Nikon Coolpix L21 Review

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17 Responses

  1. john doe says:

    Nice review:

    1.) Just to make some observations, the Fuji AV100 also uses AA and not proprietary batteries:

    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/a/finepix_av100/

    2.) The Fuji AV100 also can record video at HD level (1280×720), the Nikon L21 only (640×480). I think this is a big issue since more people are using their cameras to record video (during trips/theme park rides), since it’s not so bulky as a regular camcorder.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZqVQlWXmT4&feature=related

    3.) I would have liked to see more foliage wide angle shot comparisons, especially with trees in the background of both cameras. Traditionally Nikon point and shoots are notorious for over noise processing, especially “greens” which result in the leaves/leave textures looking “smudged”.

    Here is shot that shows the texture of the fuji av100 when the lens is
    low aperture:

    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/a/finepix_av100/sample_images/img/index/ff_finepix_av100_003.jpg

    wide aperture:
    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/a/finepix_av100/sample_images/img/index/ff_finepix_av100_001.jpg

    medium aperture:
    http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/a/finepix_av100/sample_images/img/index/ff_finepix_av100_002.jpg

    The Fuji AV100 takes pretty good pics.

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear John,

      Excellent points. Glad you could confirm that the Fuji AV-100 too uses AA batteries. The Nikon’s video recording is limited to 640×480 only.
      The ‘smudged’ factor in images shot by Nikon is really disconcerting. I suspect a lot has to do with the small sensor and excessive JPEG compression applied on the image.

      I have a Canon SX20 and it too suffers from very smudged images. Asking Canon did not help since they do have a firmware update that applies less JPEG compression in return for bigger file sizes. In fact, Canon did not post my review on their own website (talk about neutrality).

      Thanks for the image links, should help visitors on my blog to make their decision.

      Regards

  2. Shivag says:

    Hello Sir

    Excellent pics taken from Nikon camera… can you please give me few suggestions how can i click such good pics from my normal digital camera. I too have a nikon L21. The sample images you have put are amazing, I too want to click such pics. Looking forward for your comments and advice.

    If you already have such information in your blog please provide me the link. Shall be thankful to you.

    Thanks,

  3. vyshwanara says:

    hi,
    a very valuable blog for a beginner like me,
    my requirement is a cammera with as many less complexities as possible . for casual occasions .. i feel l21 nikon would be sufficient from what i have read on net including ur blog .. can u plz tell me is it ok or are there better options ..

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Vyshwanara,

      The Nikon Coolpix L21 is an excellent choice. You may also consider the Kodak CD-14. Not only it is cheaper, in some departments (image quality, focusing accuracy) it wins over the Nikon, while the Nikon wins in other departments (macro ability, feature set).

      HTH

  4. santosa says:

    very nice review
    I hv one doubt.
    nikon has 1600 ISO where as fujifilm has 3200 ISO
    what it means.What is the battery consumption in nikon
    so which will be better coice

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Santosa,

      The ISO setting refers to light sensitivity of the sensor.

      In the world of film, high ISO film had larger photo-sensitive particles. This allowed the particles to react even if the light available was less (more surface area for each particle to receive light). Quick light response also meant that shutter speed could be high and ‘shake’ related blurring would not be introduced. A side-effect was that when printed, such prints tended to be ‘grainy’.

      In the digital world, ISO setting has the same meaning. However, instead of photo-sensitive chemicals, a CCD/CMOS sensor is used to convert light to colour information. In high ISO settings, due to limitations of the sensor technologies used, images turn out to be grainy and random noise becomes visible.

      In compact cameras, such high ISO settings are almost meaningless. Compact cameras generally perform best at ISO settings between 80 – 400. Any higher, and the noise becomes unmanageable. DSLR cameras (which have very big sensor chips when compared to compact cameras) perform much better in high ISO settings (as more surface area is available for light) and most DSLR cameras can capture decent images at ISO 3200, some going ISO 12800 and beyond.

      High ISO settings and high Shutter Speed settings are of primary interest to those photographers who have to capture events where objects are moving at high-speeds (for ex: motor sports) or events where light maybe low (nature photography, rock shows etc.)

      See this page for more information and samples: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/compactcamerahighiso/

      HTH

  5. santosa says:

    thanks for your quick response
    pls. hv a review on fuji av100

  6. Rajib Ghosh says:

    Dear Santosa,

    I don’t have access to a Fuji AV100. However reviews by other users on the net indicate that the camera freezes when trying to record HD video. Also, the ISO 3200 setting only produces a 3 MP image (apparently data from 4 pixels are combined into data for 1). Combining pixel data reduces the image dimensions (MP) but results in a bigger virtual pixel.

    HTH

  7. sujit says:

    Very very nice review.
    first time I am seeing that much elaborated review.
    I just want to make a point that the camera freezing problem in fuji av100 is solved in its new firmware update.

    I hv one question .
    After using Nikon L21 what will you recommend as a professional photographer.
    Nikon L21 or Fuji AV100.

    pls. answer

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Sujit,

      I did not have very long to play with the Fujifilm AV100, but I decided for the Nikon L21 based on two factors – The closer macro distance and speed of operation. The Nikon had a very small advantage over the Fuji in these factors.

      My wife preferred the Nikon because of it’s styling.

      HTH

  8. Jani Aaltonen says:

    Thank you very much mr. Gosh for this review. For some reason this particular model has been overlooked in many reviews and places. I was looking simple camera, something to carry every day as my Nikon DSLR or my Fuji bridge cam are way too bulky for pocket carry. Camera’s on phones rarely take acceptable photo’s.

    Thanks to this review, I have now found the small everyday carry camera. Also local dealer has those in sale for very good price.

    Yours truly and thanking:
    – Jani

  9. santosa says:

    how abt canon a495?

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Hi Santosa,

      I don’t have access to a Canon A495 for review. My blog generally only contains reviews of products that I have either purchased or had a chance to test out. If I get an opportunity to test the A495, I will surely review it here.

      HTH

  10. shreesha.palan says:

    sir i want to buy a camera of rang 4000-5000 can u say me which is better one ? and what about nikon l21 ? i think nikon is good so plz say me any other model in nikon of my price range and better than nikon l21

    • Rajib Ghosh says:

      Dear Shreesha,

      In your budget, I will actually recommend that you go in for a Kodak camera or a Nikon.
      My Nikon L21 works quite well; though the Kodak C41 I once tested cost me half the price of Nikon and delivered similar image quality!

      I recommend that you go to a store like Reliance Digital. Take a few pics with the cameras that fit your budget. Now zoom-into the pics you have taken and observe things like sharpness of image, trueness of colors etc. Buy the camera whose image quality satisfies you the best.

      HTH

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