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Nikon Coolpix L12
Nikon Coolpix L12

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 L12

Editor's Review

The Nikon L12 is a suitable camera for everyday users who want to take simple, casual photos of friends and families without dropping a lot of money on features they'll never use. The L12 is geared to anticipate the needs of the casual user. Face-detection technology helps focus portraits and capture the smiles and expressions you want to remember forever. The Nikon D-Lighting and RedEye Fix help spruce up a photo after the fact, making for the best final picture possible, even if you didn't take the best picture possible at first. Simple, easy-to-use, and with a nice, compact design, the L12 is a great choice for uncomplicated photography.

Specifications

  • 7.1 megapixels
  • 3x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • Movie mode with sound
  • JPEG file format
  • ISO 50-1600
  • Auto focus and exposure
  • 2 AA batteries
  • Secure Digital Card storage (21MB internal)
  • 2.5-inch LCD
  • Part Number: 25562
  • UPC: 018208255627
  • Release Date: Feb 21, 2007

Shop for L12 Accessories

Nikon Coolpix L12 Reviews

Nikon Coolpix L12 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 2.0 out of 5
LENS FELL OUT (Nick — 10/22/2009)

It takes good pictures but it is hard to put back together.

  • 1.0 out of 5
coolpix L12 lens error (Dan Kennedy — 06/03/2009)

Started out great other than eating up batteries like candy. Then went to turn it on and got the "lens error" message. After searching the net and calling Nikon and being told to send it in for evaluation in very cold,abrupt language, without any kind customer service manners. Then I contacted one of their factory authorized repair centers and was told by them that it's probably a bad chip and not to waste any more money on it and to buy a new camera. When I asked if I should still buy a Nikon, the guy on the other end kind of laughed and said "I work on Nikons so I know not to buy them. I think I'll go with Canon.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Lens Error (Rob — 11/14/2008)

Had the camera 6 months and got the same old Lens Error everyone else here has.
Nikon sent me a repair bill for $159 and the camera cost $90 brand new...idiots.
I'm done with Nikon and Wolf Camera in Denver. It doewn't pay to use a specialty camera shop especially these fruitcakes. Wolf Camera wouldn't stand by the purchase and have the same lack of integrity as Nikon...match made in heaven!

  • 1.0 out of 5
Re: Lens Error Can you say Class action lawsuit (clyde mann — 04/23/2008)

Yes, I got a lens error twice, the second time they said they would honor the warranty. But now they claim it was an impact error that caused it and are trying to charge me. I would never buy any camera from Nikon again. The quality is poor and the service is an abomination.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Excellent photos (Anand C.N — 03/30/2008)

I love this Camera (Coolpix L12). Panoramic view picture facility is very excellent and i took some amazing pictures.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Lens Error (Oceans — 01/15/2008)

Great camera but useless. It has only worked for 2 months and it started giving lens error.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Lens Error (Ray — 12/19/2007)

Purchased the L12 and used it once. While showing my wife the pictures on the view screen I got a Lens Error. The Manual has this error in it which indicates it must be something Nikon is familar with. I returned to Nikon for Warranty and Nikon Service Center wanted 99.00 to repair their defect because the lens had impact to it. This camera was only handled once and was NEVER bumped, dropped or banged and it was working when the lens error notice displayed. I have 3 Nikons that are all less than 2 years old and all 3 have error message Lens, Card and Card. NEVER NIKON AGAIN.

  • 1.0 out of 5
lens error (ron bateman — 12/05/2007)

got it new, it took great pictures until the wife used it..lens would not retract..LENS ERROR..i was so mad i disassembled it... i love all the tiny little parts

  • 1.0 out of 5
LENS ERROR!!! (Jill Chomowicz — 11/18/2007)

Purchased a "refurbished" cool pix from overstock.com. Lens Error right out of the box. Overstock service excellent and have promised full reimbursement. But what's up with Nikon?? I'm trying to replace my Fuji Finepix after it's lens stuck. Wondering if there is any reliable basic point and shoot...

  • 1.0 out of 5
Nix on Nikon (Jocelynne — 10/18/2007)

As an advid Nikon user from the early 80's in photography class in High School, I've always trusted the product value in Nikon.
From my N80, D300 to the Coolpix-12, I will most certainly question the durability of Nikon. I've found the Coolpix, to stutter upon frame shots, produce both milky and grain like photo's. I had a very similiar problem with my shutter on the N80.
Nikon who I feel made a very durable product, and frankly, it was a safe purchase which stood on name alone.

Nikon needs to step back and take a good look at current product production.
I will re-think my next Nikon purchase without a doubt!

  • 5.0 out of 5
I love this (Rachel — 10/16/2007)

Many of my friends have thin cameras. Although the NikonL12 is slender, it is durable enough that it won't break when i drop it. It takes great pictures, and the outside is made up of a plastic that allows me to easily put/pull off stickers. Some people have commented that there should be more color options.

  • 1.0 out of 5
lens error (ron bateman — 10/10/2007)

easy to use, nice led size, took great pictures, lens jammed after 3 months, it would not retract when turned off, the panaromic feacture was very good. I have owned a Nikon F2 film camera since 1969 and it still working.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Won't buy another one! (Judy — 10/03/2007)

I have had my Nikon L12 for about 6 weeks. I was taking pictures at my granddaughter's birthday party a few days ago when all of a sudden the pictures started coming out looking "grainy". I don't know another way to explain it. If the camera is in portrait mode the pics are fine. As soon as I switch it to the "no shake" mode the pics start looking terrible again. Luckily the store it was purchased at said they would exchange it for me. However, if the next one goes out I will be returning it.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Nikon L12 Lasts One Week (Luis Garcia — 09/30/2007)

I bought a Nikon and it lasted one week - just died! I sent the camera back to Nikon. They refuse to replace my camera or fix it. Don't buy any Nikon products.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great camera at a good price. (Malile — 07/18/2007)

I have the Nikon L12 for 3 months now, after having an L3 and getting that dreaded "Lens Error" problem that everyone talks about. But I went right back to Nikon because I love their simplicity and if you're like me and love taking casual pictures with friends and family then this camera is great. Even my uncle who is a professional photographer says it's a cool little camera with nice features. I will admit there is one thing that I dislike and that is the long flash recycle time. You can't do anything except wait the almost 10 seconds for it to recharge itself. But the quality of the pictures are good I printed a few and they looked great, the sound quality is really great also and you have a lot of features to choose from with this little cam. I've tried Canon, I've tried Fuji even Sony and I did a lot of looking around and came right back to Nikon (their 1 yr, warranty doesn't hurt either)but it all depends on what you're looking for. As I said if you want a casual camera that delivers, the Nikon L12 is for you.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Lens Error (Katherine Kile — 07/12/2007)

I was really happy with my Nikon for the year that I've owned it. If you knew how to use the settings and read the manual when having trouble focusing or with lighting, it took wonderful clear pictures (except in low light at distance, but that's to be expected). However, I've since gotten the dreaded lens error and now my lens is open and halfway extended and will not go back in. I have not yet taken it back to the place where I purchased it, but I am not looking forward to this experience as from reading this and other sites with users reviewing this product, it sounds like Nikon will not be of any use. What a disappointment from what I thought was a great manufacturer. Now I know what NOT to get for my next one.

  • 3.0 out of 5
nice camera with reservations (IGS — 07/01/2007)

Still learning to use, but basically satisfied with picture quality so far. Strongest feature for me is the terrific macro mode - I like to take closeups of wildflowers, and it does a great job on this. Reiterate strongly what another contributor wrote - get a FAST memory card or you will miss shots waiting to write to the card. Also this camera is a black hole for battery use - almost to the point that I wish I had bought a different model. Be forewarned.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Continues to wow me (Will — 06/11/2007)

First, I should like to point out that this is very much a consumer camera. It takes pictures with everything in automode straight out of the box, and with the Nikor lense, this produces some really good camera. However, it really starts to shine when you start playing with the settings. Out of the box, the camera does not take pictures at its maximum resoluion, and it does not take video at its maximum quality. I recommend a minimal of picking up a 2 gig memory card, which holds about 25 minutes of video at 640x480 30fps, and about 550 pictures at the maximum resolution.

The camera has no view finder, so everything is done on the LCD. In other words, there is no turning off the LCD when taking pictures, which means that this thing sucks batteries. Using no flash, I can easily go through three or four sets of batteries just trying to frame pictures and such and doing a photoshoot on a 2 gig memory card. By a high end rechargable that is ment for digital cameras, buy several, you will probably go through a set or two in a single afternoon as a normal person, and more if you are a hobbiest.

Learn how to use the white balance on your camera. The white balance can spell excellence or disaster for your pictures. The L12 has many presets, so just set it before you take your first picture, which takes all of 5 seconds. I like to carry around a white sheet of paper with me, or a white tshirt, and white balance manually, but that is probably more than most people will want to deal with.

The picture quality in direct sunlight will take pictures of similar quality to the Nikon D series camera (which I have used).... if you have your white balance set right, and your camera set to maximum resolution. The low iso settings on the camera make sure that in direct sunlight, everything is crisp and vivid.

The different color settings on the camera are fun. I usually leave it set in vivid color, but Sepia is fun to play with. It has a few other settings that I have yet to play with.

The image stabilization is probably not a feature you want to use in low lighting. Image stabilization on this camera tends to increase the shutter speed and increase the iso settings. In some cases, in low lighting, it will try to digitally enhance the lighting in the scene which leads to noise. However, this feature works great in bright sunlight, sporting events, etc.

The higher iso settings work. You can take pictures in extreamely low light without use of a flash, which is nice because flash can blind people in low lit areas. Just be aware that there will be some noise in the picture, so the feature is really there more for "perserving the moment" rather than for professional photography purposes.

The video mode blows me away. If you do set it to 640x480 at 30fps, the video quality rivals that of most VIDEO cameras out there on the market. As it records sound too, and I can fit about 25 minutes on a single 2 gig card, I currently have no reason to buy a seperate video camera. Yes, the video quality really is that good.

The flash takes about 10-15 seconds to charge, which is annoying. Learn when to use a flash. Here is a tip, you can backlight your subject if you use a flash. I like taking pictures of the kids at sunset with the sun behind them, and use the flash. Yes, it is okay to use the flash in the day.

The camera has a really good flash fill, as long as your subject is inside of the flash range (be sure not to throw a flash on something closer than the flash range, it will wash out the photo, but you really do not want your subject that close to the camera anyways, that is why you got zoom).

The resolution of the camera is so good, it makes up for the 3x optical zoom. I can crop the pictures later in the computer, and still have pictures of higher quality than some of the lower end cameras.

The face detection feature is kinda strange if using a flash. If you use the feature with a flash, be prepared to have your subject hold still for a good 20 seconds at least as you frame the shot, use the feature, and then wait for it to do its weirdness with the flash.

The face detection feature really shines though in direct sunlight. After you tell it where the face is, it will follow the face, even if the subject moves, if the photographer moves, etc, which means you can take a sequence of pictures without having to worry about refocusing. This is awsome when taking pictures of children.

As I said, pick up at least a 2 gig memory card, but I will go futher to recommend that you get a 60x or faster memory card. My first was one they gave me with the camera, and I would have to wait a good 10-15 seconds for it to save pictures. With the 60x, I can shoot a photo about every 2-3 seconds, if I am not using flash.

With as much batteries as the thing eats, you really notice it go down if you try to use flash. I cannot reiterate this enough, CARRY EXTRA BATTERIES.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Lens Error (Atanu — 05/27/2007)

Always handled carefully, never dropped or camera never got any impact...suddenly I got this error message "Lens Error.". The power button keeps blinking & camera lens remains open.

I will recommend everyone not to buy this model.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Have it for 2 weeks, I like it (gd — 05/09/2007)

Pictures are good both low light and outside. Performance is reasonable it takes few seconds for the flash to get ready for another shot. View finder is indeed missing however it is possible to manage without.
I think it worth its price.

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