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on January 20, 2012
My choice was between this Nikon L120 and the Fuji S3200. The Fuji offers a lot of manual control, which attracted me. I then had a look at Flickr's very handy "camera finder" function (I'm not allowed to post the address), which everyone should make use of when researching cameras for purchase.

You can see for yourself, but, without fail, the L120's shots all look beautiful and vivid, even when their subjects were relatively uninteresting -- whereas, similarly without fail, shots from the Fuji look bland and uninteresting. One could make the argument that the Fuji simply makes more demands of the photographer since it does less automatically, but the uniform flat quality of nearly every image I looked at from the Fuji makes me think that's not the problem.

When I ripped open the box and started shooting (after popping in a SanDisk Ultra 16 GB Class 6 card), I could see I'd made the right choice. The LCD on this camera has outstanding-enough resolution to immediately see that this camera produces beautiful shots each time, faithfully reproducing your real-life viewing experience; unlike other point-and-shoots that usually have me going "Hmm, that's really not how it looked when I was there..."

I won't bore you with a feature list that you can already read in a million other places. Here's what I've observed since actually getting the camera:


- Stunningly accurate shot quality (when shooting with at least medium light or flash)
- LCD screen is exceptional
- Excellent build quality, while still lightweight
- Image stabilization is superb
- Extremely easy to use
- A quality video feature with good sound recording
- Excellent PDF manual with lots of cross-reference links (when it refers to another page, there's a link to click that'll bring you there)
- Includes a quality neck strap and lens cover


- Poor low-light performance. Night landscape shots, where flash is useless, come out grainy with inaccurate colors.

- Severe lack of manual controls, no RAW output. If Nikon made a model that was an exact clone of the L120 but included the ability to switch to manual operation (focus, aperture, etc) and could output RAW format images, I would've easily paid another $50 for it. Though you can manually choose your ISO sensitivity (ie. film speed).

- Video is not perfect (but you shouldn't expect perfect anyway; video is just a bonus feature on still cameras). The only problem is slight jitters (lack of adequate stabilization) when the camera is in motion, so this isn't a problem if it's stationary. Otherwise the video quality is excellent (using my SanDisk Class 6 card).

- No in-camera panorama stitching. The camera does have an excellent panorama mode that overlays a portion of the last shot so you can line up the next one, but the shots need to be combined afterwards using the included software on a computer.

- Batteries and memory card are accessed via the same door. This isn't usually an issue, but it is cumbersome since this camera uses 4 AA batteries that you need to compress down every time you close it. I end up using the USB cable for transferring most of the time, but it would be nice if the memory card had its own "quick-access" door.

- Uses AA batteries. I've been waiting for camera makers to include rechargeable Li-Ion batteries that can charge while in the camera (like cell phones do), but no dice so far.

- Form factor is too large for a pocket, which should be obvious (the tradeoff is getting to take awesome pictures instead of typical pocket-camera ones). I got the Case Logic DCB-304 High/Fixed Zoom Case, which fits this camera like a glove, and still has plenty of room left over for wires and spare batteries.

Tip: Video is initially set to focus on the first frame and maintain that focus throughout the recording. This is because continual re-focus causes the focus sounds to come through the mic and get recorded. You can enable continuous focus through the settings though.

If you're looking for a point-and-shoot camera that simply takes awesome-quality pictures, you've found it.
4 people found this helpful
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on July 5, 2011
I've had the L120 for a while now, and this is our love story. When I first got the camera I was so excited. I immediately opened the box and started getting to know the camera. Like every love story, there are a few bumps in the road to happiness. The first thing I noticed is that the sport continuous feature is not my favorite. In fact, my CoolPix from a few years ago has a better sport feature. There's lots of noise in the picture, and the edges are fuzzy sometimes. After fiddling with it for a while, and reading the manual, the fuzzy edges were no longer a problem. But there is still a lot of noise in the picture. I live right near the attractions in Orlando so I headed to Universal and took some pictures in the Wizarding World. The second thing I noticed was that the lens cap falls off easily when in a carrying case. The third thing I noticed was that the battery life is not wonderful. After reading previous reviews I was prepared for that, and I had rechargable batteries ready. However there are some really great features to this camera. Inside lighting is not a problem. Inside the castle at the wizarding world is very dark. This camera had no problem with this, and I have some amazing pictures from the portrait gallery. No flash needed. Adjusting the ISO is very easy, but most of the time you don't need to do any adjusting. My favorite feature with this camera, however, has to be the macro mode. It has a great zoom, which is great for sporting events and such. Since yesterday was the 4th, I also got a chance to try out the fireworks mode, which turns out is nice. It has a longer exposure than my other cameras, which is fun when you have sparklers and you can do light writing. All in all, I really do love this camera. It's my new favorite and I enjoy using it.
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on May 1, 2018
So i ordered this camera and it came in today,, I open the box and find just the camera and a "Sony" lith batter in a big ziplock bag with some paper wrapped around it ,,, No manuel ,No charging cord and anything else
so i am like ok, lets put the battery in and see what happens, wow-- it takes 4 AA batteries, not the "Sony" battery that came in the package ,,,,,Hmmmm says on the add that is comes with a lith Battery,, But it does not fit the camera ,, USELESS
NO Manuel of any kind to explain this issue ,,,
BAD Sales ,,,,,
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on August 7, 2013
I am not a great photographer and I'm not particularly 'techy'. I know there are a lot of nice features on my Coolpix that I don't use. For me, a real novice, this camera is easy to operate and is great for a point-and-shoot photographer.

The feature I like best on the Nikon Coolpix L120 is the wide-angle zoom lens. One of my passions is taking pictures of old barns, silos and old churches. I ask permission to take pictures as often as possible; however, people aren't home, etc. etc. and if I don't want to miss a great photo opportunity, I will often take pictures from the road and sometimes at great distance. The zoom lens is great for me.

My Coolpix also takes great pictures, but I am not always good at making the picture perfectly straight and sometimes the lighting isn't what I thought it was when I took the picture. Fortunately for me, a great little program came with my camera which was easily downloaded to my computer. I can quickly edit my photos by cropping, straightening, adjusting lighting, etc. Then, I send these photos into my Adobe Elements program for further editing before printing.

The only negative comment I have is the size and bulk of this model camera. It is rather heavy for me to carry on a strap around my neck and it does not fit into my purse. If I could rate this camera a 4.5 stars, that would better describe my opinion.
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on July 30, 2011
Had purchased a Olympus SP 800UZ tried it out and was not very happy with the results grainy pictures with the telephoto, was in a store and was playing with the Nikon l120 and was impressed by the clarity of the viewing screen and the telephoto across the store. Went home and thought about it opened amazon and read the reviews, thought some more and bought the Nikon and when it arrived I set it up and took a few shots and was totally pleased with the results. The fedex driver was on her way back up the street and I flagged her down and asked if she had a digital camera and she said she did but not a good one. I said today is you lucky day and handed her the Olympus and said enjoy.
Like very much that it uses AA batteries never have to lug around all the chargers and cords.
zoom focus and clarity and color are top notch this camera does what it is rated as top of the line.

con: when loading arcsoft panorama maker error message appears no vedframework dll go to site below and download and save file and place in file for arcsoft in program files and this will solve the problem.

Please see this fix from Arcsoft for the "Panorama Maker5 for Nikon" :

3 people found this helpful
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on October 7, 2011
I bought this camera for one of my assistants at work (i'm a marketing manager) cuz he does all the product photography here (we are a retail store) and the images were horrible before with a commercial small camera... I'm a photographer myself and own a D40 so I hate to see these kinds of pictures.

So i went searching and as Nikonist of course I thought this was the best choice for price and purposes, and I'm very happy with it! :) Images are sharp, batteries last a lot..

Only 2 suggestions:
-Would have helped a lot if it had a li-on rechargeable battery (I went searching but the difference between this little sweet and others with similar features was exagerated in price range.. )-- i've seen bad small cameras with rechargeable battery (li-on) so i think nikon got caught on this one
-Zoom is fine: you have 2 options to do it: zoom at top (around shutter button) and zoom at lenses with a small joystick.. this one is nice but it would have been better if you could just have a manual option... it was funny cuz when i tried it i found out i'm so used to the d40 that i went on trying to move the lenses lol

Other than that this little sweet gives great pics , is sturdy as her dx sisters and at a great price! :)

great for offices, mini studios and product photogaphy
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on January 22, 2012
Like many other owners, I did research and selected this camera based on feedback and Consumer Report info. My previous camera is an Olympus, and I was reluctant to buy another camera because it was such a positive experience, but the camera started acting weird with the memory cards and they are no longer available. The Nikon is great. I am not going to repeat what everyone else has said about its features. I have not used the video. Not really a video person(except on my ipad2). So, overall, great camera. BUT, Nikon really missed the boat when they put the battery/memory card slot on the bottom together. What's that about? Every time I go to take out the memory card, I have to turn the camera upside down and leave it that way so the batteries do not fall out. Locking the 'door' is a real pain. No longer can I stand in place and remove my card and insert it in the slots. Before, I could open the slot door, pop out the card, and when finished, pop the card in and close the door. Done. No messing with the batteries or holding the camera a certain way. With the NIKON model, it's like handling glass. Awkward. I prefer to take the card out and view the pictures through the sD slot rather than connecting the camera to the computer with a cord.For me, that is the negative part of owning this camera. Would I recommend it? Yes, but I would definitely point out this feature. The pictures are great, the choices are many, and the results are pretty awesome for this type of camera.
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on June 30, 2011
I purchased a red COOLPIX L120 about a week before embarking on a photo safari to South Africa. What a great decision I made! The camera is great looking, easy to learn and comfortable for one-handed up-in-the-air, on-the-go picture taking. In the Plus category: lightweight despite the need for 4 batteries; I took almost 3,000 images before having to replace my lithium batteries; great quality movies with good audio and stable playback; ability to crop images; color choices -- love the red! My fellow travelers marveled at the ease of use, number of features that are relatively easy to maneuver, the quality of photos ... and the red! In the Negative category: the fact that I can't play .MOV movies on Windows Media Player and Windows Movie Maker which I'm comfortable with was a disappointment when I got home and found I couldn't watch the movies of the water flowing over Victoria Falls or the elephants and rhinos crossing the road or the giraffes grazing or the zebra tails wagging or the hippos bobbing up and down or the lions eating :( But maybe I just need to learn how to convert the format or learn new software. And I miss an optical viewfinder in bright sunlight. Other than that, 5 stars for this one.
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on June 8, 2011
I am thrilled with my purchase of this camera. I have taken MANY pictures with this camera and the batteries (regular energizer batteries) have held up very well. I got the rechargeable ones but can't review them because I haven't ran down these yet. (maybe it's the battery options need changed in some cases) I really can't understand the ones who complained about that, but that's my experience. The zoom captured a photo of a photo of my boyfriend (group football pic) from an auditorium wall, from the other side of the room, and the picture quality on that was even great. I'm shocked! I'd definitely recommend this camera. It's VERY easy to use and I LOVE the fact that the zoom is on the left. I couldn't be happier. Everything is at your fingertips and it's easy easy easy to use. It got here very quickly and I'm enjoying it very much. I'm sure many others will too. I get professional looking pics & I'm looking forward to many more!
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on November 10, 2013
This camera has a lot of features and takes very good close ups. The auto focus works well except when zooming and especially when zooming in the video mode. Portraits are also very rich with good color and contrast, even in the auto mode. Battery life seems to be fair. I use regular batteries as none of the rechargeable batteries seem to hold up as well. This camera replaced a Kodak digital camera. The one thing that is a bit hard to get used to is not having a viewfinder. Without one, it seems that it is more difficult to hold the camera still and is very noticeable when using it in the video mode. Picture quality will improve with my skills and I'm sure I will be very pleased with the purchase once I have mastered the techniques and features. Would have liked to have more control over focus.
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