Nikon L120

Nikon Coolpix L120 front
  • 14MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Display
  • ISO 80 - 6400
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • 25-525mm (F3.1-5.8) lens
  • 431g - 110 x 77 x 78mm
  • Revealed February 2011
  • Superseded the Nikon L110
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Nikon L120 summary

Nikon L120 is Nikon's Small Sensor Superzoom camera first released on February of 2011. It features a 14 MegaPixel, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4320 x 3240.

Nikon brought out this camera in an effort to update the earlier Nikon L110 (Read Full Comparison)

The L120 places at #185 out of 244 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and overall #849 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. You should use our Advanced camera filter to find camera results based on your personalized requirements.

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Below is a chart of various factors used in the rating system.

Nikon L120 family

The Nikon L120 comes with a history of related digital cameras. Below, you can discover all previous and brand new models as well as important specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Nikon-Coolpix-L840 front thumbnailNikon L840
L120 vs L840
Nikon-Coolpix-L830 front thumbnailNikon L830
L120 vs L830
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Nikon-Coolpix-L28 front thumbnailNikon L28
L120 vs L28
Nikon-Coolpix-L820 front thumbnailNikon L820
L120 vs L820
Nikon-Coolpix-L610 front thumbnailNikon L610
L120 vs L610
Nikon-Coolpix-L26 front thumbnailNikon L26
L120 vs L26
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Nikon-Coolpix-L810 front thumbnailNikon L810
L120 vs L810
Nikon-Coolpix-L120 front thumbnailNikon L12025-525mm
Nikon-Coolpix-L24 front thumbnailNikon L24
L120 vs L24
Nikon-Coolpix-L110 front thumbnailNikon L110
L120 vs L110
Nikon-Coolpix-L21 front thumbnailNikon L21
L120 vs L21
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Nikon-Coolpix-L22 front thumbnailNikon L22
L120 vs L22
Nikon-Coolpix-L100 front thumbnailNikon L100
L120 vs L100
Nikon-Coolpix-L20 front thumbnailNikon L20
L120 vs L20

Nikon L120 Pros and Cons

Below is a collection of upsides and downsides of the Nikon L120 based on things that are normally considered necessary in a camera.

above average minimum ISO (80)
comes with face detection focusing
comes with tracking autofocus
great reach (525mm)
has built in flash
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
includes HDMI socket
incredible zoom range (25-525mm 21.0 x zoom)
nice clear screen (921 k dots)
quite wide (25mm)
resolution is good (14MP)
screen is a good size (3")
can't change lens (fixed lens mount)
can't use external flash
display is not selfie friendly
does not have phase detect AF
does not have RAW files
lack of aperture priority mode
lack of manual focus
low video resolution (1280 x 720 pxls)
manual exposure not available
max zoom aperture not good (f5.8)
missing external microphone socket
missing headphone socket
missing Timelapse recording
no moving screen
no shutter priority mode
slow max aperture (f3.1)
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
very slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames per second)
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Nikon L120 Sensor details

The Nikon L120 is run by the Expeed C2 processor chip. The sensor dimension in the Nikon L120 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to capture 4320 x 3240 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). In body stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization as the latter may cause cropping.

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The CCD sensor boasts 14MP and includes a native ISO range of 80 - 6400. Sadly, RAW format is not supported which means that the user has less margin for error.

The picture below illustrates the L120's sensor dimensions when compared to other common sizes. The L120 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is outlined in green.

Nikon Coolpix L120 sensor size Photography Glossary

To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon L120 dimensions

Nikon L120 weighs around 0.95 lb (431 gr or 15.20 oz) and the measurement of the camera is 110mm x 77mm x 78mm (4.3" x 3.0" x 3.1"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387 gr so the Nikon L120 is heavier when compared to other competitors.

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Below is a visual of the Nikon L120 with a soda so you can have a sense of its scale.

Nikon Coolpix L120 dimensions scale

The top view below will show the button arrangement on the L120.

Nikon Coolpix L120 topview buttons dials

Nikon L120 Lens specs

The L120 includes a built-in lens featuring a focal range of 25-525mm making it a 21.0 x zoom which is very good and would enable you to zoom right in.

At the widest 25mm, the lens provides an aperture of f3.1 and that is kind of slow and not very good in low light conditions and you will likely find it difficult to capture good bokeh. You will probably also need to boost the ISO giving you noisy pictures. With the tele end, 525mm is great zoom and comes to f5.8 which is pretty slow and you will need to use slow shutter speeds.

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Nikon L120 Connectivity

The L120 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that come with NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility can easily be used wirelessly via smartphones. You can easily send pictures and sometimes change settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

Many applications even enable a Liveview and hit the shutter in case you are not near the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI out, it could be hooked up to an external monitor. The majority of cameras will allow you to recharge the battery pack using the USB socket.

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Nikon L120 Video specs

The max video resolution in the Nikon L120 is 1280 x 720 and it can shoot in Motion JPEG format. 720p is awful by today's requirements. You should really shoot for a minimum FUll HD resolution for good video. The camera does not have a mic and / or headphone socket which means you have got little control over your sound. It is perhaps a better idea to take a look at an alternative camera in case you require better sound in your video clips.

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Nikon L120 Weather Sealing

Nikon L120 does not include environment sealing so wet conditions could affect the camera.

Nikon L120 Display and Viewfinder

The Nikon L120 features a 3" fixed display screen supporting a resolution of 921k dots.

Sadly the display screen is not a touch screen.

Nikon Coolpix L120 screen and viewfinder Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards

The View Finder specs regarding Nikon L120 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders are quite handy during bright outdoor situations which can easily make the camera display washed out and difficult to view.

Nikon L120 Shutter specs

Nikon L120 continuous shooting speed is 1.0 frames per second. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

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Nikon L120 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Nikon L120 has got only built-in flash without external flash support.

Nikon L120 Autofocusing specs

Nikon L120 has got just Contrast Based Auto Focus and doesn't have Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot snappier and precise when compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera features Face detect which is handy for portrait photography.

It features 9 focus points to select from. It also features Tracking Auto Focus for moving objects. Nikon L120 doesn't have manual focusing. Manual focusing ability is useful during low light scenarios or you want more precise control on focusing.

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Nikon L120 Battery life

The battery pack (4 x AA) for the Nikon L120 is made to last for 330 shots as per the CIPA benchmarks making it about the same as its rivals. The usual Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR offers the maximum (600) battery life within this range of cameras.

Below is a listing of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras with the strongest battery life:

Nikon L120 for various forms of photography

The following illustration indicates a summary of the Nikon L120 for various forms of photography. To learn more, scroll to the specific paragraph below.

Nikon L120 Portrait photography information

The Nikon L120 has a score of 33 which is horrible, meaning that it is not acceptable to use for portrait photos. Shooting portraits leans heavily to sensor dimensions, RAW support & ability to utilize external flash.

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resolution is good (14 megapixels)
supports face detect focusing
lack of manual focus
manual mode not possible
cannot use external flash
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format

Nikon L120 Street photography advice

Coming in at a modest points total of 48, the Nikon L120 is reasonably suitable to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera provides a fine balance of image quality and portability.

Photography Glossary
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
no articulating screen
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
does not have RAW support

Nikon L120 Sports photography advice

A horrible sports photography points tally of 43 indicates the Nikon L120 is not acceptable for photographing sports. A camera should have very good autofocus and shutter speeds for sports photography.

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amazing zoom range (25-525mm 21.0 x zoom)
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
resolution is good (14MP)
has tracking autofocus
max frames per second low (1.0 frames per second)
no shutter priority mode
small sensor size (1/2.3")
lacks phase detect autofocus

Travel photography with Nikon L120

Size is really important in choosing a travel camera. In general, the Nikon L120 gets a reasonable 60 for a travel camera which makes it somewhat suitable to purchase for your vacations.

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MP count good (14 megapixels)
flash built-in
fairly wide (25mm)
very long zoom (525mm)
does not have Time Lapse mode
display isn't selfie friendly
sluggish max aperture (f3.1)

Nikon L120 as a Landscape photography camera

When you're looking to choose a camera for landscape pictures, the most significant aspect will no doubt be image quality. The Nikon L120 at it's horrible grade of 40 for a landscape camera is not acceptable among it's rivals.

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relatively wide (25mm)
screen size is good (3 inch)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
megapixel count good (14 megapixels)
lack of manual focus
cannot switch lens (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow maximum aperture (f3.1)
manual exposure not available
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
no RAW files
doesn't have Timelapse recording

Nikon L120 Vlogging advice

A vlogging camera ought to have a moving display, mic port and if possible image stabilization. Taking all things into account, the Nikon L120 is not acceptable as a vlog camera as it receives a horrible rating of 27.

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rather wide (25mm)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
supports face detect focus
sluggish max aperture (f3.1)
does not feature selfie friendly screen
video quality not great (1280 x 720 pxls)
no microphone port

Nikon L120 Alternatives

If you are in the market for replacements to the L120, here is a list of the top ranked cameras that fall into the family of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The chart here offers you an overview of the L120 versus it's highest ranked competitors listed above.

There are more cameras you may view as alternatives. To go through a full comparison, visit the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Nikon Coolpix L120
Small Sensor Superzoom
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Expeed C2
Sensor size
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
14 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Max resolution
4320 x 3240
RAW photos
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Total focus points
Lens mount type
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
25-525mm (21.0x)
Max aperture
Macro focusing distance
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Fixed Type
Display diagonal
Display resolution
921k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Display tech
TFT LCD with Anti-reflection coating
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Min shutter speed
4 seconds
Max shutter speed
1/4000 seconds
Continuous shutter rate
1.0 frames per sec
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
6.00 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720p (30fps), 640 x 480 (30fps)
Max video resolution
Video format
Motion JPEG
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
431 grams (0.95 pounds)
110 x 77 x 78mm (4.3" x 3.0" x 3.1")
Battery life
330 photographs
Battery type
Battery ID
4 x AA
Self timer
Yes (10 or 2 sec)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
Card slots
Retail cost