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Nikon debuts budget-minded Coolpix L100 15x ultrazoom
by David Rasnake -  2/2/2009

In addition to its flagship P90, Nikon has also released details about a budget-friendly, user-friendly ultrazoom built with the casual photographer in mind.

Nikon Coolpix L100

Hailed as a "fantastic choice for the family photographer" in Nikon's press materials, the new Nikon Coolpix L100 brings a 15x wide-angle optic to Nikon's L series of lower cost point-and-shoot models. And while the target market may be casual shooters, it's a safe bet that this may be the first Coolpix L camera that more than a few enthusiast shooters take a good long look at as well.

P-Model Performance Meets L-Series Affordability
Borrowing its styling more from Nikon's Performance line than previous L-branded Coolpix models, the L100 is wrapped in a moderately sized, nearly pocketable body, making it a direct challenger to the likes of Canon's SX110 and Panasonic's TZ and ZS models.

As for the zoom itself, with a versatile range of 28-420mm, the L100's 15x Nikkor glass adequately covers the wide-angle to ultra-telephoto ranges with a single lens. For this application, Nikon selected a 10.0 megapixel sensor to record the image, and equipped the camera with sensor-shift image stabilization as well.

Nikon Coolpix L100

Although it's not articulating like the screen on the P90, the L100 also earns a high-spec 3.0 inch LCD with anti-glare coating – a fairly impressive piece of kit for a mid-priced ultrazoom.

Other carry-over technologies from the P90 include Nikon's Smart Portrait System, as well as the unique Sport Continuous shooting mode. In the L100's case, the camera can capture up to 30 three-megapixel frames at an impressively quick 13 fps.

Pricing and Availability
Nikon's Coolpix L models have always been positioned as budget models for family photographers. The L100 targets this same market – the casual snapshot shooter – with a slightly more high-spec model. Being an L model, however, Nikon has kept the price of this mid-level ultrazoom well under $300, ringing up for a suggested $279.95.

The L100 is expected to begin showing up on store shelves in April.