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Showing 1-10 of 825 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 921 reviews
on June 28, 2013
I got this camera primarily because of the reach that a 30x zoom allows me, really that's it. I'm not a professional photographer. I'm just a guy who goes on photo kicks now and again to indulge my inner paparazzi. I think everything needs to be commemorated and documented for the purpose of later boring my friends and family. A flower, a bird, spilled ice cream... it's all gold! While I'd love a DSLR with a telephoto lens, I just can't justify the cost. Enter the L820. I had a Fujifilm FinePix S4200 Digital Camera which has a nice zoom, but I couldn't get it to focus on what I wanted it to focus on. I'm glad I didn't see a Yeti while using that camera, because the image would be blurry and no one would believe me. The Fuji has good reviews, but I wasn't satisfied so I returned it. I continued my hunt and found the L820. Good reviews, though relatively new so not as many as the Fuji, a good zoom, a good brand. I got a smokin' deal on it from an Amazon reseller (over $100 cheaper than Wal-Mart, and $30 cheaper than Amazon itself) so figured I'd give it a go. Pros and cons are a tried and true review method, so why mess with success?

Pros:
-Zoom is powerful, and with vibration reduction and a steady hand I captured some decent images without using a tripod. I never bother with digital zoom, but there's no real need given that the optical zoom is so powerful.
-Image quality is good. It's not great, but it's good. Remember, this is basically a point and shoot with a lens on steroids.
-Shooting modes. I've only just begun to play with these. There are color filter options, so you can have a black and white photo showing only red, or blue, or green, or whatever. It's artsy and interesting, although I don't find it that useful.
-Battery life is decent. The 4 double AAs they provide got me 647 shots, and still have a bit of life left in them. I only used flash a few times, probably under 10. As soon as these batteries die I'm going with Eneloops which are the greatest batteries on the face of the Earth if you ask me.
-Flash not needed as often as other point and shoots. I have yet to do any spelunking which will probably require a flash, but in low light situations I found the flash could stay down and not be used and pictures turned out pretty good. I'm not a camera genius, but I think this my have something to do with the CMOS sensor being used rather than a CCD, but don't quote me on that.
-Low shutter lag. Isn't this what always gets you? Look, that puppy is tap dancing while twirling a hula-hoop! Quick camera, take a picture. Then you hear the "vvvvffff", "vvvvffff" sound of the lens trying to focus. You see the image get blurry, blurrier, not as blurrier, clearer, clear... and snap. The dog is now sniffing another dog's butt, and no one believes what you saw. It's not instant, but it's pretty fast.
-Good grippy material for preventing slipping. Nothing is worse than taking photos from a boat with your new camera when a rogue wave causes a shudder and PLUNK, your new photo machine goes in the drink because its smooth sides provided no friction. Where the battery housing is there lives a nice, rubbery grip that allows a steady hold. Of course, you should have the neck strap on anyway, so even if it does slip, it's still attached to you.
-AA batteries. This is the must have item for me. I hate proprietary batteries that aren't readily available. Nothing is worse than traveling and having your battery die. Sure you can charge it, but that takes time. Being able to swap out some AA batteries which are easy to get at your local stop and rob is a huge convenience.

Cons:
-No view finder. C'mon Nikon, this thing is already too big for my pocket, you might as well add a view finder.
-LCD hard to see in bright sun with sunglasses. I know this might be picky, but if it's bright out, and you're outside, you're probably wearing sunglasses to keep your rods and cones from melting. I found that if I wanted to get a good look at the LCD, I had to raise my glasses and allow the UV light of our sun to start burning my retina while reviewing photos or changing settings.
-Battery housing door is a pain. I'm not sure if there is any way around this, because the batteries have to have pressure pushing up so they touch the conductive material on the battery door to give your camera power, but it's a pain to close the door. Not a deal breaker, but just something to be aware of because that's also where the SD card resides.

Final word:
If you're a pro, you might look down your nose at this camera. If you're looking at this camera, and reading this review, you're probably just a regular person like me, or a pro who understands what this camera is for. I'm pleased overall so far. I've uploaded a few pics to the gallery. One of a macro shot, one of a panorama, and one of a deer. The deer photo was taken in "landscape" mode, as I forgot to change it and I had been shooting landscapes primarily to that point. The menu is neither a pro nor a con for me. It's not as convenient as a wheel selector would be, but you get used to it fairly quickly.

If you're looking for a camera with a bit more oomph than a typical point and shoot, this is a good bet. If image quality is more important to you than zoom, there might be better options out there. Remember, I found the images to be good, but not great. But for under $200, this is a solid deal if you ask me.

Things I have yet to mess around with:
-Video, supposedly HD, but I haven't tried it out. I think it's also got a decent frame rate which might allow some interesting "high speed" camera stuff.
-Burst mode for action shots. Haven't touched it yet.
-Messing with F-stops or aperature adjustments. Also haven't tried long shutter.

If I do any of these (and remember!) I'll write updates.

--- -- UPDATE 09-16-13 -- ---

I've had the camera about 3 months now, and am still happy with it. I've played with the high speed filming a bit more. I've uploaded a video "review," expertly crafted using high end video editing software (Windows movie maker), to show what the different speeds look like.

There are four high speed options, ranging from 0.5x - 8x. Now, it's a well established fact that men don't like to read instructions, and I'm no exception. So while there may be more info available about what those numbers mean, I didn't look into it. I'll assume, using my very basic camera knowledge, that 8x basically slows footage to 1/8 speed, and 4x is 1/4 speed, etc etc. The video at 4x is actually still fairly decent, but you can really see how grainy it's getting at 8x.

If I'm outside or in a well lit room I've very impressed with the shutter speed. If I have to wait for a flash, that slows things down, but outside shots are the fastest I've personally ever had with a point and shoot. Battery life is also still impressive. If you haven't joined the Eneloop cult yet (Sanyo Eneloop Ni-MH Charger and 8 Rechargeable AA and 2 Rechargeable AAA Batteries.Plus C & D Adpater.) do yourself a favor and drink the Koolaid. These are the best batteries I've ever owned.

I have not discovered how to use any manual settings with this camera, and I'm afraid they may not exist. These cameras are made to be idiot proof, and they don't want the end user messing with things s/he shouldn't. However, I do like doing long exposure photos of flowing water or the night sky, and I guess I'll have to keep my old, worn out Canon point and shoot for that. I think you have to get a "P" line camera from Nikon to have much control over f-stops, aperatures, shutter speeds, etc. Personally, I think Nikon should have a little more faith in me, but that's the way it goes.
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on August 21, 2013
I purchased the Nikon COOLPIX L820 after looking at several other digital cameras in the same price range. Hands down the Nikon offered more features and value for the dollar and was the driving force behind my decision to purchase the item. I took the camera with me on vacation and the pictures that I took with the Nikon were outstanding! Excellent color and clarity along with a wide range of special effect features made using this camera a treat. I have excellent pictures of all of my vacation spots and special moments along with clear, crisp movies that I will cherish for years to come. The only downside to the camera that I noted was the ability to take still pics in low light of items in motion. There's a function that works very well in the daylight but in low light the camera comes up a bit short. Still photos in low light are extremely sharp and the camera seems to adjust very well to low light conditions. Panorama Mode offers the user the opportunity to capture 180 degree or 360 degree photos - excellent for taking large wide angle shots of your favorite spots. The digital zoom is top notch (to a point then granulation occurs) and the 3D mode seemed to work well. Better 3D quality is offered with more expensive cameras, the Nikon didn't offer the depth of field that is available with high end cameras. Using a high end Micro SD memory card with this unit is a must. Slow memory will impact your ability to quickly write photos and movies taken with the camera. A good SD card with lots of space will cost $20-$50 depending n the size and speed selected. Battery life was great, the camera uses 4 AA batteries - I took over 1500 shots (including video) before having to change the "cheap-O" batteries that came with the camera. I've yet to exhaust my 2nd set of batteries. Overall this is one nice camera for the price. I highly recommend it to anyone that is thinking about purchasing a digital camera that seems to do everything well. Well done to Nikon for producing a great product.
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on August 25, 2013
Where do I begin - to tell the story.... Well a certain generation know the song - but I LOVE this camera!! We were looking for a camera that was easy to use but had a terrific zoom - for stills as well as video - for an upcoming trip. Purchased a great SONY in January but while the pics and video were great it was just too cumbersome and having to change the lens was too much trouble. Wanted to have something "all-in-one" and this camera fits the bill! (The cost was much better also!) I live with an awesome view of the ocean and local areas - I have zoomed in on neighborhoods across the bay, used macro for super close-ups of flowers, took natural shots easily because the shutter is so quick, caught birds in flight, and have the most awesome pictures of the moon - craters and all! We have still not tried all of the settings but are working on it! Our only issue - and this is our problem not the camera is when the camera is in full zoom: 1) If you are not using the highest setting it might be pixelated and 2) it is so sensitive that when you take the shot it "offsets" from center. Of course this could be solved with a tripod but who's carrying one all the time?! The camera is with us all of the time - my mother called it "my mascot" - because you just never know when that super moment will come up!! The only con to this camera is the same as with all digitals - no eyepiece and there IS a glare in the sun. Absolutely Love it and recommend the following accessories: rechargeable batteries, a minimum 32gb, class 10 sdhc card - you will need it :) - and the screen protector. Go for it!! You will not be sorry!
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on October 24, 2013
First of all there is nothing I don't like about the camera save the lack of a viewfinder. The camera price was a good, and the camera offerings and functionality are really great. The pictures are crisp even with zoom. Close ups are great. The camera offers a wide variety of custom settings. I have tried them all and they work fine. The 3D option was a little testy, I probably need to read that part of the manual again. Battery life is great, and with that said be sure to have an extra set with you.

The one thing that I wish the camera was equipped with was a viewfinder. Being in the sun and trying to shoot pictures at times renders the big screen sun washout making it difficult to see what you are taking a picture of.

On a side note, I took a picture of the moon at full zoom, using a tripod, and the picture was excellent as you could see the craters on the moon. Be sure to use night time setting and a tripod.

I would recommend it to family and friends without hesitation.

Hope this helps a little.
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on December 19, 2013
This is an amazing camera! It has so many cool features: cropping, color change (black and white, burnt sienna- for timeless photos), video, anti-shake, the list goes on and on...

It is the best digital camera I have seen for taking rapid shots. I use the rapid shot (action setting) to take pictures of my pets. You'll get a lot of great pictures.

The zoom is especially nice because you still get crisp pictures- not grainy. I like to take close up pictures to show details of things- this lets me do it. It would be perfect for someone taking pictures of items to sell online.

I also like to take pictures of scenery, sometimes while riding in the car. I was pleasantly surprised to find out they weren't blurred- just be sure to put it on scenery (not zoom in that case).

The key to getting crisp pictures is to hold the button down 1/2 way. You may see it go out of focus for a second, but as soon as it goes back into focus press down a little more to snap the picture. You do need to do some experimenting with it to become fully familiar with it, but once you do (and it doesn't take long) you will really love this camera.
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on October 21, 2013
I absolutely love this camera! I researched many different cameras over the past couple of months to take on a vacation to Cedar Point Amusement Park. The photos are outstanding, the color crisp & clear. I took indoor and night time photos, in extremely low light conditions & no flash with no problems. It had no shutter lag at all, in any situation. It is the ultimate point & shoot for people that don't want to mess with constantly trying to select the right settings, totally automatic & super easy to use. But it still offers several scene & special effects options if you DO want to occasionally play around with it. It is well balanced so it isn't heavy or bulky to use. The view screen is nicely large with excellent resolution. The zoom is breathtaking! We took photos of rides lit up for Halloween, from the other end of the park with superb detail! The only issue I'm having is loading the photos onto my laptop. I downloaded the included software & couldn't get pics to load directly from the camera. I used an SD card, but honestly, I've been sooo busy between 2 jobs that I haven't had to time to really experiment with it, so I expect its a user malfunction! lol Oh, & I've seen on other reviews that ppl are asking about instructions...yes, it comes with BOTH a booklet & a CD. Also, compared to the prices of many other similar cameras, this was an excellent price.
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VINE VOICEon November 18, 2013
This is a fun little camera and while it may not have all the bells and whistles found in many digital SLR cameras this is just right for my meager abilities and uses. It is light and easy to use if that is the objective or it can be quite heavy when different accessories are attached such as a tripod. It is 16 MP and that almost makes it worthy of purchase alone. I find that I will use the zoom almost with every shooting scenario and enjoying almost all the shots that come out of it. Couple the CMOS with a high definition output and the pictures are so much better. When I bought it I added a 32GB SD card to compliment the included 65MB memory in the camera and am so glad that I did so. I have used over 1,000 pictures in a modestly short time and there is still space for over 6,000 more.

A friend said in a sarcastic manner that the only reason for my buying a Nikon is the name and that is far from it. Years ago a professional said that there are many quality brands on the market; however, its quality is the key go ahead and buy a Nikon regardless of the price point. I am glad I bought this one and look forward to expanding my abilities to a real SLR or who knows what even though this is just about all we need right now.
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on December 26, 2013
My adventures as a photographer began with black and white film, then color a year later. I still adore film, and if I had my own dark room, I would go right back to film. The one downside to film photography is I only have 36 shots on average with my Vivitar, so I need to be VERY selective about what photos I take. With digital, I can take several photos of one thing or scene from multiple angles, and delete any photos that I know won't look right when I upload them to my computer.

I'm still figuring out all of the settings, but here are some of my favorites:

1. Grayscale. Slightly crisper than B&W film, but has fewer gradients, which makes it seem old-school.
2. Sepia. This is great for portraits if you want to play with that style. Landscapes or any light sources will look dull with this setting, but that's how sepia is.
3. Choose color. I can choose from many, many colors, and then snap photos that will be a monochrome of that color.
4. Scene. Choosing a scene gets the camera ready to take a photo of a landscape, portrait, fireworks, and even for pets! There's quite a few scenes in there to choose from. I use the pet setting quite a bit for that cat of mine who never stays in one place!

I have recorded videos and they come out great. It's nice for recording wild animals, pets, dances, etc, because everything looks really good, no blurs. It's a light weight camera too, so I can get steady videos.

The flash has to be used for certain scenes, and it can be to powerful sometimes. There are times when I'm shooting a landscape and I need the flash, and even though I have the flash turned on, it barely goes off, and I get a dark photo. I usually have to resort to the portrait setting to solve that problem, or if I don't want a flash I go with landscape. Landscape is sort of like a default for picture taking, and it helps when I am photographing anything fast-paced, because other settings that are supposed to be for those scenes will get fussy if things are moving around too much. This camera will refuse to take a shot if it thinks that the shot won't come out good, even if I want it to be blurry or have low light. Keeping it on the landscape setting helps to avoid losing great shots to its stubbornness.

I find the cover for the batteries and memory card a bit flimsy. It's hard to lift and place back on, so I do it extra careful because I am afraid of it breaking. Other than that, this is a very durable camera. It's a little awkward for me to have a camera that doesn't offer a way for me to unscrew the lens and screw on a larger one, like I would with my Vivitar. I think when it comes to changing parts, my Vivitar wins. I feel like my Nikon is more for moderately serious photography, but not a camera I would build a professional career on.
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on August 21, 2013
This is a good camera, great for the money. The zoom is excellent. The color is ok, but not great. The clarity or sharpness is good, but not great. Overall a good camera. I was surprised at it size, smaller than I had expected. Compared to a smart phone..this is way better, no comparison really. However, it's still just a point and shoot camera..I do like taking nature photographs and having a camera with a good zoom is nice to have. (not worrying about carrying around a bunch of expenses lenses a definite plus in my book). However, I don't think I'll be happy until I step up to a DSLR.
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on December 21, 2013
Ordered this camera and it was awful! It worked well out of the package ONCE, then the second time that I turned it on, it began freezing up while taking pictures and/or video. When it would freeze it would not turn off unless the batteries were removed. Then the lens would not retract. I tried several times to troubleshoot, including buying brand-new batteries, but nothing worked. After 3 days of attempting to use it, the display started to show vertical white lines while in video mode. I gave up and returned it to Amazon. I took a chance and ordered a second camera. The second one works perfectly fine so far. It has not frozen, no display issues, no problems with the lens retracting and no problems powering it on or off. So it looks like the first camera was simply a lemon!

The camera takes good quality pictures. It is a bit large if you are planning to replace a compact point and shoot camera. You're not going to slide this in your pocket. However if you're using this in place of a DSLR, then you'll find it smaller and lighter in weight. I could actually stick this in purse for a day trip (not doable with my DSLR).

I'm having some problems with the flash washing out skin tones in the auto mode, so I need to explore the settings. Clearly I'm not a skilled photographer so this is probably a user issue- just not something I've had issues with in other Nikons. Regardless, you can take amazing indoor shots with this camera without even using the flash!

There are some design issues with this camera. The battery compartment is poorly designed. The cover can be difficult to close and every time you want to remove the memory card, you will have to fight with the batteries as well. Also the USB cable is much too short. (Hence the reason that I have to remove the memory card to load my photos.) These are both minor issues considering the quality of the end product. I'm not a fan of using AA batteries in a camera, but so far battery usages seems fair. Also, from a design perspective, the video record button is in an awkward place (it's easy to hit it unintentionally).

Others have complained that you cannot turn the camera on to upload photos without removing the lens cap. This is not true. Transferring photos works fine with lens cap on.

The manual is far too basic for this camera's capabilities. For example, it doesn't even mention how to take continuous shots. This was one of the main features that I wanted in the camera and once I found the setting I loved the results! Look forward to getting some outstanding action shots! Just don't rely on the manual to explain where all of the settings are that you want. I've used both Nikon and Fuji cameras, I have found this Nikon to be user friendly especially if you're already worked with other Nikon models.

My overall opinion is that this camera is excellent for the price on Amazon. I have seen the same model vary in price by as much as $100. No one came close to Amazon's Thanksgiving sale price. If this new camera continues to be trouble free, then I will consider it an excellent investment.
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