A few months ago, it was pointed out to me that I have handed out more "Recommended" awards than any of the other section editors on TrustedReviews. As I explained at the time, the reason for this is simply that there are very few genuinely bad digital cameras around these days. Looking back through the past couple of months' worth of reviews, I find that since the start of October I've only given two cameras overall scores of less than 5/10, but I stand by those scores. There are a lot of very good cameras available at the moment. Unfortunately however, the new Nikon CoolPix L14 isn't one of them, and should go some way towards lowering my score average.
I've reviewed a number of models from Nikon's budget-priced L-series, and I've found them to a mixed bunch. Some, such as the L11 are great little cameras, a bit short on features but terrific value for money. Others, such as the L5 were something of a disappointment, with poor design, sluggish performance and lousy image quality. Nikon is capable of producing some outstanding cameras, and of course its SLRs are legendary, but it does seem to be having some problems with its cheaper compact cameras lately.
The CoolPix L14 is one of those cheaper ones, although not quite the cheapest. It currently retails at just under £100, which is slightly more than the 6-megapixel L11 to which it bears a close resemblance. For your money you get a plastic-bodied 7.1 megapixel compact camera with a 38-114mm-equivalent 3x optical zoom lens and a 2.4-inch 115k pixel LCD monitor. It is available in silver or the admittedly fairly attractive dark blue of my review model. Like the L11 it has an incredibly basic specification, which might make it easy to use for the technologically illiterate, but is massively frustrating for anyone who might actually want to take a decent photo once in a while.