Nikon Coolpix P520 Detailed Review

Nikon Coolpix P520

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The Coolpix P520 was presented by Nikon in March 2013. It is a Superzoom Digital Camera.
Sensor Properties

In additional Coolpix P520 has a Compact CMOS sensor with size of 6 x 5 mm² (0.24" x 0.18").

Also Coolpix P520's image sensor has an effective resolution of around 18 megapixel. That's roughly average and will be sufficient for most purposes. Photos with this resolution can easily be printed to A3 or A2 size.

The Nikon does not support recording RAW images. RAW images are stored as they come from the sensor, without any in-camera processing or sharpening. Converting to JPEG or other formats takes place on the computeand involves one extra processing step but will almost always result in superior image quality.

Sensor area6.17 x 4.55mm²
(0.24" x 0.18")
Resolution (physical)18.90 megapixel
Resolution (effective)18.10 megapixel
Pixel size1.58 µm²
Sensor cleaning
RAW support
Continuous 7 frames/second
Focal length (min)24mm
Focal length (max)1000mm
Aperture (max)3.0
Aperture (min)5.9
Viewfinder Properties

The Coolpix P520 uses an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 0.20 megapixel, close to the practical minimum for a viewfinder like this.

The magnifcation is c. 0.50x, an average value for an electronic viewfinder.

Resolution0.20 megapixel
Dioptric correction

The Coolpix P520's shutter speed varies from 1/4000s to 8s.

Max. shutter speed1/4000s
Min. shutter speed8s
Sensitivity Properties

The Coolpix P520's sensitivity is from 80 ISO and 3200 ISO.

Also, Nikon's sensitivity can be boosted to 12800. Therefore, ISO boosting will lead to growth noise.

Min. sensitivity80 ISO
Max. sensitivity3200 ISO
Boost12800 ISO
Exposure Modes

The Coolpix P520 supports all general exposure modes.

The Nikon allows spot exposure for the difficult occasion.

Center weight
Auto Focus Properties

The Coolpix P520's auto focus processor uses 9 AF points (or sensors). A basic rule of thumb says that the more AF points you have, the better. More AF points mean a better chance to have a point at the location of interest in a scene, a big plus in challenging situations (e.g. in low light).

The Nikon doesn't support manual focussing. That can be an issue if the auto focus has problems with your subject or lighting.

AF points9
Manual focusing
Flash Specs

The Coolpix P520 features a built-in flash with a range of up to 8m (27 ft.). That range will work for most situations.

A hotshoe is missing from the Nikon.

(27 ft.)
Hot shoe
Display Specs
Coolpix P520 display

The Coolpix P520 features a monitor with a diagonal of 80.00mm (3.1 in.) and a resolution of c. 0.92 megapixel. That's about average.

The camera's display is articulated, a plus for selfies and other challenging situations.

The Coolpix P520 does not feature a touch screen.

Display characteristics at a glance:

Size80.00mm (diagonal)
(3.1 in.)
Resolution0.92 megapixel
Touch screen
Video Specs

Coolpix P520 video supported the resolution with 1920 x 1080 pixel.

ACamera is not equipped with an external microphone.

Nikon Coolpix P520 Video parameters:

Max. resolution1920 x 1080 pixel
...with frame rates25 frames/second
30 frames/second
External microphone
Connectivity & Wireless Specs

Built-in wireless connectivity is not available with the Nikon. You will need appropriate accessories to wirelessly transfer images between camera and smartphone.

Connect the Nikon to a monitor or TV set over HDMI.

The Nikon supports USB 2.0.

Connection parameters:

Remote (wired)
Remote (infrared)
HDMI (standard)
HDMI (mini)
HDMI (micro)
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
USB Micro
USB Mini

The camera supports SD HC and SD XC cards.

Memory cards characteristics:

Memory cardsSD

The Nikon Coolpix P520 works with a EN-EL5 LiIon battery. The battery lifetime is an average 200 shots. That's on the lower side of things for a full day, consider a spare battery for the Coolpix P520.

The battery can be charged over USB while in camera. Very useful, especially on vacation when most people bring a USB charger for their smartphone anyway.

The Coolpix P520's battery battery parameters:

TypeEN-EL5 LiIon
In-camera charging
Battery life200 photos

The Nikon Coolpix P520's dimensions are 125.2 x 84.1 x 101.6mm³. (4.9" x 3.3" x 4.0"). This includes the lens. The camera's weight is a reasonable 550 grams (17.7 oz.), lens included.

Here is front and top view of the Coolpix P520:

Nikon Coolpix P520 Dimensions (Width / Height)
Nikon Coolpix P520 Dimensions (Width / Depth)
Dimensions Comparison

For a better idea of the size of the camera, takes a look off camera and ID card comparison image.

Nikon Coolpix P520 size comparison

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