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Nikon Coolpix L12 Digital Camera Hands On First Thoughts
by Howard Creech -  5/18/2007

The Coolpix L12 is the flagship model of Nikon’s  “L” family of entry-level digital cameras.  Nikon’s “L” series digicams closely resemble (in both form and function) Canon’s “A” series digital cameras, and there’s nothing wrong with that - imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery.  Canon’s “A” series digicams are justly famous for their practicality, flexibility, class leading performance, reasonable pricing, impressive build-quality, and amazing ease of use.  The Nikon Coolpix L12 is a “minimalist look” doppelganger for Canon’s nifty Powershot A550.

nikon coolpix l12
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The L12 provides an impressive package of features including 7 megapixel resolution, a 2.5-in. (115,000 pixel) LCD, a 3x (35mm-105mm equivalent) Nikkor zoom, ISO 1600 sensitivity (which enhances the ability to shoot in dim/low-light and enables faster shutter speeds for capturing rapidly unfolding action), Face Priority AF (which detects and locks focus on faces in the image frame), automatic in-camera red-eye fix (for more natural-looking portraits), and Nikon’s neat D-Lighting function (which automatically lightens the darker areas of underexposed images while leaving properly exposed areas of the image untouched). 

nikon coolpix l12
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The L12 is a bit slow, there’s no optical viewfinder, and it doesn't allow much user input, but it is the cheapest digicam currently available featuring full time VR (Vibration Reduction) optical image stabilization. VR optical image stabilization automatically compensates for camera shake, allowing even beginners to capture sharply focused images. The L12 is very easy to use, fairly compact, tough enough to stand up to the demands of modern life, powered by cheap universally available AA batteries, and capable of delivering surprisingly good images.  Want to read more about the L12?  Check back in a few days for our full review.

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