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Nikon Coolpix L820

16-megapixel digital camera with 30X optical zoom (Black)

8 Reviews

Item # 054L820K

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Our take on the Nikon Coolpix L820

If you're looking for a high-zoom camera but don't want to overcomplicate things with controls you'll never use, then the Nikon Coolpix L820 is a great option. With powerful 30X optical zoom and easy automatic functions, your photos will be clear and detailed, even when zoomed in close on faraway subjects. And when you need to pull back for large group shots or landscapes, the L820's wide-angle lens makes it simple to fit plenty into the frame.

Big-time zoom on a straightforward camera

If you're looking for a high-zoom camera but don't want to overcomplicate things with controls you'll never use, then the Nikon Coolpix L820 is a great option. With powerful 30X optical zoom and easy automatic functions, your photos will be clear and detailed, even when zoomed in close on faraway subjects. And when you need to pull back for large group shots or landscapes, the L820's wide-angle lens makes it simple to fit plenty into the frame.

Stellar in low light

The best photo opportunities don't always happen under perfectly lit conditions. So the L820 features a backlit CMOS sensor, designed for capturing detailed images that don't look grainy when the lighting is less than perfect. Outdoors as the sun sets or indoors by candlelight, your shots will retain the rich color and beauty that you get from more ideal shooting conditions.

HD video and more

Just because it's not complex doesn't mean the L820 doesn't have lots of great features. Shoot gorgeous 1080p HD video and view the results on the high-resolution LCD display. You can also fire off a quick burst of shots at speeds up to 8 frames per second to freeze fast action. Creative editing features are easy to apply to photos onboard the camera, perfect for retouching portraits or adding cool effects like Selective Color for highlighting one object in a photo.


    • 16-megapixel effective recording CMOS sensor
    • 30X optical zoom (up to 4X digital zoom)
    • 3" high-resolution LCD screen (921,000 dots)
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards
    • 35mm equivalent focal length: 22.5-675mm
    Special Features:
    • wide-angle lens for shooting landscapes and large groups
    • optical image stabilization with vibration reduction for blur-free photos
    • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
    • adjustable-brightness high-resolution display gives you a bright, clear view of photos and video
    • Smart Portrait system with face priority auto focus, skin softening, and blink warning for better portraits
    • continuous shooting captures up to 6 shots at 8 frames per second at full resolution
    • Motion Detection automatically recognizes fast-moving subjects and adjusts shutter speed and sensitivity
    • Easy Auto mode automatically adjusts the cameras settings based on shooting conditions
    • creative effects like Selective Color, Miniature, and Skin Softening for in-camera image editing
    • built-in flash
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • micro HDMI output for connection to an HDTV (cable not included)
    • USB interface
    • A/V output
    • 4-3/8"W x 3-1/16"H x 3-3/8"D
    • weight (with battery and media): 16.6 ounces
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Supplied Accessories:
    • 4 "AA" batteries
    • USB and A/V cables
    • neck strap
    • lens cap
    • software CD-ROM

    What's in the Box:

    • Digital camera (black)
    • LC-CP28 Lens cap with cord
    • 4 "AA" alkaline batteries
    • 2' UC-E16 USB cable with a USB Type-A connector on one end and a proprietary connector on other end
    • 4' AV cable (EG-CP16) with a composite video/stereo audio RCA connector on one end and a proprietary connector on other end
    • Neck strap
    • Nikon ViewNX2 CD-ROM
    • Reference Manual on CD-ROM
    • Quick Start Guide (Eng/Span/Fren/Port)
    • Warranty Programs sheet
    • Errata sheet

    Takes great pix! Have tried it indoors and out, battery seems to be holding up well. Have only had it for a week tho, so would feel better about updating this review later.

    S, Louisiana


    Nikon Coolpix L820 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (8 Reviews)

    Waste of Money

    Ed W from Henderson, NV on 2/10/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    In less than six months, the camera will no longer power on and the lens is stuck open. I guess I will soon find out what, If anything than Nikon will or will not do for me.

    Pros: easy to use

    Cons: premature death

    Coolpix L820

    S from Louisiana on 12/30/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Takes great pix! Have tried it indoors and out, battery seems to be holding up well. Have only had it for a week tho, so would feel better about updating this review later.

    Pros: Take great photos in all lights

    Cons: None that I've found so far

    Nikon Coolpix L820

    Carol C from Thornton, CO on 12/21/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I love this camera, easy to use and takes great pictures. My daughter does a lot of athletic competition with Special Olympics and this camera is perfect for taking those action shots and videos!

    Pros: You can go quickly from still shots to videos.

    Cons: Haven't found any yet!

    Nikon 820

    Richard H from Gainesville,Ga. on 10/23/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Camera is not easy to set up. I still have not been able to go through menu and set all elements. I am prevented from proceeding to next element. HELP!!!!!!

    Pros: Light weight, like Red Color

    Cons: NOT easy to set up.

    Great Value!!

    Anonymous from Ogdensburg, NY on 8/24/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I had been looking for a quality digital camera for a long time, but I was set back by some of the price points. I was almost ready to pull the trigger on a $500 unit when I came upon the Coolpix L820, It was exactly what I was looking for it was the right price and it was not overly complicated with features that I would never use.

    Pros: Simple to use

    Cons: None so far

    Wonderful Camera!!! Love it

    AlexM from San Francisco, CA on 6/30/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This is my first time using a quality camera and I absolutely love it. Why? This camera has wonderful features such as: selective coloring, adjusting to different light scenarios, wonderful zoom and plenty more. I have had a very pleasant time using this camera because of how simple it is to use. I didn't have much experience previous to this camera. I love the macro feature when taking close-up photos of animals. The zoom is amazing, I can take clear, crisp photos from miles away. The video recording is really great too. I move a lot while I record and the camera stabilizes the video, making it seem as if the camera was on a tripod. I have really enjoyed this camera and fully recommend that you buy it. I will be using Nikon products from now on.

    Pros: High quality photos Great Zoom Many features Simple to learn to use Great video

    Cons: None

    Love it!

    LD from New York on 6/13/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I just received my camera and while I have not had an opportunity to review all it's features I am impressed. The red color is beautiful. The zoom is great! You really can go far and get a crisp picture. This camera really ranks up there easily with the more expensive cameras. I purchased a $900 camera and honestly returned it for the ease and features of the L820. I really like all scene options ie close up, pet (hurray for us pet owners!), skin softening, snow, fireworks, night, & sports just to name a few. I took a few pics of my puppy of course using the pet scene selection and wow! the quiet from the camera that he didn't even notice I was taking the picture!! I also tried the sports mode and was able to take the shots with no problem, no blur at all. It takes multiple shots and you can pick from the best one. The quality and sharpness of the pictures is great and mind you this was all on auto settings. If you are move savy you can use the manual setting and I'm sure get some real fantastic looking shots in. Again, I have only used it for one day but I am thrilled and look forward to taking many more pictures and 1080P movies!

    Pros: great zoom, crisp vibrant pictures, excellent video quality, great shutter speed, very good low light, good stabilization, motion detection, continuous shooting, not heavy, nice to have some internal memory, over all excellent quality pictures and video.

    Cons: rechargeable batteries would of been nice.

    Nikon Coolpix L820

    GordonH from Los Angeles, CA on 5/23/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The Nikon Coolpix L820 is a small dream, packed with above average features for the average user who likes the convenience of a smart phone camera but yearns to have more creative control and a great zoom advantage. I anticipate it may qualify for 5 stars in time as I try out all the features. It appears as good of a camera twice its cost for 90+ % of my needs.

    Pros: I bought this as an open box, everything was there in good order, a bargain and I put the savings into an extended warranty. Picture quality is good-to-excellent for my mid level photo abilities.

    Cons: Its a bit heavy for my inexpensive table top tripod and for holding for long periods, compared to less expensive cameras. This is partly to do with having to hold 4 alkaline batteries.


    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    LCD Screen Size 3"
    Adjustable-angle LCD No
    Wi-Fi No
    Touchscreen No
    Waterproof No
    GPS-enabled No
    Lens 35mm Equivalent 22.5-675mm
    Optical Zoom 30x
    Digital Zoom 4x
    Filter Diameter N/A
    Manual Focusing No
    Manual Exposure No
    Built-in Flash Yes
    HDMI Output Micro
    Internal Memory 65 MB
    Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Sensor Size 1/2.3" CMOS
    Megapixels 16
    Image Stabilization Optical + Digital
    Highest Resolution 4608 x 3456
    4K Video No
    Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
    Width (inches) 4-3/8
    Height (inches) 3-1/16
    Depth (inches) 3-3/8
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 16.6
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

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

    Recording Features

    LCD Monitor: The Nikon Coolpix L820 has a 3" TFT LCD monitor featuring approximately 921,000 pixels, an anti-reflection coating, and a five-level brightness adjustment. The LCD monitor's wide-angle viewing area makes it easy to see and use. The LCD monitor has approximately 97% horizontal and vertical coverage in the shooting mode and 100% coverage in playback mode. There is no separate viewfinder on the camera.

    Image Sensor: The Coolpix L820 features a 1/2.3" CMOS image sensor with a total pixel count of approximately 16.79-million pixels. The effective pixel count is 16.1-million.

    Optics: The Coolpix L820 digital camera uses a Nikkor glass zoom lens for superb image quality. Every aspect of the lens manufacturing process is controlled by Nikon. The Nikkor lens is designed for the specific camera and image sensor combination. The Coolpix L820 uses a 30x optical zoom, that is equivalent to a 22.5-675mm lens in 35mm photography. Coupled with the 4x digital zoom, the camera's total zoom capability is 120x. The angle of view is equivalent to that of approximately 2700mm lens (35mm format).

    Vibration Reduction (VR) Image Stabilization: The Coolpix L820's Vibration Reduction (VR) Stabilization System effectively corrects blur that commonly occurs when shooting at slow shutter speeds or when zoomed in. The camera utilizes a combination of lens-shift and electronic vibration reduction technology to reduce the effect of camera shake when recording still images. The camera uses the lens-shift method during movie recording.

    Built-in Memory: The camera has a built-in 65 MB internal memory for storing still images and movies with sound. Images will be saved to the internal memory when no memory card is inserted.

    Recording Media: In addition to the built-in memory, images can be recorded onto SD, SDHC, or SDXC Memory cards. When an SD Memory card is inserted in the camera, the images are automatically recorded onto the card. The camera can support SD cards up to 2 GB, SDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB, and SDXC cards of 64 GB or 128 GB. Memory cards with a Speed Class rating of 6 or faster are recommended for recording movies.

    Image Sizes: The Coolpix L820 records still images in JPEG format, as well as High Definition and Standard Definition movies in MOV format (Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264; Audio: LPCM stereo). You have a choice of seven still image size options and two movie options:

    • Still Images:
      • 16M: 4608 x 3456 High Quality 1:4 compression ratio
      • 16M: 4608 x 3456 Standard Quality 1:8 compression ratio
      • 8M: 3264 x 2448
      • 4M: 2272 x 1704
      • 2M: 1600 x 1200
      • VGA: 640 x 480
      • 16:9 12M: 4608 x 2592
    • Movies (Frame Rate 30 fps):
      • HD1080p: 1920 x 1080 High Quality (Bit rate: 15 Mbps)
      • HD1080p: 1920 x 1080 Standard Quality (Bit rate: 12 Mbps)
      • HD 720p: 1280 x 720--16:9 (Bit rate: 9 Mbps)
      • iFrame 540: 960 x 540 (Bit Rate: 24 Mbps)
      • VGA: 640 x 480--4:3 (Bit rate: 6 Mbps)
    • HS Movies:
      • HS 240/8x: 1/8x speed playback (record up to 10 sec; playback 80 sec)
      • HS 480/4x: 1/4x speed playback (record up to 15 sec; playback 60 sec)
      • HS 720/2x: 1/2x speed playback (record up to 30 sec; playback 1 min)
      • HS 1080/0.5x: 2x speed playback (record up to 2 min; playback 1 min)

    3D Photography: The camera can take 3D photos that are viewable on a 3D-compatible TV or monitor. Images are recorded at a size of 1920 x 1080. Recording a 3D image is a two-step process. After taking the initial picture (left eye image), a second picture (right eye image) is taken automatically by moving the camera horizontally to the right until the subject is aligned with the guide on the monitor. To play back 3D images, you will need to connect the camera to the TV via a 3D-compatible HDMI cable. Only the initial (left eye) image can be viewed in the camera's monitor.

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

    • Easy Auto Mode: The camera automatically determines an appropriate shooting mode when you frame a picture, allowing you to easily take pictures with a shooting mode that suits the scene. Easy Auto Mode scenes include: Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Close-up, Backlighting, and Other Scenes.
    • Auto Mode: A mode used for general shooting. In Auto Mode, you can apply the macro mode and exposure compensation when shooting pictures. You can choose a flash mode and activate the self-timer.
    • Scene Mode: You can manually or automatically select a scene mode with settings optimized for the shooting situation: Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Beach, Snow, Sunset, Dusk/Dawn, Night Landscape, Close Up, Food, Museum, Fireworks Show, Black & White Copy, Backlighting, Easy Panorama, Pet Portrait and 3D Photography.
    • Special Effects Mode: Effects can be applied to images when shooting. You can choose from the following special effects: High Key, Low Key, Soft, Nostalgic Sepia, High-contrast monochrome, and Selective Color.
    • Smart Portrait: Using face priority to recognize human faces, the shutter is automatically released when a smile is detected. A skin softening option can smooth the skin tones in human faces.

    Continuous Shooting: You can set the camera to take one picture at a time or multiple images by selecting one of the following options:

    • Single: The camera records one picture each time the shutter release button is pressed.
    • Continuous H: While the shutter-release button is held down, up to 6 pictures are taken at a rate of about 8 frames per second (fps) when image mode is set to 16M (4608 x 3456).
    • Continuous L: While the shutter-release button is held down, up to 38 pictures are taken at a rate of about 2.1 frames per second (fps) when image mode is set to 16M (4608 x 3456).
    • Continuous H 120 fps: Up to 50 frames are captured at a speed of about 1/120 seconds. (Image size is VGA 640 x 480)
    • Continuous H 60 fps: Up to 25 frames are captured at a speed of about 1/60 seconds. (Image size is 1M 1280 x 960)
    • 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 ten. The images are compared and the sharpest picture is saved to the internal memory or memory card.
    • Multi-Shot 16: Each time the shutter release button is pressed, the camera takes 16 consecutive "thumbnail" images at a rate of about 30 frames per second, and arranges them into a single 5M (2560 x 1920) image.

    Self-timer: The camera is equipped with a 10 second timer for self-portraits.

    Focus Area Selection: You can select between the following Focus Area Selection methods to determine where the camera focuses:

    • Face Detection: When the camera recognizes a face (front view only), the camera will focus on the face automatically. The camera can recognize up to 12 faces depending on shooting and exposure mode.
    • Center: The camera focuses on the subject in the center of the frame.

    Color Options: You can shoot still images with several color options: Standard color, Vivid color, Black-and-white, Sepia, and Cyanotype.

    Macro Mode: Macro mode is used for taking pictures of objects as close as 0.4". The flash may be unable to light entire subject at distances of less than 1 feet 8 inches.

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

    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 16' at the maximum wide-angle position and 16' at the maximum telephoto position. You can turn this function on or off, as desired.

    Blink Warning Function: The Blink Warning function is available when you are shooting in Easy Auto, Portrait, or Night Portrait mode. When the camera detects that one or more human subjects may have blinked, the blink warning screen is displayed. The subject is framed by a yellow border, allowing you to check the picture and decide whether or not to take another picture.

    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.

    ISO Settings: Sensitivity is the measure of how quickly the camera reacts to light. The higher the sensitivity, the less light needed to make an exposure. The camera features ISO settings of Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, and 3200.

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

    Built-in Flash: The Coolpix L820 has a built-in Speedlite flash with a range of 1'-8" to 19' (Wide angle) and 5' to 19' (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.

    Play, Edit and Print Functions

    Playback Menu: The following options are available in the playback mode:

    • Quick Retouch: You can compare the original photo side-by-side with one with enhanced contrast and saturation, then save the one you like best.
    • 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.
    • Skin Softening: The camera detects faces in images and creates a copy with softer facial skin tones.
    • Filter Effects: Choose from five filter effects to apply to the recorded image: soft, selective color, cross screen, miniature effect, painting, or toy camera effect.
    • Print Order: You can select images to print and the number of copies for each.
    • Slide Show: View pictures in the internal memory or on the memory card in an automatic slide show. If desired, you can loop the slideshow so it will continuously play. Maximum slide show duration is 30 minutes without operation.
    • Protect: You can select images that you want to protect from accidental deletion. Even protected images can be erased if the camera's internal memory or memory card are formatted.
    • Rotate Image: Recorded pictures can be rotated 90-degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise on the unit's LCD screen.
    • Cropping: Create a copy containing only the portion visible in the monitor.
    • 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).

    Thumbnail Playback: During playback, you can view multiple thumbnail images (4, 9, or 16) 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: This feature displays a calendar allowing you to select and view pictures taken on the same date.

    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.

    Multi-Language Menu: You can choose from 34 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 L820 is powered by four "AA" batteries. You can use alkaline (supplied) or lithium non-rechargeable batteries, or Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) rechargeables. For best performance, you should use the camera's setup menu to indicate the type of batteries being used. The approximate battery life for each type of battery is as follows:

    Battery Type Still Images Movies
    320 shots 1 hr 5 min
    Lithium 870 shots 3 hrs 25 min
    (Nikon EN-MH2)
    540 shots 1 hr 50 min

    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

    HDMI: The Coolpix L820 is equipped with a micro-HDMI (Type D) output, allowing you to connect the camera to an HDTV. An optional micro-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is required. The camera's HDMI output can be set to Auto, 480p, 720p or 1080i. In addition, the HDMI 3D Output setting allows you to view your 3D images on a 3D-capable TV.

    USB/Audio-Video Output: The camera features a single proprietary jack on the side of the camera for connecting the supplied USB cable (UC-E16) or AV cable (EG-CP16). This one output allows you to download your photos to your computer or printer via USB using the supplied USB cable, or view your photos on a TV using an optional AV cable. The USB interface is USB 2.0 Hi-Speed compatible. The video output is NTSC or PAL compatible.

    Supplied Software

    ViewNX 2 CD-ROM: The supplied CD-ROM contains the following software:

    • ViewNX 2:
      • Nikon Transfer 2: to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer
      • ViewNX 2: for viewing, editing and printing your images
      • Nikon Movie Editor: for basic editing of transferred movies
    • Panorama Maker: for creating panoramic images from the camera's recorded still images

    Compatible Operating Systems: The supplied software will work with the following operating systems:

    • Windows: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
    • Mac: OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8

    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 verify what’s in the box, 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.