Despite its very simple design, the L830 still manages to have its good and bad points. On the plus side, the monitor screen is a healthy 2.5-inch 230k type with a fast refresh speed and a very wide angle of view, and features automatic brightness control for use in bright sunlight. Unfortunately we haven’t had any of that for a while, so I’ll have to take their word for it. Less favourably, the slippery brushed-metal finish, the slightly bevelled shape of the the front panel and the relatively small thumb grip area on the back make the camera quite difficult to hold securely, and I was glad of the wrist strap with out shooting with it. I’m not terribly keen on the controls either.
The L830 has three separate menu systems. The main one is mostly populated by camera setup functions but also including controls for sharpness, contrast and focus area. There is also a Function button which activates a row of on-screen icons for common adjustments used when shooting, such as picture size and quality, metering mode (spot or multi-zone), drive mode, ISO, white balance and exposure compensation. As well as these there is another “E” menu which offers different choices depending on the shooting mode, but includes a wide range of colour adjustments, saturation adjustment and a “Fun” setting with composite image, superimposed frames and highlights. If this wasn’t already far too complicated, the buttons giving access to these menus are metallic silver with a slight swirled texture, which makes the inset silver lettering almost impossible to read. Seriously, look at the picture above and see if you can spot the playback button.
One feature of the L830 not often found on budget-priced cameras is optional manual exposure. Shutter speeds from eight seconds to 1/1500th of a second are available, as well as minimum (F/3 – f/5.6) or maximum (f/7.7 – f/14.1) aperture. While this isn’t exactly a professional level of control, it does at least offer some opportunity for creative photography. As well as this the L830 offers nine scene program modes, portrait and night portrait modes, and the already-mentioned movie mode.
There are a number of features in playback mode, including colour balance, saturation, contrast and brightness adjustment, automatic red-eye fix, an unusual colour masking feature and, bizarrely, the option to add more noise to the picture, although why you’d want to do that is not explained.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.