Best Nikon B500, B700 Camera Black Friday Deals 2020
The Nikon COOLPIX B500 is an extremely attractive proposition for novice photographers upgrading from a phone or small compact and buying a long zoom range within an SLR style body without the trouble and complexity of a camera with interchangeable lenses. But when you can afford to invest more, compare closely with the higher-end B700 gives you an extended zoom, higher resolution sensor, RAW mode, a far more versatile screen, electronic viewfinder, more exposure modes, and 4K movies.
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Launched in Spring 2016 the Nikon COOLPIX B500 is a budget super-zoom with a 16 Megapixel sensor and a 40x stabilised optical zoom. Though it lacks PASM exposure modes, to call it a point-and-shoot model doesn’t do it justice as it’s filled with scene and show modes including some especially made to make the almost all of its long zoom.
The B500 is unusual in using four AA batteries as its power source, that can be more convenient when compared to a proprietary rechargeable battery, but calls for additional outlay. It includes a 3 inch LCD panel with 921k dots providing an in depth view, the screen can tilt up aswell as down, so shooting from awkward angles isn’t, well, awkward.
If a few of this looks familiar that’ll be for the reason that B500 can be an update of Nikon’s earlier L840 super-zoom model with a slightly longer zoom. The other thing that’s new is that Nikon has added Bluetooth connectivity to the Wifi and NFC of the sooner model and included its new SnapBridge feature which uses the Bluetooth link with automatically download images to your phone in the backdrop as you shoot if desired.
Alongside the B500 Nikon also launched the COOLPIX B700. That is a far more capable super-zoom with a generous 60x range and includes a 20 Megapixel sensor which among other activities provides 4k movie capability. The other major difference between your two models may be the B700’s built-in electronic viewfinder. As you’d expect, the B700 includes a heftier price attached, according to where you shop it’s practically twice the cost of the B500. In my own review I’ve tested and compared them alongside the other person so read on to find if the affordable COOLPIX B500 provides everything you’re more likely to need from a super-zoom, or if the more capable, but more costly COOLPIX B700 would suit you better.
Nikon COOLPIX B500 design and controls
With one exception, the look of the COOLPIX B500 is little changed from the sooner COOLPIX L840. The brand new model includes a mode dial making a huge difference to the handling. On the older model if you wanted to decide on a scene mode or among the many feature modes you’d to navigate through on-screen menus however now all it requires is a twist of the dial. I’ll go in to the workings of the brand new mode dial in greater detail in the Shooting Experience section towards the finish of my review.
The COOLPIX B500 is a comfortable fit, in my own hands at least. It’s neither too large to make it a lttle bit of a few – such as a DSLR or a number of the bulkier super-zoom models, nor so small concerning make accessing the controls fiddly. The grip extends quite a distance forwards which signifies that regardless if you have long fingers there’s a lot of room to support them in the well between your grip and lens.
There are two rocker switches for the zoom – one around the shutter release along with the grip and another on the left side of the lens barrel. Before it’s the ‘Snap-back zoom’ button introduced on the COOLPIX L840 which temporarily zooms the lens out in order to re-acquire your subject, before zooming back when you release the button. The COOLPIX B700 also offers this button and it’s very helpful, though not as complex as the frame assist features on Canon’s PowerShot super-zooms, just like the SX540 HS and SX60 HS.
On the trunk panel the control layout is conventional, The four-way controller, or multi-selector as Nikon calls it is employed to navigate the menus and for one-touch usage of flash, exposure compensation, macro mode and the self-timer. Flanking it are four buttons, two at the very top for display overlays and playback, with menu and delete buttons below.
The screen is double hinged so could be flipped up or down – it goes just a little way beyond 90 degrees when flipped up and simply a tad short of 90 degrees when flipped down. The only drawback with this arrangement is that you can’t flip the screen forwards for shooting selfies.
If you want to achieve that then the more costly COOLPIX B700’s side-hinged ‘Vari-angle’ screen can oblige. But if you’re not a major selfie-taker, you’ll become more than pleased with the B500’s flip up/down screen, which is far more versatile compared to the fixed screen of the Canon PowerShot SX540 HS.
The screen itself may be the same 921k dot LCD panel as on the sooner COOLPIX L840 and even the L830 before that, but even three generations on it’s one of the better screens you’ll find on a super-zoom in this price bracket and looks more descriptive than 461k dot screen of the PowerShot SX540 HS. Another good thing about the hinged screen is that outdoors in bright sunlight you can angle it to keep carefully the sun off.
On the proper side of the COOLPIX B500 there’s a soft flap that covers the USB / A/V and HDMI ports. There’s also a DC in socket here which you can use to power the B500 from the mains using an optional AC adapter. The combined battery and card compartment is accessed via a huge hinged door that covers the complete right side of the camera below the hand grip.
The COOLPIX B500 takes four AA batteries, a couple of Alkaline batteries is roofed in the box and they’ll provide enough power for 600 shots. Replace them with NiMH batteries and that figure rises to 750 shots and with an increase of expensive Lithium AA batteries the COOLPIX B500 manages a really impressive 1240 shots.
The drawback with AAs is that there’s additional expense – not forgetting weight – involved. If you don’t already have a couple of four batteries and a charger you’ll have to buy them. But aswell as the long battery life, AA’s have the benefit that they’re simple to replace and spares are relatively cheap in comparison to a proprietary Li-Ion battery.
The COOLPIX B500’s built-in pop-up flash is activated by pressing a button on the left of your body just underneath the flash housing. It has four modes, Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill flash and slow sync. The Flash includes a quoted selection of 6.9 meters, a bit more powerful compared to the PowerShot SX540 HS. It offers enough light for fill-in also to illuminate reasonably close subjects, but unlike the PowerShots, the COOLPIX B500 doesn’t support a far more powerful flash accessory.
Nikon COOLPIX B500 lens and stabilisation
The COOLPIX B500’s lens includes a 40x zoom range that extends from a brilliant wide 22.5mm (in 35mm terms) to 900mm at the telephoto end. It’s just a little longer, however, not much, compared to the 38x zoom of its predecesor, the COOLPIX L840. Don’t misunderstand me, a 40x zoom is incredibly versatile and will let you pick the optimal focal length for nearly any situation, from interiors and group photographs to sports and wildlife, but nowadays there are many super-zooms available to buy offering 50x, 60x and even longer ranges.
The COOLPIX B700’s 60x Zoom covers the number from 24-1440mm, so are certain to get you considerably nearer to smaller distant subjects, like birds for instance, though it doesn’t go quite as wide at the other end. The 50x Canon PowerShot SX540 HS also starts at 24mm, extending to 1200mm at the long end of the zoom range.
Nikon COOLPIX B500 coverage, wide and tele
Above left: at 4mm (22.5mm equivalent), above right at 160mm (900mm equivalent)
The utmost aperture of the COOLPIX B500’s lens is f3 at the wide angle end of the zoom range, closing to f6.5 when fully zoomed in, which can be compared with almost every other super-zooms, a lot more expensive types just like the COOLPIX B700. Generally, the longer the zoom, small the utmost aperture – the B700’s is f3.3-6.5 and the PowerShot SX540 HS’s f3.4-6.5.
How come this important? because at the longer zoom settings you’ll have to decide on a faster shutter speed in order to avoid camera shake, despite having stabilisation enabled, and a wider aperture can help you do that. A very important factor that helps the COOLPIX B500 here’s that its ISO sensitivity range reaches 6400 ISO, in comparison to 3200 ISO on the COOLPIX B700, though obviou