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Nikon Coolpix L100

10-megapixel digital camera with 15X optical zoom

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Item #: 054L100
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Nikon Coolpix L100

by Chris Egner
Nikon

Today's point-and-shoot cameras make great pictures easier than ever

From baby's first steps, to that dream vacation in the islands, these cameras make it easy to capture life's greatest hits. Today's cameras have helpful automatic features, like face detection and scene recognition that make shooting more foolproof than ever. And they all have plenty of megapixels for detailed photos that stay sharp, even when you enlarge and print them.

Nikon's Coolpix L100 combines ease-of-use with powerful photographic capability. Rely on this camera's smart automatic settings to help you shoot stunning 10-megapixel pictures. Bring subjects to the forefront with far-reaching 15X zoom, for natural-looking candid shots and closeups of sports action from the stands. The built-in wide-angle lens also lets you capture expansive landscapes and big crowds. Don't worry if the camera moves a bit as you press the shutter button — optical image stabilization compensates for shaky hands to keep your images sharp. And it's a breeze to compose and review your shots on the large, bright LCD screen.

Take eye-catching portraits of your favorite people with the L100's face priority autofocus and in-camera red-eye correction. Group shots of the whole gang will reveal individual expressions in sharp focus. This camera even finds ways around a subject's closed eyes or timid smile — special settings detect blinks and grins, waiting to activate the shutter until exactly the right moment.

The camera's 44MB internal memory holds approximately nine photos at top resolution — add optional SD memory cards for more storage.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • 10-megapixel effective recording
  • 15X optical zoom (4X digital/60X total zoom)
  • optical image stabilization
  • 3" LCD screen with anti-reflection coating and 5-level brightness adjustment
  • built-in wide-angle lens for shooting landscapes and large groups
  • 35mm equivalent focal length: 28-420mm
  • top JPEG resolution: 3648 x 2736
  • scene selection mode automatically recognizes the type of shot you compose and adjusts camera settings to suit
  • face priority autofocus and blink alert for better portraits
  • smile mode automatically snaps the shutter when the camera detects a smiling subject
  • in-camera automatic red-eye correction
  • D-Lighting mode brightens dark areas of recorded images
  • movie mode with audio (up to 30 frames per second)
  • 15 scene modes including Dusk/Dawn, Fireworks Show, and Beach/Snow
  • variable ISO (film speed equivalent) settings including a high sensitivity mode for low-light and flash-free shooting
  • in-camera slide show
  • built-in flash
  • 44MB internal memory holds approximately 9 photos at top resolution
  • compatible with SD™ cards and SDHC™ cards
  • high-speed USB interface
  • compatible with PictBridge-enabled printers
  • 4-1/2"W x 2-7/8"H x 3-1/8"D
  • weight (without battery and media): 12.5 ounces
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • 4 "AA" batteries
  • audio/video and USB cables
  • lens cover and strap
  • neck strap
  • software CD-ROM

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
LCD Screen Size
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3"
Adjustable-angle LCD
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Wi-Fi
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No
Touchscreen
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Waterproof
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GPS-enabled
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Lens 35mm Equivalent
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28-420mm
Optical Zoom
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15x
Digital Zoom
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4x
Filter Diameter
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N/A
Manual Focusing
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No
Manual Exposure
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No
Built-in Flash
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Yes
HDMI Output
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No
Memory
Internal Memory
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44MB
Memory Media
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SD Card
Image
Effective Megapixel Count
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1e+007
Total Megapixels
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1.07e+007
Image Stabilization
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Optical
Highest Resolution
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3648 x 2736
HD Video Recording
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No
Dimensions
Width (inches)
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4-1/2
Height (inches)
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2-7/8
Depth (inches)
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3-1/8
Weight With Battery (ounces)
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13.1
Warranty
Parts Warranty
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1 Year
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Digital camera with black camera body
  • 4 "AA" batteries
  • 59" USB cable with a proprietary connector on one end and a USB type-A connector on other end
  • 59" A/V cable with a composite video and mono audio RCA connector on one end and a proprietary connector on other end
  • Lens cover with strap
  • Neck strap
  • Nikon Software Suite CD-ROM
  • User's Manual (English)
  • User's Manual (Spanish)
  • Quick Start Guide (English)
  • Quick Start Guide (Spanish)
  • Nikon Digital Imaging Limited Warranty information
  • Online Product Registration card
  • "my Picturetown.com" offer

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Recording Features
Play, Edit, and Print Functions
Battery Information
Inputs and Outputs Notes
Supplied Software

Recording Features

LCD Monitor: The Nikon Coolpix L100 has a 3.0" TFT LCD monitor featuring approximately 230,000 pixels, an anti-reflective coating and a five-level brightness adjustment. The LCD monitor's wide viewing angle makes it easy to see and use. The LCD monitor has approximately 97% horizontal and vertical coverage in the shooting mode and 100% during playback mode.

Note: There is no separate viewfinder on the camera.

10.0 Megapixels CCD With EXPEED Engine: The Coolpix S230 features a 1/2.33-inch, high-density CCD imager with a total pixel count of approximately 10.7-million pixels. The effective pixel count is 10.0-million. Optimizing performance and color reproduction is an advanced new image-processing engine, EXPEED. EXPEED is custom-tuned for the Coolpix digital camera and applies optimized technologies to render natural-looking pictures of incredible quality and quick response so you will not miss a shot.

Optics: The Coolpix L100 digital camera uses a Zoom-Nikkor glass lens for superb image quality. Every aspect of the lens manufacturing process is controlled by Nikon. The Zoom-Nikkor lens is designed for the specific camera and CCD combination. The Coolpix L100 uses a 15x optical zoom, 4x digital zoom lens (60x total zoom) that is equivalent to a 28-1680mm lens in 35mm photography.

4-Way VR (Vibration Reduction) Stabilization: The Nikon Coolpix L100 offer a 4-Way Vibration Reduction (VR) Stabilization System.

  • Optical VR Image Stabilization: Nikon's Optical VR Image Stabilization compensates for the effects of camera shake by moving the image sensor. This produces clearer, sharper results in lower lighting or unsteady conditions
  • Motion Detection: Motion Detection automatically detects moving subjects and adjusts the shutter speed and the ISO setting to compensate for camera shake and subject movement.
  • High ISO 3200: High ISO 3200 capability gives you sharper results when shooting in low light or capturing fast-moving subjects. This creates new opportunities to take sharper, more natural-looking photos in lower light conditions.
  • Best Shot Selector (BSS): Nikon's Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to 10 shots while the shutter is pressed and then saves the sharpest image.

Built-in Memory: The camera has a built-in 44MB internal memory for storing still images and movies with sound.

Optional Recording Media: In addition to the built-in memory, images can be recorded onto SD (Secure Digital) or SDHC Memory cards. When an SD Memory card is inserted in the camera, the images are automatically recorded onto the card. When no card is inserted, the images automatically record to the internal memory. The camera can support SD cards from 128MB up to 2 GB; and 4GB to 16GB SDHC cards.

Still Image Size: The Coolpix L100 records still images in JPEG format. You have a choice of five still image size options and five movie options:

Image Size/
Resolution
Image Quality Number of Storable Images (approx.)
Internal Memory
44MB
SD Memory Card
512MB (optional)
10M
3648 x 2736
High 9 95
Normal 18 190
5M
2592 x 1944
Normal 35 375
3M
2048 x 1536
Normal 55 590
PC Screen
1024 x 768
PC 188 2010
TV Screen
640 x 480
TV 353 3070
16:9
3584 x 2016
Wide 25 265
16:9
1920 x 1080
Wide 80 860

Shooting Modes: You can choose one of the following shooting modes:

  • Single: The camera records one picture each time the shutter release button is pressed.
  • Smile Mode: The camera detects a smiling face (up to 3) to shoot your subject automatically.
  • Continuous: While the shutter-release button is held down, up to 7 pictures are taken at a rate of about 1.2 frames per second (fps) when image mode is set to 10M Normal 3648.
  • Sport Continuous Mode: The Sport Continuous Mode allows rapid continuous shooting (up to 30 frames) while you press and hold the camera's shutter-release button fully. With continuous shooting, instantaneous movements in moving subjects can be captured clearly. You can set the Sport Continuous Mode to 3 speeds: High (approx. 13 fps), Medium (approx. 6.5 fps), and Low (approx. 4.3 fps). During this mode, the shutter speed is set automatically  with the range of 1/4,000 to 1/15 seconds and the ISO sensitivity is she high. The Image Mode can be set to 3M (2048) or smaller. In addition, the focus, exposure, and white balance settings are fixed at the values for the first picture in each series.
  • Multi-Shot 16: Each time the shutter release button is pressed, the camera takes 16 consecutive "thumbnail" images at a rate of about 7.5 frames per second, and arranges them into 4 rows of 4 images in a single frame measuring 3648 x 2736 pixels.
  • Best Shot Selector: The BSS is recommended for situations in which inadvertent camera movement can produce blurred pictures, or when parts of the image are prone to under- or over-exposure. When BSS is on, the camera takes shots while the shutter-release button is pressed, to a maximum of 10. The images are compared and the sharpest picture is saved to the memory or memory card.
  • Self-timer: The camera is equipped with a 10 second timer for self-portraits.

Blink Warning: You can set whether or not the camera detects human subjects with eyes closed when shooting picture in the Face Priority shooting mode. When the camera detects that one or more human subjects (up to 3) have closed their eyes shortly after recognizing the faces and shooting them, the face of the human subject that may have closed his/her eyes is framed is displayed so you can check the shot picture and determine if you need to take the picture again.

Center/Face Priority Auto Focus: The camera automatically focuses on the center of the frame. When the camera recognizes a face (front view only), the camera will focus on the face automatically. The L100 can recognize up to 12 faces.

Macro Mode: Macro mode is used for taking pictures of objects as close as 0.4-inches. The flash may be unable to light entire subject at distances less than 20-inches.

Focus Lock: The Focus Lock feature is used to focus on off-centered subjects in the frame while shooting.

AF-Assist Illuminator: If lighting is poor, the AF-assist illuminator may light to assist the focus operation when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. The illuminator has a range of about 11.416 feet at the maximum wide-angle position and 8.0 feet at the maximum telescopic position. You can turn this function on or off.

Exposure Modes: You can set the camera to suit your level and style of photography. The mode choices include:

  • Auto Mode: The Auto Mode is a simple point-and-shoot mode in which the majority of camera settings are controlled by the camera. This mode is recommended for first-time users of digital cameras.
  • High Sensitivity Mode: In High Sensitivity Mode, ISO sensitivity is se high to reduce blurring caused by camera shake or subject movement even when shooting under low lighting or with zoom applied. This allows you to capture the atmosphere of the scene without flash or extend the effective range of the flash compared to other shooting modes.
  • Scene Modes: The camera gives you the option of various Scene Modes. The camera settings are automatically adjusted to suit the selected scene. The Scene Modes include:
    • Portrait: Useful for photographs where you want the main subject to stand out clearly from the background.
    • Landscape: For vivid landscape shots that enhance outlines, colors, and contrast in such subjects as forests and skyscrapers.
    • Night Portrait: For shots that provide natural balance between the main subject and the background when shooting portraits under low lighting.
    • Party/Indoor: Shots include details of the background behind the main subject, or to capture the effects of candlelight and other indoor background lighting.
    • Beach/Snow: Vividly captures the brightness of subjects such as snow fields, beaches or sunlit expanses of water.
    • Sunset: Preserves deep hues seen in sunsets and sunrises.
    • Dusk/Dawn: Preserves the colors seen in the weak natural light before sunrise and after sunset.
    • Night Landscape: A slow shutter speed is used to produce stunning night landscapes.
    • Close Up: Used to capture vivid colors in close-up shots of flowers, insects and other small objects, with the background artistically blurred.
    • Museum: Use indoors where flash photography is prohibited or in other settings in which you do not want to use flash.
    • Food: Use when shooting foods; camera focuses on subject in center of frame.
    • Fireworks Show: Slow shutter speeds are used to capture the expanding burst of light from fireworks.
    • Copy: Provides clear pictures of text or drawings on a white board, business card or in other printed matter.
    • Back Light: Use when light is coming from behind your subject or when your subject is in the shade but the background is brightly lit.
    • Panorama Assist: Use to take a series of photographs that you will later join to form a single panoramic scene.
  • Auto Scene Selection: The camera automatically selects one of the following scenes (Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Backlight, or Close-up) when you point the camera at a subject.

Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 steps.

White Balance: You can set the White Balance to Auto, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, or Flash. You can also choose Preset White Balance and use a neutral-colored object as a reference to set the white balance under unusual lighting conditions.

Color Options: When you are shooting your images, you can make certain colors more vivid, or record the images in monochrome. You have the following choices:

  • Standard Color: The images will be recorded in their natural colors.
  • Vivid Color: You can use this to give your images a vivid, "photoprint" colors.
  • Black and White: The image will be recorded in black and white.
  • Sepia: The image will be recorded in sepia tones.
  • Cyanotype: The image will be recorded in cyan-blue monochrome color.

Built-In Flash: The Coolpix L100 has a built-in Speedlite flash with a range of 1.665 feet to 36 feet (Wide angle) and 1.665 feet to 29 feet (Telephoto). You can choose from the following flash modes:

  • Auto: Flash fires automatically when lighting is poor.
  • Auto with Red-eye Reduction: Pre-flash fires before main flash to reduce red-eye effect.
  • Flash Off: Flash will not fire, even when lighting is poor.
  • Fill Flash: Flash will fire whenever a picture is taken.
  • Slow Sync: Auto flash combined with slow shutter speeds.

In-Camera Red-Eye Fix: If the camera detects red-eye after the pre-flash has fired, advanced red-eye reduction processing is used to further reduce red-eye, slightly increasing the time required before the next picture can be taken.

Movie Mode: You can make movies (AVI) with or without sound (WAV). You can select TV Movie 640 (640 x 480) at 30 frames per second (fps) and Small Size 320 (320 x 240) at 30 fps or 15fps.

Video Resolution Frames Per Seconds Approximate Movie Length
44MB Internal Memory 512MB SD-card (optional)
TV Movie 640
640 x 480
@30 fps with sound 40 sec. 7 min. 10 sec.
Small Size 320
320 x 240
@30 fps with sound 1 min. 19 sec. 14 min. 10 sec.
Small Size 320
320 x 240
@15 fps with sound 2 min. 36 sec. 25 min.

Play, Edit, and Print Functions

Copy: You can internally copy images between the camera's internal memory and an inserted SD-card.

Image Review: When this function is activated, pictures that are taken are automatically briefly displayed immediately after being shot.

Slide Show Playback: View pictures in the internal memory or on the memory card in an automatic slide show with about three seconds between pictures. Maximum slide show duration is 30 minutes without operation.

Thumbnail Playback: During playback, you can view multiple thumbnail images (9, 16, or 25) at a time. While these "contact sheets" are displayed, you can use the multi-selector to highlight individual pictures. Highlighted pictures can be deleted, if desired.

Calendar Display: You can select images to view based on the day the were taken. Days containing pictures will have a yellow line under them when viewing the dates (1-31) listed on the calendar.

Playback Zoom: During playback, you can enlarge a still image up to 10x. Once the image is zoomed, you can use the multi-selector to scroll around to non-visible portions of the image. You can record a new picture of the cropped image by pressing the shutter button.

Image Rotation: This feature allows you to rotation allows you to rotate an image 90-degrees clockwise or counterclockwise.

Editing Picture: You can use the Coolpix L100 to edit recorded pictures in-camera and store them as separate files. You can choose from the following editing functions.

  • D-Lighting: D-Lighting can be used to brighten dark or backlit subjects. While playing back an image, you can select the D-Lighting function, apply it, and save the corrected image without harming the properly exposed areas of the image.
  • In-Camera Cropping: This feature allows you to crop out the part of the image you don't want and keep the part you do.
  • Resizing Pictures (Small Picture): You can create a small copy of a recorded image. The copy will be stored as a JPEG file with a compression ratio of 1:16. You can choose from the following sizes: 640 x 480 (suited to television playback), 320 x 240 (suited to display on web pages), or 160 x 120 (suitable for email attachments).

Protect: The camera allows you to protect selected pictures from accidental deletion.

Multi-Language Menu: You can choose from 24 different menu display languages including English, Spanish or French.

Printing Pictures: You can print pictures stored in the internal memory or on the memory card by using the Print Set option in the playback menu. Using DPOF (Digital Print Order Form), you can designate which images to print, and how many copies to print. Pictures can be printed as followed:

  • Printer or Photo Lab: insert the memory card into a printer, or take the memory card to a digital photo lab (images stored in the internal memory need to be transferred to a memory card prior to printing).
  • PictBridge-compatible Printer: connect the camera to a PictBridge-compatible printer via USB cable
  • Transferring to Computer: transfer the images to a computer before printing them via USB

Battery Information

Power Requirements: The Coolpix L100 is powered by the four supplied "AA" alkaline batteries. The supplied alkaline batteries will last up to approximately 350 shots. The L100 is also compatible with Lithium batteries (4 "AA", sold separately). Four "AA" lithium batteries provide up to 900 shots. For longer periods of use, it is recommended to power the camera using the optional AC adapter (EH-67, sold separately).

Note: Rechargeable "AA" batteries can be used with the camera, but the camera's battery meter may not work properly. There is a firmware upgrade available through Nikon to fix this issue.

Auto Off: When the camera is operated on battery power, the Auto Off mode will automatically turn off the monitor to reduce the drain on the batteries if no operations are performed for the length of time specified in the Auto Off menu. The time limit for the Auto Off mode can be set to 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 30 minutes.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

USB/Audio-Video Output: The Coolpix L100 features a single proprietary jack on the bottom of the camera for connecting the supplied USB or A/V cable. This one output allows you to download your photos to your computer or printer via USB, or view your photos on a TV via composite video and mono audio RCA. The USB interface is USB 2.0 Full Speed compatible (equivalent to USB 1.1). The video output is NTSC or PAL compatible.

Supplied Software

Software Suite CD-ROM: The supplied Software Suite CD-ROM contains Nikon Transfer, Panorama Maker and related software. Nikon Transfer is used to copy (transfer) pictures from the camera to the computer and to perform such other transfer-related functions as making backups and embedding information in pictures as they are transferred. Panorama Maker is used for creating panorama images from the camera's recorded still images.

System Requirements: The supplied software will work with Windows and Macintosh. You computer will need to meet the following system requirements.

Windows Macintosh
CPU: Intel Celeron, Pentium 4, or Intel Core series processor with a clock speed of 1 GHz or faster recommended CPU: PowerPC G4 or G5 model or Intel Core or Intel Xeon (Universal Binary) model
OS: Pre-Installed versions of Windows Vista Service Pack 1(32-bit Home Basic/Home Premium/Business/Enterprise/Ultimate editions), Windows XP Service Pack 3 (Home Edition/Professional), OS: MAC OS X version 10.3.9, 10.4.11, 10.5.5
RAM: 512 MB or more with a minimum of 128 MB free (Windows Vista); 256 MB or more with a minimum of 128 MB free (Windows XP) RAM: 256 MB or more with a minimum of 128 MB free
Hard-Disk Space: A minimum of 1 GB free hard disk space required when Software Suite applications are running (60 MB required for installation)
 
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Nikon Coolpix L100 Reviews

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

Great camera, with a few reservations...

Written By Larz, Cleveland, TN on Monday, November 02, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I moved up from a 6MP Canon A540. I liked the Canon, though I wanted something with more optical zoom. The Nikon is AWESOME for that...combining the 10MP resolution with 15x zoom and 4x digital zoom, I can zero in on objects VERY far away!

The only thing I've noticed having trouble with is lower-light situations, though I admit I'm still learning the camera's capabilities. In AUTO mode, low-light shooting often results in blurry pix. Even with the focus assist beam, the camera just doesn't take well to dimmer settings. I'd love to have a manual-focus override for those situations.

On the other hand, I just tried out the "High ISO" setting last night. While it reduces resolution to 3MP, the results are AMAZING. I took several nighttime, dimly-lit shots without the flash using the High ISO setting, and the pix came out sharp, clear and strangely well-lit, almost like overcast-daylight.

This is probably the biggest issue with me...under bright lighting conditions, the Nikon is excellent. But in dimmer situations, you have to really evaluate the environment and quickly choose one of many camera settings to get the best pix. Although I like to be the "professional photographer", sometimes I'd like the AUTO mode to be a little more capable in a wider range of light settings so that I can just aim & shoot.
16 out of 16 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Great camera

Written By Sharon W, Easton, PA on Monday, August 10, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great camera, zoom is great, many settings, easy and fast to get used to.
Great 3" LCD screen. Only downfall is you cannot use rechargeable
batteries. I may not have bought this camera if I had realized that. But I
still love this camera. Very lightweight also.
63 out of 72 people found this helpful
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