Nikon Coolpix B500 Digital Camera Review

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When it comes to investing in a new camera, it’s always a question of ‘want’ vs. ‘need.’

If you’re a professional photographer, then you’re likely investing to expand your arsenal with new camera abilities. If you’re a newbie, then it’s a little more difficult – cheap and easy, or quality but complicated?

The Nikon Coolpix B500 digital camera doesn’t force you to choose between a want and a need – a great starting camera for those new to DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex) cameras.

nikon b500 review

Its high quality interface is easy to pick up and practice with, providing rewarding photos even as you get the feel of things.

The bundle comes with everything you’ll need to start, including external storage, a tripod, and cleaning supplies.

This will be the best digital camera for those who wish to get into photography or desire a well-rounded camera for everyday use. However, there are some flaws.

Here we break down all you need to know, so you can make the best buying decision.

Nikon COOLPIX B500 Digital Camera: Deluxe Accessory Bundle with Cleaning Kit and 32GB SDHC Memory Card

Specs

  • Weight: 1.19 lbs
  • How many megapixels: 16 MP
  • Internal Memory: 20 GB
  • Flash Type: Built-In
  • Display Size: 3 inches
  • Display Resolution:  9210,000 dots/307,200 pixels
  • Optical Zoom: 40x
  • Viewfinder Type: Flexible LCD

Accessories

  • 32 GB SDHC Class 10 External Memory Card
  • Xpix Table Tripod
  • Protective Medium Case
  • Compatible Charger
  • SD Card Reader/Writer
  • 2-IN-1 Cleaning Pen
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • Air Blower Brush
  • Cleaning Accessories
  • AN-CP21 Strap
  • UC-E16 USB Cable
  • LC-CP31 Lens Cap for COOLPIX L840

Features

Panoramic Shot

One of the features offered by this camera is the panoramic shot, in which you’re able to take wider photos to capture everything involved in a stunning view, or to simply get everyone in the room in on a picture.

The feature is not perfect and requires a bit of a steady hand in order to carefully glide it along at an even level, and motion within the shot can result in a disconnection with the subject, such as an arm out of place or a facial expression mixed-up.

Though with some practice (and stability) you’ll be able to get wider shots, in one frame.

Lighting Control

The low light sensor in the camera eliminates some (though not all) worry and work when it comes to taking photos inside or in an area with poor lighting.

It helps to make these hard to get shots from looking washed out and more vibrant.

The built-in flash will also help in nabbing better quality photos in low light.

Three-Inch LCD Screen

The Nikon Coolpix B500 camera comes with 1080p Full HD video when using the flip-up LCD.

The three-inch screen allows for tilting, so it’s as versatile as your needs for videotaping.

nikon coolpix b500 review

Using the video feature will drain the battery and use up memory quickly due to the high quality and massive amounts of data being stored, though.

Nonetheless, this isn’t an issue with the Nikon B500, but a concern for all cameras that come equipped with a video setting.

No Vibration Worries

Lens-Shift Vibration Reduction (VR) stabilizes shots taken and reduces blur, which could be caused either by yourself or your camera shaking.

It allows for sharper images without shortening the exposure, and it also keeps your image stable during windy conditions.

Advanced Storage

The camera arrives complete with three methods of image transfer, aside from physically connecting the camera to your computer.

Options include: Advanced Bluetooth (BLE), Wi-Fi connection, and Near Field Communication (NFC) Connectivity.

These features allow for easy access to your photos from a compatible smartphone or tablet, and it also gives control over your camera from said smartphone or tablet.

This feature is especially handy for remote captures, such as being a part of group shots where the camera is on a tripod.

Power Efficient

The camera runs on standard AA batteries and can take approximately 900 pictures with one set of batteries.

The power may drain faster if connected to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or if you’re using the video function.

There is, however, a “low-power” Bluetooth setting for this particular concern.

nikon coolpix b500 review

Auto-Focus

A blessing for those unfamiliar with manually focusing a camera or who wish to take pictures faster, this Nikon comes with an auto-focus setting.

Depending on which direction the camera is pointed and the closest object in range, it will zero in on the target without outside guidance, making impromptu shots higher quality.

However, there is no manual focus control. There are some controls that allow the camera to reassess the setting by zooming in and out.

Creative Mode

The Nikon Coolpix B500 encourages you to get artsy with its ‘Creative Mode’.

You’ll have the option of choosing from five professionally created presets that use the camera’s functions to create interesting photos.

Scene Mode

Easily give your photos the right treatment by using the Nikon Scene Mode. These modes include beach, night, sunset and portrait so the camera can adjust its settings depending on your environment.

With the camera ‘setting the mood’ for you, you can focus on your shots without fumbling around for those ‘just right’ settings.

If you’re unsure on what mode to use, there’s an easy-mode, another automatic feature that lets the camera figure it out for you.

Nikon Coolpix B500 Review

The Positives

Comprehensive

The bundle comes with just about everything you need to use and take care of your camera.

DSLR cameras need more care than non-DSLR cameras, as the lenses are larger, and therefore call for additional maintenance to ensure your pictures are uninhibited.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 camera comes with everything a beginner knows they need as well as some surprise extras, such as the Air Blower Brush.

Also considering purchasing these accessories separately would rack up quite the bill, you’re getting a good value with these being included.

nikon coolpix b500 review

Easy to Use

Higher-end cameras tend to be more confusing for those new to DSLR – or, for that matter, new to anything other than “point-and-click” cameras and phones.

Its automatic operations take some control out of the user’s hands, but result in an easier-to-use camera that eliminates the need to fiddle with minute controls.

Auto-focus functions allow quicker shots for those not yet used to manual focus, and the menu is clearly labeled and easy to follow in order to get what you need.

Auto-flash can also be turned on or off depending on your tastes.

And for those that still have trouble, the camera comes with an instruction manual which explains all of the bells and whistles as well as how to utilize them.

Multiple Shooting Modes

Rather than manual controls, this camera comes pre-equipped with different “shooting modes,” or specialized settings for shots like: fully automatic, scene, portrait, movie, and others.

This function removes uncertainty, and the automatic setting is a comprehensive tool for almost all shots, providing a versatile mode for many different photo opportunities in quick succession.

Connectivity

Those of us who don’t have regular access to a computer, are on the go, or just find it daunting to fuss around with wires will be happy with the connectivity (and freedom) this camera provides.

Instead of waiting until you have access to a laptop or something to transfer your photos to, you can share your professionally shot photos quicker and easier.

Simply connect your camera to your phone or tablet via bluetooth or Wifi, and transfer your photos easily.

This is also helpful for those who want to store their photos safely, in case anything should happen to the camera while shooting.

Warranty

Whether you’re a beginner, hobbyist, or want to give this as a gift to a budding photographer, you’ll be happy to know that this camera is covered under one-year warranty.

This warranty covers both the camera and accessories so you won’t have to worry and can focus on getting quality practice with your camera.

Here’s a video showing what the camera looks like out of the box.

The Negatives

Beginner’s Camera Only

In order to produce a camera that is easy to use, some features that are expected of higher-end cameras are not included.

The lens is fixed and not removable or replaceable with other lenses. A couple functions may leave something to be desired for more experienced photographers, and the quality is good but not great for professionals.

The lack of customization may end up costing a professional photographer more in the long run, as you’d need to buy a different, higher end camera for more manual control.

Lack of Manual Control

The camera does not allow manual control over focus, aperture, or shutter speed – and doesn’t shoot in the RAW format.

The lack of shutter speed control is a hit to creative and/or experimental shots. If you’re planning on taking your photography to the next quickly, you’ll need to upgrade sooner than later.

nikon coolpix b500 review

Limited tilting screen

The tilting screen can be pushed up and down slightly and can only be moved away from the body a small distance.

While still handy for awkward-to-shoot pictures, it cannot turn all the way around to allow for selfies.

Overall Verdict

This product is best suited for those who are just getting started in photography or have a need to upgrade to a DSLR camera.

The camera makes good use of its auto functions and the wireless capabilities, transforming the uploading and editing pictures routine into a simple process.

The lack of control over the camera makes it not recommended for those that are pursing photography as a profession or as an artist hobby.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 is best used to take pictures of small business products, small gatherings or special occasions, vacation pictures, or other forms of daily use rather than artistic use.

Where to Buy the Nikon Coolpix B500

Nikon is a name you hear in photography time and time again. When browsing your local department, electronic, or photography stores, chances are, you’ve seen a Nikon on display.

This company has rooted itself into the photography world, making it easy to find their products.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 is no different, and can be found both in-store and online.

To start, check out the following online retailers.

And of course the Nikon Coolpix B500 (and the bundle) can be found on Amazon.

nikon coolpix b500 digital camera


That’s it for our review on the Nikon Coolpix B500. Tempted to give it a ‘shot’?


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