Nikon COOLPIX P520 Compact Camera

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Key Features

  • 18 MP 1/2.3" CMOS sensor
  • 24-1000mm equivalent F3-5.9 VR lens (42x optical zoom)
  • ISO 80-3200 (expandable to 12800)
  • 1080/15fps, 30fps, 60i HD video
  • 201,000 dot electronic viewfinder with diopter adjustment
  • 3.2" vari-angle LCD with 921,000 dots
  • PSAM + auto and scene modes
  • Built-in GPS
  • Wi-Fi compatible ( WU-1a module sold separately)

Product Description

The bridge camera-style Nikon Coolpix P520 features the same 24-1000mm equivalent zoom seen in the P510 but has been upgraded with an 18MP BSI CMOS sensor. It's compatible with the optional WU-1a Wi-Fi module, letting you control it from your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, and wirelessly share your photos. The P520 will let you have full control with P, S, A, M modes or full auto and scene modes for quick snapshots. Built-GPS logs your trips and shows you nearby points of interest like scenic lookouts and landmarks.


Body type
Body type SLR-like (bridge)
Effective pixels 18 megapixels
Sensor type BSI-CMOS
ISO Auto,80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 2000, 3200
Image stabilization Optical
Uncompressed format Unknown
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 24–1000 mm
Optical zoom 41.7×
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
Manual focus Yes
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Unknown
Screen size 3.2
Screen type TFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coating
Viewfinder type Electronic
Photography features
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included 15 MB
Wireless Optional
Wireless notes WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Nikon EN-EL5 Lithium-Ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA) 200
Weight (inc. batteries) 550 g (1.21 lb / 19.40 oz)
Dimensions 125 x 84 x 102 mm (4.92 x 3.31 x 4.02)
Other features
GPS BuiltIn


User Reviews

3.875 out of 5 stars
  • ScreamingRashid, May 1, 2013 GMT:
    Far exceeded expectations

    Bought the camera 2 hours before a concert. Entry requirements were 'no pro cameras' but security interpret this to be no detachable lenses, ie I had to find a compact quickly. Phenomenal performance!! Seated over 100m from the stage, seats bouncing around, difficult lighting that is constantly changing, movement from band members (Black Sabbath) admittedly Ozzie may not be the fastest mover. Unbelievable that the camera could clearly focus on the individual guitar strings! (you can even see ...

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  • Kiong003, Sep 11, 2013 GMT:
    Nikon Coolpix P520

    THIS IS A GREAT CAMERA AS FAR AS FOCUSING SPEED AND ZOOM IS CONCERNED FOR THIS CATEGORY. It would be great if Nikon could improve/enhance the size of sensor :-

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  • Azumi, Jan 14, 2014 GMT:
    Wide to Telephoto pictures

    Have just purchased Nikon P520 and just used camera from open window. Totally love the articulated viewfinder, which is beautifully clear and easy to read. I'm 'happy' with the pictures so far, don't forget the chip is so small, and for the price of just over £220 it's a bargain. Sending just few hand held pictures of the zoom, from wide to telephoto.

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  • MoinMubarak, Apr 10, 2014 GMT:
    Overall a Good Choice for a Novice

    I bought this camera in June last year. Since then I have been using it extensively. Here are a few few things I liked and didn´t like about the camera. Pros: 1. ZOOM. This is most probably the best feature available in this camera. The 42X lets you get really close to the subject. Yea it does have some little focus limitations but overall its really good. 2. Tilt-able display. You can click any angle using it. It even makes selfies so much fun(I usually use my tripod for that) 3. Zoom Speed: ...

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Other Videos About this Product

Nikon Coolpix P520 by DPReview

Questions & Answers



I will like to purchase an extra battery for my camera, but I am not sure how good are the other brands I am seeing online. My Nikon P520 came with the original NIKON EN-EL5 battery, but after about 150 - 200 pics the battery is exhausted and sometimes I take more than that amount of pics at any one outing. I have seen the LENMAR DLNEL5 Nikon EN-EL5 replacement battery and the INSTEN 2 replacement at WALMART, anyone know how good are these brands. I am afraid of buying batteries that will damage my camera.  PLEASE GIVE ME SOME GUIDELINES ON PURCHASING AN EXTRA BATTERY FOR MY P520

denpressie19 asked
4 months ago


I've been using 2 Cameron Sino CS-ENEL5 batteries and a charger from the same manufacturer with my P520 for a few months. No issues so far, works even better than genuine. Main concern with modern third-party batteries is lesser than stated capacity and lifespan. Safety should not be an issue if you use separate charger and inspect after each cycle for the signs of bloating and heat damage. Keep an eye on a temperature of both batteries and charger, at least for a first few charges - they should not get too hot. Keep charger away from flammable stuff. Continue Reading

errant answered
4 months ago


This battery thing...

Hoping someone can shed some light on the advisability of a 3rd party battery & charger vs the mfr's genuine equipment. I read several queries in the Nikon Coolpix forum but with inconclusive (my opinion) results. My Coolpix P520 came with a single battery. The Nikon-supplied charging scheme allows only in-camera charging. I also have a pocket Nikon (S51) that has an external charger. While the batteries appear similar the P520 is too large (esp length) to fit the S51 charger. 1. Is there a suitable genuine Nikon external battery charger? 2. Will 3rd party batteries for the P520 charge inside the camera? Some of these batteries offer more images per charge (because they have a larger maH capacity)? In this case, is in-camera charging risky or best avoided? 3. Is a 3rd party battery/external charger combo acceptable/safe? Is a 3rd party external charger used to charge genuine Nikon batteries a wise strategy? Any other comments/experiences welcomed.

GDunc1 asked
3 months ago


The Nikon Coolpix S9300 did not come with a battery charger that charged the battery outside the camera.  I ordered the Watson battery charger for the Nikon EN-EL12 battery. The Watson battery charger works fine the Nikon battery. I will not use non Nikon batteries in my Nikon cameras because I have had a third party battery blow up in my Nikon D300 camera. This incident voided the warrantee on the camera. Continue Reading

Joseph Broz answered
3 months ago

Wow.  Bad luck.  I've used literally 100's of aftermarket batteries in cell phones, and almost every digital camera I've owned and the worst thing that ever happened was shorter battery life.  I've saved enough money to buy a decent digital SLR. I'm not certain about that particular Nikon battery but I've never ran into a Nikon battery that was chipped to preclude it from working with aftermarket chargers or visa versa. Continue Reading

Daniel Lauring answered
3 months ago

Yes. Nikon used to include their MH-61 battery chargers with their cameras that used the EN-EL5 batteries. The P6000 was the first camera used this battery that Nikon decided to omit the battery charger. I have several of Nikon's MH-61 chargers but they don't work any better than the Dual Bay Pearstone and Watson chargers sold by B&H which have illuminated LCD displays that show the charge status of each battery as it's being charged. It's more expensive though than Nikon's charger. Price == $19.81 from B&H . They should charge no differently, but don't believe the claims of larger mAh capacity. Each battery can be rated at different capacities because they're measured while providing a constant current, and the lower the current, the higher the measured capacity. If one battery truly has a greater capacity, it probably will weigh slightly more. Another way to estimate the relative capacities of ... Continue Reading

photoreddi answered
3 months ago


Is it worth to upgrade from superzoom to DSLR for (mainly) birding?

Hi! Last summer I bought Nikon P520, and it turned out to be a great camera. Many many hours were spent in the forest watching birds. While this camera is great for the price, there are a few shortcomings I'd like to address by buying something other for the next season: 1. Viewfinder is not suitable for birding - too small, too grainy, can't recognize small details to focus properly. 2. Unreliable focus - lots of missed valuable moments. 3. Shutter lag - bird is often already gone. 4. Too much noise - fine for ISO below 400 only. 5. Limited dynamic range - highlights are often blown. 6. Tiny buffer and low processing speed for bursts. With our local currency steadily devaluing I probably won't be willing to spend money on a new gear by the spring, but now I can invest into some not recently made camera from the old stocks. For example, I can get Sony A77 with 18-55 lens from the local store for $600, and the same kit shipped from the states will cost me $1000 (converted from the ...

errant asked
15 days ago


In my opinion, to do much better than what you have will require a good DSLR with an optical viewfinder and long, fast glass. Something in the $2000 USD or better range. Your P520 has a tiny 1/2.3 inch sensor and has such a narrow view on its 4.3-180mm lens you're getting about all that one can expect. You're quite talented and I'm impressed at what you have done but you really need to move on up if you want to go to that next level. You're going to have to at least double that 180mm lens you have and go to at least an APS-C sensor. My minimum budget birder outfit would be a Nikon D7100 and that Tamron 150-600 lens. I also like Nikon's 300 f/4 with a 1.4 teleconverter for a budget birder. It will be a tad faster and sharper than the Tamron but not quite as long. The images will pop and you'll see amazing feather detail, skin and beak texture and eye glint. Good luck. :-) Continue Reading

Guidenet answered
15 days ago

Fast moving birds, especially in flight tend to be easier to shoot with a modern DSLR is why. Most birders I deal with who've tried superzooms and various mirrorless designs tend to get frustrated and come back, and I deal with a lot of very serious and passionate birders from around the world. Does that mean it can't be done with something like a Nex7? No. Danny from NZ is proof of that, but by and large, a full frame DSLR with fast, long glass is a superior birding outfit. Now, Alphoid, I'm not going to argue with you about this. You don't have the experience as a serious birder so an argument is not worth the time and effort. Your opinion on this would be mostly anecdotal, so accept this as my experienced opinion if you choose. When you have a few hundred bird shots in your gallery, been watching, photographing and tagging birds for 30 or so years, and belong to many bird clubs and organizations, we can talk. Otherwise, find someone who cares to argue with you. If you have a ... Continue Reading

Guidenet answered
14 days ago

This isn't a lot better than what he has, maybe worse in that the FZ 1000 only has a 9.1-146mm zoom lens. Birding does better with real reach, not crop factor or narrow view type quasi reach. His current lens at least goes to 180mm. :-) Continue Reading

Guidenet answered
14 days ago

Warranty Information

"No registration or "warranty" card is included or needed with a Nikon D-SLR or Coolpix camera. Keep your original, dated proof of purchase from the Authorized Nikon Inc. dealer in case warranty service is ever needed. These products do include either a mail-in form or a paper with a web link to our registration page:
It's advised to register your product with Nikon so that we can send you information about future updates or service issues that may arise.

Nikkor lenses come with a standard one year warranty and Nikon Inc. lenses sold by authorized Nikon Inc. dealers will have a Nikon Inc. Five Year Extension. To register for the five year extension, one copy of the included form must be mailed in as indicated. Keep the Customer copy of the form as well as the original proof of purchase (sales receipt)."

Read the full warranty.

DPReview GearShop is an authorized Nikon dealer in the United States.

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