Nikon P520

 
Nikon Coolpix P520 front
 
  • 18MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3.2" Fully Articulated Display
  • ISO 80 - 3200
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 24-1000mm (F3.0-5.9) lens
  • 550g - 125 x 84 x 102mm
  • Revealed January 2013
  • Succeeded the Nikon P510
  • Replacement is Nikon P530
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
Portability
66
Imaging
44
Features
51
Overall
46

Nikon P520 summary

Nikon P520 is Nikon's Small Sensor Superzoom camera originally released on January of 2013. The camera comes with a 18MP, BSI-CMOS 1/2.3" size sensor with a full resolution of 4896 x 3672.

Nikon released this camera in an effort to replace the earlier Nikon P510 (Read Full Comparison) and afterwards released the updated Nikon P530 (Read Full Comparison) as a way to update this model.

The P520 comes in at #51 out of 243 in Small Sensor Superzoom cameras and overall #474 out of 1422 for digital cameras in our list. Please look at our Smart camera filter to see camera rankings based on your customized requirements.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

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

Nikon P520 family

The Nikon P520 is part of a family of digital cameras. You can read the complete list underneath.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Nikon-Coolpix-P950 front thumbnailNikon P950
P520 vs P950
24-2000mm
F2.8-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2020
Nikon-Coolpix-P1000 front thumbnailNikon P1000
P520 vs P1000
24-3000mm
F2.8-8
16MP1/2.3"2018
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Nikon-Coolpix-P900 front thumbnailNikon P900
P520 vs P900
24-2000mm
F2.8-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Nikon-Coolpix-P610 front thumbnailNikon P610
P520 vs P610
24-1440mm
F3.3-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2015
Nikon-Coolpix-P530 front thumbnailNikon P530
P520 vs P530
24-1000mm
F3.0-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Nikon-Coolpix-P600 front thumbnailNikon P600
P520 vs P600
24-1440mm
F3.3-6.5
16MP1/2.3"2014
Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
Nikon-Coolpix-P520 front thumbnailNikon P52024-1000mm
F3.0-5.9
18MP1/2.3"2013
Nikon-Coolpix-P510 front thumbnailNikon P510
P520 vs P510
24-1000mm
F3.0-5.9
16MP1/2.3"2012
Nikon-Coolpix-P500 front thumbnailNikon P500
P520 vs P500
23-810mm
F3.4-5.7
12MP1/2.3"2011
Nikon-Coolpix-P100 front thumbnailNikon P100
P520 vs P100
26-678mm
F2.8-5.0
10MP1/2.3"2010
Nikon-Coolpix-P90 front thumbnailNikon P90
P520 vs P90
26-624mm
F2.8-5.0
12MP1/2.3"2009
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
Nikon-Coolpix-P80 front thumbnailNikon P80
P520 vs P80
27-486mm
F2.8-4.0
10MP1/2.3"2009

Nikon P520 Pros and Cons

Here is a list of pros and cons of the Nikon P520 based on features which are usually regarded as crucial in a camera.

fairly wide (24mm)
flash built-in
good minimum ISO (80)
has image stabilization (Optical)
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
high resolution screen (921 k dot)
includes HDMI support
incredible zoom range (24-1000mm 41.7 x zoom)
long zoom (1000mm)
manual focus
resolution is good (18MP)
screen articulates fully
screen size is good (3.2 inch)
selfie friendly screen
heavier than competition in class (550 grams)
lack of external mic jack
lack of headphone jack
lack of Time Lapse mode
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
max zoom aperture not good (f5.9)
no external flash support
no phase detect autofocus
no RAW format
not so great battery life (200 per charge)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
sluggish max aperture (f3.0)
Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

Nikon P520 Sensor features

The sensor spec in the Nikon P520 is 6.16mm x 4.62mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can capture 4896 x 3672 pixels . The camera boasts Image Stabilization (Optical). In body stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization as the latter may cause cropping.

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The BSI-CMOS sensor boasts 18MP and gives a native ISO range of 80 - 3200. Unfortunately, RAW photos are not supported therefore you have less room to maneuver in post.

The graphic underneath shows the P520's sensor size in comparison to other common sizes. The P520 sensor comes with a crop factor of 5.8 and is pointed out in green.

Nikon Coolpix P520 sensor size Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

To get an understanding of different aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon P520 dimensions

Nikon P520 weighs around 1.21 lb (550g or 19.40 oz) and the size of the camera is 125mm x 84mm x 102mm (4.9" x 3.3" x 4.0"). The weight of average Small Sensor Superzoom camera is 387g so the Nikon P520 is heavier compared to various competitors.

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

Down below is a picture of the Nikon P520 with a softdrink to help you to have a feel for its size.

Nikon Coolpix P520 dimensions scale

The top view just below will show you the button arrangement on the P520.

Nikon Coolpix P520 topview buttons dials

Nikon P520 Lens features

The P520 is equipped with an inbuilt lens giving a focal range of 24-1000mm making it a 41.7 x zoom which is exceptional and can allow you to zoom all the way in.

At it's widest 24mm, the lens will have an aperture of f3.0 making it very sluggish and not very good in low light conditions and you might find it difficult to capture a shallow depth of field. You might also need to increase your ISO producing noisy files. Towards the long end, 1000mm is amazing zoom and comes to f5.9 making it very sluggish and you will have to use slow shutter speeds.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone

Nikon P520 Connectivity

The P520 has the following connectivity:

  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras which have NFC and Bluetooth support can be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You can easily transfer photos and in some cases change camera settings with no need to connect directly with the camera.

Many apps also allow a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera comes with a HDMI out, it can be hooked up to an external display. A lot of cameras enable you to charge the battery pack using the USB socket.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Nikon P520 Video features

The highest possible video quality in the Nikon P520 is 1920 x 1080 and it can save in format. 1080p quality can provide a good balance for quality vs file size but 1080p will not leave you with much room to crop. The body does not offer a mic and headphone port which means that you have got zero control over your audio. It is probably best to purchase an alternative model if you need good audio in your video clips.

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Nikon P520 Weather Sealing

There is no environment proofing in the Nikon P520 so you have to be careful in wet or dusty conditions.

Nikon P520 Display and Viewfinder

The Nikon P520 comes with a 3.2" fully articulated display with a resolution of 921k dots.

The display is selfie friendly to get self portraits as well as group photos when necessary. Unfortunately the display is not a touch screen.

Nikon Coolpix P520 screen and viewfinder Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

The ViewFinder specifications regarding Nikon P520 are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic

In those sunny outdoor conditions that make the camera displays washed out and tricky to view, viewfinders are very helpful.

Nikon P520 Shutter features

Nikon P520 can shoot continuously at 7.0 frames/s. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

Handle those 8K RED files like a boss

Nikon P520 Flash and Hot shoe features

Nikon P520 boasts just in-built flash with no external flash support.

Nikon P520 Autofocusing features

Nikon P520 boasts only Contrast Detect AF and is missing Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is more faster and exact compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing.

The AF system comes with 9 focus points to pick from. Nikon P520 has manual focus if required for low light scenarios or you need more precise control on focus.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down

Nikon P520 Battery life

The battery life (EN-EL5) in the Nikon P520 is designed to last for 200 clicks with respect to the CIPA specifications making it less as compared to its rivals. The average Small Sensor Superzoom camera battery life is 316. Fujifilm HS35EXR features the best (600) battery life for this class of cameras.

Following is a collection of Small Sensor Superzoom cameras having the strongest battery life:

Nikon P520 for varying styles of photography

The following illustration presents a outline of the Nikon P520 for varying styles of photography. To find out more, go to the specific paragraph underneath.

Portrait photography with Nikon P520

The Nikon P520 gets a rating of 42 which is lousy, and means the camera is not suitable for portraits. Photographing portraits favors greatly towards sensor specs, RAW support together with the potential to utilize external lighting.

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manual focus
decent sensor resolution (18 megapixels)
can't use external flash
sensor is tiny (1/2.3")
doesn't have RAW format

Nikon P520 as a Street photography camera

With a modest points tally of 51, the Nikon P520 is relatively suitable to use in street photography. A good street photography camera provides a good balance of picture quality and portability.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos
screen can move to multiple angles
built in image stabilization (Optical)
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
does not have RAW files
heavier than competition (550 grams)

Nikon P520 Sports photography factors

A average sports photography rating of 47 means the Nikon P520 is relatively acceptable for taking pictures of sports. A camera needs to have good focusing plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
amazing zoom range (24-1000mm 41.7 x zoom)
built in image stabilization (Optical)
MP count good (18 megapixels)
small sensor size (1/2.3")
not so great battery (200 per charge)
does not have phase detect auto focus

Travel photography with Nikon P520

Size is very crucial in picking a travel camera. On the whole, the Nikon P520 gets a modest 57 for a travel camera which makes it reasonably acceptable for your journeys.

Control Profoto B10 & B10 Plus with your Android Phone
decent MP (18MP)
flash built-in
selfie friendly screen
really wide (24mm)
long reach (1000mm)
lack of Time Lapse recording
terrible battery (200 CIPA)
heavier than competition in class (550 grams)
somewhat slow max aperture (f3.0)

Nikon P520 Landscape photography info

In case you're looking to choose a camera for landscape photos, the most essential aspect will be image quality. The Nikon P520 with it's decent score of 46 as a landscape camera is fairly suited among it's rivals.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
has manual focus
decently wide (24mm)
nice screen size (3.2 inch)
image stabilization (Optical)
resolution is good (18MP)
can't swap lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.0)
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
lack of RAW support
bad battery life (200 CIPA)
does not have Timelapse recording

Nikon P520 as a Vlogging camera

A camera for vlogging really should posses a moving display screen, mic input and if possible IBIS. Considering everything, the Nikon P520 is relatively appropriate as a vlog camera as it delivers a average rating of 58.

Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month
pretty wide (24mm)
selfie friendly display
image stabilization (Optical)
high res video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
sluggish max aperture (f3.0)
doesn't have mic support
heavier than competitors (550g)

Nikon P520 Alternatives

If you want replacements to the P520, below is a range of the top scored cameras which fall within the class of Small Sensor Superzoom.

The diagram followed below provides you a summary of the P520 compared to it's highest rated rivals mentioned above.

Following are several cameras you might take into account as alternative options. To read a comprehensive comparison, go to the "compare" link.

Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Specifications

General Information
Brand Name
Nikon
Model
Nikon Coolpix P520
Type
Small Sensor Superzoom
Revealed
2013-01-29
Body design
SLR-like (bridge)
Sensor Information
Sensor type
BSI-CMOS
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor dimensions
6.16 x 4.62mm
Sensor surface area
28.5mm²
Sensor resolution
18 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Max resolution
4896 x 3672
RAW pictures
Max native ISO
3200
Lowest native ISO
80
Autofocusing
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Number of focus points
9
Lens
Lens mounting type
fixed lens
Lens focal range
24-1000mm (41.7x)
Largest aperture
f/3.0-5.9
Macro focus range
1cm
Focal length multiplier
5.8
Screen
Display type
Fully Articulated
Display size
3.2 inch
Display resolution
921k dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch function
Display technology
TFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Electronic
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Features
Minimum shutter speed
8 secs
Fastest shutter speed
1/4000 secs
Continuous shutter speed
7.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Yes
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Hot shoe
AE bracketing
White balance bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment
Average
Spot
Partial
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080
Max video resolution
1920x1080
Mic input
Headphone input
Connectivity
Wireless
Optional
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
none
GPS
BuiltIn
Physical
Environmental seal
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
Weight
550g (1.21 lbs)
Physical dimensions
125 x 84 x 102mm (4.9" x 3.3" x 4.0")
Other
Battery life
200 photographs
Form of battery
Battery Pack
Battery model
EN-EL5
Time lapse shooting
Storage media
SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage slots
1
Retail cost
$380