on 24 April 2011
The Nikon P500 is the ideal camera for holidays or no frills photography although it allows for some sort of creativity. Very compact and lightweight, the menu is clear and easy to navigate. Nikon's lens quality is present as usual and, depending on settings used, delivers colourful, crisp and almost distortion free photos.
A lot of people will be buying the camera purely be for the zoom reach. Don't be fooled!! Handheld, the quality of pictures at "full throtle" is adequate as there is a lot of of "hunting", even at half range. There is no substitute for a tripod if you want full close up. There's a limit to what VR (vibration reduction) or any other system can deliver even with professional lenses costing in excess of £1300,00 like the Nikon's 70-200mm f2.8 VR.
The zoom noise level is also noticeable in quieter surroundings.
A few people complain about low light issues. This can be resolved by simply using one of the several otpions available in the camera menu. People tend to get the camera out of the box and start shooting straight away expecting miracles. READ THE MANUAL! You'll be surprised what you will discover and learn if you do your home work first.
I would also recommend getting a spare battery as recharging takes a good couple of hours.
Movie recording quality is rather good and an 8GB memory card will give you approximately 30mins in full HD.
Overall this is a good camera that will deliver excellent results in all sorts of situations providing you take time to learn what it can do.
on 27 August 2011
We spent a really long time trying to find a good update for my old superzoom before going on safari. Our initial favourite was the Canon SX30IS, mostly due to the customer images on the Amazon page. We spent a good few weeks trying out both this camera and the Canon (with a bit of a Fujifilm thrown in), and we just couldn't decide between them. So we ended up plumping. We actually plumped for the Canon. But we took it home, and we were both saying nice things about it because it had cost so much money, but actually the camera wasn't blowing us away. It was barely better than my old Panasonic Lumix FZ18 and the photos in low light left a fair bit to be desired. Not only that but it had difficulty with the macro focusing on certain things and it took ages to write to the memory card (which may have been down to the fact that I was only using a Class 4 memory card, but the same memory card in the Nikon is much faster).
Anyway.. in the end we decided to take the Canon back, actually because the Amazon price had come down so it was now £50 cheaper than Jessops and we had a good return policy.
But as we were going to Jessops we were trying to think of reasons to take it back because saying it was £50 cheaper on Amazon felt a bit mean as they'd been helpful. Turned out we each had a plethora of reasons why we didn't like it. So we took it back and started looking again and once we'd realised the Canon's flaws, the Nikon seemed like a shining beacon! So we bought the Nikon and having had it for only a day now I can say I'm absolutely overawed by it in the way I expected to be by the Canon but never was.
The zoom is fantastic, the photos in low light are just amazing, even without the flash.. and with the flash, instead of showing up every last flaw, it gives a true to life representation of the subject. The scene modes are fantastic (I do like to take the occasional manual shot, but if I'm honest 90% of my photos would use the auto mode -- I'm not a photographer, I just like to take photos). Worth a particular mention are the Easy Panorama mode and the Pet Portrait mode. In Easy Panorama you can just sweep around the room.. horizontally or vertically, 180 degrees of 360 degrees and it just puts the photo together, as if by magic. So easy to use you can't go wrong and the Canon's panoramic mode (Stitch assist) is just not a patch on this. The Pet Portrait mode is fantastic for any pet owner. You might think you wouldn't need a special mode to take pictures of your cat/dog/snake/parrot, but it's a bit more animal friendly than that. The functionality I suppose is no different from the smile shutter.. it just locks in on your pet's face and takes a burst of photos with your pet's face in focus and looking at the camera, but it turns off the shutter sound, the focus light and the flash, so it's much less distressing for your pet. Of course my only pet is a cat so there's no telling how good this mode is on a pet stick insect, but so far so good!
The HS movie mode I must admit is absolutely useless in low light. But I suppose if you're taking 90-odd FPS there's not enough time to let the light in. In daylight it seems much better.
Also, while the HD video is 1080p compared to the Canon's 780p I do concede that the Canon performed better in low light (for videos only -- photos there's no comparison, Nikon wins hands down).
Can't comment on the battery life as I haven't really had it long enough. We got 2 hours use out of it when we first bought it, but not sure whether that was a full charge or not (as just straight out of the box). The battery it comes with only says it's 1.1Ah so I suspect battery life will be the camera's downfall, but with replacement batteries available on Amazon for £5 it doesn't really matter to me. The only thing is that it'll be tricky to charge two batteries when they have to be in the camera, but the charger+battery sets are only around £15 so not breaking the bank.
The only other thing I'd say the Canon would win on is the screen. And even then, the quality of the Nikon's screen I believe is better, but I really liked being able to flip the screen out (rather than just up and down).
But overall I'm so impressed with the quality of the Nikon. The photos are just fantastic, and I love that instead of holding the camera up while it writes to my slow memory card it carries on going and only stops you from going into playback mode if it's still writing to the memory (so you never miss a shot). The continuous shooting is also a dream, where on Canon it was just not worth using.
Another thing which is so minor, but so useful, is the extra zoom control functionality on the lens.. which by itself would be completely unnecessary but you can set this to control the manual focus which makes it so much easier than fiddling about with buttons!
So in my opinion.. Go for the Nikon!!
on 24 July 2011
I am not a professional photographer nor do I claim to be a semi pro/amateur. I am more of the average person who likes taking pictures for personal use - families, holidays and events. So with that background I don't claim to be know it all in the field of digital photography nor camera. So this review will come from this point of view. I used the camera on a recent family holiday in Hanoi for 5 days.
Camera: big but not too heavy to lug about. We bought a Lowe Alpine camera casing to fit in the camera, battery and memory card. Yes it is obvious but you can put it in your rucksack or even in a big woman's handbag easily. This camera has no memory card that comes with it so you have to purchase one.It does have a 100 MB internal memory. Because of the HD and the size we deliberately choose a Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 Memory Card. The result was very good with pictures taken very quickly. Battery life is reasonably good - again dependent on usage, and how often you take the pictures and how often you views the picture on screen. But for my standards and usage we didn't have to recharge every single day. However, once charging it takes about 10 hours if the battery completely drained. In the beginning it does seem that the battery has a bad battery life but after a few charges it improved dramatically.
LCD screen: Big and what we love about it the fact you can angulate it to take pictures. (see sample pictures)
Usage: Very easy to use for someone who is lazy to read the manual like myself. But my other half is far keener and honestly you make far better use with the camera after reading the manual and trying all the setting. But it is very straightforward and not complicated at all. Play and play and read the manual. The camera itself is easily to hold and my niece who is 5 could take a fairly decent picture without feeling it too heavy and bulky and difficult to aim. There are functional buttons like image stabilization, anti-blur, panorama picture assistance, side zoom etc. Most are available anyway in high end digital camera in the last few years. For someone like myself (not great camera literate) it is all pretty good stuff.
Lens and zoom: one word - amazing. We were sitting on a boat where we can zoom in to very clear detailed picture. (see sample picture) Lens does come with a lens cover. My other half did note that the image does distort on zooming in (a bit of barrel vision). Honestly I don't know if this is a common problem or specifically due to this Nikon camera.
Download: easy and straightforward. Either connected straight from the camera to the computer or use the memory card.
This camera was a step up from a compact digital camera. Certainly it was worth getting this camera compare to a digital SLR which would have been more complicated for myself. Recommended.
and oh the camera had a tumble and survived without a problem.
on 5 May 2011
I have recently purchased the Nikon P500 to replace my ageing Olympus SP590, so i have based this review on comparing the 2 cameras..
First impressions are important and i was very impressed with the Nikon when i removed it from the box, all in all a nice looking camera and well built. I always found the Olympus poorly built and slightly ugly looking though the Olympus served me well for nearly 2 years so only time will tell if the Nikon does as well.
I manily use my camera for photgraphing wildlife hence me opting for high zoom products, the 36x zoom of the Nikon is in a word brilliant with obvious advantages over the Olympus's useful 26x zoom.
Overall perfomance the Nikon seems leaps ahead of the Olympus, taking photos in anything other then perfect conditions was always a struggle for the Olympus though the Nikons low light ability seems quite good, the video mode of the Olympus was basic compared to the HD, zoomable, take a photo while filming possiblitys of the Nikon so no comparison on that.
As for other things the Nikon is slightly lighter and though the same size as the Olympus seems less bulky when in hand also the movable 3in LCD of the Nikon is very good. One thing i am struggling with though is the battery!, i found the Olympus and i worked well together with 2 sets of reghargable high power AAs and a charger while the Nikons battery and charging syestem seems a bit over the top in comparison also the Nikons battery dies without warning, i have just purchased a separate charger and battery so hopefully this will amend this problem.
To sum things up i am very impressed with the P500 and when i get the hang of the battery problem i will enjoy using it with all its features and gimiks..
So if you are looking for a good up to date high zoom camera though dont want to spend stupid money on a DSLR and all its lenses the Nikon Coolpix P500 is just up your street, its a lot of camera for such a good price..
on 20 March 2011
This camera is absolutely wonderful - EXCEPT: There's no lens hood, there's no filter thread and charging is through the camera, which ties up the camera for up to 4.5 hours!
I can't believe Nikon has made a camera without the means to put on (at least) a filter, to protect the lens from dust, scrapes etc.
In photography, in my book, there's no such thing as photography without a protective filter and lens hood and after two days of ownership, I'm wracking my brains, trying to figure out an alternative method of shielding the lens from extraneous light. The lens cap, of course, fouls up the zoom and MUST BE REMOVED at the point of switching on the power. Because of this, I feel the camera lens is pretty vulnerable to simple bumps and nudges
A small niggle is: the camera must be removed from a tripod, to change memory cards, or batteries. Nikon is not alone in having this problem and it is becoming a common problem with cameras.
Photographically, the camera is a dream, but my first move was to buy an external charger and spare batteries, (all cheaply available here on Amazon.co.uk and much cheaper than the genuine Nikon equivalents)as I bought it to use it, not to attach to a wall, to charge it.
If I am missing the obvious here, like a place to attach a lens hood and filter etc, I'd be delighted to hear about it. In the meantime - if anyone from Nikon is listening - I'd like to buy a lens hood, UV filter and (definitely) a polarising filter which will fit this camera ASAP!
on 28 November 2011
The camera arrived in good time and good condition. Since arriving I have taken 700 - 800 photos. I cannot even call myself an avid amature, I am just someone who needed a camera. I take photos, my old camera died, I wanted a new one, I looked for quite a while before I picked this one. I spoke to many Camera shops and Photographers, all said this was a good one. I was originally considering the Sony HX1, but by the time I made my decision...it was discontinued....its replacement,(HX100) although very good, does not have such good reviews. I did test all three cameras, the Sony's were bigger camera's and heavier, offering me less product for my money (In my opinion) it is probably because they weren't as good in the areas I was interested in. The main reason I bought it was the zoom, and the DCOS sensor. The zoom is very fast and sometimes struggles to focus at the top end. The zoom stops temporarily prior to going to the Telephoto zoom range....very handy, once you zoom up to this range it requires a tripod or very steady hand. Seems to exhaust the battery quickly...additional battery & charger recommended. In saying this I do take alot of photos...so maybe it is not as bad as I think. The DCOS sensor is very good and records pictures fast...except in low light where a minor delay message is present. All in all this camera is probably better than I hoped for, and probably as good as it should be for the £300 price tag. I am more than pleased with my purchase, there are many more benefits to this camera to outshine the noted issues, I have so much more to investigate, which, with practice may iron out my issues....Well impressed overall.
I am not proficient in photography. I tend to point a camera at something and shoot. The results from my previous camera have been less than outstanding. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I took on this camera, a camera much more complex than I'd ever handled before.
My fears seemed to be realised when I took it out of the packaging. First job was to attach the strap to the camera. It was fiddly and difficult to do and took me at least half an hour. If it takes that long to attach a strap, I thought, how will I ever manage to take a picture. Fortunately it proved much easier to do this. The instruction booklet is helpful and it is worth taking some time to read through it. Within a short time of charging up the battery I was up and off with it.
The quality of the pictures I've taken is far better than anything I've ever done. I have had a bit of a problem with lens shake when using the zoom but use of a tripod helped greatly with this. The video quality is very good. I was delighted with footage taken of a family party as it was so clear and vivid.
It seems a little expensive and the first thing you have to do is go out and buy a memory card. I haven't got round to buying a camera case yet so have tended to use our smaller camera when out and about as this seems a wee bit bulky for use when out hillwalking etc. However it is comfortable to hold when in use. I felt that it fitted into my hand very well and felt very comfortable there. It comes with a rechargeable battery which some people have commented on as being inconvenient. I don't feel this - I've been completely fed up with cameras that take very expensive batteries (£26 in one case) and so I'm happy to put up with this 'inconvenience'. I haven't found the battery life to be very short like some other reviewers but it does take some time to charge up.
This camera has encouraged me to be more adventurous when taking photographs and I've been very encouraged by the results. A good camera, suitable for this beginner at least.
on 28 July 2011
For years I have wanted a proper camera, as my old digital camera was useless for my photography course! Now I have this camera and I must say apart from a couple of tiny little problems, it isn't far from perfect!
The HD filming is such high quality! The macro is brilliant, as are the many useful settings and the zoom! I enjoy using it as it's so simple as long as you read the manual first! The manual helps so much as there are a lot of things you can do.
The only problems I feel are the battery as it takes so long to charge and isn't helpful when you need a fast photo, and taking a photo in lower light conditions, which can be helped in some camera settings. However apart from this this camera is a dream to have and use!
Yes, whether you're a 'point and shooter' ,(like me), or a more discerning camera user , this model will please eveyone. It has 12 megapixels , 36x optical zoom ; with added digital zoom ,and a 3" monitor , which can be moved about. If that's not enough to impress you , then there's also a multitude of other modes and settings , but don't let that scare you off , because this camera is very easy to use. If you leave the setting on auto , the camera will do practically eveything for you - video recording is at the touch of a button . All you have to do , is decide , what pictures to take , and if you need to include the flash , which pops up manually - again at the touch of a button. I was impressed straight away , by the camera's elegant , and ergonomic , appearance. It's a very light , and neat package , with everything just where you want it to be - Nikon have had plenty of experience in knowing what users want , and that shows in the design of this model - I'm sure they've put a lot of thought , into giving us a good user experience. It also takes excellent pictures , by the way! You'll need a computer , to download the instruction manual - I've also copied the pdf onto my iphone , so I've always got it with me , which I'm finding very useful. If you haven't got a p.c. , then you can phone Nikon , and buy a paper version , of the manual. The 36x optical zoom is amazing , and allows you to get pictures , that the usual type of digital camera ,won't allow. For intance , I was at the Doncaster v Leicester , match yesterday ,( 30th April ), and I got a nice shot of Sven , stood by the dugout,in the opposite stand , which would have been impossible with a lesser zoom. You'll have to buy your own memory card - get the biggest you can afford - Amazon have some good bargain prices with these. You don't have to stick to the card manufacturers that Nikon recommend - I got a previously unknown make to me ,chosen from reading the Amazon user reviews , ( which I always put a lot of stall by ). I can thoroughly recommend this camera - people who want to knock it , will only be jealous - if you want to own a fantastic , state of the art model - it's going for a good price on Amazon at the moment , so check it out now - you won't be disappointed.
on 14 February 2012
I am a fan of bridge type cameras, having previously owned the Panasonic FZ18 and the Fuji 5000. I still have both and they were all great cameras. I do a lot of research to try and choose the best and having handled the equivilent new Fuji and Panasonic form the range, chose the Nikon. The other cameras were good, but it's a bit like the VW Golf advert, where the others try to be like a Nikon, but once you have handled the Nikon to know you have quality in your hands. The weight and balance are just perfect. I also found that all the functions were where I would have wanted them and it all works so simply. It's crammed full of features too, most I will never use, I expect.
The price right now (£218) (I paid 229) is a steal. I see the new 510 is being released which is why, but I would not wait and snap one up at this price.
The 36 zoom is massive. I have shots of lighthouses that appear as specks in the distance, zoom up to full screen. You will need a tripod though for long shots and the picture will be grainy. 12mp is plenty. The 1080 video and sound are also very good.
I love the macro shots which were crystal clear.
Zoom telephoto shots can be slightly blurred if you don't hold the camera still. I was trying to take photos on a windy day and the results were not as good as I had hoped.
I like the movable LCD screen which enables you to get shots that you could never see with a fixed screen.
Some people may not like the fact that you have to charge the battery in the camera and not a separate charger. But the battery holds it's power well, so should last a long time. (It is removable, so spares can be purchased and charged)
I bought a class 10 8gb memory card which works well and is fast with no lag.
In summary you won't find a better value camera on the market right now.