Is The Nikon Coolpix B500 A DSLR?

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The Nikon Coolpix B500 is a bridge camera. It does look like a DSLR but it’s not. It’s also a low-cost camera that’s very easy to use.

This camera is aimed at beginners and experienced shooters who want something that’s easy to use and takes great photos. It is also a great travel camera due to its compact form factor.

nikon coolpix bridge camera

Also, it is worth noting that the Nikon Coolpix series are not DSLR cameras.

So what’s a bridge camera then? As I’ve mentioned, the Nikon Coolpix B500 is a bridge camera. It means it’s a digital camera that combines a DSLR’s quality and some pro features with the convenience of a point-and-shoot.

It’s ideal for those who want quality photos but don’t want to deal with the hassle of lugging around a bulky camera.

However, with the Coolpix B500, you can’t change lenses instead, it has a big zoom range to compensate for that. One fantastic feature of this camera is its ability to do up to 40x optical zoom and up to 80x dynamic zoom.

From my experience of using this camera, I can say that the quality is great. It’s definitely on par with other bridge cameras in its price range. When you zoom in all the way, there is some quality degradation but you can’t really expect more than that at such a high magnification.

I brought this camera with me to the beach and took some pictures of the surfers. I was able to get some really great shots of them just by zooming in, which was a lot easier than having to change lenses for every shot.

a man surfing
Captured with Nikon Coolpix B500

Overall, if you’re looking for a camera that looks like a DSLR, is easy to use, and has some pro features but won’t break the bank, this is a great choice.

Is a bridge camera a DSLR?

the beast - Nikon D5

No, these two cameras are not the same. A bridge camera such as the Nikon Coolpix B500 may look like a DSLR but they are very different in many ways.

It’s neither a fully DSLR nor a point-and-shoot, it’s a camera that kind of bridges the gap between the two types. More of like a “hybrid” camera, if you will.

Also, they are sometimes called superzoom, which means that it has a large zoom range and can take excellent pictures at long distances.

One of the main differences between these two is, with a bridge camera, you can’t really change lenses like you can with a DSLR.

But this doesn’t mean that bridge cameras are more incompetent than DSLRs; in fact, many people prefer them for their ease of use and portability. They also have some advanced features like high ISO sensitivity but are much smaller than DSLRs.

Nikon Coolpix B500 advantages

Now that we know that this compact camera is not a DSLR and is not designed to be used professionally, it still has some advantages that make it a good choice for all kinds of photographers out there.

1. This bridge camera is one of the most affordable options in its category. It’s available for less than $350, and less expensive if you buy it used, which makes it a great choice for beginners who are just getting into photography or want to try out a new hobby without breaking the bank.

2. The ability to zoom up to 80x is one of the main advantages of this camera. It’s amazing how much detail you can get from such a small lens.

If you’re taking pictures of something far away, like a bird in flight or a distant landmark, then the zoom is definitely going to come in handy!

Also, it’s really fortunate that it has a Vibration Reduction feature. This helps prevent blurry photos, especially when you’re using the zoom feature.

full moon
You can capture a full moon with the Coolpix B500! Photo by Nadine Hill

3. The Coolpix B500 is so easy to use. It has a dedicated mode dial on the top of the camera that you can use to switch between modes.

It actually behaves like a point-and-shoot, so no need to fiddle with a lot of settings to get it to take a good picture.

You just need to turn on the camera, point it at the subject, and press the shutter button. As easy as that!

It does have several automatic modes for beginners to use, including a “Scene” mode that will change the camera’s settings based on what kind of subject you’re taking a picture of.

4. It feels like a DSLR but without the weight or size. It has a thick grip that makes it easy to hold in one hand, and the buttons are conveniently placed so you don’t have to move your hand too much when using them.

It’s not a pocketable camera like my Coolpix A, but it’s still more compact, lighter, and smaller than APS-C DSLRs.

5. The Coolpix B500 has a focal length of 22mm-900mm. For me, that’s a fantastic zoom range and is really useful for almost all types of subjects.

At 900mm, the image quality will suffer due to the small lens, but it’s still possible to get some decent shots in daylight.

Final thoughts

Since the Nikon Coolpix is a fantastic mid-size bridge camera that offers a lot of features and flexibility, I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a new or a backup camera.

The image quality is great. The camera can produce sharp and vibrant photos as long as you’re shooting in a well-lit environment.