updated 10:50 am EST, Tue February 3, 2009
Nikon L19 and L20 Cameras
Among other debuts announced on Monday, Nikon has introduced a pair of entry-level cameras into its COOLPIX L series with the 10-megapixel L20 and 8-megapixel L19. The cameras are designed to be simpler to use and sport an Easy Auto Mode that takes virtually all the guesswork out of finding a specific shooting mode for a particular scene.
Both also have a Smart Portrait System setting that fixes most instances of red eye, has a face-priority auto focus that can recognize up to 12 faces in a single shot and a smile mode that will release the shutter when a subject smiles. A Blink Warning displays a message when the software believes the subject momentarily shut her eyes. A D-Lighting effect will bump up brightness in dark or detail-lacking photos.
The two cameras have the same 3.6x optical zoom and a five color options allowing users to add special effects. Light sensitivity can be set as high as ISO 1,600 for either shooter. There is a Motion Detection algorithm that will automatically bump up ISO speeds and shutter speeds when it detects fast movement in an attempt to produce blur-free images. Apart from the megapixel count and the available colors, the only other difference between the L20 and L19 is the LCD screen size, with the former getting a 3-inch screen, the latter a 2.7-inch.
The cameras can shoot video at up to 640x480 resolutions and have 20MB of built-in memory, with an SD memory card expanding storage. Power comes from two AA batteries.
The new COOLPIX L20 is only available in a dark red, while the L19 can be had in bright silver, pink or black. They will be available later in February, priced respectively at $130 and $110.