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For any newcomer to photography looking for the best point and shoot camera, you would be remiss if you snubbed the Nikon Coolpix B500—especially if you’re ready to graduate from the flash of a smartphone camera. It provides the basic functions you need in a digital camera while still being easy to use and healthy for your wallet. Check out our best digital camera list for more great products.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 provides a superb option for any fledgling photographer, thanks to its quality build, performance, and pricing.
For starters, the Nikon Coolpix B500 has great zoom with its 40X optical zoom lens, a feature that smartphones lack these days, and much higher than the zoom on the Canon PowerShot G7 X Mark II. Zooming in digitally only blurs the image, but with the optical zoom, it can be avoided (though it does have digital zoom beyond that up to a zoom range of 80X). Its image quality gets a thumbs up for being 16-megapixels, though the Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is rocking 20.2-megapixels. Now, this could be better, and cameras a tier above are, but it’s more than enough for a new photographer. The B500 also has video recording capabilities, shooting in a crisp full HD video quality.
Related: Read the Nikon Coolpix A900 review
Battery life can vary based on the brand of AA batteries used. For example, you can get 600 shots on alkaline batteries, 750 shots on rechargeable EN-MH2 batteries, or 1240 shots with lithium batteries. For cost efficiency, you’d want the rechargeable EN-MH2 batteries (4, to be exact). There’s plenty of opportunities to take pictures before recharging.
The Nikon B500 is a rather weighty hunk of hardware. It feels really good in the hands and even has a large protrusion you can really grab onto. It isn’t too heavy that your arms will tire out, nor is it too light that it feels cheap—it’s just right.
Shooting modes can be switched with the dial at the top. A zoom rocker changes the angle back and forth between wide-angle, or telephoto. Zooming can be altered by sliding a switch near the lens. All the buttons you need are placed in smart locations.
Related: Check out our Nikon Coolpix B700 review
There’s no doubt about it: the B500 Nikon is a really good camera—a great one, even. The performance this camera exhibits for its asking price is unbelievable, far better than the Olympus Stylus Tough TG-6. Having 16-megapixels is ideal without stepping into an expensive territory, not to mention the camera also has low light functionality called vibration reduction, which keeps images clear even in low light. And given how easy it is to use—what, with all the buttons in really smart spots—you couldn’t find a better camera for a novice, but serious photographer.
The Nikon Coolpix B500 is a superb workhorse for any self-proclaimed photographer ready to expand past smartphones. Sure, 16-megapixels isn’t the best of the best, and the camera can feel a bit bulky in a bag, but its performance is so on point that it doesn’t matter. Having such a tantalizing price point is icing on the cake.