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VINE VOICEon 16 November 2012
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Ok, so the digital camera market these days has 3 main types that manufacturers are trying to get us average consumers to splurge our hard-earned cash on: Compact, D-SLR and Bridge.

Compact cameras are easy to use, small and pretty rugged, but best of all: cheap!
D-SLR cameras are more for professional and semi-professional use, changeable lenses and can let lots of light onto their large sensors for better quality images, however normally come with a higher price tag.

Bridge cameras are where the Nikon COOLPIX P500 sits. The bridge cameras are the relative newcomers in the average consumer camera market and their purpose really is to provide a middle-ground between Compacts and D-SLRs. So the ideal situation is that you'll get an affordable camera with a decent image quality. This being said, how good is it?

It's good. Very Good. Not mind-blowing, just very good. You see, the price of one of these is approaching the lower end of the D-SLR prices. In fact, ironically at current prices (November 2012) you can pick up a decent D-SLR with similar specs to this at a cheaper price.

Let's talk image quality, since that's what this is all about: In my opinion, pictures come out very clear and very sharp. And the best thing about the P500 is the zoom, I mean... my word... this thing has a fantastic zoom! I also have a Canon 60D D-SLR with a 200mm zoom lens and it doesn't reach what this camera can. It also uses a very nice anti-shake system inside the lens that means you can reach the maximum optical zoom and still take decent pictures that aren't too blurry. Though I'd still recommend a tripod if you're going to be taking ridiculously high-zoom photos.

So why should you buy this instead of a Compact or a D-SLR? Well me personally, I'm quite happy to use my smartphone as a compact camera to take around with me all the time. And my D-SLR only gets used on special occasions, holidays and the odd project here and there. The Nikon P500 comes with me whenever I'm travelling and want a light load, but have a collection of pictures at the end that I can print lovely sharp images from onto photo paper.

My advice would be to think about whether you're going to want a camera that you're happy to throw in a bag (hopefully not literally) and take all over the place or whether you're happy to carry a separate bag just for a bulky D-SLR camera and any lenses you have extra in order to get the absolute best image quality.

Oh, and don't forget: whatever digital camera you buy these days, it's also worth investing in a half-decent program for your Windows or Mac computer to touch-up the photos once you've taken them. That's just part of the magic of digital photography :)

And on a side-note if you haven't already, check out the Nikon D3100 for a similarly priced D-SLR camera package, or the Nikon COOLPIX S9100 for a more compact, cheaper camera that should also give pleasant results.
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on 10 November 2011
Purchased at an equivalent of £240 from amazon, thanks to a £30 voucher. Photo Colours seem lighter than what is seen in real life, my old Nikon seemed to have more natural Photo colours by default. Looking through the viewFinder I noticed colour streaks even when focussed. Have bought Photographers guide to the Nikon P500 in kindle format to try and get the best out of the camera as there are loads of options.

Overall so far happy with the camera. Battery life seemed terrible at first and on first charge found it drained by morning, but repeated charge has now made it possible to have a full day of battery use. Had to buy external charger and spare battery as camera has no external charger and has to be connected, rendering it useless while the battery is charging.

Some more indepth reviews are available on the internet photography sites. Overall not a bad camera.
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on 12 April 2011
I found no disadvantages with this camera, easy to use, light in weight, and a good specification.Take my advice and buy a seperate charging unit for it, but don,t buy the cheap batteries for it as they have an unpredictable charging life and let you down when you least expect it. Buy a reputable make, I am testing the Duracell at present that retail at about £20 with postage on the AMAZON site. One further point if you read the camera manual on the desk top and wish to print any of it out, make sure you add 14 to the page count to bridge the Roman numerals at the front end! After checking the duracell for 8 months I can say that it holds it,s charge in the camera case without "dying on me". John Bentley. Liverpool.
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VINE VOICEon 20 July 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The first thing that struck me about this camera is how light it is. I was expecting something a bit bulkier, particularly with all the features it has and the lens facility. However, not only is it pretty lightweight, it also has a good grip, making it easier to keep hold of when simply pointing and shooting.

At first glance, the Coolpix P500 is pretty cool to look at. For an `amateur' photographer like myself, it has a lot to offer and does not need any additional equipment.

The Zoom lens is impressive - it has a range of 36x compared to my Panasonic Lumix of 12x, and I have managed to get some incredible shots, particularly at weddings and other gatherings, where I have been able to capture those `natural' moments without people realising. The lens does seem to make a very strange noise as you zoom in and out, though!

I also love the tilting LCD monitor; it's great and means you can take shots or video at awkward angles quite comfortably. I have used the video facility - it is very easy to use and doesn't require too much technological knowledge. However, I found it really drained the battery, so be warned!

There are additional buttons on the side of the camera for the flash - so you don't have to go through the menu option to put it on or off, and for the telephoto/wide facility which also has an extra dial at the top of the camera. A nice touch.

The battery has to be charged within the camera, not great so I would definitely recommend buying a second battery for this camera AND a battery charger. For the price, this really should be included.

I don't think this camera will be suitable for a `serious' photographer but it is a great step up from my Panasonic Lumix and allows me to experiment much more.

Four stars as the battery life and lack of charger lets the camera down big time.
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on 6 August 2011
I bought this as a replacement for a full Digital SLR, my old Nikon D70. Although the battery life is poor compared to my old SLR (1000+ pictures on one battery and still never ran out as opposed to 200+ pictures on the P500) and there is no option for a more powerful flash, in every other respect the camera is superior. I've already taken some great pictures and the 36x optical zoom has been fantastic. The HD video recording and the high speed video rounds off the camera nicely. Certainly recommended, just make sure you carry a couple of spare batteries.
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on 7 January 2012
Although it is early days and I am still playing and learning with this camera, I have to say it is a fantastic piece of equipment and what makes it better, is the purchase price that I paid on Amazon. It looks as if it does anything anyone would wish to do with photography. What makes it even better is that it has a viewfinder. I have been looking for ages for a camera with viewfinder as those screens are not much good in bright sunlight although I seem to have been lucky with the photos I took with the camera I used all the time before purchasing the Nikon.

For the cost, I would say it is excellent value and surpasses what most people would wish to do with a camera.
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on 7 November 2011
This is just a fabulous camera and so light. I have had a compact camera for quite a few years and fed up with the results. Years ago i had a pentax SLR with lots of lenses but atheritis set in and was unable to handle this heavy camera and equiptment. I have been wanting a camera for a long time that is equivellent to that camera, now i have found one that i am truely happy with. I am not a brilliant photographer but I do like to take my photos. It is so nice to have a camera that i can actually hold that is not to heavy and takes good photos with a brilliant zoom.
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on 31 May 2011
I've only had this camera a few days but it seems very good, it's not too heavy and it's very compact, what pictures I've taken seem to be alright.
A couple of things I do not like about it are that the battery has to be charged through the camera ( unless you pay extra to buy a separate charger ) and also that the manual for it is on a C.D. ( like most other cameras ) , you need a very good memory or you have to carry a computer about with you.
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VINE VOICEon 7 May 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Noticing on the box the phrase 'backside illumination' I thought this a step too far for technology. That aside, first impressions were of a well made solid camera, with all controls well placed for ease of use. The body design incorporates a good handgrip with rubberised panels front and back, though the size of the grip might not be comfortable if you have larger hands - worth trying before you buy.

The mode select knob is firm and positive making accidental changes very unlikely. The other controls are laid out in pretty much to the standard digital camera format and has a good logical menu system. There is a large movable LCD screen - very useful and crystal clear. There is also a very clear image through the viewfinder which has dioptre adjustment.

Although it can be used as a point and shoot camera, for the more serious user there is a full range of manual settings changed by a small thumbwheel on the back.

In use it is ready almost immediately after switch on. It is very easy to navigate through the menu system to select the required options. The auto focus is excellent and images are very sharp and clear.

The long zoom adds to the camera's versatility though at longer settings I found it easier to follow moving objects through the viewfinder rather than the LCD. Some shots of landing aircraft, which were a half mile distant, show great detail and clarity, and earns full marks to the anti-shake setting. Photos can be greatly enlarged and still show no signs of pixcelation.

The panorama assist feature was very useful. Producing a transparent overlay of the edge of the previous shot helping you align your next shot accurately.

Battery life is adequate, but not exceptional given what it has to power.

The only issues I have are
1. The battery can only be charged in the camera, unless you buy the optional external charger - a bit mean - Panasonic supply as standard an external charger in their Lumix series, which even though it holds the battery, is about the same size as the charger unit that comes with the Nikon for the internal charging.

2. It is too easy to accidentally press the on button when putting the camera into a bag this might cause some problems as the lens tries to extend but is prevented from doing so by the lens cap.

Overall though and excellent buy
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on 4 May 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What is it with camera names? A guaranteed way of making something appear uncool is to use the world cool in its name. The `Nixon Coolpix P500' may sound naff in name, but it's very decent in nature. The `P500' spans the gap between the novice photographer and his more confident friend. For someone more used to the simple point and click photography the `P500' is an easy step up. Essentially you can do just this - keep the default settings out of the box and point in the direction of the object/person/person-holding-an-object and click. The very simplest images come out crystal clear with huge number of pixels on offer and great HD screen that shows the image in pure clarity.

A simple step up is the zoom functionality. The camera almost makes you feel like a paparazzi as you can zoom in and take great images from far away - who knew the neighbours curtains were that shade of mauve? There are also a number of simple predefined settings available with a simple turn of a dial - night landscapes, portraits etc. I was very impressed with the speed in which the photos actually got taken; too often I have had a digital camera that seems to take an age between me pressing the button and the photo being taken. For someone like me, who is not the best at taking photos, the simplicity of the `P500' meant that my photos were noticeably improved in an instant. There are a number of advanced options for hobbyists, but they proved beyond me.

There are a couple of minor issues with the build of the camera that may annoy some people; the grip is a little small if you have larger hands and the screen has no form of protection so gets dirty easily. The only issue that really annoyed me was the loose nature of the battery. On more than one occasion it has detached itself within the camera so I think it is out of juice. Little issues with the build quality means the `P500' is a great camera, but perhaps not the best. Overall, a pretty cool camera, just a shame about the name!
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