Ratings in depth
Nikon Coolpix L330
Nikon Coolpix L330
Nikon Coolpix L330
Nikon Coolpix L330
Nikon Coolpix L330

Only available in black, the Nikon L330 is the latest edition to Nikon's L series, and the successor to the L320, which was released in 2013. With an effective pixel count of 20.2 million (an upgrade on the L320's 16 million pixel sensor), 26x optical zoom and 4x digital zoom, the L330 is a nice little update to the popular L series. It's also had a screen upgrade, from a 230k-dot screen to a 3 inch 460k-dot LCD screen.

It comes equipped with an impressively long zoom lens - with a 35mm equivalent of 22.5-585mm - which is claimed to be capable of focusing at a minimum distance of 1cm, perfect for macro shots. It also benefits from Nikon's high performance Vibration Reduction (VR) technology to keep images as stable and sharp as possible.

Competing with the Canon Powershot SX510 HS, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ30 (just replaced by the LZ40) and the Sony DSC H300. The Nikon has fewer features (the Powershot SX510 has GPS and Wi-Fi for example), but is also slightly lower in price.

You'll find four shooting modes on the L330 - Easy Auto, Smart Portrait, Auto Mode and Scene, which gives you the option of 18 scene modes including options such as Portrait, Landscape, Pet Mode and Sunset. Using the L330 on Smart Portrait mode offers the options of Blink Proof shooting and utilising the inbuilt Smile Timer.

Nikon Coolpix L330
720p video mode is just a button-press away

Users also have the option to shoot video with the Coolpix L330. While it doesn't offer full HD shooting, you can shoot in 720p HD, with the ability to autofocus and zoom during shooting. It's powered by 4 AA batteries, so you'll always be able to carry a spare set with you in case you run out of charge, and Nikon suggests that users should be able to get between 370-960 shots from the four AA batteries depending on the type used, based on the CIPA industry standard.

Manual adjustments are thin on the ground with the L330 - users can adjust the sensitivity and white balance and choose from five color modes (Standard Color, Vivid Color, Sepia Tone, Black and White and Cyanotype), as well as being able to change the exposure compensation and macro focusing mode, depending on which shooting mode you are using. Nikon has declined to add any other creative filters to the Coolpix L330.

There are a couple of options for editing photos in camera , for instance, you can soften skin on photos taken with Portrait Mode. It's also possible to crop and rotate images.

There is no inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity with the L330, but it is Eye-Fi compatible, meaning users can use Eye-Fi SD cards to create a Wi-Fi network for sharing images with smartphones and tablets.

Build quality and handling

You're not going to be able to fit the Coolpix L330 into your pocket - it's a bulky DSLR shape camera with a deep grip. It does, however, feel solid - the handgrip on the right hand side is nice and sturdy, and it feels like it's made from quality materials. I found the battery door to be a little fiddly to open, and it's best done when the camera is upside down as the door is the only thing holding the 4 AA batteries in, unlike those with the flatter, rectangular shaped batteries, there are no clips to keep them in place.

Overall the L330 is a chunky camera, due to the zoom lens, and it doesn't feel flimsy or cheap. Even with the batteries inserted it's not that heavy, coming in at just 430 grams, although it's obviously not as light as a more pocketable compact camera.

Nikon Coolpix L330
The lens and grip make it feel chunky

The camera comes with a strap for the lens cap, although some may prefer to keep it separate as it does have a habit of dangling in the way - when shooting towards the ground for example.

Buttons on the L330 are clear and easy to reach, even while using the camera one handed. The majority of the controls can be found on the back, along with a nice thumb rest. Users familiar with the Nikon menu system will have no trouble getting to grips with this camera, particularly as there are very few options to change, and new users shouldn't take too long to become comfortable with it either.

There is a dedicated Scene button to access the shooting modes - the rest of the options and settings can be found by pressing the Menu button. There's also an erase button, a playback button and a one-touch record button, all within fairly easy reach.

Nikon Coolpix L330
The pop-up flash is directly above the lens

If you want to use the flash for your shots you can pop it up using the button to the side, and with its location directly above the lens you're unlikely to accidentally get your fingers in the way of this one.

During testing I found the Coolpix L330 was a little slow to respond to demands, especially just after taking a photo. If you want to change settings quickly you might see "Please wait for the camera to finish recording" message more than once, which can be a bit annoying if you're trying to capture something quickly. This also became more frequent as the battery life starts to decrease due to the AA batteries the L330 uses.