Compact snappers looking to zoom in on distant subjects have been given a wallet-friendly helping hand from Nikon with the launch of its new COOLPIX L610 superzoom digital camera. It features a 14x zoom lens that runs from the wide-angle 25-mm right up to the 350-mm telephoto end (35-mm film equivalent), a low-light-friendly 16 megapixel sensor and is capable of full HD movie recording with one touch activation.

Although the L610 comes with a built-in flash, the combination of a 16-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and ISO 125-3200 sensitivity offer the promise of flash free, low light image detail. The compact will allow snappers to get as close as 0.4 inches (10 mm) away from a subject in wide-angle macro mode and it benefits from lens-shift vibration reduction to minimize the effects of an unsteady hand.

The new addition to the COOLPIX L-Series also features a 14x optical zoom NIKKOR ED glass lens made up of 11 elements in 10 groups, with a focal length of 4.5 to 63 mm. That doesn't quite reach as far into the distance as the recently-announced Fuji F800EXR, but the L610 is markedly cheaper.

Nikon has included 19 scene modes (including Easy Panorama, Pet Portrait and Museum) to help users get the best shots without having to dabble deep into camera settings. Capturing action shots is helped by tracking autofocus and four shot continuous shooting at full resolution and at about 1.9 frames per second. Power is provided by two AA-sized batteries, with Alkaline varieties (supplied) reported to give 120 shots before a user will need to head to the nearest store for replacements, or 470 shots from Lithium batteries.

The L610 is capable of recording full 1080p HD movies at 30 frames per second to MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format with stereo audio, and there's a mini-HDMI out for displaying content on a big screen TV or monitor. Footage (and photos) can also be viewed on the 3-inch, 460,000-dot LCD display to the rear, which has an anti-reflection coating and five levels of brightness.

The COOLPIX L610 will be available from September for a suggested retail price of US$249.95 in various colors, including red, black and silver.

Source: Nikon