Nikon L620 Digital Camera Review

The Nikon L620 digital camera is about three years old now, but there are still quite a few of them being sold. Now that I have owned my camera for several months I will share my thoughts about the pros and cons that I have found with the Nikon L620 camera.

The Pros And Basic Features

waterdrop flower top
Click to zoom in.

The Nikon L620 comes in two colors, red and black. I purchased the black L620 used from eBay, and even though the camera was previously owned, it still holds up well and has very little signs of wear and damage. The only problem I have come across so far is the delete button is a bit worn down, so I suppose the owner before me hated most of their pictures and would regularly go on angry deleting sprees and eventually jammed the button in a bit. The L620 comes with a comfortable grip on the right-hand side, has a nice 14x built-in Nikkor zoom glass lens, and an 18.1 MP CMOS sensor.

The back display is a high-resolution 3 inch screen, and it can record in 1080P at 30 frames per second. I was a bit bummed about this, but I’ll talk about that more in the Cons section of this review. There is no touchscreen and the display can’t rotate, but I personally don’t mind.

swan 2
Click to zoom in.

The Nikon L620 also has a built-in Flash that you can easily pop-up out of the top of the camera, and it runs on two standard AA batteries. However, I decided to purchase a four pack of rechargeable batteries so that I could easily swap them in and out to take more pictures, then charge them back up when I was done. If you want to use the camera for recording, you will only get about 30 minutes of record time before the AA batteries run dry (even when I used higher quality AA batteries).

If you buy the camera brand new, I believe it comes with batteries and a wrist strap in the box set. All of the buttons and functions on the camera are extremely easy to use and if you spend about five to ten minutes reading the manual or fiddling around with the camera, you should be able to learn how to use it without any problems.

Click to zoom in.

The Nikon L620 has a variety of features to choose from and allows you to take gorgeous photographs, however it is a Point And Shoot camera, so you should keep that in mind that it also has its limitations. If you are doing basic family photographs, outdoor photography, and simple nature photography, this camera is great and you will be able to take high quality pictures to remember the moment. The zoom isn’t perfect, but it can zoom in enough to get some great macro shots or pictures of nature.

macro bee Summer 3 2016
Click to zoom in.

If you want a portrait with some nice bokeh in the background, the camera will be able to capture the image you have in mind, but only if you spend a bit of time learning the limitations of the camera and how it works. I found this camera works best when you have a bit of distance between yourself and the target you are trying to focus on. As for night photography, it does a decent job as long as you have an adequate light source, and the auto settings will try its best to lighten the image so that you can get a clear shot.

If you need a camera to take pictures while on vacation and you need face detection and image stabilization so that all of your best memories are perfectly captured, this camera will be perfect for you. If you take a look on my photography art page you can see some of the pictures I took with this camera, or you can just check out the video I linked down below and the images on the left side.

Additionally, the camera has a 10 second self timer, high-speed continuous shooting that is capable of taking 6 shots at 10 frames per second, as well as a variety of options and modes to change the settings. The Nikon L620 camera has five preset “Scene” mode options for you to choose from to adjust the basic camera functions, such as:
1. Easy Auto Mode: This mode does everything for you and you have little to no control over how it functions. The camera will automatically chooses the best settings based on what it sees around you and will adjust the settings accordingly.
2. Multi-Scene Mode: This mode doesn’t actually have a name, but it allows you to choose from about 18 additional mode settings, ranging from portraits, to sport photography, night photography, landscapes, Macro and more.
3. Color Selection Mode: This mode has a few options to change the color options, such as High key mode, High contrast Monochrome, and the Color Selection option so that only one specific color stands out in the picture.
4. Smart Portrait: This mode is to take portraits of people (or yourself), and has options to take several shots at once to take the best possible picture to avoid blinking, red-eye and blur, while also adding in skin softening features to make the subject look their best.
5. Auto Mode: The name for this one makes it sound similar to the first option, but this is the mode I use the most. It gives the most options and allows you to have the most control over how the camera functions, while still keeping things simple to automate some of the more complex settings.

Nikon L620 Cons

failed macro shot
Click to zoom in.

The first con I am going to address is the most obvious, since we just got done talking about the modes and features. The Nikon L620 doesn’t have a Full manual mode. It is a Point And Shoot camera, and this is where most of the Cons start to show.
If you watched the above video you probably noticed how it has trouble focusing on certain objects as it zooms in and gets closer. The focus is a huge problem since you have little to no control over how it works. Since this is a Point And Shoot camera, the Nikon L620 will constantly try to focus on what it thinks you want to see and not what you are actually aiming at, causing some failed pictures that came out really horrible. Another problem is that there is no view finder, so it is sometimes difficult tracking your target to get a clear shot because it is really easy to lose its location.

Butterfly in motion
Click to zoom in.

Capturing moving objects has similar problems since you have no control over shutter speeds, ISO settings, or the Aperture, so you may run into problems if you try to venture outside of the camera’s limits to take more ambitious photographs.
Take a look at a few of the images on the left. One was supposed to be of a macro shot of flowers, another was a butterfly in motion, and the last was supposed to be a water droplet on the tip of a leaf.

failed zoom
Click to zoom in.
Click to zoom in.

I eventually got the shot of the water drop, but I had to back up quite a bit to get a clear focused shot. It came out great, but it also wasn’t exactly the effect I was looking for. The Nikon L620 is also quite slow when it tries to focus on an object, taking several seconds for it to come into focus, so capturing wildlife is a pain because they often times don’t stand still long enough to allow you to get a clear shot and focus in on your subject.

The camera also takes about three seconds to boot up, which isn’t terribly long, but if you want that shot of the deer crossing the path in front of you, chances are you’ll miss it by the time the camera starts up and focuses.

The other thing that I was a bit bummed about was that the L620 can only record in 30 FPS, and not in 1080p at 60 FPS. For normal video recording it isn’t a problem, but I would have preferred the faster and smoother frame rate. The Nikon L620 also only saves pictures in JPG file types, so you also don’t get the option to save raw images, or any other format for that matter.

The last and final problem is that you ONLY get a 10 second self timer countdown, you can’t lower it to 3 seconds, 5 seconds, or extend it to 15 seconds. I have played around with all the settings, but the self timer is set to 10 seconds. This can be quite the wait time when you want to use the camera for a self-portrait, or use the self timer to take macro shots to reduce the slight shake you get when you press the shutter button.

Without any type of manual settings you won’t be taking many professional grade photographs with this camera. However, as you can see from several of the pictures on my photography gallery page (and within this article), it isn’t completely impossible. You will need a lot of patience and ingenuity to get the perfect shot, but if you are willing to do so, the camera can take the picture you were hoping for.

Overall thoughts

The Nikon L620 is a decent entry-level Point And Shoot camera and is great depending on how you decide to use it. If you are a bit more ambitious like I am and you really want to get into photography, you do better saving up and going for an SLR or DSLR camera (even if you have to get a film camera), because they will allow you to have more control over what you can do with the camera, adjust focus, and to control all of the manual settings to get the perfect shot.

If you decide to buy a camera brand new you should really consider skipping this one for serious photography, because for the price, it would make more sense to invest into a proper DSLR camera that gives you more options. If you prefer to just take basic family pictures, face portraits, city pictures, landscapes, or pictures while on vacation, the Nikon L620 will be an amazing Point And Shoot camera to capture everyday moments.

The Nikon L620 camera is sturdy and well-built, takes great pictures, and is small and compact. Overall, I really like this camera and use it several times a week. I would rate it an 8 out of 10 in terms of Point And Shoot cameras go, but ONLY if you choose to use it as a basic camera. Please visit the official Nikon L620 webpage for further details and information about the camera.

If you have any additional questions or if something was missed in this review, feel free to ask in the comments section for further information.

  • Specs At a Glance:
    14x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens: 4.5 – 63 mm – f/3.3-5.9
    Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 25 – 350mm
    Lens-shift VR image stabilization
    18.1 megapixel CMOS image sensor
    high resolution 3.0-inch display
    Full HD (1080p at 30 FPS) video in stereo
    Weight: 8.4 ounce
    Has Image Stabilization
    Image Storage JPEG 4896 x 3672
    Max Video Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    HDMI port
    auto Exposure and White Balance
    Light Sensitivity: ISO auto
    Focus Adjustment: Automatic
    built in Camera pop up flash
  • Additional Features
    Self Timer: 10 sec delay
    3″ LCD display
  • Resolution 460,000 pixels
    Microphone Operation Mode: Stereo
  • Connector Type1 x Hi-Speed USB 1 x HDMI output 1 x composite video/audio output
    Supported Memory Cards: SD Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card
  • Battery Type: 2x AA alkaline battery ( included ) 2 x AA lithium battery ( optional ) 2 x AA NiMH rechargeable battery ( optional )
  • Battery Life Details: Photo shooting – 150 shots ( alkaline batteries ) Photo shooting – 660 shots ( lithium batteries ) Photo shooting – 410 shots ( NiMH batteries ) Video recording – 0.17 hours ( alkaline batteries ) Video recording – 1.4 hours ( lithium batteries ) Video recording – 0.9 hours ( NiMH batteries )

(Based on Camera specs chart)

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