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Nikon CoolPix L22 - Nikon CoolPix L22
Most budget compacts are rather light in the features department, but the L22 is poorly equipped even by that meagre standard. It has five main shooting modes, selected by pressing the green Shooting button. Even in the most advanced setting, the Program Auto mode, only image size, white balance, drive mode and a very limited range of basic colour options appear on the menu. The self timer is limited to 10 seconds only, focusing mode is either standard or macro, and while there are five flash modes those too are very simple. There are no metering or AF mode mode options, no adjustable ISO setting, no saturation, contrast or sharpness controls.
There is an even simpler Easy Auto mode, presumably for those who are confused by anything more complex than chewing, in which only image size is left under user control. As well as this there is a Scene mode with 16 fairly typical scene programs, a Smart Portrait mode with face detection and smile shutter, and the video recording mode. This too is very limited by modern standards, with just 640 x 480 resolution at 30fps and mono audio. Clips are limited to the bizarrely precise 25 minutes and eight seconds, and not too surprisingly the optical zoom cannot be operated while recording.
There are a couple of options in playback mode, including post-processing D-Lighting to improve shadow detail in high-contrast scenes, and a very basic slide-show function. The L22 has what Nikon calls “3x anti-blur”, which amounts to a combination of digital image stabilisation, a motion detector and the Best Shot Selector, which automatically selects the sharpest of ten consecutive shots. It's not as effective as a proper optical or sensor-shift image stabilisation system, but it does help.
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