Nikon COOLPIX L840 Digital Camera - Black (16.0 MP, CMOS Sensor, 38x Zoom) 3.0 -Inch LCD
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The COOLPIX L840’s built-in pop-up flash is activated by pressing a button on the left of the body just below the flash housing. It has four modes, Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill flash and slow sync. The Flash has a quoted range of 6.5 meters, that’s a reduction from nine meters on the earlier model. I don’t think the flash has changed, it’s more likely Nikon is now quoting the range at 1600 ISO where it was 3200 ISO previously. That puts it roughly on a par with the power of the PowerShot SX530 HS and PowerShot SX410 IS. It provides enough light for fill-in and to illuminate reasonably close subjects, but unlike the PowerShots, the COOLPIX L840 doesn’t support a more powerful flash accessory. There’s no doubt that the Nikon Coolpix L840 is a very easy camera to use and produces pleasing photos. Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC pairing is a welcome upgrade from the L830, and the increased zoom reach adds extra versatility. But is this enough? An intelligent, scene-detecting automatic shooting mode keeps the L840 easy to use, and if you do fancy getting creative, nine funky filter effects are included, as well as an automatic panorama mode. There’s even a Smart Portrait mode that’ll flatter images of friends and family by softening skin and warning you if someone blinks.
Not only is the control layout almost identical to a typical point and shoot compact camera; the Nikon Coolpix L840’s chunky form also adds to its ease of use. Although the gap between the hand grip and lens barrel may be slightly narrow for some, the grippy rubber coating makes the camera feel secure in the hand and there’s a decent-sized rear thumb rest, too.Competition in the budget bridge camera sector is strong, and with rivals like the Canon PowerShot SX520 HS and Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ40 sporting even more zoom range for less or similar money, the L840 does seem a little overpriced. Apart from adding Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC pairing for easy image sharing and remote camera control, the L840 is much the same as the outgoing L830. The two cameras share the same 16-megapixel resolution, though the new model expands the sensitivity range one stop to ISO6400. Full HD 1080p video recording with stereo sound is also present, and the L840 will shoot full-resolution stills at 7.4fps. Get the latest photography news straight to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter. Newsletter Signup
The Nikon Coolpix L840 is a superzoom bridge camera with a focus on value. Its main selling point is its 38x optical zoom range, which improves on the 34x lens in the outgoing L830. The new camera also gets built-in Wi-Fi with NFC pairing and 1080p Full HD video recording. Whilst the L840 may look a bit like a DSLR from the outside, inside is a tiny 1/2.3” image sensor just like you’d find in most compact cameras. As a result, image quality is no better than a camera a fraction of the size, but that’s not to say the L840 performs badly.This mode includes two sub settings: Tripod and Handheld. In Tripod mode the L840 captured this scene at the base ISO125 sensitivity with a 1-second exposure to reduce image noise and maximise detail. In Handheld mode the results are similar to leaving the camera set to Auto, as it resorts to ISO1600 to achieve a faster shutter speed. This looks like an across the board decision from Nikon which has done the same thing on its S9900 compact super-zoom and I think it’s a mistake. Slow motion HD video is a popular feature and to for Nikon to drop it while retaining the double speed option is, frankly, a bit baffling. About the only saving grace is that there’s a low resolution slomo mode. I should also point out that neither the PowerShot SX530 HS nor the SX410 IS has any kind of slow motion video feature.