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Nikon 12.1 Megapixels Coolpix P500 Review by CNET US

2011-03-26 00:36 | 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 $380. Here is the summary of review by CNET US, giving the camera a rating of 3.5 out of 5:

"Overall shooting performance is excellent. It goes from off to first shot in just over 1 second with a typical shot-to-shot time of 1.4 seconds. Using the flash adds about a second to that time. Shutter lag is low in both bright and dim lighting, at 0.3 and 0.6 second, respectively. Its full-resolution high-speed continuous mode is capable of 10fps, but again only for five shots. The body design barely changes from its predecessor. The look and feel is still nice and amazingly compact considering the lens. The grip is deep and comfortable with a textured rubber piece on front, the body is well-balanced, and the lens barrel gives you ample space to hold and steady the camera with your left hand. The controls are comfortably placed and responsive. There's a decent electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a vari-angle LCD for framing up your shots. The LCD pulls out from the body and can be tilted up or down, but it does not swing out horizontally from the body and rotate. Like all LCDs and EVFs, the screen blanks out for a second once you've taken a shot, but it's reasonably fast to recover. To the left of the EVF is a button for switching between the LCD and EVF, as well as a diopter adjustment dial. To its right is a Display button for changing what info is viewed on the displays and a movie record button with a switch for picking what type of video you want to shoot (regular or high speed).

The rest of the controls don't change from the P100 (i.e., a pretty standard digital camera control layout) with two exceptions. There is now a rocker switch on the lens barrel for controlling the lens. It can be used to zoom in and out (handy when shooting movies), snap the lens back a bit in telephoto, should your subject move out of frame, or for manual focus. (Its function is changed in the settings menu; this is a nuisance while testing, but otherwise fine, as I don't imagine changing it often in regular use.) The only other change is a button just behind the shutter release for changing continuous-shooting modes. Like I said about the P100, the Nikon Coolpix P500 is one of those cameras that consumers will either love for all that it can do or hate because one of those things isn't taking superb photos. For those interested mainly in having a very wide, very long lens on a point-and-shoot with room for experimentation and a lot of settings to play with, the P500 is exactly that."

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

Nikon Coolpix P500 Sample Photos on Flickr

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
Verified Purchase ( Great product!...

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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