Nikon Coolpix P520 review

42x optical zoom bridge camera put to the test

Nikon Coolpix P520 review
The Nikon Coolpix P520 has a huge optical zoom

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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

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.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.