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Nikon 12.1 Megapixels Coolpix P500 Review by CNET AU

2011-05-23 02:01 | Source
7712 reviews
On February 8 2011, Nikon announced the new COOLPIX P500 and P300 high-end compact digital cameras. The P500 replaces the highly-acclaimed P100 26x advanced bridge camera, and packs in an even more impressive 36x optical zoom range. It features a wide-angle (22.5mm-810mm) optical Zoom NIKKOR ED glass lens, Nikon's EXPEED C2 dual image processor for enhanced performance and noise reduction, as well as a new shooting mode button that facilitates quick setting of continuous frame shooting, in addition to the pre shooting cache that starts to snap photos before the button is fully depressed. It also comes with tiltable high resolution 921K dot LCD monitor, full 1080p HD movie recording capability and the Easy Panorama mode.

The COOLPIX P500 is listed for retail at $399.95 MSRP and is offered in black and red. It is currently selling at around $397 (drop from $399 about 3 weeks ago). Here is the summary of review by CNET AU, giving the camera a rating of 7.7 out of 10:

"Superzooms by their nature are meant to pack in an incredible list of features and a lengthy zoom, generally following the mantra "you can't have it all". The P500 does little to change this notion, with a tendency to over-expose images particularly at the telephoto end of the lens. Colours on default JPEG settings are good though, and low ISO shots have an acceptable level of noise to not affect prints too much. High ISO shots at 800 and above become messy. Autofocus is quick and effective, and chromatic aberrations and fringing have been significantly reduced from this camera's predecessor, the P100. They're still there, but definitely not as pronounced. There's the usual degree of barrel distortion present on images taken at the wide end (22.5mm). As with all superzoom cameras, taking a steady image at the telephoto end of the zoom is next to impossible, with handshake and motion blur entering images. This is particularly pronounced in the P500, which has the longest zoom in the world on a superzoom at the time of writing. Video quality is very poor, with images appearing hazy. The P500 also uses electronic image stabilisation only when shooting HD video, which results in incredibly shaky images when hand-holding the camera. The audio is decent though, with hardly any noise perceptible when the lens zooms in and out. Wind noise is also kept to a minimum with the noise filter activated.

The P500 will suit a photographer who values plenty of features, an electronic viewfinder and an incredibly long zoom rather than impeccable image quality. You'll look mighty fine using it though and ladies will flock to you like no tomorrow when you go to take a photo."

ModelCoolpix P500Coolpix P300
StyleExtended ZoomAdvanced Compact
LCD Screen3-inch Vari-Angle TFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coating with 921,000 dots3-inch TFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coating with 921,000 dots
Memory CardsSD memory card SDHC memory card SDXC memory card with 102MB internal memorySD memory card SDHC memory card SDXC memory card with 90MB internal memory
Resolution4000 x 3000 (12M)4000 x 3000 (12M)
File FormatsStill pictures: JPEG Full HD: 1920x1080p / 30fpsStill pictures: JPEG Audio file format: AAC stereo Full HD: 1920x1080p / 30fps Movie file format: MPEG-4 AVC H.264
Focal Length36x zoom, 4.0-144.0mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 22.5-810mm lens in 35mm [135] format)4.2x zoom, 4.3-17.9mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 24-100mm lens in 35mm [135] format)
Shutter Speed1/1500-2 sec. (P, S mode)1/2000-8 sec. (M mode)
ISO SensitivityAuto (auto gain ISO 160-800) High ISO Sensitivity auto (ISO 160-1600)ISO 160-3200 Auto (auto gain ISO 160-1600) Fixed range auto (ISO 160-400, 160-800)
White Balance SettingsNot SuppliedNot Supplied
Flash ModesTTL auto flash with monitor preflashesTTL auto flash with monitor preflashes
Flash Range[W]: 0.5 to 8.0 m (1 ft. 8 in. to 26 ft.) [T]: 2.2 to 4.5 m (7ft 3 in. to 14 ft.)[W]: 0.5 to 6.5m (1 ft. 8in. to 21ft.) [T]: 0.5 to 2.5m (1ft. 8in. to 8ft. 2in.)
Shooting ModesBack Light Beach Black and White Copy Close Up Dusk/Dawn Fireworks Show Food Landscape Museum Night Landscape Night Portrait Panorama Party/Indoor Pet Portrait Portrait Scene Auto Selector Snow Sports SunsetBack Light Beach Black and White Copy Close Up Dusk/Dawn Fireworks Show Food Landscape Museum Night Landscape Night Portrait Panorama Party/Indoor Pet Portrait Portrait Scene Auto Selector Snow Special Effects Sports Sunset
Maximum Movie Resolution1920x1080p1920x1080p
Maximum Movie Frames Per Second30 fps30 fps
Maximum Movie DurationTo capacity of memory cardTo capacity of memory card
Macro Focus[W]: Approx. 4 in. (10 cm.) to infinity[W]: Approx. 1.2 in. (3 cm.) to infinity
Metering256-segment matrix, center-weighted, spot, spot AF area (with support for 99 focus areas) 224-segment matrix, center-weighted
Image StabilizationYes, Combination of Image-sensor shift and Electronic VR (still pictures) Electronic VR (movies)Yes, Lens-shift VR
Self TimerCan be selected from 10 and 2 seconds durationCan be selected from 10 and 2 seconds duration
Video Out (TV Playback)Yes, NTSC PAL HDMIYes, NTSC PAL HDMI
BatteriesRechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL5Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
DimensionsHeight: 3.3 in. (83.7mm) Width: 4.6 in. (115.5mm) Depth: 4.1 in. (102.5mm)Height: 2.3 in. (58.3mm) Width: 4.1 in. (103mm) Depth: 1.3 in. (32mm)
Weight17.5 oz. (494g) with battery and SD memory card6.7 oz. (189g) with battery and SD memory card
Other InfoTop Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution Up to 5 shots at approx. 8 frames per secondTop Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution Up to 7 shots at approx. 8 frames per second
Release Date2011-02-082011-02-08

Photo Album: Nikon Announces 12.2 Megapixels Coolpix P500 and P300 Priced at $400 and $330

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Nikon Coolpix P500 Camera Reviews Roundup

TechRadar - Aug 31 2011
"With the price hovering around the £300 mark, this camera carries a premium price - but for that you get an incredibly large zoom range packaged in a lightweight camera body with a high level of control and decent build quality. The zoom range provides amazing flexibility, and the extra-wide angle view at the shortest zoom setting can be very useful i..." More »
60out of 100
Digital Camera Info - Aug 25 2011
"Well here's a result nobody saw coming. Nikon is one of the top manufacturers in the business and typically aces our color test. So we were shocked to find the Coolpix P500 is not accurate at all. Blues, greens, and yellows are all much darker than they should be, and unfortunately those latter two are thought to be the colors us humans are most sensitive t..." More »
Not Rated
Steve's Digicam - Aug 11 2011
"Looking at our outdoor image samples, all of the images are very bright, with several instances of overexposure within them. Some of these come while the camera was exposing for a face, which is expected in some cases, but the P500 does it a bit too much. Since these images are so bright, they also seem a bit washed out, dulling the color and preventing the..." More »
Not Rated
digitalcameraHQ - Aug 02 2011
"As we've come to expect from cameras with these BSI CMOS sensors, the P500 performs well in a variety of settings. Image quality is generally solid for the price, with a few caveats. As we mentioned above, BSI CMOS sensors tend to perform better at high ISO settings than their CCD predecessors do. That translates, loosely, to better low-light shooting...." More »
80out of 100

Nikon Coolpix P500 Reviews Roundup [Total 18 Reviews] »

Nikon Coolpix P500 Camera Recent User Reviews

I am not too pleased with this camera, James Evers - Sep 14 2014
Verified Purchase ( I am not too pleased with this camera. It was a mistake to get such a large zoom on a camera because it is impossible to take a good photo when holding the camera free hand with the zoom extended....

I love it, Katharine T. Ohman - Aug 31 2014
Verified Purchase ( Great product!...

Five Stars, Katharine T. Ohman - Aug 31 2014
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For a P/S Camera.. Awesome., wjhazel - Aug 17 2014
Verified Purchase ( Starting out in photography, I loved the big time optical zoom. For a point and shoot without toting around a camera bag with multiple lenses, I would definitely recommend. If you really want to get into photography, I'd suggest something like a cheap Canon Rebel version....

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