Nikon Coolpix B500 Review

We review the Nikon Coolpix B500, the 40x ultra zoom camera powered by AA batteries, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

| Nikon Coolpix B500 in Compact Cameras
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Nikon Coolpix B500 Review: Nikon Coolpix B500 Black (2)

The Nikon Coolpix B500 is an ultra zoom bridge camera, with a 40x optical zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor, a tilting 3inch screen, and built in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth. The Nikon Coolpix B500 is available in a number of different colours, and takes AA batteries.


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Nikon Coolpix B500 Features

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The Nikon Coolpix B500 features a 40x optical zoom lens, zooming from a wide-angle 22.5mm to 900mm in 35mm equivalent terms, with built in Vibration Reduction (VR) optical image stabilisation to keep shots sharp when shooting in low light or when using the optical zoom. There's a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, and the camera has a number of modes that can be selected from the mode dial, including automatic modes, scene modes, and creative effect modes. The camera doesn't feature manual controls, but does let you change a number of settings including ISO and white balance.

On the side of the camera is another zoom control with a side zoom button to quickly pan out so you can re-find your subject if you've lost it. The camera updates last years Nikon Coolpix L840, which has a 38x optical zoom lens, and also uses AA batteries.

The Coolpix B500 (insert joke about taking the B road here), features built-in Wi-Fi and NFC for connection to a compatible smartphone or tablet. The camera also has built-in Bluetooth for use with Nikon's Snapbridge software. This is designed for easy and low-power image transfers, as Bluetooth uses much less power than Wi-Fi. Using the app you can transfer images as well as remotely control the camera.

FullHD video recording is included, and the camera lets you use optical zoom while recording, and audio is recorded with the built-in stereo microphones.

Nikon Coolpix B500 Review: Nikon Coolpix B500 Black (4)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 40x optical zoom lens, 22.5mm-900mm equivalent, f/3-6.5
  • Vibration Reduction (VR) optical image stabilisation
  • 3inch tilting screen, 921K dots
  • FullHD video recording, stereo sound
  • ISO125-ISO6400
  • 1cm Macro
  • Panoramic shooting
  • 9fps continuous shooting for 7 shots
  • Wi-Fi / NFC / Bluetooth connectivity
  • Available in black, plum, and red

Nikon Coolpix B500 Handling

Nikon Coolpix B500 Review: Nikon Coolpix B500 Black (6)

The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a large hand-grip with a good rubber grip that has a very grippy textured pattern on it. When using this in combination with the thumb grip on the back of the camera it's very easy to get a good hold of the camera, helping you keep it steady. There is no electronic viewfinder, so you will need to use the rear screen to compose and frame your shots, but thankfully the screen tilts which helps when using the camera outdoors. 

There are a number of controls on the camera, including a mode dial, giving quick access to common settings, including exposure compensation, macro shooting, and video recording. The buttons are clearly labelled, and with on-screen text explaining the shooting modes, the camera is easy to use. The menus are clearly laid out and text is clear is easy to read. The screen looks good, and because you can tilt the screen you can set the screen so that is is easy to see even when shooting outdoors in bright sunlight. 

Nikon Coolpix B500 Review: Nikon Coolpix B500 Black (9)

Wi-Fi features / Snapbridge: With built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth you can transfer images to your smartphone, and if yours features NFC, then setting up the connection is even easier. You can also used the app to shoot remotely, and you can adjust the optical zoom. There's an option to add GPS data from your smartphone to photos, as well as setting the camera's time. 

Nikon Coolpix B500 Review: Snapbridge Connect Nikon Coolpix B500 Review: Snapbridge Remote Shooting Nikon Coolpix B500 Review: Snapbridge Camera Settings
Connect Remote Shooting Camera Settings

Battery life - You can shoot approx. 600 shots when using alkaline batteries, approx. 1240 shots when using lithium batteries, or approx. 750 shots when using Rechargeable EN-MH2 batteries. This is quite impressive and should mean you can get a good amount of shots before needing to worry about the batteries.

Nikon Coolpix B500 Review: Nikon Coolpix B500 Black (8)

Speed - The camera is reasonably quick at switching on and shooting, with focus speeds okay when shooting towards the wide-angle end of the lens, or when not using much zoom. When using full optical zoom, the camera can take longer to focus. Continuous shooting is impressive, as the camera can shoot at 9fps for 7 shots.

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix B500

after darkoospacesspinpitReflection on CrocusDramatic cloudsSunny raysOn PatrolDon't mess with meNetley Abbey HampshireCrocus heavenThe EgretI'll scratch my itch while you do the house workCrocus carpet

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MEJKreations Avatar
26 Mar 2017 11:33PM
Thanks for your review.

I recently picked up this camera a few days ago, and so far I'm totally happy with it. I don't have a lot of experience with various cameras, but I do know what I like or don't. I'm finding this camera very easy to use and there's a lot here for someone who, like me, is a photography enthusiast who likes having a decent camera to take on photo walks and to record bits of my life in pictures.

The cameras I've had in the past haven't had great zoom capabilities, & so, for me, the zoom on this camera is amazing. I'm having a lot of fun playing around with it. I've been able to shoot fairly good camera from a super long distance. This is not the most important feature on this camera for me, but it is something that's adding to the fun.

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