Affordable Gear Finds : The Nikon Coolpix L830 in Red

When talking about our favorite photo gear, we often boast about things like megapixels, millimeters, aperture values and ISO ratings. These things have only become more and more impressive as the years go on and technological improvements are made.

Unfortunately, as all of those things get better and better over time, the cost of premium gear goes up and up. Thankfully, KEH is here to take some of that costly burden away with loads of pre-owned cameras and lenses for sale. We’ll also buy your used gear if you’re looking to offload or upgrade.

We also have a lot of other gear in our inventory, though. This stuff may not get all of the love as the latest release from Nikon, Canon or Sony, but it’s absolutely worth an extra peek.

Today, let’s look at the Nikon Coolpix L830.

Taken with the <em>Nikon Coolpix L830<em>

Tech Specs

Released in 2014, this compact point-and-shoot came in an assortment of colors. The red version I was able to test out for this article brought a pleasing splash of crimson into my everyday carry, unlike most of the other cameras which are almost always some variety of a black box.

The 1/2.3″ sensor contained inside is almost definitely better than you’d expect it to be. It’s tiny, much smaller than a Micro Four Thirds sensor. If the 16-megapixel sensor inside were any larger, it would require a larger lens and a much larger shell.

Speaking of the lens, it’s a 4.0-136mm f/3-5.9 zoom. More importantly, it’s a 34x optically stabilized and mechanical servo zoom lens equivalent to a 22.5-765mm on a 35mm camera. This gives you the capability to perform power zooms with a frankly ridiculous range.

Shooting on a standard SD card and using four AA batteries, the Coolpix L830 coolly avoids trapping the customer into using only proprietary media or power sources. A deep rubberized grip secures the camera in your hand, with all controls quickly accessible, allowing for one-handed operation.

A pop-up flash unit, dual stereo microphones and a tilting 3-inch LCD screen on the rear all add a bit of refinement to this affordable multi-use camera.

Shooting modes

Inside, you’ll find 11 different photo modes including black & white, panorama, toy camera, and more. An impressive macro mode gets you as close a 1cm away from your subject, and a ‘Smart Portrait’ mode accurately detects when your subject blinks or smiles, taking a photo when you may not have even thought to snap one.

There is a fully automatic mode to make all of the decisions for you, or sticklers can choose a White balance and ISO setting, although shutter speed and aperture are out of reach.

The video mode, however, is where I had the most fun.

Surprised? I didn’t think so.

The 1080p video is filmed in a 30-frames-per-second style. This smooth news-channel look paired with the motorized zoom mechanism makes for a truly interesting and fun nostalgia trip, making your videos look a bit like they were taken on a vintage camcorder. Autofocus worked fairly quickly in bright light, and the Vibration Reduction of the camera worked fairly well in most scenarios.

See and hear it in action here:

In conclusion

The Nikon Coolpix L830 from 2014 is often overlooked for the latest and greatest DSLR offerings or even the newer mirrorless options, but that’s not to say that it’s a piece of junk.

I had quite a good time wandering around with this forgotten gem. Sure, it may not wow anyone these days with its mechanical specs, but you can’t quantify how fun a camera is.

Not to mention, at its low price, it’s hard to argue with all of the pros that come with this model. It’s a great option for a car camera, travel camera, or a first camera to give to someone who wants to try out the medium.

It’s certainly better than shooting with your smartphone, and about 1/10th of the price.

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