have yet to take an indoor photo that doesn't look like crap. Use the flash, and you get doggie green-eye. Don't use the flash, and you get horribly blurry pictures—-even if your dog isn't moving at all and you steady the camera on a hard surface. Altogether, this camera's extremely disappointing. I hope I can get a full refund, so I can go out and BUY A CANON.

  • 3.0 out of 5
takes good pictures (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Battery is depleted Quickly,Short battery life

  • 3.0 out of 5
GREAT PICTURES (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

My first Nikon was an SLR. This is my 3rd digital camera. It's a great compact camera for STILL pictures. Good zoom and great 6 megpix but, If you want to capture your kids' fast action / sports, this camera is a bit slow. Never seen a camera that EATS up battery so quickly!!! I have used SONY and Canon in the same price range - they seem to perform better overall!!!

  • 1.0 out of 5
Oh dear. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I tried to like this camera, for the price I paid. It was my second digital, after an Olympus 4 meg, and after getting it home and opening it up, my first dissappointment was the fact that it didn't come fully equipped with a memory card. Then I discovered it runs on double AA's. ! What a rip! So I took a few photos and a video with it, and after only 2 hours, the double AA's were already dead. The photo quality paled in comparison to my old 4 meg Olympus, AND there was a terrible noise in the background of the short video I took.
Overall, I was terribley dissappointed, and will be taking this back.
I had faith in Nikon, but they proved me wrong.
The delay time in between photos is rediculous.


  • 5.0 out of 5
takes great pictures (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I purchased this camera 3 weeks ago while on vacation in California & I'm totally impressed. I find it very easy to use & the picture quality is exceptional.

  • 1.0 out of 5
It's already broken (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

We'd been pretty happy with this camera, our very first digital camera. At bit shocked at how quickly the batteries died, but switched to rechargeable and this is better.

However, one week into our vacation in Argentina, the camera is BROKEN. The screen is totally dark. Everything works except for taking pictures. We are so annoyed and disappointed that we are missing all these great shots in a place we are unlikely to ever return to. We will not buy another NIKON product.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Over priced, very limited features. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I sent mine back to Circuit City, eats up batteries, very slow recovery from pictures taken with the flash, red eye is terrible, and you can not retract the lens when reviewing pictures. The Cannon 610a or 620a is a better deal at the same price.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Sucks up batteries like nobody's business (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've used Nikon products all my life and have always been happy with their construction, dependebility and ease of use. Because of this, I decided to buy my wife this camera for Christmas this year. I am flabbergasted at how fast the camera sucks up battery power. We went to a wedding recently and I shot 42 photos and burned through four re-chargable batteries. The next day in the middle of uploading the photos, I got a battery drain error. I stopped the upload, put two new batteries in, and my computer froze. When I rebooted I wound up losing 1/2 of my photos. I'm so disgusted. I'll never buy a Nikon p & s again.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Not good for kids or pets (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Compact, large viewing panel, easy to use, but I've had the camera for a week now and have a tough time capturing photos of my kids and dogs. The pictures seem to be blurred with movement of any kind and changing the mode (ie. to sports) hoping for a faster shutter speed doesn't seem to help. I'd hate to miss a perfect photo because of this. Still photos have turned out great.

  • 4.0 out of 5
excellent picture but..... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

i bought this L1 2 days back,i was really impressed at the pictures by seeing those in my PC.they were excellent,only the worry factor is all mentoning is Battery.this is the main probs other wise this is recommended for anyone.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Nice but... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Got it a week back, takes good pictures but
Alkaline batteries does not seem to last more than 10 shots. Beware not to touch the battery cover while taking pictures, it just pops open! had to use a tape to stick it to prevent it from opening accidentally. AF function is a lil tricky, takes time and also the post picture timing is too long.

  • 5.0 out of 5
great camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

reading all the negativ stuff about this camera I was very surprised. Because I am very happy with this camera. It makes the best pictures ever! I need it for my profession as a make-up artist and I have always very sharp and beautiful picture. It is an easy, compact camera with a lot of possibilitys. I must believe that peoples who are negative about it just don't know how to use it. I just love this camera!

  • 3.0 out of 5
lens error problems........... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought this nikon l1 for its small size and 5 times zoom lens, However I was disappointed with several aspects of the camera.I took it with me on many outdoor trips only to find out that when I needed to take that wonderfull one time photo.... LENS ERROR... LENS ERROR. would come up, rendering the camera useless and defeating the purpose of having a point a shoot camera.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Takes awesome photos, but...... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've had this camera for the last week and I don't regret the purchase. The camera takes great photos. The macro feature takes incredible shots for such a small digital camera. The only thing that keeps this camera from being excellent is the lag time between shots, especially if you use the flash. This has a direct impact on action shots and subjects that do not remain still. Other than the aforementioned, I don't have any other complaints, it's a very good camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Full automatic + 5 Zoom for great quality pictures (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This was my third compact digital buy and up to now after two weeks use, I'm completely satisfied. No manual controls but up to 15 scene gives you a wide range choice enough for most situations.
There are better videos around if you put a little more money on, but I don't buy a digital camera for making videos. Excellent picture quality and easy to use and that's what counts for me.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Take excellent pictures (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera is an excellent camera. It is fast on start up, the pictures are very very clear, and the options on this camera are un-ending. I reccommend this camera to anyone who wants to take great pictures with a compact camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent Pictures from Vacation (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

After taking a 3 week trip to New Zealand and shooting 400+ photo's I am impressed with the results. PS Elements 4 only needed to correct some hazy shots taken from an aircraft all the rest had good balance. I would have liked to be able to adjust the speed for when taking photos from a moving vehicle/train (vast majority were fine but the odd one was blurred). On movie mode the focus should be set to C-AF (or noise interference from the moving lens on S-AF). The 5X zoom and 2.5" LCD are great. Overall, for a camera of the price I am very happy and the image color accuracy is better than my Sony P10.

  • 1.0 out of 5
pic quality is really bad (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

its not a camera. its a really
messy thing. complicated features,
blurred pics and disturbance in
the videos. a big no

  • 4.0 out of 5
Like it so far (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I just bought the camera (22 Nov 05). It is very easy to use! I did some comparison shots with my 4.0 MB Samsung and the Nikon L1 came out as the clear winner in a superb quality and clarity of pictures. The best thing I noticed were the nice pictures it can take in low-light conditions. The only complaint is that it use up alot of battery. The batteries coming with the camera died only after 8 pictures. After using lithium batteries for 40 pictures - there is indication of any battery power loss so far. Will definitely keep extra batteries handy.

  • 4.0 out of 5
slightly above average camera (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I bought the L1 because of the 5X zoom. I had a problem staright a way on the first day. I could not set the date and because of that it would not imprint the date on the photo. Before returning it to the shop the next day I tried again and this time it worked. I don't know why?. Another serious fault - the L1 struggles to focus at in low light conditions. It is not recommended for night parties. The 2.5" monitor gets a bit warm if it is on for a while. I think this is where all the battery power is consumes. The lens barrel is not made with close clearance. When it retracts it can take in dust with it !!!; Otherwise the camera seems OK.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great pics, but... (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I love the quality of the photos that come out of this little camera, and being a novice have found that it's really easy to use. Also, the big LCD is fantastic!

My only beef is that the battery usage seems to be unusually high. After taking only 4 pics and playing around with the camera I had already exhausted 2 AA batteries! Maybe that's normal for a camera with such a large LCD? The specs say I should be able to take 100 shots with alkaline batteries...

  • 3.0 out of 5
All these reviews were not dated. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

All these reviews were not dated.

Were they valid only 3 years ago?

  • 5.0 out of 5
best you can get (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

every picture is perfect! the l1 is so easy to use,it the best yet.if you buy another brand you will still want a nikon.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Compact size (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have had this camera for 2 weeks now and I am completely impressed. The only down side of this camera is that it is a loud when zooming. Other than that the pictures are great and the camera is light weight.

  • 5.0 out of 5
An Excellent Camera for it's price (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Being a professional photographer and using higher end film and digital cameras, I purchased this camera just to take some quick snap shots of some food products. The lens quality, picture resolution and clarity, easy to use and friendly menus and features truly surprised me. It produced far better picture that I could ever expect from a digital camera of this size and price. Way to go Nikon!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Pictures but noise on movies (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

My only complaint is that when C-AF (autofocus) is selected on movies (default) there is a sound like morse code in the background that is pretty obvious in the playback sound. Changing the autofocus to S-AF reduces this drastically, but is still there but normal ambient noise will hide most of it. Despite this, it is an excellent camera

  • 4.0 out of 5
Buttons for most often used options (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Just got it yesterday. I was attracted by the 5x optical zoom. Some niceties that I've found — buttons to change flash, set macro mode, enable timer, and change WB all are accessed right on the body of the camera. Camera also takes photos in B/W, sepia & cyanotype. The entire interface is fairly intuitive/easy to use. My only concern is there is no viewfinder. I rarely used the one on my old camera (only in bright sunlight). Hopefully this LCD is much better than on the previous camera (it is definitely larger). Camera is also quite small and lightweight.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Nice zoom (5x) compact size (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

We just got the camera today at the store. I had a chance to play with it all day, and do some test prints.
The 5x optical zoom is nice, quiet yet fast. At 6.2MP... the quality and details are nore than enough for 8x10 prints. Menu and functions are simple and easy to understand.
Only bad thing I can really say is that cause it uses NiMH batteries (Included with international charger)... there is a slight 3 second lag between shots with flash.