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Nikon B500 Comparison Review

The Nikon Coolpix B500 is a fixed lens compact camera that was revealed to the public in January 2016 and is equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.

Is the Nikon B500 a good camera? The B500 has a Camera Elo of 1656. This rating puts the B500 below average of all superzoom compact cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (small sensor cameras), the B500 ranks among the top 30 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 3.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500
Fixed lens compact camera
22.5-900mm f/3-6.5
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor
1080/60i Video
ISO 80 - 6 400
no viewfinder, LCD framing
3.0 LCD, 921k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen)
7.4 shutter flaps per second
600 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g



Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Nikon B500 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Nikon B500 vs credit card front
B500 versus credit card top view
B500 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Nikon B500 alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon B500 4.5 in 3.1 in 3.7 in 19.1 oz 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon B600 4.8 in 3.2 in 3.9 in 17.6 oz 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon A1000 4.5 in 2.8 in 1.6 in 11.6 oz 250 n Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000 5.7 in 4.7 in 7.1 in 49.9 oz 250 n Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon W300 4.4 in 2.6 in 1.1 in 8.1 oz 280 Y May 2017 389 i
 
Nikon B700 4.9 in 3.3 in 4.2 in 19.9 oz 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900 5.5 in 4.1 in 5.4 in 31.7 oz 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840 4.4 in 3.1 in 3.8 in 19.0 oz 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic FZ80 5.1 in 3.7 in 4.7 in 21.7 oz 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
 
Sony HX80 4.0 in 2.3 in 1.4 in 8.6 oz 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H200 4.8 in 3.3 in 3.4 in 18.7 oz 240 n Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Nikon B500 was launched in the US market at a price of $299. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Nikon B500:
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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Nikon B500 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Nikon B500 among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design.

Nikon B500 sensor measures

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon B500 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon A1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon P1000 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon W300 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34564K/30p........
 
Nikon B700 1/2.3 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Nikon P900 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60p........
 
Nikon L840 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/60i........
 
Panasonic FZ80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36724K/30p........
 
Sony HX80 1/2.3 18.0 4896 36721080/60p........
 
Sony H200 1/2.3 15.2 5184 2930720/30p........

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The B500 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the B500 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The tables below summarize some of the other core capabilities of the Nikon B500 in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon B500none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon A10001166 n 3.0 1036 tilting Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P10002359 n 3.2 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon W300none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon B700921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 5.0 Y Y
 
Nikon P900921 n 3.0 921 swivel n 1/4000s 7.0 Y Y
 
Nikon L840none n 3.0 921 tilting n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ801166 n 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony HX80638 n 3.0 922 tilting n 1/2000s 10.0 Y Y
 
Sony H200none n 3.0 460 fixed n 1/1500s 0.8 Y Y

One convenient feature of the B500 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

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Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon Coolpix B500 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon B500-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon A1000-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon P1000YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon W300-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Panasonic FZ80Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

It is notable that the B500 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

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The B500 has a zoom lens built in (4-160mm f/3-6.5), which, in full frame equivalent terms, provides a focal length range from 22.5 to 900mm. The camera is, hence, ready to shoot, while remaining more compact in size than an interchangeable lens camera with an optic that offers similar focal length and aperture specifications.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the B500 in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is where reviews by experts come in. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon B500+..4/5..3.5/5 Jan 2016 299i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon A1000+ +..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 429 i
 
Nikon P1000+73/1003.5/54.5/53.5/5 Jul 2018 999 i
 
Nikon W300+..4/5..4/5 May 2017 389 i
 
Nikon B700+..4/5..4/5 Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900..77/1004/54.5/54/5 Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840+ +..3.5/5..4/5 Feb 2015 299i
 
Panasonic FZ80+ +..4.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 399 i
 
Sony HX80.......... Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H200....3.5/5..3.5/5 Jan 2013 249 i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon B500 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the B500.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the B500?

The camera is build around a BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the B500?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400.

Does the Nikon B500 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Nikon B500
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5
    Launch Date January 2016
    Launch Price USD 299
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm
    Sensor Area 28 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 608 x 3 456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6 400 ISO
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type No viewfinder
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 921k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing Aidno Peaking Feature
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse Photographyno Intervalometer
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support no
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash no Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type 4xAA power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz)

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