Nikon COOLPIX B500 Brief Review



  • 16 megapixel 1/2.3” CMOS sensor
  • 40x optical zoom
  • Maximum aperture f/3-6.5
  • ISO 125 – 1600
  • Shutter speed 1 – 1/1500
  • ISO 125 – 1600
  • Lens shift vibration reduction
  • .4 in. macro mode
  • Burst speed up to 7.4 fps (limited to seven photos)
  • 3” Tilting LCD
  • Wi-fi
  • 1080p HD video at 30 fps
  • Accepts AA batteries (600 shot life for Alkaline, 1,240 for Lithium)
  • Weighs 19.1 oz
  • Release Date: 2016-04-29
  • Final Grade: 80 4.0 Star Rating: Recommended

Nikon B500 is a simple superzoom
Don't need a complicated camera? The Nikon B500 may fit the bill.
By Hillary Grigonis, Last updated on: 3/31/2016

The Nikon B500 is designed for simplicity. It joins the ranks of the decreasing number of cameras that use AA batteries. There aren't any manual modes, but a solid handful of automated scene modes. But, the simple camera features a 40x optical zoom and 1 cm macro mode that merges simplicity with a bit of versatility.

The B500 uses a 16 megapixel 1/2.3" sensor--right what we'd expect for the price and category, though some budget cameras use a cheaper CCD style sensor. While most budget cameras cut back on speed, the B500 uses a 7 fps burst mode, though that's limited to only one second of shooting.

The B500 is comfortable and easy to use. While using AA batteries might be pricier in the long run, some consumers prefer them because you can find them at any store, a handy feature for traveling. Despite the lower price point, the B500 includes lens-based stabilization and wi-fi.

So what does the B500 sacrifice for the lower price? The camera will have more trouble in tricky lighting, with a limited aperture, low maximum ISO and slower maximum shutter speed. Expect to get good photos on a cloudy day, but less than stellar results in low light or even overly bright scenes. Compared with Canon's budget priced zoom though, the SX420 has a slow .5 fps burst and the cheaper CCD sensor.

While the B500 excels in simplicity, there are certainly a few features that the B500 lacks, to keep the price low. If the price is what entices you the most, consider some older models that have better features but a lower price because of their age. The Pentax XG-1 offers a 10 fps, rechargeable batteries and a 52x zoom. Nikon's 60x zoom, the P610, is only about $50 - $75 more and also offers 60 fps video and a rechargeable battery.

Related Products



Add Comment
  • Picture
    Gilbert Smith

    Hi and good morning, After reading about the Nikon coolpix B5OO and how good it was, taking clear sharp photos so decided to buy one from Currys store in Elgin Scotland, and have found the camera the biggest waste of money that i have ever spent,on a camera, it will not focus , the colours are something else, the battery life is short lived to say the least, am hoping you can help me out on this one as am getting very frustrated with it. i await your reply. Gilbert Smith

    Reply almost 3 years ago
    • Thumb 45 ai hillary
      Hillary Grigonis

      Hi Gilbert! Sorry to hear the B500 isn't working well for you. You can try contacting Nikon about issues and see if the camera needs repair -- the camera is a budget option which is likely why the colors and battery life are poor, but you should still be able to focus. Contact Nikon and see what they'll do with the warranty.

      Reply almost 3 years ago

Nikon Reviews

Nikon has long been one of the top manufacturers in the industry, and their products are still solid options today. The camera giant is continuously releasing new products with enhancements in image quality and performance.

It's hard to go wrong with a Nikon DSLR. With a different model available for every skill level from beginner to professional, Nikon's DSLR's have always been top notch. Their latest DSLRs have seen improved noise reduction, enhanced video quality and upgraded designs over cameras from just a few years ago.

Nikon made an interesting move in the realm of mirrorless cameras—instead of pushing for bigger sensors, Nikon instead has focused on speed. The Nikon 1 line cameras use a 1” sensor, which is larger than your average point-and-shoot but smaller than the Micro Four Thirds options. While the 1 line doesn't have much resolution, their cameras boast speeds upwards of 15 fps—no other mirrorless line currently comes close to that level of speed.

Nikon's compacts aren't as much of a sure thing as their DSLRs—some of their smaller cameras are quite impressive, while others are beaten out by competitors. We liked their higher end consumer point-and-shoots like the COOLPIX S6500, but be careful with their budget compacts. They offer quite a range of compact cameras, just be sure to read the reviews on the individual camera first.

Nikon offers a full range of cameras from tiny budget models to professional DSLRs. More often than not, if you go with a Nikon, you're getting a solid camera.

We here at Digital Camera HQ offer unbiased, informative reviews and recommendations to guide you to the right camera. We're not an actual store; we're just here to help you find the perfect camera at the best price possible by using our camera grades. Let us know if you have any problems or questions, we're happy to help.