Nikon P500

 
Nikon Coolpix P500 front
 
  • 12MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 160 - 3200
  • Sensor-shift Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 23-810mm (F3.4-5.7) lens
  • 494g - 116 x 84 x 103mm
  • Announced February 2011
  • New Model is Nikon P510
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
Portability
67
Imaging
37
Features
44
Overall
39

Nikon P500 summary

Nikon P500 is Nikon's Small Sensor Superzoom digital camera originally introduced on February of 2011. It houses a 12 MegaPixel, BSI-CMOS 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4000 x 3000.

Nikon introduced the fresher Nikon P510 (Read Full Comparison) to update this model.

The P500 is positioned #163 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and over all #746 out of 1428 for digital cameras in our list. You should try our Advanced camera filter to see camera ratings based on your personalized factors.

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The following is a diagram of multiple factors used in the rating system.

Nikon P500 history

The Nikon P500 comes with a history of related digital cameras. Down below, you can take a look at all older and latest models along with main specs.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Nikon-Coolpix-P950 front thumbnailNikon P950
P500 vs P950
24-2000mm
F2.8-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2020
Nikon-Coolpix-P1000 front thumbnailNikon P1000
P500 vs P1000
24-3000mm
F2.8-8
16MP1/2.3"2018
Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
Nikon-Coolpix-P900 front thumbnailNikon P900
P500 vs P900
24-2000mm
F2.8-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Nikon-Coolpix-P610 front thumbnailNikon P610
P500 vs P610
24-1440mm
F3.3-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Nikon-Coolpix-P530 front thumbnailNikon P530
P500 vs P530
24-1000mm
F3.0-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Nikon-Coolpix-P600 front thumbnailNikon P600
P500 vs P600
24-1440mm
F3.3-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Nikon-Coolpix-P520 front thumbnailNikon P520
P500 vs P520
24-1000mm
F3.0-5.9
18MP1/2.3"2013
Nikon-Coolpix-P510 front thumbnailNikon P510
P500 vs P510
24-1000mm
F3.0-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2012
Nikon-Coolpix-P500 front thumbnailNikon P50023-810mm
F3.4-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2011
Nikon-Coolpix-P100 front thumbnailNikon P100
P500 vs P100
26-678mm
F2.8-5.0
10MP1/2.3"2010
Nikon-Coolpix-P90 front thumbnailNikon P90
P500 vs P90
26-624mm
F2.8-5.0
12MP1/2.3"2009
Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
Nikon-Coolpix-P80 front thumbnailNikon P80
P500 vs P80
27-486mm
F2.8-4.0
10MP1/2.3"2009

Nikon P500 Pros and Cons

Below is a collection of benefits and drawbacks of the Nikon P500 based on aspects that are generally considered essential in a digital camera.

amazing zoom range (23-810mm 35.2 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
flash built-in
high quality video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
high resolution screen (921 k dots)
includes HDMI socket
nice screen size (3 inches)
provides face detect focusing
provides tracking focus
rather wide (23mm)
screen tilts up and down
very long reach (810mm)
you can focus manually
bad battery pack (220 CIPA)
can't use external flash
does not offer selfie friendly screen
lack of phase detect AF
lack of RAW files
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
low frames per second (1.0 fps)
low resolution sensor (12 megapixels)
more heavy than others in class (494 grams)
no headphone socket
no microphone socket
no Timelapse mode
slow at full zoom (f5.7)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.4)
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Nikon P500 Sensor details

The Nikon P500 houses the Expeed C2 processor. The sensor spec on the Nikon P500 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to capture 4000 x 3000 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Sensor-shift). In body stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization since the latter may cause cropping.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

The BSI-CMOS sensor boasts 12 megapixels and delivers a standard ISO range of 160 to 3200. Sadly, RAW photos are not saved which means that the user has less margin for error.

The image below displays the P500's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The P500 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is displayed in green.

Nikon Coolpix P500 sensor size Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon P500 dimensions

Nikon P500 has a weight of 1.09 lbs (494g or 17.43 ounces) and features outer measurements of 116mm x 84mm x 103mm (4.6" x 3.3" x 4.1"). The weight of typical Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387g and the Nikon P500 is weightier in comparison with other rivals.

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The following is a photo of the Nikon P500 beside a softdrink so you can have a sense of its scale.

Nikon Coolpix P500 dimensions scale

The top view here will illustrate the button design on the P500.

Nikon Coolpix P500 topview buttons dials

Nikon P500 Lens specs

The P500 features a built-in lens and it has a focal range of 23-810mm giving it a 35.2 x zoom which is perfect and would enable you to zoom right in.

At the widest 23mm, it provides an aperture of f3.4 making it rather slow and not the best in low light situations and you may find it difficult to capture good bokeh. You will likely also need to raise the ISO which causes noisy images. With the tele end, 810mm is brilliant zoom and comes with f5.7 which is quite slow and you will need to use slower shutter speeds.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Nikon P500 Connectivity

The P500 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras which include NFC and Bluetooth support are able to be used wirelessly via smartphones. You can copy images and in some cases adjust camera settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

Many applications even give a Liveview and hit the shutter if you are not near the camera. If the camera includes a HDMI out, it can easily be attached to an external display. Most cameras will allow you to recharge the battery pack with the USB port.

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Nikon P500 Video specs

The max video resolution on the Nikon P500 is 1920 x 1080 and it can shoot in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 1080p resolution will provide a decent balance in video quality versus file sizes but 1080p is not going to give you much room to downsample. The camera does not have a mic and headphone port which means you have little control over your sound. It is perhaps a better idea to get a different camera in case you require better sound in your videos.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records

Nikon P500 Weather Sealing

There is no environment sealing for the Nikon P500 so you need to be careful in rainy and dusty situations.

Nikon P500 Screen and Viewfinder

The Nikon P500 is equipped with a 3" tilting display supporting a resolution of 921k dots.

Sadly the display isn't a touch screen.

Nikon Coolpix P500 screen and viewfinder Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

The View Finder specs regarding Nikon P500 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic

In those bright outdoor situations which make the camera displays washed out and tough to view, viewfinders will be rather useful.

Nikon P500 Shutter specs

Nikon P500 is able to shoot continuously at 1.0 fps. The highest shutter speed is 1/1500 sec.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Nikon P500 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Nikon P500 has got only in-built flash with missing external flash support.

Nikon P500 Autofocus specs

Nikon P500 has got just Contrast Based Auto Focus and lacks Phase Detect Auto Focus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot quicker and accurate in comparison with Contrast Based focusing. The camera supports Face detection making it valuable for people photography.

It supports 9 focus points to select from. It also comes with Tracking Auto Focus for moving subjects. Nikon P500 comes with manual focusing when needed in low light situations or you want to have more exact control on focusing.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Nikon P500 Battery life

The battery pack (EN-EL5) for the Nikon P500 is built to last for 220 photos as per the CIPA standards which is less compared with its competition. The usual Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR has got the maximum (600) battery life in this range of cameras.

Following is a listing of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras having the best battery life:

Nikon P500 for specific types of photography

The following illustration provides a outline of the Nikon P500 for specific types of photography. To look at more, have a look at the specific section below.

Portrait photography with Nikon P500

The Nikon P500 receives a score of 35 which is lousy, meaning that it is not very good to use for portrait photos. Shooting portrait photos leans heavily to sensor dimensions, RAW support along with the option to work with off-camera flash.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
focusing manually
comes with face detection focus
can't use external flash
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
lacks RAW files

Nikon P500 Street photography factors

With a moderate points total of 51, the Nikon P500 is fairly suited to use in street photography. A decent street photography camera has a perfect balance of image quality plus portability.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business
tilting screen
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
has no RAW files
more heavy than competitors in class (494g)

Nikon P500 Sports photography advice

A lousy sports photography points tally of 37 indicates the Nikon P500 is not very good for photographing sports. A camera must have very good focusing and shutter speeds for sports photography.

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incredible zoom range (23-810mm 35.2 x zoom)
has image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
comes with tracking focus
slow frames per second (1.0 frames per second)
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
bad battery (220 shots)
doesn't have phase detect autofocus

Nikon P500 as a Travel photography camera

Weight is extremely critical when picking a travel camera. All round, the Nikon P500 gets a moderate 47 as a travelling camera which is relatively appropriate to take with you on your vacations.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
built-in flash
decently wide (23mm)
very long zoom (810mm)
does not have Timelapse recording
low battery life (220 CIPA)
more heavy than competition in class (494 grams)
low MP (12 megapixels)
does not contain selfie friendly display
slow max aperture (f3.4)

Nikon P500 Landscape photography features

If you're looking to buy a camera for landscape photos, the biggest aspect is going to be image quality. The Nikon P500 and it's lousy grade of 39 for a landscape camera is not very good amongst its competition.

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manual focus
quite wide (23mm)
good sized screen (3")
built in image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
cannot change lens (fixed lens mount)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.4)
low megapixels (12MP)
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
lack of RAW files
terrible battery life (220 shots)
lack of Timelapse mode

Nikon P500 Vlogging info

A camera for vlogging really should posses a articulating screen, mic input and preferably IBIS. Taking everything in to account, the Nikon P500 is not very good as a vlog camera as it delivers a lousy score of 27.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
quite wide (23mm)
image stabilization (Sensor-shift)
provides face detect focus
video resolution high (1920 x 1080 pxls)
sluggish max aperture (f3.4)
doesn't have a selfie friendly display
no mic support
heavier than competition (494 grams)

Nikon P500 Alternatives

If you are interested in replacements to the P500, below is a selection of the highest ranked cameras that fall within the category of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The diagram here provides you an overview of the P500 compared to it's highest scoring rivals listed earlier.

Following are several cameras you may consider as alternative options. To read a thorough comparison, click the "compare" link.

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Specifications

General Information
Brand Name
Nikon
Model type
Nikon Coolpix P500
Type
Small Sensor Superzoom
Announced
2011-02-09
Physical type
SLR-like (bridge)
Sensor Information
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
Processor Chip
Expeed C2
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
12 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Peak resolution
4000 x 3000
RAW support
Highest native ISO
3200
Minimum native ISO
160
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Touch to focus
AF continuous
Single AF
Tracking AF
Selective AF
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
AF live view
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Total focus points
9
Lens
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
23-810mm (35.2x)
Max aperture
f/3.4-5.7
Macro focusing distance
1cm
Crop factor
5.8
Screen
Screen type
Tilting
Screen sizing
3 inches
Resolution of screen
921k dots
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch friendly
Screen tech
TFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Electronic
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Features
Min shutter speed
8 secs
Max shutter speed
1/1500 secs
Continuous shutter rate
1.0fps
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Yes
Set WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
8.00 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow-sync
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment
Average
Spot
Partial
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720p (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30fps)
Highest video resolution
1920x1080
Video data format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone port
Headphone port
Connectivity
Wireless
None
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
None
Physical
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
494g (1.09 lbs)
Dimensions
116 x 84 x 103mm (4.6" x 3.3" x 4.1")
Other
Battery life
220 photographs
Type of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
EN-EL5
Self timer
Yes (10 or 2 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Card slots
One
Launch pricing
$399