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Nikon Coolpix P500
12.1-megapixel camera with 36X optical zoom (Black)
Crutchfield: Is there a "right camera" for me?
Item # 054P500K | MFR # 26256
This item is no longer available.
Our take on the Nikon Coolpix P500 by Crutchfield's Meredith Krebs
Capture all the exciting plays
The soccer tournament is underway at last. Your child's team made the finals. With the 36X optical zoom on the Nikon Coolpix P500, you can get close enough to capture her look of total concentration. You can also get wide enough to photograph the whole field of play with the 22.5mm wide-angle lens. And when your daughter moves in to score, use the continuous sports mode to snap the exact moment when she kicks the ball into the net. Or switch to 1080p HD movie mode to capture the moment in an HD video clip.
Great features for shooting anywhere
The P500's 12.1-megapixel advanced CMOS image sensor ensures razor-sharp, detailed photos even when shooting in low light without a flash. Use the large, bright LCD screen or the viewfinder to compose your shots. You can even flip out the LCD and adjust its angle for better viewing, especially useful for sunny days or for tricky angles. And optical image stabilization helps to keep your photos steady when you're shooting without a tripod.
Love this guy so far! Just trying to get acquainted with it as there's so many functions available. The size is perfect and the optical zoom is awesome.
TRN, Richmond, Va
What's in the Box:
- Digital camera (black)
- EN-EL5 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery with plastic terminal cap (3.7V/1100mAh)
- EH-69P AC adapter (5V/0.55A)
- Lens cap
- Lens cap string
- Neck strap
- 59" USB cable (with Type A USB connector on one end and a proprietary connector on the other end)
- 48" A/V cable (with proprietary connector on one end and RCA stereo audio and composite video plugs on the other end
- ViewNX2 CD-ROM
- User's Manual CD-ROM
- Quick Start Guide (Eng / Span / Fren / Port)
- Nikon Digital Imaging Limited Warranty sheet
- mypicturetown.com sheet
- Online registration sheet
- For Your Safety sheet
- Errata sheet
- 12.1-megapixel effective recording
- 36X optical zoom (4X digital/144X total zoom)
- 3" vari-angle LCD screen that allows you to adjust the screen angle
- high LCD resolution (921,000 dots)
- records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
- 35mm equivalent focal length: 22.5-810mm
- wide-angle lens for shooting landscapes and large groups
- optical image stabilization with vibration reduction for blur-free photos
- high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
- advanced CMOS sensor for sharp photos even in low light
- continuous sports mode for shooting up to 5 frames in a row at 8 frames per second, at full resolution
- face priority autofocus for better portraits
- smile shutter and blink alert for capturing ideal expressions
- in-camera automatic red-eye correction
- D-Lighting mode brightens dark areas of recorded images
- built-in pop-up flash
- aperture-priority, shutter-priority, and manual exposure modes
- white balance compensation settings
- 102MB internal memory
Connections and Dimensions:
Nikon Coolpix P500 Reviews
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Features and Specs
|LCD Screen Size||3"|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||22.5-810 mm|
|Internal Memory||102 MB|
|Sensor Size||1/2.3" CMOS|
|Image Stabilization||Sensor Shift|
|Highest Resolution||4000 x 3000|
|Video Resolution||1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||17.5|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
3" Vari-angle LCD Monitor: The Nikon Coolpix P500 has a 3" TFT LCD monitor featuring approximately 921,000 dots, an anti-reflection coating and a five-level brightness adjustment. The LCD monitor has approximately 97% horizontal and vertical coverage in the shooting mode and approximately 100% horizontal and vertical coverage in playback mode. The monitor can be tilted to various angles, enabling you to shoot from high or low angles with ease.
Electronic Viewfinder: In addition to the 3" monitor, the P500 has a 0.24" electronic viewfinder with approximately 230,000 dots. It has approximately 97% horizontal and vertical coverage in shooting mode, compared to the actual picture, and approximately 100% frame coverage in playback mode. The viewfinder's diopter lets you adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight.
Image Sensor/Processor: The Coolpix P500 features a 1/2.3" backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor with approximately 12.75-million total pixels and 12.1-million effective pixels. The EXPEED C2 Image Processing engine delivers high-quality, natural-looking pictures with stunning color and sharpness.
Optics: The Coolpix P500 digital camera uses a Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens for superb image quality. Every aspect of the lens manufacturing process is controlled by Nikon. The Zoom-Nikkor lens is designed for the specific camera and image sensor combination. The Coolpix P500 uses a 36x wide-angle optical zoom lens, that is equivalent to a 22.5-810mm lens in 35mm photography. Coupled with the 4x digital zoom, the camera's total zoom capability is 144x. The angle of view is equivalent to that of a 3240mm lens (35mm format).
Photo Information: Two display options for the LCD monitor are available during shooting:
- Histograms: A graph that shows the brightness distribution in the picture.
- Framing Grid: Two vertical and two horizontal lines can be overlaid in the picture, dividing the frame into 9 sections, to assist you in framing your shot.
5-Way VR (Vibration Reduction) Stabilization: The Nikon Coolpix P500 offers a 5-Way Vibration Reduction (VR) Stabilization System:
- Image Sensor Shift: Nikon's Vibration Reduction compensates for the effects of camera shake by image sensor shift. When the camera is panned horizontally, vibration reduction only reduces vertical shake. When the camera is tilted vertically, vibration reduction only compensates for horizontal shake.
- Hybrid VR Image Stabilization: Nikon's Hybrid VR Image Stabilization uses a combination of image sensor shift and electronic vibration reduction to compensate for the effects of camera shake.
- Motion Detection: Motion Detection automatically detects moving subjects and adjusts the shutter speed and the ISO setting to compensate for camera shake and subject movement.
- High ISO: High ISO up to 3200 capability gives you sharper results when shooting in low light or capturing fast-moving subjects. This creates new opportunities to take sharper, more natural-looking photos in lower light conditions.
- Best Shot Selector (BSS): Nikon's Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to 10 shots while the shutter is pressed and then saves the sharpest image.
File Formats: The Coolpix P500 records still images in JPEG format. HD and SD movies are recorded in MOV format (Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC stereo), or iFrame (a 16:9 aspect ratio movie format supported by Apple, Inc. You have a choice of 12 still image size options and five movie options (see chart below). You can set the image quality (compression) for each image size as Fine (1:4 compression ratio), Normal (1:8), Basic (1:16).
Built-in Memory: The camera has a built-in 102 MB internal memory for storing still images and movies with sound.
Recording Media: In addition to the built-in memory, images can be recorded onto SD, SDHC, or SDXC Memory cards. When an SD Memory card is inserted in the camera, the images are automatically recorded onto the card. When no card is inserted, the images automatically record to the internal memory. The camera can support 2 GB SD cards, SDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB, and SDXC cards over 32 GB. The capacity of the internal memory and optional memory cards is as follows:
|Number of Storable Images (approx.)|
4000 x 3000
3264 x 2448
2592 x 1944
2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
1280 x 960
1024 x 768
640 x 480
3984 x 2656
16:9 / 9M
3968 x 2232
16:9 / 2M
1920 x 1080
2992 x 2992
|Movie Option||Movie Bitrate||
Maximum Recording Time
4 GB SDHC Card
1920 x 1080
|14 Mbps||35 min|
1920 x 1080
|12 Mbps||40 min|
1280 x 720
|9 Mbps||55 min|
960 x 540
|24 Mbps||15 min|
640 x 480
|3 Mbps||2 hrs 30 min|
Note: The maximum movie length for a single movie is 29 minutes, regardless of the amount of free space on the memory card.
Shooting Modes: Using the top-mounted Mode Dial, you can choose one of the following shooting modes:
- Auto Mode: This is an automatic "point-and-shoot" mode recommended for first-time users of digital cameras.
- Programmed Auto Mode: The Programmed Auto Mode is a simple point-and-shoot mode in which the majority of camera settings are controlled by the camera. The camera will automatically set the shutter speed and aperture. This mode is recommended for most situations.
- Shutter-Priority Auto Mode: The Shutter-Priority Auto Mode allows you to choose the shutter speed and lets the camera select the aperture value for best results when freezing or blurring motion.
- Aperture-Priority Auto Mode: The Aperture-Priority Auto Mode allows you to choose the aperture value and lets the camera select shutter speed for best results when using to blur background or bring both foreground and background into focus.
- Manual Mode: The Manual Mode allows you to control exposure by adjusting the shutter speed and aperture manually. You can set the camera's shutter speed from 1/1,500 to 8 seconds and adjust the aperture value between f/3.4 and f/8.0 (W) and f/5.7 and f/8.0 (T).
- User Setting Mode: Settings that are frequently used for P, S, A, and M shooting modes can be saved in the User Setting Mode.
- Smart Portrait: The camera detects smiling faces using face priority and releases the shutter automatically. The Skin Softening function makes a human subject's skin appear smoother.
- Scene Mode: You can manually or automatically select a
scene mode with settings optimized for the shooting situation:
- Scene Auto Selector: The camera automatically judges the type of subject (scene mode) when you frame the picture so that you can more easily take a picture suited for the scene. The mode will automatically be changed to one of the following scene modes: Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Close-up, and Backlighting.
- Portrait: Useful for photographs where you want the main subject to stand out clearly from the background.
- Landscape: For vivid landscape shots that enhance outlines, colors, and contrast in such subjects as forests and skyscrapers.
- Sports: For dynamic action shots that freeze the action in a single shot or record motion in a series of pictures. Up to 45 frames are captured at a rate of about 1.3 frames per second when the shutter button is fully held down. Image size is set to 10M: 3648 x 2736 pixels.
- Party/Indoor: Shots include details of the background behind the main subject, or to capture the effects of candlelight and other indoor background lighting.
- Beach: Vividly captures the brightness of subjects such as beaches or sunlit expanses of water.
- Snow: Vividly captures the brightness of subjects such as snow fields.
- Sunset: Preserves deep hues seen in sunsets and sunrises.
- Dusk/Dawn: Preserves the colors seen in the weak natural light before sunrise and after sunset.
- Close Up: Used to capture vivid colors in close-up shots of flowers, insects and other small objects, with the background artistically blurred.
- Food: Used when shooting pictures of food.
- Museum: Use indoors where flash photography is prohibited or in other settings in which you do not want to use flash.
- Fireworks Show: Slow shutter speeds are used to capture the expanding burst of light from fireworks.
- Black & White Copy: Provides clear pictures of text or drawings on a white board, business card or in other printed matter.
- Panorama: You can choose between Easy Panorama or Panorama Assist. Easy Panorama lets you take a normal (180°) or wide (360°) panoramic scene by moving the camera in an arc while pressing the shutter release. Panorama Assist helps you to take a series of photographs that you will later join with supplied software to form a single panoramic scene.
- Pet Portrait: Use this mode to photograph dogs or cats. The camera detects and focuses on the face of the dog or cat. When the subject is in focus, the shutter is released automatically.
Continuous Shooting: In the P, S, A, or M shooting modes, you can select in the menu from the following single or continuous shooting options:
- Single: One image is shot each time the shutter-release button is pressed.
- Continuous H: Up to 5 pictures are shot at a rate of about 8 frames per second while the shutter button is held down. Image size is set to 12M: 4000x 3000 pixels.
- Continuous L: Up to 24 pictures are captured at a rate of about 1.8 frames per second while the shutter button is held down. Image size is set to 12M: 4000x 3000 pixels.
- Pre-shooting Cache: Pre-shooting cache makes it easy to capture perfect moments by saving images before the shutter release button is pressed fully. When the button is pressed halfway, the pre-shooting cache begins, and continues when the shutter release button is pressed all the way. Images are captured at a rate of up to 15 fps, and up to 25 frames are captured, including the 5 frames captured before the shutter release button is pressed fully. Image size is set to 2M: 1600 x 1200.
- Continuous H--120 fps: Each time the shutter release button is pressed all the way, 50 pictures are captured continuously at a speed of about 1/125th of a second or faster. Image size is fixed at 1M: 1280 x 960.
- Continuous H--60 fps: Each time the shutter release button is pressed all the way, 25 pictures are captured continuously at a speed of about 1/60th of a second or faster. Image size is fixed at 1M: 1280 x 960.
- Best Shot Selector: Camera captures up to 10 images while the shutter release is held down, and the sharpest image in the series is selected and saved.
- Multi-shot 16: Camera takes 16 shots at about 30 fps and arranges them in a single image of 5M: 2560 x 1920.
- Interval Shooting: The camera shoots still images automatically at a set interval. The maximum number of frames that can be taken depends upon the length of the interval:
Self-timer: The camera is equipped with a 10 second and 2 second timer for self-portraits. In addition, the camera can use face detection to detect human faces, and automatically release the shutter when a smile is detected (Smile Timer).
AF Area Mode: You can select between the following AF Area Modes to determine how the camera selects the focus area for Auto Focus:
- Face Priority: When the camera recognizes a face (front view only), the camera will focus on the face automatically.
- Auto: The camera automatically selects the focus area (up to 9) containing the subject closest to the camera.
- Manual: You can manually select one of 99 focus areas in the monitor. This method is handy when the intended subject is not positioned in the center of the frame, and is relatively still.
- Center: The camera focuses on the subject in the center of the frame.
- Subject Tracking: Once you select a subject to focus on, the focus area will move and follow the subject.
Focus Modes: You can choose a focus mode according to the subject and composition. The choices include:
- Auto Focus: Camera automatically adjusts the focus. Focusing distances: 1'-8" to infinity (W), 7'-3" to infinity (T).
- Macro Closeup: Macro mode is used for taking pictures of objects as close as 0.4"
- Infinity: For use when shooting distant scenes through window glass or when shooting landscapes.
- Manual Focus: The focus can be adjusted for any subject 0.4" to infinity from the lens.
Focus Lock: The Focus Lock feature is used to focus on off-centered subjects in the frame while shooting in Center AF mode.
AF-Assist Illuminator: If lighting is poor, the AF-assist illuminator may light to assist the focus operation when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. The illuminator has a range of about 19' at the maximum wide-angle position and 16' at the maximum telephoto position. You can turn this function on or off.
Blink Warning Function: The Blink Warning function is available when you are shooting in Face Priority mode. When the camera detects that one or more human subjects may have blinked, the blink warning screen is displayed. The subject is framed by a yellow border, allowing you to check the picture and decide whether or not to take another picture.
Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps.
ISO Settings: Sensitivity is the measure of how quickly the camera reacts to light. The higher the sensitivity, the less light needed to make an exposure. The camera features the following ISO settings:
- Auto: Sensitivity is set to ISO 160 when there is sufficient lighting, and raises the sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 800 when lighting is dim.
- High ISO Auto: The ISO sensitivity is set automatically between ISO 100 and 1600.
- Fixed Range Auto: Select from two ranges in which the camera automatically sets the sensitivity: ISO 160-200 or ISO 160-400.
- Manual: Sensitivity is locked at the set value: ISO 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, or 3200.
White Balance: You can set the White Balance to Auto, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent (FL1 to FL3), Cloudy, or Flash. You can also choose Preset Manual and use a neutral-colored object as a reference to set the white balance under unusual lighting conditions.
Built-in Flash: The Coolpix P500 has a built-in flash with a range of 1'-8" to 26' (Wide angle) and 7'-3" to 14' (Telephoto). You can choose from the following flash modes:
- Auto: Flash fires automatically when lighting is poor.
- Auto with Red-eye Reduction: Pre-flash fires before main flash to reduce red-eye effect.
- Flash Off: Flash will not fire, even when lighting is poor.
- Fill Flash: Flash will fire whenever a picture is taken.
- Slow Sync: Auto flash combined with slow shutter speeds.
- Rear Curtain Sync: Fill flash fires just before the shutter closes, creating the effect of a stream of light behind moving objects.
In-Camera Red-Eye Fix: If the camera detects red-eye after the pre-flash has fired, advanced red-eye reduction processing is used to further reduce red-eye, slightly increasing the time required before the next picture can be taken.
AF Modes: When shooting still images or movies you can choose between two auto-focus modes:
- Single AF: The camera focuses when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway and locks at this position during recording.
- Full-time AF: The camera constantly adjusts focus, even when the shutter-release button is not pressed.
Voice Recording: Audio voice memos for pictures can be recorded over the camera's built-in microphone and played back over the unit's built-in speaker. Memos can be up to 20 seconds in length. Memos are saved as .WAV files.
Slide Show Playback: View pictures in the internal memory or on the memory card in an automatic slide show with 2, 3, 5, or 10 seconds between pictures. If desired, you can loop the slideshow so it will continuously play. Maximum slide show duration is 30 minutes without operation.
Copy: You can internally copy images and voice recordings between the camera's internal memory and an inserted SD card.
Thumbnail Playback: During playback, you can view multiple thumbnail images (4, 9, 16, or 72) at a time. While these "contact sheets" are displayed, you can use the multi-selector to highlight individual pictures. Highlighted pictures can be deleted, if desired.
Calendar Display: This feature displays a calendar allowing you to select and view pictures taken on the same date.
Playback Zoom: During playback, you can enlarge a still image up to 10x. Once the image is zoomed, you can use the multi-selector to scroll around to non-visible portions of the image. You can record a new picture of the cropped image by pressing the shutter button.
Rotate Image: Recorded pictures can be rotated 90-degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise on the unit's LCD screen.
Editing Picture: You can use the Coolpix P500 to edit recorded pictures in-camera and store them as separate files. You can choose from the following editing functions:
- Quick Retouch: Quick Retouch can be used to easily create retouched copies in which contrast and saturation have been enhanced.
- D-Lighting: D-Lighting can be used to brighten dark or backlit subjects. While playing back an image, you can select the D-Lighting function, apply it, and save the corrected image without harming the properly exposed areas of the image.
- Skin Softening: The camera recognizes faces in pictures and creates a copy with softer facial skin tones.
- Filter Effects: You can apply a variety of effects using the digital filter: Soft, Selective Color, Cross Screen, Fisheye, or Miniature Effect.
- Small Picture (Resizing Pictures): You can create a small copy of a recorded image. The copy will be stored as a JPEG file with a compression ratio of 1:16. You can choose from the following sizes: 640 x 480 (suited to television playback), 320 x 240 (suited to display on web pages), or 160 x 120 (suitable for email attachments).
- Black Border: Allows you to add a black frame around the picture.
- Cropping: Create a copy containing only the portion visible in the monitor.
Multi-Language Menu: You can choose from 26 different menu display languages including English, Spanish or French.
Printing Pictures: You can print pictures stored in the internal memory or on the memory card by using the Print Set option in the playback menu. Using DPOF (Digital Print Order Form), you can designate which images to print, and how many copies to print. Pictures can be printed as followed:
- Printer or Photo Lab: insert the memory card into a printer, or take the memory card to a digital photo lab (images stored in the internal memory need to be transferred to a memory card prior to printing).
- PictBridge-compatible Printer: connect the camera to a PictBridge-compatible printer via USB cable
- Transferring to Computer: transfer the images to a computer before printing them via USB
Power Requirements: The Coolpix P500 is powered by the supplied EN-EL5 rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (3.7V/1100mAh). The battery is charged in the camera using the supplied EH-69P Charging AC adapter and the supplied USB cable. The supplied rechargeable battery will last up to approximately 220 shots or 1 hour 20 minutes of HD movie recording on one charge. A fully-exhausted battery charges in about 4 hours and 50 minutes. You can also charge the battery in the camera in about 5 hours and 30 minutes, using the supplied USB cable plugged into a computer.
Auto Off: When the camera is operated on battery power, the Auto Off mode will automatically turn off the monitor to reduce the drain on the batteries if no operations are performed for the length of time specified in the Auto Off menu. The time limit for the Auto Off mode can be set to 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 30 minutes.
HDMI: The Coolpix P500 is equipped with a mini-HDMI (Type C) output, allowing you to connect the camera to an HDTV. An optional mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is required. The camera's HDMI output can be set to Auto, 480p, 720p or 1080i.
USB/Audio-Video Output: The camera features a single proprietary jack on the bottom of the camera for connecting the supplied AV (EG-CP16) cable or USB cable (UC-E6). This one output allows you to download your photos to your computer or printer via USB using the supplied USB cable, or view your photos on a TV using the supplied AV cable. The USB interface is USB 2.0 Hi-Speed compatible. The video output is NTSC or PAL compatible.
ViewNX 2 Software CD-ROM: The supplied ViewNX 2 CD-ROM contains ViewNX 2, and Panorama Maker 5. ViewNX 2 is used for viewing your images and movies on the computer. Panorama Maker 5 is used for creating panoramic images from a series of recorded still images.
System Requirements: The supplied software will work with Windows and Macintosh. Your computer will need to meet the following system requirements:
Pre-installed versions. All installed programs run as 32-bit applications in 64-bit editions of Window 7 and Windows Vista.
|MAC OS X Versions:
|Hard Disk Space||
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