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71 of 80 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2011
I would consider myself a very experienced amateur photographer. I owned a D200 with an assortment of lens and I now own the D90 with various lens. I was looking for a high quality PnS camera for my wife and after reading the many many reviews I settled on this one. I am going to write this review now after testing it for a day and I will do like some others and continue to add updates periodically if anything noteworthy comes up. Now for the details. If you are looking for a PnS camera with P,S,A,M controls (aperture, shutter speed, etc) then this camera is NOT for you. This camera is for one group, the folks that want to turn it on, push the button and get a good photo (my wife is in this group!). There is absolutely nothing to learn about the camera. You put in the 4 batteries, the memory card, and turn the power on. Even the most photo ignorant person could figure out the functionality without ever consulting an instruction manual. The "scene selection" button will bring up a menu of 4 main categories. 1. Easy Auto Mode (for those who only want to know the power button and shutter button), 2. A large assortment of scenes (portrait, landscape, Sunset, closeup, and many more), 3. Continuous SPORT mode (I was VERY impressed with this mode), 4. Auto mode (with the ability to change the normal PnS stuff like white balance, ISO, flash, and a few others).

The setting I had to try first was the Sport Continuous mode. I was VERY impressed with this mode. Does it equal my D90 shooting with my 2.8 70-200? no, but the quality is VERY good for a PnS camera. We have the Canon SD700, SD750 and SD800 and none of these would even come close to capturing what the L120 did. To compare image quality I used the L120 and my D90 with a Sigma 18-200 OS. I shot the flowers on a tripod. I shot the little girl handheld. I tried to frame the same shot at the same distance with both cameras. This is not a lab test so it is not perfect. I simply wanted to compare the $900 SLR with a $400 lens to the $275 PnS. The quality of the L120 was pretty amazing. I am going to post the images of both cameras in the product images above so you can see them.

The initial cons I found are: I don't like the SD card and batteries being in the same compartment. The battery door is not very easy to open and close. I also found a few of the buttons a little easy to accidentally push until I get the camera situated in my hand. It is however, very comfortable to hold.

I have not even tried the video and all the various scene selections. I just began snapping pictures and then looked at them in photoshop compared to my D90 photos. I did not have to do alot of testing to see that I was very pleased. I will post more as we use it and I have informative info to add. I can say ditto to the many many positive ratings for this camera.

UPDATE 05/22/11 : I am finding the still the photos to still be outstanding. However, the sport photos have been somewhat of a challenge. In the scene selection you can only choose "Sport Continuous". The part I don't like is that while you hold the button down it will take multiple photos. Then when the shutter button is released, it will complete the "write to card" process (I have ordered a class 10 card to see if that speeds up the write process). In a normal DSLR camera, you would continue to track the person you are photographing and keep shooting if a shot is there. The L120 is used to capture a 3-5 second span and then it will write to the card. While it is writing to the card, you will NOT see anything on the LCD and therefore you would have lost the subject. When using my D90, I would continue to track the person I am photographing and continue to shoot. That is just not feasible with the L120 (i.e. track, or any sport where they are running in a somewhat straight line). You just simply capture a 3-5 second time frame and have multiple shots of that moment in time. The picture quality is not as good when trying to pan the camera and capture a moving target. When I am so used to being able to make all my changes manually, it is somewhat hard for me to use this camera and have no control other than selecting the appropriate scene from the menu. As I stated in my original review, this camera is designed for the aperture ignorant use who simply wants to turn on the camera and take a picture. At my kids' field day, I found out after importing the images that they were all shot in 640 pixels!!! I have no idea how she (my wife) changed that but she or someone did. That rendered the photos useless for print. I fixed it but it was too late. This was only for the "Sport Continuous" mode that I had the resolution problem. When she had "auto" or "portrait" mode selected, the image size was normal. There is a setting in the "Sport Continuous" mode that allows you to change the image resolution for just that mode and anything less than the largest size is going to be too small to print anything decent.

UPDATE 05/25/11: I am very sorry to say that I am growing increasingly unhappy with this camera. I mostly take outside pictures and in good light it has done really well, especially landscape pictures. However in low light I finding that it really stinks. A REALLY major problem is that the flash will NOT auto popup if needed (even if you have it set to "auto"). The flash must be raised manually and then it will fire if you have it set correctly. Most of my initial images were in my normal outdoor setting. But once we began to use the camera indoors at the recent end of the year school functions, it has been a big disappointment. I guess the real question is this. Is there any PnS camera out there that will perform well in relatively low to medium light situations. I am really considering calling Adorama and seeing if this can't be exchanged for something else. I have already mentioned that I don't like the door for the battery and SD card. I hate it even more. It is very hard to open and close. Finding out that it goes thru batteries fairly quickly too. Oh well....
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on April 8, 2011
I have had this for about a month and love it....I am still learning all of the features but I have to say that this is the best camera I have owned. The images are very clear and bright, zoom is fast and so is shutter time. I have a 2 year old so the quick response time in the picture helps alot. I also like the pet photo function.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2011
We have a Nikon digital SLR that I use and wanted a simpler point and shoot camera for taking pictures of family and kids. The Coolpix L120 had some great specs and reviews, so we decided to try it. We've also have an older Canon Powershot A720is point and shoot camera that we've really liked, but it was starting to not capture all of the shots in focus (seems to be a common problem with digital point and shoots as they get older).

We really wanted to like the camera - it's comfortable to hold and seems to have all the features we needed. However, our immediate impression was that so many of our shots of the kids were blurred by their motion. It seems to work very well for still images, and as I look back over the previously posted pictures, most of the shots are still ones. If there is any movement (and with kids from 18 months to 7 years, there always is), there is going to be some blur. You don't have any sort of manual control over the shutter speed with this camera, so we were unable to correct for it through any of the modes. There is a sports mode that will shoot many shots consecutively, but the resolution is cut down significantly to about 3Megapixels.

I looked back over the reviews and found someone else who had a similar experience with the camera. They had recommended a different Nikon point and shoot the Coolpix S8100 that seems to have worked well. We returned this one and purchased a Nikon Coolpix P300. It gives you a little more control as compared to the Coolpix s8100 with a metal case and a very fast lens (f/1.8). The fast lens means that it can choose a faster shutter speed to capture kids before they move. It also has a sports continuous mode that will shoot full resolution shots at a very high speed.

The pictures with the P300 are night and day as compared to the L120. No more motion blur, and it is very responsive (not as fast as a digital SLR, but still good). The zoom range is much more limited than the L120, but most of our shots are of reasonable distances from the kids at home, outside, or at a party. For this, the camera is excellent. We didn't really buy the P300 for the video, but it works well and looks good.

In hindsight, we should have paid more attention to the speed of the lens. The Canon point and shoot we have is a f/2.8 lens (which is very good/fast) and the P300 has a f/1.8 lens (which is even better for low light/action photography). I think the L120 with a f/3.1 lens should work well, but it seems that the metering consistently selects a longer shutter time (even with the flash) and we just haven't been able to get good pictures unless the subject is completely still.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2011
My old Nikon was 2003 vintage Coolpix 885 and great back then but the menu had died in it so
considering trying to get it fixed vs getting a new camera, I shopped around.

I'm glad I did. This Camera has only one flaw if it can be called that, the lens cover isn't quite as good as the one for my older model. It does however come with a tiny cord to attach it to the camera which was cool! No more setting it down and then looking for it. You need to be careful installing the batteries properly. I ought a couple of the Transcend 16 gb memory cards through Amazon. Walmart had a 4 pack of their Lithium best AA batteries so I bought and used them. I popped them in, popped in a memory card and then had to read the book to see how to turn it on and WHAM! I was taking pics. You can edit them real easy right in the camera as I tested it on my wife getting out of the shower who immediately demanded I remove them. I did.

The menu is now intuitive and easy to maneuver compared to my Nikon Coolpix 885.
I really do need to read the book though since this camera has outstanding features. The picture quality, I can't believe how good it is.

The larger screen is really really nice. The software I had already tried with my older camera. I love it. You get the manual on a CD along with a cd with the software. The Macro which another poster mentioned is just great and one of the reasons I bought this one. I bought a $7 Zeikos case for it and it's perfect.
I'm as tickled as I can be. I was hesitant at first spending more for it than other brands, but my experience with my previous Nikon Coolpix 885 already leaned me towards this one. It's really well packed in it's box complete with cables and straps and 4 Energizer AA alkaline batteries. Being able to get batteries at Walmart is a huge plus. You can buy rechargeable ones with a charger as well.
What's not to like? I spent the extra $ and am 100% completely satisfied.

I'm so satisfied that now I'm going to try seeing if I can get the 885 menu restored through Nikon and give that camera to my niece as it still does take great pics......but not like this unit does.

OH yes, and I DO like the fact it's a bit larger than other compact models.
It easier to hold it steady since I grew up with a lot bigger older cameras.
We're buying some property with outstanding views and I can't wait to take pics with this camera to share with family and friends.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
We've had a few different compact cameras - mostly Nikon Coolpix compacts - and have loved the simplicity of a camera that reliably takes good pictures without a lot of fuss. I've got cameras with more manual controls, but for most ordinary situations where we take photos with the family or outdoors on a walk the ease of a point-and-shoot compact is preferable. The problem is that many of these situations require a lot more zoom power than you'd normally get with a compact (but where it's sometimes awkward to lug a big camera with a long lens and a tripod). Sometimes you just can't get very close, but you still need to get good pictures, and you still want a camera that's convenient enough to carry in a small bag or purse. School plays, soccer games, swim meets, even birdwatching. We wanted something that was simple to use, fairly inexpensive, but had a bigger lens with more zooming power than our older Nikon Coolpix. This meets our needs exactly. One of the main reasons we bought this was for my wife, a volunteer at a local bird sanctuary on the beach. She wanted a camera that she could use to shoot bird pictures, that gave her some serious optical zoom (21x!), but that wouldn't be too heavy to lug around. We went to an elementary school graduation the other day, for example, and with this camera we were able to get closeups of our daughter even from the back of the auditorium.

It shoots very good pictures (as in, much better than you can expect from a camera phone, but not nearly as good as you'd expect from a DSLR) and good quality HD video at 720p. The sound on the video is okay, but not great, so it's best for something you might include in a vacation album or something like that. I've been quite impressed by its macro capabilities - and by how easy it is to switch into macro mode for extreme close up shots of bugs or flowers and the like. Pretty much the only manual controls you get here are the zoom and the flash (as in, you can decide whether or not to zoom and whether or not to use the flash). Beyond that, it's got the adjustments you'd expect from a compact camera. You can select a scene type and the camera will make some adjustments for you, or you can set the exposure higher or lower than what the camera calculates, and you can select white balance as needed. We've been quite happy with it. (One minor irritation: if you turn it on and you've forgotten to remove the lens cap, you have to remove the cap and then turn it back off and then on again. My Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 - the compact I tend to carry around, that doesn't zoom like this one - lets you just remove the cap and then press any button.)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
After much hemming, hawing and checking out reviews I decided to purchase the Nikon L120 bridge camera. It's not exactly a point and shoot camera but it's not fully a DSLR either. It's caught somewhere in-between helping you get comfortable with using features on the DSLR and still have the simplicity of a point and shoot camera. The surprises came when I started to use it. I had my heart set on buying a Nikon D90 but those are going for $600+ on Ebay (crazy!). So that was out of my reach but I had seen this one before at Target and there was a deal at Wal-Mart and I figured let's try it out, worse comes to worse I'd return it. I'm glad I kept it and this is why.

Surprise #1, It runs on regular AA's, 4 to be exact. You can use rechargeable but it comes with 4 Energizer AA's.

Surprise #2, It has an internal memory. Most digital cameras do not have that. I found this out when I took pictures of my mother in front of the Christmas tree when she was all dolled up and realized after she got undressed that my SD card was still in my laptop. I pressed the image preview button on the camera and the images were there. Strange I thought but I took a chance and plugged it into my laptop and was able to download the images from the camera's internal memory. Whew, was I happy to have not lost those pictures.

Surprise #3, The setting for kids and sports. I used it on the Macy's animated Christmas window display. They had things moving and I wanted to capture that and I took the picture of the window and the lens shut and delayed for a second or two. I figured it was going to be blurry and I moved on without looking at the photo. Later I looked at the image and saw that the camera had taken 3 separate images of the moving image in the window display and when you put them all together it was the doll moving. It looked very cool and in focus and I couldn't believe it had done that in that short amount of time.

Surprise #4, the focus can be controlled on the lens or on the click button. It takes getting use to using the one on the lens but it gives my left-hand something to do besides holding the camera. The focus itself is great. I know there have been complaints about blurry images but that's the beauty of a digital camera. You take a blurry image you'll know right away to erase it and take another one. Haven't had a chance to take images of the full moon or stars but that will be the first order of business in the spring. I'll really be able to test the focus then.

The cons are why I can't rate this a 5-star camera.

Con #1: The flash won't come up in auto-focus unless you pull it up. Annoying.
Con #2: Hate the lens cap. It dangles and gets in the way and I always forget to take it off before I turn on the camera. I know it protects the lens but it's a nuisance.

I've taken photography classes to learn the nuts and bolts of photography. I've had a Nikon N65 for years and a Canon point and shoot for years. I came to hate the Canon and it's limitations and there were many. I loved my Nikon N65 for it's fast shutter speed but it was a film camera and I wasted more film and money on bad shots than I did on good ones. Plus the price of Nikkor lens were and still are outrageous. I'm not a professional photographer and I don't want to be one. I want to take photos of things that interest me, things I want to remember, family, friends, places and moments. I want to take photos of what I like, period. And so far, this camera has helped me do that this Christmas better than all the others I've had, including my favorite which is a Fujifilm camera.

I've shared some images that I took in New York during 2011 Christmas time visiting the store's window displays. They were taken with crowds of people all around, pushing and vying for a photo position. They are not blurry or out of focus and IMHO pretty nice for a self-described "one-notch above amateur photographer". In my opinion, anyone should always do their do diligence and read all the reviews, compare prices and features but give this one a try. This is a bridge-camera not a DSLR. It definitely looks like a DSLR but it's not. It acts like a point and shoot camera but it's not. Like I said at the beginning it's an in-between camera. If you don't have some experience with SLR you will get pissed quickly. If you have too much experience with SLR and looking for a DSLR you will be annoyed and get pissed quickly. This is just my opinion and experience with Nikon's Coolpix L120 so take it for what it's worth and happy photo taking to all.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Over all I think that this is a great camera. I chose this one over the Canon SX 130 and I am still happy with my decision. This camera is for those people that really just want a point and shoot camera without worrying about settings. All the settings are pre-determined and you can choose things like whether you're shooting indoor or outdoor but you cant choose aperture or some of the more specific personalized settings. (if you want that then go for the Canon).
One of the reasons I chose this camera was because of the display. It is a big display with crisp clear images that transfer well on a computer screen. (the canons screen was very grainy) also the hd video is amazing. the images come out so vivd and living and full of color.
The only things that I have experienced that are a little irksome are 1. battery life during video. while the battery life for pictures is fairly decently long the battery life for taking video (which is one of the main reasons i chose this camera) is rather short. normal double a batteries last approximately 3 hours. this may be different for rechargeable batteries, they may last longer, i haven't tried it yet. so just be warned that if you plan on using it a lot for video taking (not just once in a while, i am talking about using it for video only, throughout the day) then you might want to get rechargeable batteries.
2. while taking video when zooming in or out sometimes it will have to auto refocus which fuzzes the video for a second. this could just be me and my so far lack of knowing how to properly zoom. but just know that there is that issue.
3. the rapid photo shoot mode isnt the greatest. i tried to take a rapid picture of my friend jumping off a 15 foot diving board and because of the way that rapid shoot was made i dont know when it is actually taking the picture and when its loading. ( a little timeglass comes up and sits on the screen for about 30 seconds).

overall i still think it is a great camera and i would highly suggest it to those who want an easy point and shoot camers with great video quality. for those who want it to use for making video (5 minute youtube movies) i would suggest getting rechargeable batteries.
for those of you who like to be able to pick your own settings like aperture etc. this isn't the camera for you
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2011
This camera is for folks who want point and shoot capability, a good zoom lens, and do not need manual controls. If you want the camera to do all the thinking for you, then this is the right camera for you.
The Nikon L120 has only minimal manual adjustment controls. Menu navigation is not very user friendly or intuitive, and the functions are very limited. The self timer only has one setting - 10 seconds. You can adjust exposure compensation and ISO, but that's it. The zoom is jerky and I missed a few great shots of wildlife because the image stabilization software kept making image captures, which are supposed to help (not!) instead of showing the actual view. Test drive it in the store and you will see what I mean. I recommend turning the image stabilization off, and using A tripod for long zooming. There is no manual override for fill flash.

On the plus side this camera is compact and stylish, and the continuous mode is fast. The smile mode worked great, but I had a hard time getting the pet mode to recognize my pet and snap the picture automatically, even when my cat or dog were looking directly at the camera. The pet must be perfectly still for a full two seconds or so to get the face frame to appear. Pets don't stay still for long!
These issues prompted me to return this camera and purchase the Canon SX30IS. The SX30IS has better manual controls and a much better zoom mechanism and image stabilization software.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2011
I received this camera just before Easter. I used it take pictures of my grand daughter's Easter Egg Hunt. I hadn't read the instructions, just popped in some batteries & a 16 GB memory card. The 16 GB memory card gave me over 4500 pictures, nice. The camera proformed perfect. Easy to use, fast shutter response & stunning pictures. My first impressions couldn't have been better.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2011
Arrived fast from jack's Camera. Takes great scenery and still pics. Those images are clear and sharp. easy to use and download pics. Not good for toddlers and dogs unless they are still for at least two seconds! I miss alot of good pics! Those images are big blurrs! The four batteries are kind of annoying and it takes over 300 pics with new batteries. Use name brand batteries only!!!!
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