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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Nikon Coolpix P5000


Nikon Coolpix P5000 Review

Review Date: April 5, 2007

Category: Serious Amateur

Nikon Coolpix P5000 with optional speedlight SB-400
Nikon Coolpix P5000 with optional speedlight SB-400



Monday, March 26, 2007 - Here's what I receive in the box:

  • Coolpix P5000
  • No Memory Card included, but 23MB of internal memory [Nikon sent me a Kingston 512MB SD memory card for the review]
  • Neck Strap
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL5 (with end cap) and Battery Charger MH-61 with Power Cable
  • Interface Cables: A/V; USB
  • English and French Instruction Manuals: Quick Start Guide; Nikon Guide to Digital Photography
  • Software CDs: PictureProject 1.7

The Nikon Coolpix P5000 is Nikon's return to the serious amateur category. After years of marketing point-and-shoot compact cameras, it has now introduced a model with full exposure flexibility and features prized by advanced photographers.

As is becoming more and more common now with digital cameras, the Nikon P5000 includes approx. 21MB of internal flash memory, and so a SD memory card is not included in the box. At the 10M Fine image mode, 21MB can store about 4 images. A 512MB SD card will hold about 101 10M Fine images, and a 2GB SD Card will hold about 402 10M Fine images. At 640x480 30fps, you'll be able to store approx. 19 sec. of movie in the 21MB Internal Memory, approx. 7 min 25 sec. on a 512MB SD Card, or 29 min 27 sec. on a 2GB SD Card. A memory card is a one time buy, and I would recommend a 2GB SD Card or as large a memory card as you can afford. The P5000 also accepts the High Capacity 4GB SD card.

Included in the box are a Li-ion battery EN-EL5 that can take approx. 200 pictures (CIPA Standard) and a battery charger MH-61 that will recharge a new or fully exhausted battery in about 2 hours. The battery charger is the type with a power cord.

The shutter speed range is from 8-1/2,000 sec. and you'll be glad to know that the full 8 sec. is available in PASM modes.

For the P5000, Nikon has wisely opted for a metal tripod socket, though its placement means that you won't be able to change battery or memory card when the camera is on a tripod.

One strange "feature" on my test camera is that when taking slow shutter speed shots, the camera makes a low static sound while the picture is being taken. Likewise, movies have a static background sound.

A framing grid can be displayed on screen, and this is quickly becoming a norm in many digital cameras. I find this grid of horizontal and vertical lines very helpful in framing and composition but wish the lines were not that thick and intrusive [it's bold thick yellow]. When the grid lines are displayed, no other info displays.

A histogram displays only in Playback (which is OK but lots of point-and-shoot digital cameras today display a live histogram). There is no Sepia color mode available in camera, though you can convert the picture to Sepia in PictureProject.

In-camera color modes do however include Black-and-white with electronic monochrome filters for Yellow, Orange, Red and Green. This is probably more important and useful for advanced photographers who love to take B&W pictures than the missing in-camera Sepia color mode.

Most of the important settings are accessed thru control buttons. When you do have to go into the Menu to access other functions, the Menu icons view summarizes 4 pages of items into one convenient page of icons.

Nikon PictureProject 1.7

Nikon PictureProject 1.7

The Nikon PictureProject software is now version 1.7. PictureProject is quite good, allowing the usual basic image editing: you can remove red-eye and edit the photo as to brightness, color booster (for people or nature), sharpness, straighten, photo effects (B&W, Sepia) and D-Lighting.

A note of caution if you are using Photoshop [who isn't?] because the two applications do not seem to like each other's company. I installed a new copy of PS Elements 5.0 and PictureProject promptly stopped working. It just hangs trying to read the first picture. I did edit the picture using PSE and PP does not seem to be able to read the picture info. I removed and re-installed PP a number of times to no avail. Eventually I found a Readme.rtf file in PP's directory with the following warning:

6. Photoshop file information
If you edit an image file with PictureProject, which has file information, such as a caption or keywords added using Adobe Photoshop's File Information menu, the entered information may become corrupted and unreadable in Photoshop.

Apparently, the reverse is also true. I moved the offending picture out of the directory and PP now works again like a charm. You may or may not encounter the same problem I did, but if you do, now you know how to get around it.

D-Lighting increases brightness to the dark areas of your image. You can choose to apply D-Lighting in-camera (the camera will select the level) or in PictureProject (you can select from Low, Normal or High level).

The VR technology works quite well and also applies to movies.

Not only does the Nikon Coolpix P5000 look great and handle well, it also strikes a good balance between ease of use and richness of features: it is point-and-shoot easy to use and also packed-full of practical features advanced photographers like to have in their digital cameras.

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