If you don’t want to spend a small fortune on a camera, you can still get a decent compact at a low price that’s ideal for most demands you will make of it on the hill. This is thanks to a lot of technology, which has trickled down from more advanced models, finding its way onto budget options such as the Nikon Coolpix L18.
A decent eight-megapixel sensor at the heart of this camera means you’re not going to have to compromise on image quality, as this will be more than adequate for enlargements up to A4. There’s a 3in screen on the back (normally only found on more expensive models) along with a 3x optical zoom, covering from 35-105mm focal lengths – not as wide a range as some, but still very handy. Rather than using specific rechargeable batteries like a lot of other compacts available, the Coolpix L18 runs on standard AA-sized batteries. This can be really handy if you’re not going to be able to charge your camera up for a while as you can pop a couple of spares in your pocket.
Though it’s well-made, it has a predominantly plastic finish so it’s not as rugged as those with metal bodies. But it does make the camera lightweight for hill-walking – just 125g.
Lens 3x zoom (35-105mm)
Memory type SD
Video capability yes, with sound
Weight 125g (without battery and card)
The Nikon Coolpix L18 is a great budget model – a decent specification and handling for not very much money at all.
Review by Phil Hall of Digital Photo magazine
First published in Trail magazine September 2008