Great bridge camera.
I originally owned to Nikon film cameras in the early 80's, Took really good photos on horseback in Wyoming, Colorado, and Big Bend NP. Had a lot of compliments on my slides.
Last fall, I decided I wanted to get back into photography as a serious amateur, and bought a Nikon Coolpix L820 which was very good but wanted more manual control on photos. So in Mary 2014 bought a Nikon Coolpix P520 and gave the L820 to my wife. P520 is a GREAT camera, especially for the price. Have had great compliments on my photos. This camera can do so much, it's hard to believe that it is a bridge camera. Last week I bought a second P520 to use as a back up and to have each one programmed for different situations. These cameras will do so much more than my old Nikon film cameras that had about a half dozen lenses. I do wish that Nikon made a filter attachment capability and lens hood for these cameras. Surely there is a way. Otherwise it is a GREAT camera, and why I have ended up with two of that model.
August 4, 2014
My Nikon Camera
I am totally in love with my camera i take it everywhere
June 4, 2014
The pictures I take and the rave reviews I get I feel a little guilty because it is the camera . I am learning and trying different settings . Absolutely fantastic . I have taken over 4000 pictures since December and I take the camera with me everywhere . Great all around
May 5, 2014
LOVE THIS CAMERA!!
I have always wanted a Nikon as far back as I can remember, and I finally got the chance to own one. I figured I would work my way up through the cameras. Starting with the COOLPIX P520, and it was a great decision!! I love this camera, it has amazing features, its very versatile, and the picture quality is great for its model! For a starter camera for me, I couldn't have asked for better! Thanks Nikon!!
April 22, 2014
Astonishing performance for the money!
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.]
April 14, 2014