Camera Review

An amazing find: a little Nikon for an even smaller price

While picking through a pile of analog cameras at a sale a few weeks ago, I found a little digital camera among the film brethren. What I found is this nice little silver Nikon Coolpix L5.

The camera had a green $1.00 sticker stuck to the LCD screen. It looked well cared for, and had hardly a scratch on it. I was ill prepared at this sale, I plain old forgot to bring my assortment of batteries and empty Polaroid backs to test cameras. I took a chance that this little Nikon would work after bringing it home. I figured the investment was minimal, even if the camera didn’t work I would be OK.

Once I came home I opened the camera. I found an old SD card in a drawer and a couple of AA batteries and pushed the on/off button. To my surprise it sprang to life with a pleasant musical “opening” song. I was in business!

The camera seemed to function perfectly. I took some boring photos of my office, and tried out most of the settings before planning a little excursion outside. Before going, however, I did some research:

The Nikon L5 was made at the end of 2006, for the 2007 camera season. It is a 7.2 MP camera with a 5X optical zoom. It has VR (Vibration Reduction), panorama assist mode, 14 different scene modes with portrait mode as a single toggle override. It takes movies (640×480 max) and has the ability to take macro photos. The cost of this little wonder was about $250 when introduced!

With a late winter snow, I decided to venture out and make some pictures.  Snow would be a great test of the camera’s focusing and metering abilities.


The camera worked great with the macro function on the lens worked perfectly. I enjoyed it greatly, as it allowed me to see the individual grains of snow that accumulated on the plants and trees.

For a slight investment, despite it being decade old technology, this camera works very well and makes some fantastic photos. I was most impressed!

So what is a film shooting guy doing with a digital camera? I was asking myself the same thing as I took it out for a spin. In 2007,  little digital cameras like this displaced film cameras. They not only displaced film cameras, but film and processing, and quite honestly the camera store itself that was being neglected by rapidly changing tastes in photography.

So it was a guilty pleasure to shoot images and see them appear instantly on the back of the camera.

This point and shoot camera has now been replaced by the ever popular cell phone camera. It finds itself in an awkward place, since it once was the film camera’s arch nemesis replacing film cameras, film, and processing in a few short years. Now it too has been replaced. Hence the $249 depreciation on a $250 camera.

So there was guilt, especially from a film camera enthusiast, in shooting with this little digital marvel of technology.

But there was also fun 🙂

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