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The best Nikon digital camera under $500 price range are the SLR/professional cameras and entry-level DSLRs useful for low light photography. Some of them are also point and shoot cameras supporting ultra zooming options along with HD video recording capability.

Browse All Top Nikon Digital Cameras Under $500 »

Nikon 1 J5

Nikon 1 J5


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Nikon 1 J5
Nikon Coolpix S9900
Nikon Coolpix P610
Nikon Coolpix A
Nikon D5100
Nikon 1 J5
Nikon Coolpix S9900
Nikon Coolpix P610
Nikon Coolpix A Digital Camera
Nikon D5100 Body Only Digital Camera
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Release Date
May 2015
Mar 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2013
Apr 2011
Camera Type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Compact
SLR-like (bridge)
Compact, Large sensor compact
SLR/Professional
Resolution
21.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
16.0 Megapixel
16.9 Megapixel
Image Sensor Type
BSI-CMOS
CMOS
BSI-CMOS
CMOS
CMOS
LCD Screen Size
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
3.0 in.
Image Sensor Size
13.23 mm
2.5 mm
2.5 mm
28.34 mm
28.2 mm

  • If you're not a serious shutterbug, you'll appreciate the ease of using the fast-shooting Nikon 1 J5 mirrorless camera.


  • While the ability to capture 4K video footage may make all the headlines, the Nikon 1 J5's change in focus to a more prosumer, enthusiast camera is actually the bigger story. The addition of front and rear handgrips, PASM modes on the shooting mode dial, a command dial and Function button all point to a change in direction for the J5, despite it still being a very affordable compact system camera.

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    The Nikon 1 J5 is a nice mirrorless ILC that makes quite a few improvements from the Nikon 1 J4. However, it still has enough minor annoyances that add up quickly to make it lag just behind some similar mirrorless models. Nikon gave the J5 a sharp touchscreen that can tilt up to 180 degrees, as well as a mode dial with plenty of automatic shooting modes that will give inexperienced photographers an easy transition to this ILC. Nikon didn't forget more experienced photographers, who can use the full manual control features.

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    - Not so good are the remote shooting features which remain very basic.
    - The COOLPIX S9900 also adds NFC for easier Wifi connections, allowing you to intitiate wireless transfers and remote control by gently tapping your smartphone against the camera body.


  • The addition of the versatile vari-angle screen, a dedicated command dial, enhanced GPS tracking and NFC connectivity make the new Coolpix S9900 Nikon's best travel-zoom camera yet, although it doesn't make any great strides forwards in terms of image quality or general performance.


  • The Coolpix S9900 brings Nikon back into the 30x compact race, and it has one stand out feature with the potential to win over plenty of travellers and photographers looking for an all-round compact: an adjustable screen. Combine this with the Wi-Fi, GPS and intuitive and pleasant handling, and you've got a great candidate for your next holiday companion. With regard to picture quality, though, the S9900 is a way behind the competition.


  • At £340/$500, the Nikon Coolpix P610 is pretty pricey for a camera that doesn’t offer any better image quality than a well-sorted compact camera. However, you do get an awful lot of bang for your buck.
    Although a 60x optical zoom range no longer makes the P610 top dog in this sector (the Canon SX60 HS has a 65x range, and Nikon’s new P900 boasts an outrageous 83x lens), it still gives pretty much all the focal length flexibility you could ever need.

  • Rating Unavailable

    The Nikon CoolPix P610 is a compact digicam with a huge 60x optical zoom lens that allows you to be ready for any situation. Excellent performance and good overall image quality makes this camera a must see for travel or anyone looking for an affordable camera for any situation.


  • A well performing camera that produces good quality images, especially in favourable conditions. If you're looking for a long zoom or holiday camera, Nikon has produced a good contender. But if you want raw shooting, look at the Canon SX60 instead.


  • If you're very picky about photo quality and prefer autofocus to manual -- but don't care about a viewfinder -- the Nikon Coolpix A is probably worth the money. Otherwise, wait for the price to drop.


  • Which leaves the Coolpix A in something of a quandary - smaller and more pocketable than its rivals, but with slower auto-focusing and no built-in viewfinder. It's definitely an interesting camera in its own right that would make a great second camera for Nikon DSLR owners, but ultimately a few crucial shortcomings and some fierce competition limit its appeal to a wider audience.


  • Although the Nikon A does a great job at capturing sharp, high quality images, this is not a camera for the masses. So who is this camera designed for? Due to the inflexible 18.5mm fixed lens, many casual photographers will be quickly disillusioned by the lack of zoom. But for those photographers that want the shooting mode functionality of a DSLR, a large sensor, the image quality of a high performance of a f2.8 prime lens, and the portability of a point and shoot camera, then the Nikon A is right up your alley.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Of course, this is a camera aimed at consumers, with the design choices that brings. Notably, Nikon hasn't included a screw-drive autofocus motor, or in-camera wireless flash commander functionality in the D5100, and for some photographers, that may cause them to look elsewhere. For its target market, though, the Nikon D5100 offers an approachable design that couples a great feature set with excellent image quality, and that combination makes it an easy choice for a Dave's Pick.


  • Though it doesn't rank first based on any individual aspect of the camera, the Nikon D5100 delivers a solid combination of image quality, performance, features, and design that puts it out in front if you're looking for a well-rounded option under $1,000.


  • The Nikon D5100 offers a fantastic mix of still-image and video-recording quality, along with plenty of features including top-notch in-camera effects. This well-rounded shooter is an easy Editors' Choice for under-$1,000 D-SLRs.


Top 5 nikon digital camera under $500:

  1. Nikon 1 J5
  2. Nikon Coolpix S9900
  3. Nikon Coolpix P610
  4. Nikon Coolpix A Digital Camera
  5. Nikon D5100 Body Only Digital Camera