Nikon Coolpix P520 Review

April 29, 2013 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#101 Geoff K

Thanks for the suggestions re other cameras.
The featurers of this camera were what I was/am after- no seperate lens to carry was and is a big factor as I already have a DSLR canon plus and the video specs stack up, but not much good if not reliable,the 42x zoom was a key feature in purchase decision making.
Imagine if you bought a car and sometimes it might work fine and other times not.

2:52 am - Tuesday, September 10, 2013

#102 Ahmad

Hi guyz i have recently buy a Nikon P520 Camera and want to know that how to blur background of picture plzzzzz help

3:31 pm - Friday, September 27, 2013

#103 asdf

To Ahmad

You just need to zoom in… a lot. Thats because sensor is small. I did a lot of blurred black pictures and it is possible. But it’s hard.

3:34 pm - Friday, September 27, 2013

#104 Geoff K

Met up with Nikon NZ the other day.
Discussion covered—
Techo support was surprised at delay with video, had no arnswers re screen going black for 1.5 to 2 seconds- “thats how they are” I use camera for 75% video-surfing, skiing, sport, familly, having a camera delay while going into new mode-hopeless!
Focus issues at max zoom, agreed putting on manual helps due to various depth/distances covered.
In the end took camera back to retailer (Appliance store- Noel Lemmings)stating camera not fit for purpose, gave a full refund, even though I’d tried it for 2 weeks.
Purchased the Cannon SX50- yeh ha a breeze to use for what my needs are, might not be 20mp and cystal sharp screen (that eats the battery)does everthing that I need and was looking for- point and shoot!!
Average punter wants just that, not all the techo.

8:59 am - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#105 MARIO

i purchased the nikon p520 in late may so i could use it on vacation in europe . i am sorry to say that i am totally disappointed with its performance .  the so called 42 times zoom is virtually useless in full zoom mode when trying to shoot video ,it takes forever to switch from one setting to another , sometimes the power button does not work !  i try to shut it off and it will not turn off , i must remove the battery to shut it off ! sometimes i try to turn it on and it will not turn on ,  sometimes when shooting video and stop the recording mode it freezes the last frame on the screen and no other function becomes accesable!i have to remove the battery and re insert it again to make it operational , and about the so called hd video in full 1080 resolution !  it is no better than a second generation vhs copy , its terrible video , and to boot it records a loud motor noise when zooming in or out .
to sum up !
i sure am sorry for haveing purchased it !
p.s don’t ever buy one at future shop !  the service there is awfull .

11:17 pm - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#106 MARIO

re nikon cool pix 520 !  i purchased this camera a few months ago to take to europe on vacation !.
i am very unsatified with its performance , especially when shooting videos , the hd video mode is not HD it all ! its no better than regular vhs video.  the power on off switch does not always work , i had to physically remove the battery to shut it off ,  when shooting video and want to stop , the last video frame freezes on screen and no other function is useable ! not even power off !  i had to remove the battery to shut it down , its extremely slow , it never stays in focus on video mode, especially at the full zoom in mode , it will not focus !
am i doing something wrong ?

11:31 pm - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#107 sydney kiwi

Hi Mario, just sell it on ebay or trademe I got all my money back on my 520 after a week of frustration, and bought a SONY HX300. awesome camera and super quick with all functions and zoom/focus and an easy menu system too. Video is great. zoom is the best on the market
Ok it dosent have quite the DSLR picture quality(no bridge camera does) but its one of the best point and shoot, and with a bit of experimentation with the scene selections you will be very happy with the is also nice to hold with good weight and balance and not too heavy..surprisingly light actually… Nuf Said!!

12:13 am - Thursday, October 3, 2013

#108 sharon

I am a complete amateur who loves taking pictures.  I am slowly learning.  Currently I have a Sony DSC-HX1.  After 4 years I am wondering if there is another camera that would take better pictures but still be light weight and easy to use. I take pictures outside, in low light situations and video in my travels.  I have to admit I use auto mode most of the time.  Someone suggested the Nikon 520 but I am not sure that is what I really need.  Any suggestions?

1:08 am - Friday, October 11, 2013

#109 sydney kiwi

Hi Sharon, if you want a bridge camera go with the Sony HX300, great allrounder and very fast with 50x optical zoom. if you want a great very small DSLR go for the the Sony NEX5R its a beautiful camera small light and stunning photos. fast too. does have detachable lenses but not like a normal DSLR they too are also very small and portable. get the twin lens pack. cant rate it enough and has a strong following… i promise you wont be disappointed if you are looking for a DSLR quality without the bulk and weight..

3:25 am - Friday, October 11, 2013

#110 irosh

hi fabio recently i buy this camera 2 days before, i have no that much knowledge about this camera, but i like this P520 more than DSLR camera, but i have a issue because the picture quality is soft when i enlarge the photo i can see white dots, and also its look white not that much sharp, so please help me to get rid of this problem, (nay settings should i change?)and also tel me which mood is the best (day and night) and ISO to take a good quality picture,

9:56 am - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#111 Fabio

    Hi Irosh
  I don’t know how much you are enlarging your photos but I guess the white dots are simply noise , small sensors show more noise than larger ones , that’s why ISO must be kept at the minimum possible , even at night if I can keep ISO at 80 and use the extraordinary VR system to compensate for a very slow speed such as 1/5 sec that’s what I preferto use.
  Another very good mode for night photos is the night landscape, it takes several pictures at a higher ISO and speed and blend them together to create a cleaner shot, it works very well, thanks again to the VR system.
  The flash is excellent too but always try to keep ISO as low as possible.
  This camera has some problems , most of them related to operational speed but sharpness is not one of them, it’s very sharp, so soft images may be related to focus . I always use center or manual focus area, them focus where I want and recompose, the camera has many adjustments and if you enter Picture control you can increase sharpness and contrast .
  I almost always use P mode , except for macro when I use the camera in M mode and manual focus.
  This is a very good camera , but it demands a good knowledge of photography to get the best from it, so I strongly recommend you to go online and learn the basics like aperture, speed , ISO, the camera manual can teach you that .

12:51 pm - Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#112 irosh

thank you very much for your advice i try to use camera with ISO 80 it work much better really nice photos, but one more thing just want to ask you, i have to open flash manually even the night time also its not come automatically, i tired all modes but its same,so can you help me with this matter again
thank you again,

8:11 am - Friday, October 18, 2013

#113 Fabio

    To Irosh
  As I mentioned before this is a very complex camera that gives you many choices , it’s up to you to decide to use the flash or not even on Auto mode.

1:11 pm - Friday, October 18, 2013

#114 irosh

thanks again , but i just ask how to set the flash auto, because mine is not working(its not come automatically), even i set the P mode its not working, i have to press the black button beside the flash and take it out, but i think it should work automaticaly when the night time(P mode) isn’t it

6:12 pm - Saturday, October 19, 2013

#115 Sarath Gopal

Can anyone please help me to choose between these
Nikon Coolpix P520 & Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300.
Suggest me the best!!! Thx

5:13 pm - Thursday, October 31, 2013

#116 donald williams

i just purchased one of these an tonight is a fireworks display anyone used the firework app on here an is it any good

4:24 pm - Tuesday, November 5, 2013

#117 Subrahmanya

m in love with this camera.. in hurry I bought Nikon L820 :( no comments about its daylight performance simply superb).. but I am facing problem with night photography (without flash). I’m getting blurry shots with it. I need to increase ISO. As it increase noise I don’t prefer it.. Tripod can not be a handy for all the night shots.. Is there any way to manually control the shutter speed and aperture size in the p520?? I’m requesting somebody to give information about this..

6:14 am - Thursday, November 14, 2013

#118 Bob Morn

I bough a p520 and I’m happy with it if I want to take videos I use my camcorder as this camera seems to be good at 20-39 ft. when I zoomed all the way I held the button down half way and when I clicked I got a very clear picture, I bough a 2 pack of bateries just in case and so far I have no problems.


12:24 am - Sunday, November 17, 2013

#119 Andrea Woodson

I am a Newbie when it comes to Fotograhpy.I would like to know,is it possible to get a picture taken where the background 50 meters away is as focused as the foreground of 5 meters?                  I want to be able to see the raindrops on the branch i zoomed in as clear as the background.
How do i do that?

4:00 pm - Sunday, November 17, 2013

#120 paula

Hi Fabio!

I don’t make up my mind. Nikon p520 or D3200?

2:02 pm - Saturday, November 23, 2013

#121 Fabio

To Paula

  They are so different , I always carry the P520 , it’s an outstanding camera, but there are times when a DSLR or a premiun compact is much better. Low light with moving subjects, like a party , or when I want a beautifull bokeh are not the situations the Nikon is good at.
  The Nikon P520 is the perfect companion of a DSLR, no need to carry heavy , expensive zoom lenses, it’s very good with a Raynox 250 for outstanding macro and for anything far away.
  My recommendation based on my experience is : get the Nikon P520 and a premiun compact like the Fuji x10 or x20 or the Canon G15 or G16, if you add a cheap Raynox 250 you will cover almost every possible situation in photography.

9:25 pm - Saturday, November 23, 2013

#122 Jan

We there is so many nice words about Nikon Coolpix P520, I’m interested if there could be used filters such as polarizer or any other kind
Fabio was mentioned Raynox 250 mounted on P520, so is there same kind tread at the end of lens.  My older Coolpix 8700 I none and I have to modify so it accept now filters size 52mm. Now in nova days is test report or specifications is no longer mention filter size treads.

11:46 pm - Sunday, November 24, 2013

#123 Norm

To Mario:
The P520 requires in-camera recharging as you already know but I did some research and found out that the P510 uses the same battery and it offers a (out of camera)charger but it comes with a cord. These can be purchased for around $20 or so. Hope this helps.

1:16 am - Monday, November 25, 2013

#124 Fabio

  To Jan
The Nikon P520 has no filter thread, there are some grooves that hold the lens cap and the Raynox can be fixed on those grooves, but no filter can be attached without an adapter. I have a filter adapter for 58 mm filters .

1:20 am - Monday, November 25, 2013

#125 Jan

Thank you Fabio.
I have only filter sizes 52mm and 72mm
which fit on my SLR Nikon lenses. So it should do the same as I did with my Coolpix 8700 to accept
52mm filters. The Coolpix 8700 is getting tired.
It getting very, very slow. So I read your comment make me to think for new Coolpix.
Thanks again…

2:04 am - Monday, November 25, 2013

#126 vicki

Hi Fabio, have been asking questions with Joe about this camera Nikon P520 and also the Canon SX50 HS as to which one would be better for me to take photos of kids Show jumping (equestrian horse usually around 12 or so jumps in an area about the size of soccer field at 350-400 meters per minute)I was worried about the focus/speed. I had just bought a Canon SX500 IS which I am returning as I don’t think it will do what I’m wanting. I can get either the Cannon SX50 HS for $419.00 aussie dollars after cash back locally or I can get the Nikon P520 for $448. aussie dollars also locally. What do you recommend? by the way Joe says hi. Thank you Vicki

12:24 am - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

#127 Janice

Hi Fabio .... I’ve really enjoyed reading all your posts, and looking at some of the shots you’ve taken. Very impressive! I am looking to purchase a camera for my daughter who is studying acting in college and needs a camera to take good stills as well as audition videos, monologues, etc.  She is new to photography, so I wouldn’t want to get her anything too complicated to start, albeit, I would like to get something that will give her really good results. Can you tell me what type of camera you would recommend for her?  Thanks so much!

4:39 am - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

#128 Fabio

Hi Janice
  An excellent camera for low light situations like you described is the Canon G15 or G16. Small but powerfull , good movies , fast, easy to use and get great results.

5:05 am - Tuesday, November 26, 2013

#129 Janice

Great suggestion - thanks Fabio! 
Can you tell me .... would the Canon PowerShot SX50 HS be at all comparable to the Canon G15 (or G16) or is it definitely worth it to spend the extra $$?

2:21 am - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

#130 Fabio

  To Janice
  The use you described is low light indoor moving subjects, the same situation as a party for example. Canon G15 have a very bright lens, 1.8 to 2.8 , a bigger sensor and can deal much better with those situations. The zoom is much more limited but it’s more than enough for those situations. A superzoom like the Canon SX50 or this Nikon have much darker lens and needs to boost ISO to levels where noise and lost of detail are a big problem. The P520 is very good in low light but not for moving subjects, you can get wonderfull shots of a building at night , using low speeds and low ISO the excelent VR takes care of any vibration, there are also special low light modes that merges 3 or 4 images into one , but it’s not for moving subjects.
    There are other cameras that can do the job as well, like the Fuji X10 or X20, Sony RX100, Nikon P7700 or 7800 , Panasonic LX7 , Samsung EX2 and Olympus XZ2. I had or tested most of them, my favorite is the Canon G15 , it is small and can fit in any bag , bright lens, great sensor and processor, good zoom, no need to remove lens cap, easy to use in auto but with many adjustments.
  Of course a DSLR or a micro 4/3 can provide even better results but you depend on expensive lenses and the size and weight makes it impossible to carry all the time, the Canon G15 or the G16 are small and can be taken evrywhere everytime.

4:33 am - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

#131 Fabio

To Vicki
  Sorry I missed your comment.
    I would recommend the Nikon as the best image quality , but focus can be a problem, if you can set the focus in advance where the horse will jump then it’s ok , but that may not be easy. I don’t like the Canon, but to be honest I didn’t spend much time with it, maybe if I could dedicate more time my opinion would change, but my experience is that great cameras impress me in the first photos.
    A camera with fast focus is the Sony HX200 or HX300 but image quality is the problem, the HX300 has a bigger zoom but quality is worst than the older model, I like Sony a lot but was very disappointed with the new model, sold it after 2 weeks , but it’s a very fast camera.
    I believe that zoom will be a very important factor for you, the Panasonic FZ200 reachs only 600 mm, so I won’t consider it,  then if movies are important for you the Sony is very good, image quality is not on par with the P520 but maybe for you it’s good enough. The Canon is a good compromise, it’s not the fastest, nor has the best image in stills or movies, the LCD is small, but if you are not an experienced photographer it’s my recommendation. If you know photography the Nikon P520 is my choice. Please say hi to Joe for me.

4:59 am - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

#132 Brian

Recently bought a P520; very pleased so far. Took a bit of time to work my way around the menus, but now all good. Regarding the fitting of filters etc: I purchased a kit from ‘Kiwi Fotos’ which consists of a tube that fits snugly over the camera lense body.  There is supplied a 67mm polarising filter and a 67mm UV filter, also a ‘tulip’ lense hood and adapter ,with an extra lense cap. The cost was AU$ 51.00. The kit no. is LA-67P520T.Thanks for a very informative forum Fabio: It convinced me to buy the P520 instead of the D3200 and all the extra lenses that would entail carrying around.

1:20 am - Saturday, November 30, 2013

#133 Payne

Hi Fabio,

I am considering purchase of P520 now (home use, holidays, mountain trips, garden flowers ^^ etc.)

I have read all Your comment’s but I am looking for a comparison with Fuji FinePix HS series (propably HS35 since the price is comparable)

How Fuji looks in terms of quality, auto focus speed, low light and moving “targets”?

Even smallest help will be appreciated :)
Thx in advance

Looking at prices in my country even cheapest micro 4/3 is more expensive than those two so my budget won’t hold it out :)

12:49 pm - Wednesday, December 4, 2013

#134 Fabio

  Hi Payne
  I don’t loke to comment on equipments that I don’t know, I had the Fuji HS10 and the HS20, good cameras but not really outstanding like the Nikon P520 .
  The HS35 has a phase detection focusing system like the DSLR and should be much faster than the Nikon, the slow focusing is worst at the end of the zoom (1000mm) a condition that the Fuji won’t be able to reproduce and for me is one of the limitations, 720 mm is not enough for the birds that I shoot and the low resolution and smaller LCD can’t be compared with the wonderfull 3,2 high resolution of Nikon’s LCD, EVF in Fuji is better and that’s a good thing.
  I can’t comment on the image quality because I don’t know, image quality in Nikon is superb.
  Nikon is very light and small, the Fujis I had were big and heavy , something I don’t like at all and that seems to be the case with the HS35.
  Overall the Fuji may be a better choice, like the Sony HX300 they are fast and do the job, for me the quality of the Nikon image , the excellent VR, shapness and the extraordinary lens compensates the slower operational speed BUT I always carry another camera , small , fast with better low light performance like the Canon G15 or a micro 4/3.
  Did you see my Flickr photos? I can use many cameras but it seems that most ofthe time I use the Nikon, I have hundreds of pictures taken with the P510 and the P520 and only one picture taken with the HX300 and none taken with the Fujis (HS10and HS20) in my Flickr ( there are also many taken with the Fuji X10) . I’m very selective and don’t upload everything, that tells a lot about how I feel about the Nikon but if you can have only one camera maybe a do it all like this Fuji or the Sony are a better choice.

2:01 pm - Wednesday, December 4, 2013

#135 Jan Kun

Hello.The coolpix doesnt have hot shooe that could be atached an external flash, because I would like to use ring flash for closeups. I manage to fix ad on the lens 52mm ring so there could mount ring flash. But trouble is there is not hot shooe or pc port. Is there some one who is used ring flash on P520, Yes I know there is the metz 15MS-1 wireless ring flash. It might work but I’m not so sure, and I wouldn’t like to spend about same amount of money as is camera price Mine cost me $310.00 Yes I read the comments and many unhapy people with P520.
I don’t have complaints other than slow autofocus. And no where to put on an external flash. I don’t expect the speed as on my DSLR Nikon.

1:56 pm - Friday, December 13, 2013

#136 AV


hi, i have just brought a nikon p520. i would like to know how can i get blur background image like you. i read all of your tutorial but still i can;t able to do it. can you explain me step by step. i am request you please, i like your photographs and really want to do somthing just like that.
please help me out

7:25 pm - Sunday, December 15, 2013

#137 martyg

Anybody know why the P520 sometimes shows only the ability to delete one image (at a time), in lieu of the normal 3 options…single image, selected images or All images?

2:33 pm - Tuesday, December 17, 2013

#138 MacroSS

Can someone please tell me how to assign manual focus to the side zoom button? A step by step would be greatly appreciated. It’s not listed anywhere in the manual. Thanks!

10:41 pm - Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#139 Jan Kun

I’m very much interested if someone know if it is possible to use Metz 15MS-1 ring flash on coolpix P520. I did manage to put on that necessary ring on front of the lens it can now accept 52 mm filters, So I can use any filter size 25mm. So I also could mount the matz ring flash. But I’m curious if there cameras flash could trigger Ring flash wireless If someone did try it out I would be very happy to know if it works, That flash is expensive same price as is coolpix P520. I have many ring flashes flashes but I can not use them because P520 haven’t got the hot shoe for additional flash.
I thankinking in advance for any positive answer or suggestion
At same time I wish to all in this forum wonderful holidays and many happy shots.
Jan Kun

6:38 am - Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#140 Fabio

Hi Jan
  I always use flash in my macro shots with the Raynox , the flash in Nikon P520 is excellent, problem is the shadow that it will cast in the lower part of the picture because of the Raynox lens adapter, the solution is to use a difuser, a small white plastic cup or even a big one will create the perfect light for closeups and macros .
  If you really want to use the ring flash in macro it will work if the slave mode has the option to trigger in the second flash, cameras like the Nikon actually flashes 2 times everytime , the photo is sincronized with the second flash, many slave flashes have that option. Canon cameras may flash it several times before the actual flash and it may seems that the slave is not sincronizing because the flash trigger before the actual flash is taken.

11:24 am - Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#141 Jan Kun

Hi Fabio!
Yes I know that. But I read that the metz 15 MS -1 ring flash recognise that. Also I find out that the P520 doesn’t doing that preflash and metz could learn that. I have two nikon ring flashes but both require hot shoes and even then are not dedicated because they are still from the film times they perfectly work on Nikon F4 but not on Nikon digital cameras and it is especially so on P520 there is no hot shoe. or PC synchronizations. I have experimenting with an old Starblitz ring flash. I made remote trigger connected to the Starblitz and it work But flash seem little to heavy for such gentle camera and lens. I didn’t see yet that metz ring flash, but from pictures it look smaller than Starblitz. Well I will try to get it and just hope it will work and have more sharp photos even if there is little windy on flowers. Thanks for your reply and suggestion.

2:32 pm - Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#142 DG Reid

As stated by others, the P520 won’t operate when charging - major issue. An external charger is available,but be careful when selecting a charger for lithium batteries. Some chargers overheat.
I have also seen the focus problems which really means it is not a 42X but something less where it will focus.
I also hate the fact that to use the viewfinder, I must close the monitor. Why doesn’t the DISPLAY button simply switch between them.
I like the time-lapse feature, but am not sure how fast the battery will discharge thus limiting the time I can take shots - since it won’t function with the charger plugged in.
This is my first experience with Nikon - maybe the last.

9:31 pm - Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#143 Jan Kun

Yes DG Reid, you are perfectly right, be very careful when selecting charger. I looking in the eBay and find ofer saying genuine Charges for P520 and pocket Canon Ixus 970. I find it is not true.  They look exactly as original So I charge the P520. I was believe it is genuine charger and live overnight, believing it will automatically switch off when fully charged, but I find in morning charger still working at full power even battery was already frayed,  Same was with Canon charger. But I was monitoring that charging and notice it doesn’t stop and don’t change the light from charging and charged. So I will not buying from eBay any more. It is better to buy from camera shops even if there is 10 times dearer and you be sure that is GENUINE charger.

10:56 pm - Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#144 Brian Clarke

Hi MacroSS, Assuming that you have the CD Rom PDF manual for the P520, the instructions for setting the side controls for manual focus are on page 72.
Access the main settings menu and then keep scrolling through the options until the ‘assign side control’ appears. Once having selected the manual focus mode ;personally ,Ive found it easy to let the auto focus function get you to the general area and then use the knurled wheel just behind the on/off
button to do the final fine focusing.
  At the time I purchased the camera I also bought an accessory kit by ‘Kiwi fotos’. This consists of a precision extension tube which slides over the front part of the lense. it came complete with a 67mm polarising filter ,a UV filter and a ‘tulip’ lense hood for approx. AU$ 50.00. In addition; after a fruitless local (Australia) search for a Raynox250 macro lense (for under $150.00)I obtained an ‘Opteka 10X macro 67mm lense that screws right on to the accessory tube. It works very well and since it is the same diameter as the ext. tube there is little vignetting. Its resolving power is great and the depth of field at extreme close up is also pretty good at about 1-1.5 CM.s. Hope this info has been of use to someone. Cheers .

1:58 am - Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#145 yohan

Hai Fabio, I’m Yohan from Indonesia
I’ve read a lot of comments from the web about P520
Please give your opinions about this : external battery charger from Nikon
2.when you “shake” the camera, you can hear some noise from inside of the camera
3.the on/off button sometimes is not function as it is

I’m thinking of buying P520 but I’m not sure because a lot of negative comments about that things
So far only you who gave a lot of positive comments about P520

I only take photos for fun/hobbies not for work/professional purpose, so I don’t have problems with 2-3 seconds delay time for taking photos actually
But I want a durable camera
Until now I’m only using pocket camera, canon ixus 100
Is P520 fit for me?

3:32 am - Saturday, December 28, 2013

#146 kevin


I’ve been using this camera for about a 2 weeks and overall i’m very happy with the quality.
Check out some pics I took with it, unedited. P520

Question for Fabio: I also have a small Canon IXUS 80IS and i can’t seem to get the same/better close-up/macro shots with the Nikon. I saw your bug pictures, what are your setting for that?

11:13 am - Saturday, December 28, 2013

#147 kevin

Sorry, bad link in the comment P520

11:15 am - Saturday, December 28, 2013

#148 ned simonds

Hi Fabio,
Great helpful review but I still have two questions.  On the back of my D5100 there is a + - button that allows me to enlarge or reduce the image on the rear viewfinder.  Can’t figure out how to reduce or enlarge on the P520.  Is there a way?
Secondly at maximum zoom am I at 2000MM or do I have to change something in the camera also what do I have to do to use the Macro feature?  Aloha, Ned

8:43 pm - Sunday, December 29, 2013

#149 Fabio

  To Yohan
    No external battery charger, just like Sony, I don’t like it but you may even find a cell phone car charger that you work with it, battery chargers cost US$6,00, I have one works perfectly, an extra battery costs another 6 bucks, works perfectly, that’s not a problem.
    Noise when shaking is very common in non DSLR cameras, the lens system is a little loose, they move a lot, not a problem.
    On/Off button sometimes not working. The camera is a computer , sometimes it’s just processing and does not turn off until it’s over, after months and thousands of pictures I had to remove the battery to restart the camera only once, not a problem.
    This is not a perfect camera but I’m not the only one to say good things about it, just check user reviews on B&H or Amazon.
    The delay is I believe something around some 1/ 100 of a second , not much really but it may be a problem for fast action.

12:19 am - Tuesday, December 31, 2013

#150 Fabio

To Kevin
It’s natural that good pocket cameras produce great macro shots, in my Flickr I have some excelent macro pictures taken with cameras like the Casio ZR100, Panasonic ZS20, Sony , Canon SX130, HX9 and Sony HX30. Just to compare, the HX30 is exactly the same camera as the superzoom Sony Hx200, same sensor, processor, LCD, just the lens and size differs. The smaller HX30 can zoom in 2 times more in macro mode.
  The superzooms have their limitations, but they allow you to use an extraordinary lens like the Raynox 250’ that’s how I take my macro shots, much better than any closeup filter and even better(in my opinion) than many dedicated macro lens.

12:41 am - Tuesday, December 31, 2013

#151 Fabio

To Ned Simonds
  All your questions are easily answered in the camera manual, it’s very important to read it.
  Just use the zoom rocker when reviewing pictures, the optical zoom is 1000 mm, there’s a bar on top of the screen that shows the zoom, it ranges from W to T with a symbol between them , it turns to digital after reaching the middle symbol until 2000 mmm on T.
  The macro mode must be set by pressing the round button around the OK button in the position that shows a flower.

1:11 am - Tuesday, December 31, 2013

#152 Manohar

Hi m From India

i Want to know, in Nikon P520 we can add extra Lenses or not

11:16 pm - Tuesday, December 31, 2013

#153 yohan

The delay time when taken at max optical zoom is what I’m referring actually, because it takes more time to adjust the auto focus compared to similar cameras right
As long as the picture’s quality is worth it, why not

Please share your comments again if there’s a sequel for this series
Perhaps P530 with more improvements for early 2014

Thanks a lot Fabio =)

3:15 pm - Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#154 Fabio

Hi Yohan
  The focus time is the real problem with this camera, it’s worst at the max zoom or at any pont in digital zoom range.
  When we are at the max zoom it’s normal to have the subjet at the center , but it’s easier to achieve focus if the main subject is off center, the focus system needs a contrasty area to work.
  Just to compare, I had the Sony HX300 , I decided to buy it because I had the HX100 and the HX200, both very good, but image quality can’t match the Nikon, it’s faster and I would choose it or a Fuji for fast action but not for best image quality.
  There will be a new Nikon P530 , it will probably be announcec next week, let’s see what Nikon has made with , they will probably increase the max zoom, what is welcome but not necessary, a phase detection focus system and faster processor would make the P520 almost perfect, just hope that the changes don’t affect image quality in a negative way.

10:38 pm - Wednesday, January 1, 2014

#155 Susan

I have a coolpix p520, power light will not shut off unless battery is removed & will not take pictures even when light is on!  Tried charging battery & same results. This started to happen in the middle of taking pictures. Camera is not even a year old. Love the camera is there any way to fix it?

7:52 pm - Thursday, January 9, 2014

#156 Joe

Hi Fabio,
I have just purchased the 520P and think it is fantastic.
One thing I would like to know is , can I add a UV filter or any filter?
I saw a filter tube ,but you have two tiny screws to fix to the lens and one fault I see with that is you need to remove before closing the lense down

9:08 pm - Friday, January 10, 2014

#157 Fabio

  Hi Joe

  I use the filter adapter of the photo

I know the filter adapter you mentioned but it’s not good since it appears in the picture, there’s a heavy vigneting from 24 to about 50 mm, there are filter adapters that use 67 mm filters that don’t appear in the picture but they block the flash light creating a shadow in the lower part of the image. The right size for a filter to cause no problems is 58 mm.
  Just one recomendation, if you buy a filter adapter, don’t waste your money on a lens hood, it’s uselless and increases dramatically the chances of collisions and motorized zoom lenses are very delicate.

11:06 pm - Friday, January 10, 2014

#158 Ken

Just ordered this after a horrible experience with the Canon sx280HS, not so much the camera, apart from the location of the automatic flash, but the customer service. Waited all week to call, and their closed on the weekends? Nice. Anyway, looking forward to learning on this, as I figure it’s easier to learn on a digital cam than the old film cameras. Shoot, look and if no good ditch it. Going on a 15 day cruise next December for our 25th anniversary, so I have plenty of time to learn the ins and outs of this cam. Fabio, your pics will inspire me to take my time and learn to do it right. One question..any tips on shooting on a moving ship?

12:21 am - Monday, January 13, 2014

#159 Fabio

Hi Ken
  That’s easy, just wake up before the sun rise, the ship is empty and you will get amazing photos.

12:38 am - Monday, January 13, 2014

#160 Robinhood

Fabio and friends:

Having “exhausted battery” problems with the P520 on one battery but not the other.  Both batteries are brand new, EN-EL5 Nikon Lithium Ions that test at 4.09V and 4.06V after charging (nominal is 3.7V).  The #1 battery seems to have no problem. It shoots over 100 shots and still shows 3.87V on my multi-meter tester.  The #2 battery works for 1 or 2 shots and then registers “exhausted” even though the voltage is 3.89V.  I’ve read of fixes on other Nikon models for this same problem & I tried them all…no difference.  I called Nikon, they were polite but useless. They informed me that there was no new firmware for the P520 to address this problem.  Across the net I’m finding Nikon has this problem on quite a few different models.  seems “repaired” units continue to have the problem as if Nikon did nothing to fix it while the camera was at their shop.  I like the camera but this is inexcusable.   

Additionally, when I open the pdf manual for the P520 (elsewhere on the net) it describes a manual focus option.  I follow the directions but when I arrive at the selection section there is no “manual option” present.  Any thoughts?

Thanks for your help.

6:12 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#161 Jan Kun


I dont believe it is the Nikon fault about the battery. I don’t believe that Nikon produce batteries then self, but it is made by someone else for nikon.  I buying batteries normal (not rechargeable) and rechargeable in both cases can get

sometimes that is not performing as it should be. I like the P520 for very sharp pictures, I don’t like that slow autofocus, not possibility to attach external flash, and on the lens is not possible to use filters such as polariser and other, I have that

fixed by my self so I can use now filters and even ring flash, but not conventional flash, because there is no hot shoe for that. I regard Nikon cameras very good, especially the opticks. But now many of Nikon products is no longer made in Japan and I believe that quality is not as good as in the professional equipment. I have Some lenses made long before the autofocus era and if compared now with those now is a big, I mean big difference in sharpness and build quality.Many is now in demand on the secondhand market because of their good performance and build quality even if they are completely manual and need separate light and flash meters.

10:54 pm - Friday, January 31, 2014

#162 Bob Rock

Bought it for the long tele and it is awesome.really pleased to hear about the digital zoom,looking forward to trying it but where can I get some form of remote shutter release?. regards,Bob

8:24 pm - Monday, February 10, 2014

#163 Bronny

Hi all,
Purchased this camera a week ago and having trouble with some photos downloading. Can see all photos perfectly on the camera screen, but when downloaded random ones will be a solid colour or multi stripe lines. All photos take on ‘auto mode’. I have tried downloading through the camera, through just the card, on different computers and the same issue. I have deleted all photos and reformatted the card and tried again, but same thing happens and it isn’t in any order the 2nd or 3rd time around. Anyone got any ideas? I figure if it was the card, then I wouldn’t be able to see the photos on the camera either. Not a professional photographer, bought just for fun and travel. Have never had this type of problem before. Help please :)

12:45 am - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#164 Bronny

In response to my message above, it’s all good - seems like it was just a faulty SD card after all - phew! So now that I have this problem solved, all I can say is I am loving this camera for my purposes. The focus speed doesn’t bother me like others have commented. In fact that slight delay helps me take a better picture. It is the perfect size for me and I love the fact that I don’t have to lug a larger camera and lenses around to get great shots. Fabio, your pictures are incredible! Cheers Bronny

3:16 am - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#165 Fabio

  Hi Bronny,
  I was about to suggest a new SD card, had the same problem with another camera. 
  The P520 is really an outstanding camera but it’s slow, I agree with you that this makes you think before taking a picture , as I mentioned before it’s like a sniper rifle not a machine gun, fewer shots but better shots.
    The new P530 may change that with a new AF algorithm, it will be faster and that’s good, on the other side the LCD is smaller and fixed, hard to understand why change the best LCD ever for something that is acceptable only in a pocket camera, it will be the worst LCD in the bridge market.
    The P600 has a smaller LCD too but at least is articulated, I can’t understand why someone will buy the P530 , 10% cheaper but the P600 has 44% more zoom, articulated LCD and WiFi. I will keep the P520 for now and get the P600 as soon as I can.

4:04 am - Wednesday, February 19, 2014

#166 dhri

how to take macro pictre with nikon coolpix p520

9:53 pm - Thursday, February 27, 2014

#167 Kelvin ho

HI I just bought this nikon p520 not long ago. Anyone can teach me how to take photo main subject focus, background blur. I know using aperture mode. But I can’t seem to capture well.

3:20 am - Monday, March 24, 2014

#168 yohan

Fabio, so will you recommend to buy P520 or P600 ?

Or I’ll just wait until you have actually using P600 to give better recommendation =)

2:31 pm - Monday, March 24, 2014

#169 Fabio

Hi Yohan
  I actually have the P600, bought it 2 weeks ago.  It’s faster , but not much faster, the LCD is smaller and that is a shame, P520 LCD is fantastic and one of the reasons I can focus on a bug’s eyes while using the Raynox 250.
  Image quality is not on par with the P520, sensor has fewr mp but noise is worst, lens is not as crisp. Moon and bird modes don’t add anything for someone who knows how to use a camera.
  It’s not a bad camera but the P520 is clearly superior, the extra 440 mm isn’t enough to make me keep it, I’m keeping the P520 an extraordinary camera. Didn’t had the chance to use the P530, had it in my hands but the fixed LCD is a big mistake, maybe it will have the lens quality as the P520 but if the sensor shows the same noise level as p600 the again the P520 remains the best.

3:04 pm - Monday, March 24, 2014

#170 DanGogh

I was wanting to get a new camera, never had a bridge one before.  I had been researching them for a few weeks and had narrowed it to a few choices: the P520, G15 or FZ200.  I had leaned more towards the P520, but then I saw that the battery wasn’t that great.  I actually went to a camera store today and the guy said that the P520 and G15 were discontinued, and said there was just the G16 and P600.  I can’t find anything online about them being discontinued so I feel like he was BSing me.
Price is a factor to me so the 520 is appealing, but the battery life is worrisome.  For me, I’d just use the camera as amateur shooting of family, events, etc.  Which would be the better camera?

2:49 am - Sunday, March 30, 2014

#171 Fabio

    The store guy is correct, both cameras are discontinued, but still can be found. The P520 is better than the new P600 but if you intend to use the camera mostly for family shots, the G15 or the G16 are better.
    I always carry with me a bridge and a top compact. Untill recently the P520 and the Canon G15, 2 weeks ago bought the P600 and the G16.
    I decided to keep the P520 and the new G16, the small size and excelent low light performance of the G16 is perfect for family and travel photo and I think that they complement each other very well.
    Most family and events situations are indoors and you need a camera with bright lens and good ISO performance, zoom is not very important, G15 or the even better G16 does the job very well.
    The FZ200 could be the best balance between both but the sensor is not good and so it won’t perform as well as the G16 in low light and not as good as the P520 in good light, did some tests between the FZ200 and the Nikon P510 and image quality is better in Nikon’s even in low light situation, but of course speed is lower due to darker lens.

4:39 am - Sunday, March 30, 2014

#172 DanGogh

Thanks for the response, Fabio.  Sounds like its either between the 520 and the G15/16 then.

6:53 pm - Sunday, March 30, 2014

#173 Huraib

Fabio please tekl me weather Nikon 520 has background defocious system. I mean bularing the backgound.

5:18 am - Thursday, April 3, 2014

#174 Fabio

  There’s no specific background defocus mode, but I never found a camera with that mode that produced good pictures, it’s not natural, the camera takes 2 shots , one in focus the other defocused and combine them, but you can’ t take the shot at any distance , there are some conditions that you must respect, doesn’t work well, results are not good because the blending process can’t select perfectly what must be sharp . Of course you can do that in photoshop ( or any other software) by selecting the area to be defocused, it’s easy and works very well.
  It’s much better to do it the natural way, use as much zoom as possible at the shortest possible distance from the subject and with a distant background.
  Small sensor cameras have much greater depth of field , that’s why they can usually produce sharper images than a reflex camera and that’s a good thing, getiing things in focus is much more difficult in a DSLR , that’s why background defocus is much easier with them.

6:13 am - Thursday, April 3, 2014

#175 Fleuchary

Hi Fabio

From your Flickr posts you have also bought in to the P600 update. Looking at the technical specs there is not a great deal to choose between them, except for telephoto focal length and WiFi and loss of GPS. My instinct is to grab a P520 while there are still a few available. Knowing where I took a photo is more important to me than being able to download to a smart device - also means more devices to carry. The Panorama mode seems to be the same on both cameras, a feature thqat should have been added to the D5300. Missing on both bridge cameras is the out-of-the-box ability to fit a filter, if only to protect the lens.

Would be interested to know which of the two cameras you prefer to have with you?

12:22 pm - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#176 Fabio

To #175 Fleuchary
  Check my post #169 here and post #10 on P600 review. Your instinct is right , the P520 is much better than the new P600.

4:30 pm - Wednesday, April 9, 2014

#177 Cindy

Please…SOMEONE HELP ME???!!!!

My P520 Nikon will not record proper sound to a DVD.  I have tried to copy on our Computer, 3 X’s at Costco and also tried Walgreen’s.  I can get sound from the M/C and the upload to the computer…but when I play the DVD it skips the sound!or plays intermittently !!!  I called Nikon, Mac, Lexar and Costco…NOBODY knows what the problem is!

Can ANYONE offer some assistance?

Thank You…Cindy

4:50 am - Thursday, April 17, 2014

#178 John

Fabio, I have really enjoyed reading posts concerning the Nikon P520.  We are wanting to upgrade from a Kodak point/n/shoot to a nicer camera.  I really like the P520 because it has an articulating screen,gps, and long zoom but you say that it is not a camera for beginners.  What would your recommendations be for a newbie that does not want really want a dlsr but does want a camera with at least gps and fairly decent zoom capabilities?  We intend on taking family vacation photos, pics of our dogs and pics/videos of trains.  I did find a 400 page book that tells how to use the P520, do you think we could teach ourselves good enough to not be frustrated with it?

10:51 pm - Monday, April 21, 2014

#179 john

Here is the book -

3:25 am - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#180 John

Fabio, have you had any experience with the Canon SX280HS or the Panasonic Lumix TZ40?  Was looking at those but the Canon looks like it has battery issues that have not been fixed by firmware yet.

3:49 am - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#181 Fabio

  Hi John

  The Nikon P520 is an outstanding camera if you can take your time, there’s some delay that can be a probem with fast moving subjects, something that was improved in the new P530 and P600 , but not much. The P520 is much better in image quality , LCD and sensor, and that’s what counts in image quality.
  I aleays carry too a Canon G16 , it’s faster in operation and has a much brighter lens, better for fast shots and low light, perfect for vacations when you don’t have much time and because it’s pocketable, but images are not as sharp as those from the P520.
  The Canon G16 or a DSLR are much easier to use, just leave on Auto and pictures will be ok, maybe not great but ok
  The Nikon P520 is highly customisable and in order to get the best from it you need to know what to do, the book can help a lot and I can help you too.
  Movies are good but focusing might be a problem,  but it can pause the video, like a camcorder, a hard to find and very important feature.
  At the current price if you can find one I highly recommend it, my concern is to have it as your only camera, for family and vacations I recommend too a Canon G15 or the new G16, but if you check my Flickr you won’t find many photos taken with other cameras.

3:56 am - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#182 John

Thank you Fabio.  I appreciate all of your comments. They have helped a lot.

4:08 am - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#183 Fabio

  To john again
    I had the Canon SX260, didn’t like it, I had too the TZ30 an excellent camera with touch screen , very good macro very good image quality but not good in low light, sold it and got the Sony HX30V, that has an outstanding HDR modes and macro.

4:15 am - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#184 John

Thanks for all your comments Fabio.  I purchased the P520 and love it.  It is easy to grip and hold, it produces great pictures on all auto settings and I am learning how to use the other settings.  I would recommend the Photographers Guide to the P520 if anyone gets one of these cameras.  It goes into detail in an easy to understand way on how to use the camera to it’s fullest potential.

8:45 pm - Friday, May 2, 2014

#185 Fabio

Hi John
  If I may suggest, go to picture control and choose the mode you want, set sharpness to max , you can increase contrast a little bit too,  that will not work on Auto, but P mode is also an Auto mode that allows you to adjust evrything you want.
  Zeiss, the lens maker , has an excellent lens cleaning wipe, it costs about 3 dollars at Walmart for a box of 50 units, it’s a pre moisturized wipe that dries fast and cleans very well, of course the lens must be free of dust and particles before , a blower is also important.
    Congratulations on your new toy !

1:39 pm - Sunday, May 4, 2014

#186 Dallas

Hi.. So I really enjoy this camera but lastnight I went to a concert and the videos I recorded aren’t producing any sound!! Is there a volume button or any setting I can put it on to get the sound to play from my videos?

1:50 pm - Sunday, May 11, 2014

#187 Parminder

hi fabio,
can u plzz suggest me how to use nikon P520 in night lighting as when i use to click pics it alwayss get tilted or blurred. And by using flash i am not able to capture the night lighting.
and one more thing on auto mode the motion things are not getting captured precisely they too get blurred some time.
as i am a new to this camera can u plzz help me in this as i clicked pics mostly on auto mode.

6:49 am - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#188 Fabio

  To Parminder

  What you are asking is almost a photo course, when you understand concepts like speed, aperture and ISO you will be able to adjust the camera properly and use better modes like P, wich is semi automatic, but allows all kinds of adjustments.
  But if you are trying to capture a city landscape or buildings at night an excellent mode is the night landscape , you can select it on the mode dial directly, it takes 3 photos and merge then into one better picture.
    It’s also important how to hold your camera, use the EVF at night, holding the camera against your face makes it much more stable, that means less blurr. Press the button gently and slowly. The P520 has an outstanding stabilization mode that allows you to use very low speeds, 1/10 or even 1/5 of sec but you need to hold the camera properly , even breathing can affect blurr in low light.
  You can use a wall or light pole as a support for the camera too.
    This camera is so complete and sofisticated that it’s a shame to use it only in Auto mode, read the manual , it’s already a photo course. When you decide to use P mode you will improve your photos a lot by simply changing picture control settings to max image sharpening an increasing contrast a little bit.

7:58 pm - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

#189 Adebayo

Hi Guys,

I just bought me a P520 and after a week of cool pictures, it wont come on. It keeps giving me a system error message. I have tried removing the battery and memory card several times but it still wont come up. What do i do considering I am far for a service center and might not get to one atleast not in the next six weeks when I go for RnR.

Helpful tips would be appreciated please.

1:58 pm - Thursday, May 15, 2014

#190 Parminder

thankss for ur reply…. will keep in mind ur suggestions…

7:39 am - Saturday, May 17, 2014

#191 Frank

I was originally going to buy a p600 but after reading comments from Fabio, and his advice, I have now ordered the P520.  Should be “winging” its way to me right now. £209 for all you uk shoppers.  I originally posted questions on the P600 forum but it now makes obvious sense to post them here now.
Can anyone recommend a good camera bag for this camera?  Seen lots on Ebay but its hard to tell from the photos if they are any good. I obviously need a light but well padded bag that fits etc.
I also intend to buy a spare battery and external charger.  Again any advice or good companies? Ebay ones any good?
Looking forward to my new ‘toy’ and chatting about it.  Is there a online forum for this camera?  There should be.
Thanks guys.
Frank C

8:07 am - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#192 Frank

Another quick question, this time a slightly technical one. I was about to order a 32gb class 10 SD Card. But the site said, and I quote “Please make sure your devices can support SDHC 2.0”  I am assuming this camera can, but can it?

Thanks :)

4:53 pm - Wednesday, May 21, 2014

#193 Frank

All the questions above answered. 

Got the camera yesterday.  Must say I am delighted with the results.  Going to set up a Fliker page for my pictures. 

I swapped my Eye-fi card over from my little LX5 to the P520.  It wirelessly transfers the pictures over to my computer no problem.

I am VERY relieved to say the picture quality is much better than I hoped it would be.  After my Sony experience I dreaded the photos coming out “soft” out of focus etc but as I said I am delighted with the results so far.

9:34 am - Friday, May 23, 2014

#194 vanessa long

This camera don’t turn on…. soon I found this problem, I sent it to the manufactory (was under guarantee).....they sent it back to me….without working!!!!!!!.....they told me that there were no problem…...the worse camera ever…...the worse service ever…..very disappointed…..I don’t recommend it for no one…. plus I just wrote at the Forum….there is a lot of people with the same problem….  Stay away from Nikon COOLPIX P 510 be honest…I will never buy anything from Nikon again…..horrible service.

4:23 pm - Sunday, May 25, 2014

#195 Frank

I have had my P520 a few days now.  Just getting into what it does.  My little point and shoot LX5 is a great camera and this P520 has a lot to live up to. 
I took a great picture of my old dog (and no I am not talking about my wife) the detail really is good.  Using the zoom is a bit like using a telescope.  A slight movement at your end ends up a large movement at the other. But if you can keep it steady you really can take some great photos with it.  I took two photos. One of a couple of sheep then I zoomed out and took another photo.  The sheep where just dots on the horizon but zoomed in and re-focused, I used the autofocus, they came out clear. Going to see if I can put them up on Flikr, again.

4:39 pm - Sunday, May 25, 2014

#196 Frank

Ok guys. Here are the photos I promised.  I started a group on Flickr just for us fans.  Take a look at the photos I have just put up and tell me what you think, please be kind :) I am only an amateur. They are my zoom test photos.

5:11 pm - Sunday, May 25, 2014

#197 Frank

would help if I actually put up the link wouldn’t it?

5:14 pm - Sunday, May 25, 2014

#198 Jan

To Vanessa Long. You never bay Nikon any more?
I’m with Nikon from 1975 and never disappointed.
I have professional Nikons cost several grains.
And I also have Coolpix P520 and I’m very happy with. Yes it is true, it is slow turning on and little on slow side with autofocus, But it make
perfect photos, And I believe you can not match
Camera costing $300.00 or so with the professional costing three or more times. It is Bridge camera and is ideal for traveling, because it is small and light. And remember that Nikon Cameras was used with HASA in the space, not others camera makers could be proud of such credit. I saw other bridge cameras from Canon and others and they are all slower than digital SLR cameras. Try out other and you might comeback to Nikon again.

6:19 pm - Sunday, May 25, 2014

#199 Fabio

To Frank
  I can’t see your photos , are they private or public ? I’m sure making it easier for anyone to join the group without invitation will make it much more popular. I’m waiting for your aproval to join the group.
  To Vanessa
    The only thing I can think about is a battery problem,  most of the time they test the camera with another battery, if they sent the camera back and it was working there,  maybe your battery or the charger are faulty.

10:53 pm - Sunday, May 25, 2014

#200 Frank

Hi guys, membership approved.  To be honest I thought making it a “public” group it would be visible to everyone right from the start.  Anyway membership approved.  I am so glad you have joined.  Your insight into this, and other, cameras is very useful and very welcome. This is an excellent blog but I thought it would be nice to have our own dedicated blog.  To put questions and photos straight onto our own page.  Look forward to seeing everyone there!

8:35 am - Monday, May 26, 2014

Entry Tags

hd video, review, hd, samples, photos, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, test, images, jpeg, nikon, hdmi, movie, video, manual, super-zoom, coolpix, 24mm, 1080i, 18 megapixel, EVF, 7fps, 3.2 inch LCD, 42x zoom, p520, coolpix p520, nikon p520, Nikon Coolpix P520 Review

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