Video preview of the 36x zoom Nikon P500

What Digital Camera was given exclusive access to the new 36x optical zoom Nikon Coolpix P500.

The Nikon Coolpix P500 updates its P100 predecessor by seriously amping up things in the zoom department. In fact the P500 has the longest zoom range of any fixed lens compact digital camera on the marker – it’s 36x optical zoom even outdoes the likes of the Canon SX30 IS and Fuji HS10. With an ultra-wideangle 22.5mm, the P500’s zoom can range all the way up to a whopping 810mm equivalent. It’s just shy of being as telephoto as the likes of the Canon SX30 IS’s 840mm, but it’s not far off at all.

Elsewhere the Coolpix P500 maintains the tiltable screen of the P100 but ups the resolution to a decent 921k-dots. Sadly there’s no viewfinder to be found here, a shame as shooting at super-telephoto is tricky to hold steady. Although there is a sensor-based vibration reduction (VR) technology, again it’s a shame that a lens-based system wasn’t employed to make the most out of shooting at the longer zoom ranges.

In addition to the usual zoom toggle on top of the camera, the P500 also adds a secondary zoom toggle to the left side of the lens. This is particularly useful for zooming during movie recording, for example, due to its close placement to where the thumb naturally lies. And speaking of movie the P500 offers Full HD 1080p capture with stereo sound as well as slow motion recording speeds of 240fps in QVGA resolution.

Other modes include sensitivity to ISO 3200, motion detection to compensate for camera and subject movement, a Best Shot Selector (BSS) to automatically select the sharpest of 10 sequentially captured shots, Night Portrait Mode, Night Landscape mode and HDR backlight mode.
The Nikon Coolpix P500 will be available in a black finish from this March, priced at £400.

Nikon Coolpix P500 Specifications: 

Effective pixels 12.1 million pixels
Image sensor Type:
1/2.3-in. type CMOS with active cell array; Color filter array: RGB
filter; Total pixels:Approx. 12.75 million pixels; Recording pixels:
Approx. 12.00 million pixels (4000 x 3000)
Lens Optical 36x zoom, NIKKOR
lens; Focal length: 4.0-144mm (35mm [135] format equivalent to 22.5-810
mm); Aperture: f/3.4-5.7; Lens construction: 14 elements in 9 groups
(one ED glass element)
Focus range (from lens) Normal
shooting: approx. 50 cm (1 ft. 8 in.) to infinity (at wide angle
setting), approx. 2.2 m (7 ft. 3 in.) to infinity (at telephoto
setting); Macro close-up mode: approx. 1 cm (0.4 in.) to infinity (at
closest focus distance), approx. 2.2 m (7 ft. 3 in.) to infinity (at
telephoto setting)
Monitor Size:
7.5 cm (3-in.); Number of dots: Approx. 921k-dot; Type: TFT LCD monitor;
(Acrylic) cover: Protective acrylic panel with anti-reflection coating
on both sides and HD coating (no air-gapless structure
Storage media Internal memory (approx. 102 MB), SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
Vibration Reduction (VR) Image-sensor
shift type + electronic type (still image); Other blur-reduction
functions: Motion Detection (conventional type), BSS (Best Shot
ISO sensitivity ISO 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200 (4000 x 3000) , Auto (ISO 160 to 800), Fixed range auto (ISO 160 to 400)
Interface Hi-Speed USB/PictBridge
Power Sources Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL5 (1100 mAh), AC Adapter EH-62A (option)
Battery life Approx. 220 shots (EN-EL5)
Dimensions (WxHxD) Approx. 115.5 x 83.7 x 102.5 mm/4.6 x 3.3 x 4.1 in. (excluding projections)
Weight Approx. 494 g (1 lb. 1.5 oz) (including battery and SD memory card)
Movie HD 1080p: 1920 x 1080 (30
fps), HD 720p: 1280 x 720 (30 fps), iFrame 540: 960 x 540 (30 fps), VGA:
640 x 480 (30 fps); HS movie: (15/60/120/240 fps; no sound)
Supplied accessories Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL5,
Charging AC Adapter EH-69,
USB Cable UC-E6,
Audio Video Cable EG-CP16,
Camera Strap AN-CP21,
Lens Cap LC-CP23 and
Optional accessories Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL5,
Charging AC Adapter EH-69,
Battery Charger MH-61,
AC Adapter EH-62A,
USB Cable UC-E6,
Audio Video Cable EG-CP16 and
Lens Cap LC-CP