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