The Coolpix P500 is a digital camera from well-known company Nikon. The Nikon Coolpix P500 is a prosumer like camera with a larger form factor than modern compact digital cameras. The advantage of this larger size is evident in its specification that includes a 12MP sensor and a 36x optical zoom. In this article we will look at the Nikon Coolpix P500 camera and examine whether it is good value for money, and whether you should buy one.


The Nikon Coolpix P500 has a specification that includes:

  • 12MP CMOS sensor
  • 36 times optical zoom
  • Full 1080p video recording capability
  • Advanced shooting modes
  • Lens has image stabilising capabilities

Image Performance

The 12 megapixel sensor in the Coolpix P500 should produce images that will satisfy most needs for producing medium to large sized photographs. Looking at example images, they look reasonably good and clear, much better than older digital cameras and most smartphone cameras. Nikon typically has very colourful images and this camera shouldn’t disappoint.

The 1080p video recording feature is good, although you should always remember that this is a still camera first, video recorder second. A 16GB memory card will provide about an hours worth of recording time.

The Nikon Coolpix P500 also offers high speed shooting at around 8 frames per second with full resolution, or 54 lower resolution shots at around 120 frames per second. My favoured mode would be the 8 frames per second, which is useful if you want a specific shot in mind.

Design and Ergonomics

The design of the Nikon Coolpix P500 is a fixed lens SLR like camera. This means that it is much more bulky than a slim line compact camera, but in my opinion, these designs of camera are more comfortable to use and often easier to get a more “professional” image from.  The camera also has a viewfinder, allowing you to steady the camera more easily which is necessary for sharper pictures in lower light situations, in contrast to compact cameras which often require you to hold them at arms length in order to see the screen.

Other aspects

The battery life is reasonable from this camera, lasting enough for a day of shooting.  The Nikon Coolpix P500 has its own battery, rather than requiring AA batteries, which is a minus in my opinion although additional batteries can be purchased.


  • 12-megapixel camera
  • 1080p video recording
  • Good image quality
  • Low price – around £200/$300


  • SLR design which some may find bulky
  • Battery life – and lack of AA battery support
  • Low light video recording is suggested to be poor

Is the Nikon Coolpix P500 right for you?

If you want more capabilities than some compacts in a SLR form factor, the Nikon Coolpix P500 should definitely be on you list to check out. It has good image quality and comes from one of the best camera manufacturers on the planet - Nikon. If you need something compact, think again.


Before you buy any camera, you really want to try it out. You need to examine the ergonomics, shutter speed and general feel which is personalised to every individual. You may also want to examine test images, which can be found online (search Flickr), and look for the best prices.

If you liked this review then you may also want to read about the Canon IXUS 115 HS, the Nikon Coolpix S3100, the Panasonic Lumix TZ10, the FinePix HS20EXRSony DSCW570 Cyber-Shot and the Panasonic Lumix TZ18.

Have you purchased a Nikon Coolpix P500? Do you think that the Nikon Coolpix P500 is a good camera to buy? Feel free to write a comment below.