Nikon Coolpix P500 review

A 36x super-zoom bridge camera with a 12.1 megapixel back illuminated CMOS sensor

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Nikon coolpix p500

The P500's black, SLR-shaped body is constructed from high quality plastic that feels quite robust.

A deep finger grip is provided and is coated with a soft rubber material to make using the camera with one hand a pleasant experience.

The controls are laid out in a way that will suit both one-handed shooters and those who prefer to support the weight of the camera with their other hand. A second zoom control is provided on the side of the lens barrel, and can be operated with a left hand thumb.

This zoom control provides a little more precision when it comes to the speed of the zoom than the bezel control - which is located around the shutter release - making it ideal for use when recording video.

Nikon coolpix p500

On the rear, there's an articulated three-inch screen with a resolution of 921,000 dots. The view on the screen is very clear and sharp, with good contrast - even in bright lighting conditions - thanks in part to the excellent anti-reflective coatings. The screen can be tilted to allow shooting above head height, or for use as a waist-finder, making shots from high and low angles easier to take.

An electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 230,000 dots is also provided and this is especially useful when using the lens in the telephoto range as it's easier to keep the camera steady when it is held to the eye.

The P500's menus are clear and easy to navigate via the large directional control on the rear. This control also provides quick access to exposure compensation, macro, self-timer and flash modes.

A small thumb-wheel is located near the top of the rear, making changes of exposure setting quick and straightforward, and will suit users of Nikon DSLRS, who may be used to this control method.

A built-in pop-up flash raises about an inch clear of the lens, which should help to reduce red-eye in photos taken at reasonably close distances. The flash doesn't pop up automatically and the camera will display an on-screen warning if the flash is engaged but not required.

A burst of five shots can be taken continuously at a rate of eight frames per second. Although this feature is impressive on paper, in practice the camera shoots this burst in under a second, which may result in missing action if the burst isn't accurately timed.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyCoolpix P
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom36x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Aperture Priority
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)494 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height83.7 mm
Width115.5 mm
Depth102.5 mm
Product SeriesP
Focal Length4 mm to 144 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelP500
Product NameCoolpix P500 Compact Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Exposure Control
  • Program Auto (P)
  • Shutter-priority (S)
  • Aperture-priority (A)
  • Manual (M)
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVMA670E1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

A superb performer with incredible range, the compact COOLPIX P500 boasts an astounding 36x zoom, a tilting LCD monitor and full HD movie recording. Offering ultra wide-angle to super-telephoto coverage, the impressive 36 x zoom combines with the back illuminated CMOS image sensor to deliver stunning images from anywhere - and in any light.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix P500 Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery EN-EL5
  • Charging AC Adapter EH-69
  • USB Cable UC-E6
  • Audio Video Cable EG-CP16
  • Camera Strap AN-CP21
  • Lens Cap LC-CP23
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year