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Nikon L840 vs P900

The Nikon Coolpix L840 and the Nikon Coolpix P900 are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2015 and March 2015. Both the L840 and the P900 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon L840 versus Nikon P900
Nikon L840 Nikon P900
Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
ISO 100-6,400 ISO 100-6,400 (100 - 12,800)
No viewfinder, LCD framing Electronic viewfinder (921k dots)
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 7 shutter flaps per second
590 shots per battery charge360 shots per battery charge
113 x 78 x 96 mm, 538 g 140 x 103 x 137 mm, 899 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix L840 and the Nikon Coolpix P900? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon L840 and the Nikon P900. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The L840 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the P900 is only available in black.

Size Nikon L840 vs Nikon P900
Compare L840 versus P900 top
Comparison L840 or P900 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon P900 is considerably larger (64 percent) than the Nikon L840. Moreover, the P900 is substantially heavier (67 percent) than the L840. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the L840 nor the P900 are weather-sealed.

The power pack in the P900 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon P900 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Canon SX530 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX520 4.7 in 3.2 in 3.6 in 15.6 oz 210 n Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX60 5.0 in 3.7 in 4.5 in 22.9 oz 340 n Sep 2014 549i
 
Nikon P950 5.5 in 4.3 in 5.9 in 35.5 oz 290 n Jan 2020 799 i
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon P1000 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon B700 4.9 in 3.3 in 4.2 in 19.9 oz 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon B500 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Sony HX80 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H400 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.8 in 22.2 oz 300 n Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The L840 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 50 percent) than the P900, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.

Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon L840 and Nikon P900 sensor measures

The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the L840 and the P900 have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. Moreover, the two cameras were released in close succession, so that their sensors are from the same technological generation. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.

The Nikon Coolpix L840 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon Coolpix P900 are ISO 100 to ISO 6400, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-12800.

L840 versus P900 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Canon SX530 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX520 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Canon SX60 1/2.3 14.2 4608 30721080/60p19.210.812739
 
Nikon P950 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony H400 1/2.3 19.9 5152 3864720/30p........
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the P900 provides a faster frame rate than the L840. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the L840 is limited to 1080/60i.

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Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the P900 has an electronic viewfinder (921k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the L840 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon L840 and Nikon P900 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Canon SX530none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX520none n 3.0 461 fixed n 1/2000s 1.6 Y Y
 
Canon SX60922 n 3.0 922 swivel n 1/2000s 6.4 Y Y
 
Nikon P9502359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H400210 n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/2000s 0.7 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y
The P900 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the L840 does not have a selfie-screen.

The Nikon P900 has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.

Both the L840 and the P900 have zoom lenses built in. The L840 has a 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5 optic and the P900 offers a 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the L840 provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the P900, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The P900 offers the faster maximum aperture.

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the L840 and the P900 write their files to SDXC cards.

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Connectivity comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix L840 and Nikon Coolpix P900 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Canon SX530-stereomono--mini2.0YY-
 
Canon SX520-stereomono--mini2.0---
 
Canon SX60YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-
 
Nikon P950YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H400-monomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

Travel and landscape photographers will find it useful that the P900 has an internal geolocalization sensor and can record GPS coordinates in its EXIF data.

Both the L840 and the P900 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The L840 was replaced by the Nikon B500, while the P900 was followed by the Nikon P950. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.

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Review summary

So how do things add up? Which of the two cameras – the Nikon L840 or the Nikon P900 – has the upper hand? Is one clearly better than the other? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.


Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix L840:

  • Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
  • More compact: Is smaller (113x78mm vs 140x103mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 361g or 40 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (590 versus 360) on a single battery charge.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (50 percent cheaper at launch).


Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix P900:

  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
  • Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/2.8 vs f/3.0).
  • More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
  • Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
  • Easier geotagging: Features an internal GPS sensor to log localization data.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the P900 is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 5 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

L840 05:09 P900

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon L840 and the Nikon P900 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the L840 or the P900. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Canon SX530+ +..4/5..4/5 Jan 2015 429i
 
Canon SX520+..3.5/5..3.5/5 Jul 2014 399i
 
Canon SX60+ +75/1004/5..4.5/5 Sep 2014 549i
 
Nikon P950....4/5..4/5 Jan 2020 799 i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H400o..3.5/5..3.5/5 Feb 2014 319 i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

Nikon L840:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon P900:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon L840 vs Nikon P900

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon L840 Nikon P900
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 22.5-855mm f/3.0-6.5 24-2000mm f/2.8-6.5
    Launch Date February 2015 March 2015
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 599
    Sensor Specs Nikon L840 Nikon P900
    Sensor Technology CMOS BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 28.0735 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4608 x 3456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video 1080/60p Video
    ISO Setting 100 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 6,400 ISO
    ISO Boost no Enhancement 100 - 12,800 ISO
    Screen Specs Nikon L840 Nikon P900
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification
    Viewfinder Resolution 921k dots
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 3.0inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon L840 Nikon P900
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 7 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse Photographyno IntervalometerIntervalometer built-in
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Single card slot
    UHS card support no no
    Connectivity Specs Nikon L840 Nikon P900
    External Flash no Hotshoe no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in NFC built-in
    Geotagging no internal GPS GPS built-in
    Body Specs Nikon L840 Nikon P900
    Battery Type 4xAA EN-EL23
    Battery Life (CIPA)590 shots per charge360 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging no USB charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 113 x 78 x 96 mm
    (4.4 x 3.1 x 3.8 in)
    140 x 103 x 137 mm
    (5.5 x 4.1 x 5.4 in)
    Camera Weight 538 g (19.0 oz) 899 g (31.7 oz)

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