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Nikon B500 vs Olympus E-600

The Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Olympus E-600 are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in January 2016 and August 2009. The B500 is a fixed lens compact, while the E-600 is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B500) and a Four Thirds (E-600) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Olympus provides 12.2 MP.

Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.

Headline Specifications
Nikon B500 versus Olympus E-600
Nikon B500 Olympus E-600
Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, 1/2.3" Sensor 12.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/60i Video no Video
ISO 80-6,400 ISO 100-3,200
No viewfinder, LCD framing Optical viewfinder
3.0 LCD, 921k dots 2.7 LCD, 230k dots
Tilting screen (no touchscreen) Swivel screen (not touch-sensitive)
7.4 shutter flaps per second 4 shutter flaps per second
Lens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
600 shots per battery charge500 shots per battery charge
114 x 78 x 95 mm, 541 g 130 x 94 x 60 mm, 535 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B500 and the Olympus E-600? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Body comparison

An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Nikon B500 and the Olympus E-600 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

The B500 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the E-600 is only available in black.

Size Nikon B500 vs Olympus E-600
Compare B500 versus E-600 top
Comparison B500 or E-600 rear

If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-600 is notably larger (37 percent) than the Nikon B500. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the B500 nor the E-600 are weather-sealed.

The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B500 has a lens built in, whereas the E-600 is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the E-600 and their specifications in the Four Thirds Lens Catalog.

The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras 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 114 mm 78 mm 95 mm 541 g 600 n Jan 2016 299i
 
Olympus E-600 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 535 g 500 n Aug 2009 449i
 
Fujifilm X100F 127 mm 75 mm 52 mm 469 g 390 n Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X70 113 mm 64 mm 44 mm 340 g 330 n Jan 2016 799i
 
Nikon B600 122 mm 82 mm 99 mm 500 g 280 n Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon D5600 124 mm 97 mm 70 mm 465 g 970 n Nov 2016 699 i
 
Nikon B700 125 mm 85 mm 107 mm 565 g 350 n Feb 2016 499 i
 
Nikon P900 140 mm 103 mm 137 mm 899 g 360 n Mar 2015 599i
 
Nikon L840 113 mm 78 mm 96 mm 538 g 590 n Feb 2015 299i
 
Olympus E-450 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2009 499i
 
Olympus E-620 130 mm 94 mm 60 mm 521 g 500 n Feb 2009 699i
 
Olympus E-420 130 mm 91 mm 53 mm 440 g 500 n Mar 2008 599i
 
Olympus E-520 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 535 g 750 n May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-510 136 mm 92 mm 68 mm 538 g 750 n Mar 2007 799i
 
Panasonic FZ82 130 mm 94 mm 119 mm 616 g 330 n Jan 2017 399 i
 
Sony HX80 102 mm 58 mm 36 mm 245 g 390 n Mar 2016 349 i
 
Sony H200 123 mm 83 mm 87 mm 530 g 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 price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The B500 was launched at a lower price than the E-600, despite having a lens built in. 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.

Sensor comparison

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon B500 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Olympus E-600 a Four Thirds sensor. The sensor area in the E-600 is 704 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 2.0. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Nikon B500 and Olympus E-600 sensor measures

Despite having a smaller sensor, the Nikon B500 offers a higher resolution of 15.9 megapixels, compared with 12.2 MP of the Olympus E-600. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.33μm versus 4.29μm for the E-600). However, it should be noted that the B500 is much more recent (by 6 years and 4 months) than the E-600, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the B500 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.

The resolution advantage of the Nikon B500 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the B500 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm. The corresponding values for the Olympus E-600 are 20.2 x 15.1 inches or 51.2 x 38.4 cm for good quality, 16.1 x 12.1 inches or 41 x 30.7 cm for very good quality, and 13.4 x 10.1 inches or 34.1 x 25.6 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon Coolpix B500 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus E-600 are ISO 100 to ISO 3200 (no boost).

B500 versus E-600 MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). 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........
 
Olympus E-600 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.510.354155
 
Fujifilm X100F APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p........
 
Fujifilm X70 APS-C 16.0 4896 32641080/60p........
 
Nikon B600 1/2.3 15.9 4608 34561080/30p........
 
Nikon D5600 APS-C 24.0 6000 40001080/60p24.114.0130684
 
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........
 
Olympus E-450 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.551256
 
Olympus E-620 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 3024none21.310.353655
 
Olympus E-420 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.510.452756
 
Olympus E-520 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.410.454855
 
Olympus E-510 Four Thirds 10.0 3648 2736none21.210.044252
 
Panasonic FZ82 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 cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The B500 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the E-600 does not. The highest resolution format that the B500 can use is 1080/60i.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-600 has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B500 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon B500 and Olympus E-600 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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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
 
Olympus E-600optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
 
Fujifilm X100F2360 n 3.0 1040 fixed n 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Fujifilm X70optional n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0 Y n
 
Nikon B600none n 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 7.4 Y Y
 
Nikon D5600optical n 3.2 1037 swivel Y 1/4000s 5.0 Y n
 
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
 
Olympus E-450optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Olympus E-620optical n 2.7 230 swivel n 1/4000s 4.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-420optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y n
 
Olympus E-520optical n 2.7 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.5 Y Y
 
Olympus E-510optical n 2.5 215 fixed n 1/4000s 3.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic FZ821166 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
The E-600 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the B500 does not have a selfie-screen.

The B500 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the E-600 uses Compact Flash or xD Picture cards. The E-600 features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the B500 only has one slot.

Connectivity 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 Olympus E-600 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
 
Olympus E-600Y-----2.0---
 
Fujifilm X100FYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Fujifilm X70YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Nikon B600-stereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Nikon D5600YstereomonoY-mini2.0YYY
 
Nikon B700-stereomono--micro2.0YYY
 
Nikon P900-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Nikon L840-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Olympus E-450Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-620Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-420Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-520Y-----2.0---
 
Olympus E-510Y-----2.0---
 
Panasonic FZ82Ystereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Sony HX80-stereomono--micro2.0YY-
 
Sony H200-monomono---2.0---

It is notable that the B500 offers wifi support, while the E-600 does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Both the B500 and the E-600 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The B500 was replaced by the Nikon B600, while the E-600 does not have a direct successor. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Olympus websites.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon B500 and the Olympus E-600? Which camera is better? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.

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Arguments in favor of the Nikon Coolpix B500:

  • More detail: Offers more megapixels (15.9 vs 12.2MP) with a 14% higher linear resolution.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60i movies.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.7") for image review and settings control.
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 230k dots).
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 4 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the E-600 requires a separate lens.
  • More compact: Is smaller (114x78mm vs 130x94mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Longer lasting: Can take more shots (600 versus 500) on a single battery charge.
  • Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
  • Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
  • Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
  • More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
  • More modern: Reflects 6 years and 4 months of technical progress since the E-600 launch.

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Advantages of the Olympus E-600:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
  • Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
  • More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
  • Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
  • More flexible LCD: Has a swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
  • Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2009).

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the B500 emerges as the winner of the contest (14 : 12 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

B500 14:12 E-600

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B500 and the Olympus E-600 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the B500 or the E-600. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.

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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
 
Olympus E-600........4.5/5 Aug 2009 449i
 
Fujifilm X100F+83/1004.5/5..4.5/5 Jan 2017 1,299i
 
Fujifilm X70..76/1004.5/54/54.5/5 Jan 2016 799i
 
Nikon B600+..3.5/5..3/5 Jan 2019 349 i
 
Nikon D5600..79/1004.5/54.5/54/5 Nov 2016 699 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
 
Olympus E-450....4/5..4/5 Mar 2009 499i
 
Olympus E-62088/10072/1004.5/5o5/5 Feb 2009 699i
 
Olympus E-42085/100+ +4/5o4.5/5 Mar 2008 599i
 
Olympus E-52087/100+ +4.5/54/54.5/5 May 2008 699i
 
Olympus E-51089/100+ +3.5/5o4.5/5 Mar 2007 799i
 
Panasonic FZ82+ +..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 review scores listed above should be treated 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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon B500:
Check Ebay offers
Olympus E-600:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications: Nikon B500 vs Olympus E-600

    Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon B500 Olympus E-600
    Camera Type Fixed lens compact camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens 22.5-900mm f/3-6.5 Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date January 2016 August 2009
    Launch Price USD 299 USD 449
    Sensor Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-600
    Sensor Technology BSI-CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format 1/2.3" Sensor Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 6.17 x 4.55 mm 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 28.0735 mm2 224.9 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 7.7 mm 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 5.6x 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 4032 x 3024 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 1.33 μm 4.29 μm
    Pixel Density 56.73 MP/cm2 5.42 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60i Video no Video
    ISO Setting 80 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) .. 55
    DXO Color Depth (bits) .. 21.5
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) .. 10.3
    DXO Low Light (ISO) .. 541
    Screen Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-600
    Viewfinder Type no viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 95%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.48x
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0inch 2.7inch
    LCD Resolution 921k dots 230k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen Swivel screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-600
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 7.4 shutter flaps/s 4 shutter flaps/s
    Image StabilizationLens-based stabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Build-in Flash Build-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards CF or XD cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-600
    External Flash no Hotshoe Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Near-Field Communication NFC built-in no NFC
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in no Bluetooth
    Body Specs Nikon B500 Olympus E-600
    Battery Type 4xAA BLS-1
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge500 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 114 x 78 x 95 mm
    (4.5 x 3.1 x 3.7 in)
    130 x 94 x 60 mm
    (5.1 x 3.7 x 2.4 in)
    Camera Weight 541 g (19.1 oz) 535 g (18.9 oz)

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