Introduced alongside the $500 P610, the Nikon Coolpix L840 axes advanced features like manual modes and rechargeable batteries to keep the cost low.
Where the P610 sports a 60x zoom, the L840 offers a much smaller yet still solid 38x optical zoom. Designed to be one of Nikon's more budget-friendly options, the L840 uses AA batteries. While they can be pricier to replace, those batteries get users at least 500 shots per set and are easier for travelers to replace. The L840 also doesn't include manual modes like more expensive super zooms, but it's targeted towards a market that favors simple automated modes anyways.
It's nice to see that the L840 doesn't sacrifice the sensor size, still sporting a solid 16 megapixel 1/2.3 inch sensor. Lens-based image stabilization is still included, a must for super zooms. Speed seems on track too, with a 7.4 fps burst mode.
The L840 seems to be a solid camera--but since it's a brand new model, there are options out there with better specs for a similar price. Nikon's own P600 with a 60x optical zoom is already listed under $300 at some stores since the newer P610 was released. Our favorite super zoom of 2014, the Fujifilm S1, will offer better image quality with more speed and features inside a weather-sealed body for about $30-$50 more. They're older models, but they offer much more for the price--and the imaging technology hasn't changed much on the L840 over the previous year's model. Users will probably be happy with the L840, but you can currently find a better camera for a similar price.
The Nikon L840 is set to be released on February 26, 2015, along with a handful of other Nikon cameras. It will sell for about $300, list price, and is available in black or red.