Nikon Coolpix P520 review

42x optical zoom bridge camera put to the test

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What is a bridge camera
What is a bridge camera?

The bridge camera is an ever competitive market, with Fujifilm being the dominant manufacturer in this area. As a response, Nikon's P520 has a lot to offer the consumer, and is a good all-round performer.

It's a shame that it can't do things such as shoot in raw format - something the Panasonic FZ200, Canon SX50 HS and Fujifilm X-S1 can all offer. That would have made it a much more appealing camera for those consumers looking for something a little extra.

Otherwise, the handling is good and the image quality - especially at the telephoto end of the optic - is also great. It's a big shame about the quirks of the electronic viewfinder, but a bonus to have an articulating screen. What the Nikon Coolpix P520 gives with one hand, it takes away with the other.

We liked

The huge zoom range makes this a great bridge camera for the travelling photographer. Autofocusing, including macro focusing, is accurate, making it possible to photograph subjects from flowers to far-away wildlife well.

We disliked

With no raw capture available, flexibility in post-processing is limited, especially when it comes to removing those filters that seemed like a good idea at the time.

Final verdict

Buying Guide
Best Nikon camera
Best Nikon cameras

What we have here is another very capable bridge camera from Nikon. Unfortunately, while the Nikon Coolpix P520 is an excellent and versatile all-round performer, ultimately there's nothing to get overly excited about, and it is not the best option currently available on the market.

If you're looking for something with a large zoom range, but with more flexibility, take a look at the Canon SX50 HS. Meanwhile, the fantastic Panasonic FZ200 offers a lens with an f/2.8 constant aperture throughout its zoom range, which is also worth consideration.

Tech Specs

Product TypeBridge Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution18.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyCoolpix
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom42x
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NameNikon
FeaturesHDR, 3D Shooting, Motion Detection, Face Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Self-timer, Subject Detection
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4 AVC
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)550 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4896 x 3672
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height84.1 mm
Width125.2 mm
Depth101.6 mm
Focal Length4.30 mm to 180 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, MPO
Focus ModesManual, Auto
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelP520
Product NameCoolpix P520 Bridge Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Exposure Control
  • Manual
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVNA252E1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Unleash your creativity with the COOLPIX P520, the bridge camera with a 42x super zoom. With a NIKKOR lens that offers an astounding 24-1000mm wide-angle to super telephoto coverage, this 18-megapixel camera gets as close as you like to the action.??

The backlit 18-megapixel CMOS sensor and advanced lens-shift vibration reduction enable steady shots in any light, while the vari-angle LCD monitor provides the perfect high-resolution view from any position.

One-touch Full HD movie mode makes switching to filming movies instantaneous and built-in GPS includes 'geotags' in image data. Use the optional Wi-Fi dongle to transfer images and movies to your smart device*.??

The COOLPIX P520 - Zoom beyond your expectations.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix P520 Bridge Camera
  • Camera Strap
  • Lens Cap LC-CP24 (With Cord)
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery EN-EL5 (With Terminal Cover)
  • Charging AC Adapter EH-69P
  • USB Cable UC-E6
  • Audio Video Cable EG-CP16
  • Software CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year