Nikon Ratings and Reviews

Customer Reviews for Nikon Inc. COOLPIX P520

Nikon Inc. COOLPIX P520

The ultimate in COOLPIX zoom power, image quality and versatility. An astounding 42x zoom NIKKOR glass lens with Vibration Reduction technology delivers 1,000mm of super-telephoto reach to an 18.1-megapixel low-light CMOS sensor. Cutting-edge technologies like built-in GPS and compatibility with the optional Wireless Mobile Adapter WU-1a accessory helps ensure this camera will be the centerpiece of your creative output for years to come.
Average Customer Rating:
4.533 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
(60 Reviews) 60
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot 60 reviews
5 stars
43
4 stars
10
3 stars
4
2 stars
2
1 star
1
53 out of 60(88%)reviewers recommend this product.
Customer Questions & Answers:
223 Questions | 249 Answers
Customer Reviews for COOLPIX P520
Review 1 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Astonishing performance for the money!

PostedApril 14, 2014
Dadsfolk
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 2-5 years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I've owned this camera two years; I bought the original 16MP version shortly after it came out. Nikon has increased the sensor size and made a few well-thought-out usability mods since then, but it's otherwise pretty much the same camera.
I worked films in the '70s, and did my best at photographing wildlife (mostly birds) with my two-body, interchangeable viewfinder, 6-lens Minolta system. Over the years, I sold my 4x5s and 6x9 systems; and forewent wildlife photography because of the time and expense. I bought my first digital - a 3 MP Olympus - in 2003. It did well for casual photos for the web, and technology advanced, but I wasn't ready to spend $10-20K on a bulky system to get the great bird pictures people were getting. However, in 2012 I did a detailed search and discovered the new ultrazooms. I was excited, and after detailed analysis of reviews, I bought a P520, with its full range of pro/am features - and never looked back. Since I was still living in the city, I was taking a lot of architectural photos. I could stand in the green in front of Memorial Hall at Harvard, and take a closeup of the gargoyles on the tower - so crisp you could examine the solder joints! Standing out in front of Widener Library, I took a picture of a capital on the top of the massive columns - and only when I examined the photo did I discover they'd put bird netting around it, and it showed absolutely crisply; the camera had resolved a .020" detail at a distance of almost 100'. I took a picture of a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly in the forsythia bush at a distance of 7-8'; when I examined the photo, you could see the hairs on the body and the scales on the antenna! From that distance, the camera had resolved detail which, if you had the butterfly in your hand, you'd require a hand lens to see! From my porch, i got great pictures of birds in the garden. I moved into the country a few months ago, and have used it constantly to take excellent pictures of deer, wild turkeys, various birds - even a tiny vole which was darting out of a snowbank to grab seed below my bird feeder. In a shot of a chipmunk, you can actually see my house and the neighboring spruce tree reflected in the chipmunk's eye! Every now and then, the amazement of crisp 16MP hand-held shots at 1000mm strikes me again, and I find myself just staring at the camera or photos and shaking my head!
This camera produces pictures which were absolutely impossible even 10 years ago, and it's a superb travel camera to cover all situations. I can also take it canoeing; it's instantly available, can shoot wildlife at extreme telephoto while hand-held, and if it goes overboard, it won't empty my bank account.
I've had two problems: The first problem is with autofocus at extreme zoom. I've found conditions where it won't focus where I want it, even in multiple tries (if you release and half-press the shutter, it will try a different area combination) or narrow center focus. At that small image size in the viewfinder, electronically controlled manual focus isn't fine enough; a lens ring would work - but that's still much less trouble than I had with focusing long telephoto on my old cameras, and i'm willing to accept that pushing the envelope that much won't be perfect. In fact, i'm amazed at how accurate its focus is for small objects at great distance.
The second problem is that it routinely underexposes shots on cloudy days, and gets the color balance wrong. i fix that in Photoshop, but I'd think it could do better. in better light, the pictures are excellent, so that's just another thing I take in stride; I'm still experimenting with the metering modes to see if I can find a meter/focus combination which will meet my needs better, but each mod has to be used for awhile to determine its strengths and limitations.
I could also wish the shutter delay was less, or that it wouldn't do a full refocus at times, but I consider that just a factor of how little I paid for the camera; for $400 (less in constant dollars than a single 135mm lens in the '70s), I don't expect the performance of the most expensive DSLRs. And it's possible I can work out settings which will ameliorate the situation; I've probably explored only 10% of its functionality.
I've shown the picture results to my family and friends; now a sister, brother and father all have one of their own, as do a couple of techie friends. The camera is not perfect, but it's amazingly smart, and does so well with so many things that I'm willing to accept some limitations; it's still unimaginably better than what we used to have to work with, at an unbelievably bargain price. I'm sure you can get better pictures with a DSLR and assorted expensive lenses, but what this camera can do for the price has, in my mind, revolutionized photography! The only reason I might replace it is the P600, which has half again the zoom! [I'm waiting for more reviews.]
+1point
Review 2 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Astonishingly Beautiful Photographs, Quality and Ease of Use

PostedMarch 18, 2014
Njord
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Portrait
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I normally use my trusty Nikon D70 and have owned many fine Nikon film cameras in the past. I bought this camera on the recommendation of a friend to use while my D70 is being cleaned and repaired. This camera is just astonishing, words fail me... ease of use, versatility and outstanding picture quality. My very first pictures were just breathtakingly beautiful...this is now my camera of choice. Wide angle or the fantastic telephoto...just astonishing. Thank you Nikon engineers and anyone connected with the production and manufacture of this high quality camera. However, I must admit that I do covet the Nikon FD...but I am totally satisfied in every way with this camera and without hesitation recommend it to anyone in need of a versatile, easy to use camera. My only wish is for a reasonably priced and ore advanced printer that can take advantage of this remarkable camera and it's potential..
+8points
Review 3 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Fantastica

PostedMarch 1, 2014
Aribond
Age 45-54
Favorite Subject Travel
Nikon Family 0-1 years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Just getting started with photography
Excelente produto, custo beneficio, marca conceituada com tecnologia de ponta.
Estou muito satisfeito com a câmera embora ter apenas 1 mês de uso.
Aprovadíssimo!
+1point
Review 4 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

This CoolPix P520 Rocks!

PostedFebruary 27, 2014
Khafra1
Location Daytona Beach, FL, USA
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 6-10 years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Semi-professional photographer
User submitted photo
User submitted photo
I got this as a gift from my wife, and this CoolPix really performs. I feel that is the bridge between the non-inter-changeable lens and the Inter-changeable Lens Nikons. I really like the 42 to 1 zoom, and how one can get up-close to the action without interfering with it. The only thing one needs to pay attention concerns extreme distance photos; one must keep the camera steady, and a tripod really helps. I own two COOLPIX Digital cameras, a 3200 bought in 2005, and a S8100 in 2011, and this CoolPix builds upon its predecessors; I still use both of them at times (especially, the S8100), and I liked how Nikon allowed me to use this P520 without a large learning curve. Also, I like the fact that it has manual settings besides the automatic one, and allows me to use this camera as a DSLR. I know it will take at least two years to outgrow, and master all the abilities of this P520; this camera will prepare me for my next Nikon-a full-blown DSLR.
+3points
Review 5 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great Camera in a Small Package!

PostedFebruary 24, 2014
DuckMan24
Location Greenville, PA 16125, USA
Age 18-24
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 0-1 years
Experience Less than a month
Role Just getting started with photography
Bought to use for Wildlife Photography specifically Waterfowl. Was amazed and the zoom qualify and the image quality at full zoom. Would recommend to anyone!
+12points
Review 6 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

The best camera in less than SLR

PostedFebruary 20, 2014
HK
Age 18-24
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 2-5 years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
The zoom is brilliant. I loved this camera because of its ability to capture the pics in an unprecedented way. The wide variety of options & features available are great. The only drawbacks are RAW feature & Viewfinder. You can undoubtedly go for this camera because of the trust you can have on Nikon. This is the best product you can get below $400.
0points
Review 7 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Really versatile high quality little camera

PostedFebruary 8, 2014
RayG
Location Australian that works a lot in Canada and travels the world a lot
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience More than a year
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I have a D800 as well as the P520 (and a few other cameras). The P520 is really useful for me because of the built in GPS and the vari-angle screen. I do a lot of landscape photography all over the world and the GPS is very accurate. Helps at the end of the day to be able to review everything on a map from the day. The vari-angle screen is great for low shots and unusual angles or even just to see it clearly on a sunny day. the zoom lens of course is spectacular and the quality of the image throughout the zoom range is impressive.
+13points
Review 8 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Excelente câmera

PostedJanuary 30, 2014
Túlio
Câmera excelente, com vários recursos de grande utilidade. Destaque para o visor que permite a visualização durante o disparo de fotos do tipo autorretrato e, também, para o recurso que deixa as fotos, em macro e as de ambientes com pouca luz, perfeitas mesmo sem o uso do tripé.
+12points
Review 9 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

excelente

PostedJanuary 23, 2014
Jefferson Silva
Location Rio de Janeiro
Favorite Subject Family & Friends
Nikon Family 2-5 years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Semi-professional photographer
Uma excelente máquina. Ja fiz ótimas fotos. Inclusive 03 festas de 15 anos.
+3points
Review 10 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Love my Cool Pix!

PostedJanuary 23, 2014
Photobug
Location Florida
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Nature
Experience 1-3 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I am thrilled with my new Coolpix P520. Love the ease of use, love the zoom, love the focus, love the nifty red color!
0points
Review 11 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Fantásticaaa!

PostedJanuary 22, 2014
Juuh Loch
Location Cascavel - PR, Brasil
Age 18-24
Favorite Subject Travel
Nikon Family 0-1 years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
User submitted photo
Eu ainda não a dominei totalmente, mas é incrível! Aposto que quando eu aprender a mexer nela completamente no manual ficarei ainda mais contente. O zoom é perfeito, a qualidade das fotos em 3D também.
+14points
Review 12 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Taking great pictures right out of the box

PostedJanuary 18, 2014
mjack
Location Idaho
Age 45-54
Favorite Subject Family & Friends
Nikon Family 0-1 years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
I just got this camera yesterday, but I am impressed with it right out of the box. I was looking for an easy to operate point and shoot camera and I think I have found it. The instructions were easy to set the camera up. The buttons I found easy to use and understand. It fits great in your hand. I took pictures of the kids indoors last night and they came out so clear. I had the camera on auto setting and took pictures around the house, all shots came out perfect. I am looking forward to taking more pictures today. I think it is a great camera for someone looking for a camera that they can just pick up and get the pictures you want.
+10points
Review 13 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Love this Camera

PostedJanuary 18, 2014
LuLu
Location Macon, Georgia
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Nature
Nikon Family 0-1 years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
Had a Canon before this one. this camera is actually an upgrade to what i had for about the same price. Love it so far.I have a higher Megapixels and wider zoom...can't wait to explore all the features of this camera.
0points
Review 14 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Great value

PostedJanuary 13, 2014
Toronto Shooter
User submitted photo
For people looking to upgrade their point and shoot, but aren't quite ready for a full DSLR, I think this is a very good buy. You have a lot of great features in a compact, lightweight camera that allows you to learn more about using manual controls like aperture and shutter priority modes.
The image quality and zoom are top quality - especially when I use a tripod. You can really get some great shots with this camera.
Most online reviews by photography sites agree this is good value. My only criticisms are that:
- I wish the EVF was bigger
- the shutter response was faster
- they should have included a separate battery charger - are you listening, Nikon?
But none of that really takes away from what I consider a great bridge camera at a decent price.
+15points
Review 15 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

A back-up camera

PostedJanuary 13, 2014
Hasko
Age Over 65
Favorite Subject Travel
Nikon Family 21+ years
Experience 6-12 months
Role Semi-professional photographer
I was using a D5100, 18-135 and 70-300. I bought the P520 as a back-up camera. It does everything that my previous equipment did at a fraction of the weight. My D5100 with lenses has become my back-up.
+7points
Review 16 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Minha primeira câmera, me deixou bastante feliz com a aquisição.

PostedJanuary 10, 2014
Cris_Costa
Location Recife - PE, Brasil
Age 25-34
Favorite Subject Travel
Nikon Family 0-1 years
Experience 1-3 months
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
Achei uma excelente câmera, leve, fácil de manusear e com ótimos recursos para fotos de perto, de longe, com muita luz e com pouca luz.
-2points
Review 17 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

so far great camera

PostedJanuary 7, 2014
NikonFan4Life
upgraded from point and shoot coopix , this is a great camera , zoom is great , loving the pictures.
+3points
Review 18 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

great compact camera for its price

PostedDecember 31, 2013
ordinaryhobbyist
Location Maine, USA
Age 18-24
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 2-5 years
Experience Less than a month
Role Serious passion, hobbyist
received this camera as a gift for Christmas and love all the features it has, especially the 3D. This camera has amazing HD video capabilities, great field of depth taking macro shots, amazing 3D picture quality for using only one lens and zoom quality and capabilities are excellent.
-2points
Review 19 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

Mas accesorios

PostedDecember 12, 2013
Rony
Age 25-34
Favorite Subject Landscape
Nikon Family 0-1 years
Role Just getting started with photography
Excelente cámara, a pesar que es mi prmera cámara de este tipo , me ha sido sencillo aprender a usarla y eso me ha agradado mucho y mas por que se que hay mucho por aprender sobre fotografía, y con esta cámara Nikon P520 será un gran comienzo. Y solo tengo un detalle, he visto en videos en YouTube que hay adaptadores para ponerle lentes-filtros y parasol para esta camara, pero por mas que busco aquí en mexico NIKON no los hace, seria buenísimo que comenzaran a producirlos y distribuirlos, ya que si son necesarios, Sres. de NIKON MEXICO, tomen en cuenta estos accesorios, se que tendrán buenas ventas y grandes ganacias, si sacan al mercado estos accesorios!! un saludo!
+17points
Review 20 for COOLPIX P520
Overall rating 
5 / 5
5 / 5

A very cool little camera!

PostedDecember 6, 2013
CameraCollector
Location Fullerton, CA, USA
Age 55-65
Favorite Subject Family & Friends
Nikon Family 0-1 years
Experience Less than a month
Role Occasional user, memory keeper
I'm very impressed with my new Nikon Coolpix P520 camera. I think it was the red highlights of the finish that attracted me, and the zoom features. But the interesting features keep coming, especially the GPS function. In 2009 I bought a Sony GPS that was suppose to work with my Canon, but just ate up batteries. This GPS even knows the name of our local park nearby. My Canon makes it next to impossible to use the LCD screen as a viewfinder, but the P520 screen is large and bright, and just begs to be turned around and used to take Selfies. The tiny flash floods a room, but doesn't seem to leave shadows, and the camera will even tell you if a subject blinked. The only question is will I be able to see the LCD image in bright sunlight. I've read the warning that I might have to use the small viewfinder if there is a problem. I have a Fuji camera where in almost any outdoor lighting situation it is impossible to use the viewfinder. But in that case there is no alternative.
The 42X zoom lens comes out so far, I have to wonder where it can go when it retracts. I don't miss at all having to change lenses.
I look forward to taking this camera on vacation the first of next year. I've already loaded a 64GB SD card, and the camera says I have 9999 photos left. Probably that's as high as it can count. I feel a 1080p movie coming on. The only thing missing from this camera is a microphone jack.
I started off with a 1930s Kodak, and progressed to a 4x5 press camera. Now I'm 65 and this is the perfect camera for me.
+27points
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