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 $399 (went up from $380 about 2 weeks ago). Here is the summary of review by PhotoReview Australia, giving the camera a rating of 8 out of 10:
"Images straight from the review camera appeared slightly soft, even at ISO 160 (the lowest available) and noise-reduction processing at higher ISO settings made them even softer. Otherwise, performance was similar to the P100, higher resolution notwithstanding. Autofocusing in bright lighting remained fast when shooting stills, although it became erratic with moving subjects at longer focal lengths. It also flagged seriously in low light levels. The camera will continue shooting when the focus is slightly off so there's a high incidence of unsharp photos in these situations. The image stabiliser was effective under low-light conditions but had problems coping with windy conditions when the camera was used at long focal lengths. Metering was generally good and exposure balance appeared to be slightly better than we found with the P100. Digital zoom shots were slightly soft and artefact-affected, although usable at modest output sizes. Imatest showed colour accuracy to be significantly better than we found with the P100 and saturation was more conservative. Skin hues were accurately recorded in most types of lighting and colour shifts, where identified, were relatively small.
Resolution was slightly below expectations in our Imatest tests and well below expectations for most aperture settings at the shortest and longest focal lengths we were able to test. We obtained the best performance at 9.4mm with the aperture set at f/5.6, after which diffraction reduced resolution quite sharply. The graph below shows the results of our tests. Edge softening was even more obvious than we found with the P100. As expected, it was most obvious at wide apertures. Our Imatest tests across the review camera's sensitivity range produced similar results to the P100. Resolution remained relatively high up to (and including) ISO 1600 and only plunged for the ISO 3200 setting. Video quality was poor, particularly with the HS settings. We also encountered many instances of the rolling shutter effect when shooting moving subjects. In addition, the AF system had problems keeping pace and clips were generally soft and artefact-affected. However, audio quality was better than average and you can use the zoom and autofocus while shooting clips without them being picked up by the microphone unless you're recording in a very quiet place. Clips from high-speed movies, although low-resolution, appeared sharper and less artefact-affected than HD clips; VGA movies were somewhere in between."
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 »
|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 »
|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 »
|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 »
Nikon Coolpix P500 Reviews Roundup [Total 18 Reviews] »
Nikon Coolpix P500 Camera Recent User Reviews
Great camera, Andrew Adams - Jul 29 2014
Verified Purchase ( This is my second Nikon. Great camera. Fast service...
Wouldn't recommend for beginner, Hannah banana - Jul 01 2014
This camera is overpriced and over-rated. The zoom is shaky (even with a tripod) and the focus is terrible. I used this camera when I was around eleven and twelve but now I'm ditching it. Even if you're a beginner, I wouldn't recommend this camera. It's very discouraging when you work hard to get good pictures then they come out as crap. (also the "full HD" video is a...
Good but not great., Joan of Art "Joan of Art" - Jun 07 2014
Verified Purchase ( I have had this camera for a while, it is good looking and compact. I picked this model because it has a viewfinder which enables me to see what I am shooting in any light condition, as I find the led screens impossible to see outdoors. My only problem is that the shutter button seems often unresponsive. I have read and re-read the manual to see w...
Not worth the money, Steve "seecwriter" - May 02 2014
I have owned this camera for a couple of years now, and it is just a crappy camera. I bought the camera because I wanted a simple point-and-shoot camera that took good pictures without having to be an expert, or even amateur, photographer. And it was a Nikon. I mean, hey, Nikon connotes quality in cameras. Right? Or at least it used to. Not anymore for me. Most pictures come out sli...
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