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

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 indeed.

We liked

The flexibility afforded by the huge zoom range, low noise at high sensitivities, articulated screen and video recording options are all excellent features.

We disliked

The lens can struggle to focus accurately at its maximum telephoto point, even in good lighting conditions. Images taken at maximum zoom also seem to lack the level of detail and contrast of images taken at shorter focal lengths.


At the telephoto end, the camera struggles to focus, and images can lack the contrast and sharpness seen at shorter focal lengths. If this is taken into account, and care is taken when using the telephoto end of the zoom range, the P500 can still yield pleasing results.

Apart from that, there are some interesting features which make the P500 stand out from the crowd - such as the high speed video shooting and design touches like the articulated screen and zoom control on the lens barrel.

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