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Nikon Coolpix L19 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £88
inc VAT


1/2.5in 8.0-megapixel sensor, 3.6x zoom (41-145mm equivalent), 130g

We usually approve of brightly coloured cameras, but the L19’s metallic mauve is hideous.

Thankfully, it’s also available in silver. It’s the cheapest of Nikon’s recent models, and although the design isn’t sizzling with style, the rounded corners make it feel robust. We can imagine this camera surviving rough treatment from children.

The 3.6x zoom range is better than we’d expect at this price, but it’s only 41mm at the wide-angle end, so you’ll need to step back further than usual. The 2.7in screen seems generous, but its colours looked washed out. Photographic controls are basic. With no ISO speed, metering or autofocus options, the camera relies almost entirely on its automatic mode. Exposure compensation, flash, white balance and resolution are the only image-related controls on offer. Luckily, this wasn’t a problem in our tests, with well-judged exposures in a wide range of light conditions. Detail levels in outdoor shots were good rather than excellent, but because it’s an £88 camera we can’t imagine anyone being disappointed. Shots taken indoors without the flash were fairly grotty, displaying smudged details and noisy shadows. Surprisingly, though, the results were better than the same shots taken with Nikon’s pricier S630, below.

The L19 was also streets ahead of the S630 for performance. It took just 1.5 seconds between shots in the single drive mode and turned in a respectable 1.1fps in continuous mode. The use of AA batteries meant that flash photos were around four seconds apart, though.

As a budget camera, the L19 hits all the right notes: it seems robust and is easy to use, it’s responsive and takes pleasing photos. However, it’s narrowly beaten by Pentax’s Optio M50. The M50 is slower but has a 5x zoom, better controls, a smarter design, a Li-ion battery and marginally better image quality. It’s available for £90 including VAT from

Basic Specifications

Rating ****
CCD effective megapixels 8.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.5in
Viewfinder none
LCD screen size 2.7in
LCD screen resolution 230,000 pixels
Optical zoom 3.6x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 41-145mm
Image stabilisation none
Maximum image resolution 3,264×2,448
Maximum movie resolution 640×480
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDHC
Mermory supplied 20MB internal
Battery type 2x AA
Battery Life (tested) 440 shots
Connectivity USB, AV
Body material plastic
Accessories USB cable
Weight 130g
Size 61x97x29mm

Buying Information

Price £88

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed auto
Aperture range auto
ISO range (at full resolution) auto
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controls none
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes multi, face detect
Metering modes multi, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer