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Nikon Coolpix B600 Review

Nikon Coolpix B600 Review - The Nikon Coolpix B600 is a new entry-level ultra zoom camera from Nikon, with a 60x optical zoom lens, a 16mp CMOS sensor, FullHD video recording, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.


|  Nikon COOLPIX B600 in Compact Cameras
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Nikon Coolpix B600 (11) Edited
 

Quick Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix B600 offers a 60x optical zoom lens in a relatively compact camera body, with easy to use controls, and good handling, but with just a 3inch screen on the back, and no electronic viewfinder, or tilting screen, it doesn't offer the same level of features as the competition. This coupled with a fairly high price make it difficult to recommend. If the price were to drop then it could be worth looking at, as colour reproduction is good.

+ Pros

  • 60x optical zoom lens
  • Good colour reproduction
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Easy to use

- Cons

  • Doesn't offer 4K video
  • Feels over-priced for a budget ultra-zoom
  • No manual modes, or raw shooting
  • Disappointing panoramas
 

 

Nikon Coolpix B600 (1)

The Nikon Coolpix B600 is a new entry-level ultra zoom camera from Nikon, with a 60x optical zoom lens, a 16mp CMOS sensor, FullHD video recording, and built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It's available for around £320. 


Nikon Coolpix B600 Features

Nikon Coolpix B600 (2)

The Nikon Coolpix B600 updates the Coolpix B500, adding a 60x optical zoom lens, rather than a 40x optical zoom lens. The lens is equivalent to 24 to 1440mm (in 35mm equivalent terms), with an f/3.3 to f/6.5 aperture. The lens will let you focus down to 1cm in macro mode. You can use the top zoom control, and there's also a side zoom control, on the left side of the lens barrel. 

 

One step forward, two steps back

However, the tilting screen has gone, battery life is much lower, as the camera uses a lithium-ion battery, instead of the AA batteries used in the B500. 

The camera is designed to be easy to use, and has a number of modes available on the top mode dial including: Auto, Creative Mode, Scene, Scene Auto Selector, Smart Portrait, Movie, and a number of the scene modes can be directly selected on the mode dial, these include: Night shot, Night Portrait, Backlighting, and Sport. 

In the Auto mode you get some control over ISO and white balance settings, but there are no manual controls over aperture or shutter speeds. The creative mode produces a number of automatically edited photos. If you want to choose the effects, you can edit your photos in playback, where there are effects including miniature, and toy camera. The backlighting mode has an option to shoot HDR images, where a number of shots are combined in to one. 

Wi-Fi and low-power Bluetooth are built-in making it easy to transfer images to your smartphone (or tablet) using Nikon's Snapbridge app. 

The camera records FullHD video, with stereo sound, and up to 30/25p. You can use the optical zoom while recording. 

Nikon Coolpix B600 (3)
 

Key Features

  • 16mp 1/2.3inch CMOS sensor
  • 60x optical zoom lens, 24-1440mm equivalent (in 35mm terms)
  • Vibration Reduction (Optical Image Stabilisation)
  • 3inch screen, 921k dots
  • FullHD video recording, with stereo sound
  • Pop-up flash
  • 7fps continuous shooting
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in
  • ISO125 to ISO1600/3200/6400
  • 1cm macro focus 
  • 280 shot battery life
  • Available from Amazon UK (Check price)

Nikon Coolpix B600 Handling

Nikon Coolpix B600 (5)
 

Handling - The Nikon Coolpix B600 is relatively compact, with a thin body, and a large comfortable handgrip, with lots of rubber grip to hold on to. There's a rubber area on the back for you thumb, and the button layout means you can reach everything with your right hand. There's also a textured grip around the bottom of the lens barrel, to help when you're holding the camera with two hands. We'd recommend this, particularly when using a lot of optical zoom. 

With a plastic body, you might expect the camera to feel flimsy, but instead the camera feels very well put together, with a sturdy feeling. The speckled effect on the plastic helps give the impression of a more premium model. 

The top of the camera features the mode dial, on/off button, shutter releaser button, with zoom rocker around this. On top, behind the pop-up flash, are stereo microphones, and the pop-up flash is opened manually, and closed in the same way. 

The buttons on the back give you quick access to flash, self-timer, exposure compensation, and macro focus. To change other settings you need to go in to the menus, and these are neatly laid out. There aren't too many options, and there is built-in help to explain each setting, making it easier to use. The video record button is guarded to avoid you accidentally pressing it. There's no quick access to other settings, unfortunately. 

Nikon Coolpix B600 (4)

The screen is clear and gives a good view of the scene, although unfortunately the screen doesn't tilt, which means viewing the screen in bright sunlight can be difficult at times, and a tilting screen would definitely help with more creative angles. 

Wi-Fi / Bluetooth Features - The Nikon “SnapBridge” app (available for Android and iOS) will let you transfer images over Bluetooth, as either 2mp images, or full-size images. If you transfer full-size images then this is noticeably slower than transferring 2mp images.

Nikon Coolpix B600 (7)

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 280 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is slightly below average for this class of camera. We'd recommend a spare battery if you plan on shooting more. Charging is via the MicroUSB connection, meaning you should be able to easily charge the camera when out and about. 

Speed - Focus speeds were reasonable in good light, although slower in lower light. The camera is reasonable in how quickly it responds once you've taken a photo, it's not lightning fast, but it's also not frustratingly slow, so should be okay for most things. It's not really fast enough to rapidly respond to things happening quickly, so if you spot something, you might miss the shot, as you wait for the camera to switch on and focus on a subject. 

 


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Comments


ElSid 11 9 United Kingdom
22 May 2019 4:33PM

Quote:and instead you have a fixed 3inch screen, which will seem tiny if you've ever used a smartphone. Why haven't camera screens increased in size in the same way as smartphones?


Because of size considerations?...Wink Even with their large screens smartphones are still very slim and thereby feel compact. I suppose it could be reasonably argued that replacing the mechanical buttons on the back with touchscreen equivalents would allow a wider screen without increasing the overall size but unless the default image format was altered to match it would there be any point? Handling might be compromised too depending on how the touchscreen worked.

Overall it also appears to be another example Nikon's current vogue for tinkering with a range only to end up issuing a camera that is less appealing that the one it replaces - most peculiar...

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KeithOT 13 10 United Kingdom
22 May 2019 7:41PM
It seems like a stripped down version of my Nikon P600 from a few years ago. That only has WiFi but has a tilting flip-out screen & a digital viewfinder. The lens looks identical with similar spec.

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