Digital camera manufacturers unfailingly boast that their point & shoot digicams are user friendly and easy to operate, but in reality many of those claims are exaggerated. That’s not the case with Nikon’s “L” series digicams, which eschew seldom-used features and complex operation in favor of traditional design, simplicity, and impressive usability.
Nikon’s Coolpix L6 could be the poster child for a whole new generation of “back to the basics” digital cameras. The L6 isn’t just amazingly easy to use; it also produces (in good light) dependably excellent 6 megapixel images. L6 purchasers will also love the bright, hue accurate, and fluid 2.5 inch TFT LCD screen and the sharp and contrasty 3X zoom. The L6 is also an almost perfect traveler’s camera – it’s cheap, relatively tough, compact, lightweight, and it produces consistently excellent images. If all that isn’t enough, the L6 features Nikon’s Face Priority AF and automatic in-camera red-eye fix (for exceptional portraits), D-Lighting (which automatically lightens dark underexposed images), and it offers the best battery life of any camera in its class. Nikon claims the L6 has the best battery life of any compact digicam currently available (up to 1000 exposures from a pair of high capacity Energizer e2 Lithium AA batteries or up to 400 exposures from a pair of cheap and available anywhere alkaline AA batteries).
The L6 isn’t perfect; it’s a bit slow across the board, a little weak in the macro department, users can’t change sensitivity settings, it doesn’t provide an optical viewfinder, and it doesn’t allow much user input, but casual photographers, travelers, hikers/bikers/backpackers, snap-shooters, and real estate agents will love this camera. Check back in a few days for our full review.