Travis asked in Consumer ElectronicsCameras · 2 months ago

is the nikon b500 a good camera for $300?

i like to take pictures of family on holidays and animals and the outdoors when i go hiking would this be a good camera for me my hands also shake a little and i only have the money to get a $300 or less camera

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  • garry
    Lv 5
    2 months ago

    no not really , its an over priced model , even if its a nikon ..would use it for family snap shots but nothing serious , still a small  sensor in it ..

  • 2 months ago

    If your budget limits you to sub $300 then what you need to do is get the camera of your choice and learn how to help it get good results. Learn about the Exposure Triangle and how depth of field works. Learn how to provide a camera with stability by leaning against walls, fences and rocks etc.  Pack a Gorilla Pod so that you can fix it to fences and small trees etc for those very distant shots.

    The AA battery issue is the thing that would put me off the B500. Yes, you can get the low self-discharge ones that are always good to go, but none of them last anything like as long as a Li-ion battery.  If I needed an affordable Bridge Camera now I'd get one of the Panasonics.

    A few years ago I used a bridge camera in conjunction with a DSLR; you may find the commentary in my PBase gallery helpful:

       https://pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridge

  • Sumi
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Sorry for the novel of an answer, but I just wanted to be through.

    I wouldn't recommend it because it uses AA batteries.  You'll be going through batteries like they're going out of style.  I've seen a lot of cameras that run on AAs and none were any good.  They were slow: slow AF and a lot of lag between pressing the shutter button and actually taking the shot.  This will likely be very frustrating for anyone taking shots where timing is required or essential. 

    Nikon is a great brand.  The B500 is designed to look like a more "professional" camera with its shape similar to DSLRs that advanced and pro photographers use.  However, it is nothing more than a simple point-and-shoot camera in a fancy shell.  If Nikon only made cameras like the B500, it would not have the reputation that it does.

    The camera is designed for those who want a big range in the zoom because they shoot landscapes, people (e.g. portraits & candids, social events) and far off subjects.  The camera has a maximum focal length of 1,000mm (35mm equivalent) which is really desirable for those taking photos of things like surfers, baseball or soccer games, and birders like these types of super-zoom cameras a lot, too.

    Like any and all cameras, the B500 is designed for some types of shots and totally NOT designed for others.  Where the B500 really struggles is low-light shots without a flash.  The small 1/2.3" sensor has very small pixels.  The smaller the pixel the less light it'll capture during any given exposure time.  This results in a poor signal which is a product of the light hitting the pixel and creating a voltage similar to how a solar panel works.  When the camera has a low signal it has to boost or amplify it.  The net result is a lot of noise even at low ISO settings like 400 which is an extremely common ISO to be used by anyone.  Now, if you only post to social media/the web and never make prints larger than about 4"x6", you really won't see the noise all that much.  Also, there are plenty of software options that will remove the noise.  Cameras have noise reduction built into them but they are not very good especially when compared to apps for your computer.

    I would strongly recommend that you get something else, save up for a better camera, or buy a high-end used camera especially if you don't need to photograph things that are far away, say, further than 20-30'.  Good places to find used gear is keh.com, adorama.com and bhphotovideo.com.  I've bought used lenses from keh and have had a good experience with them.  Both adorama and B&H are real camera stores in New York who've served pros and amateurs for nearly 50 years.   You can call them up and get more solid advice; something you can't do with amazon.

    Here's a link to B&H's used section showing cameras within your stated budget: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/products/Point-Shoo...

    Here's a side-by-side comparison of the features of the B500 and a few used cameras that I found on B&H's used section that I think are worth considering:  https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/products/Point-Shoo...

    The Panasonic is probably the best of the three for most casual shooters especially when you consider that it came out in 2019 and not 2016 like the B500 and the Sony in the link.

    They all have the small 1/2.3" sensor, so image problems like noise and dynamic range is likely to be equal among them. 

    What really excited me about the Sony is it's 5-axis image stabilization which far, far better than what the B500 has.  Since your hands shake, I would definitely recommend the Sony for you. The Panasonic has image stabilization, too.

    If you're the type of person who would editing your images with software like Photoshop or Lightroom, you'll like the Panasonic because it shoots RAW images and not just JPEGs like the Sony and Nikon do.  The difference is that you will have vastly more tonal range with RAW files.  JPEGs only have 256 shades of color range, but RAW files out of the Panasonic go up to about 1,024.  This means you will have much better ability to brighten up dark/underexposed images or deep shadows. It also means you can bring down highlights that would otherwise be too bright.  You can do this with JPEGs but a much, much lower extent.  You can also fix any color issues with RAW files while you can't with JPEGs.  Of course, if your the type of person who'll doesn't want to edit images and just want to download and post, then this benefit of shoot RAW is not a big deal.  However, if or when you have an important image that you need to fix, you can do it with RAW files.  Often cameras will allow you to shoot both RAW and JPEGs files at the same time allowing you to have JPEGs to quickly upload and RAW files as a backup or when the JEGS didn't come out right (especially beneficial during special events)

    If you like video, the Panasonic shoots in 4K!

    The Panasonic also has a very good Lecia designed lens.  If you don't know, Leica is considered to be the Rolls Royce of cameras and lenses.

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  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    No. Get a smart phone and it will be just as good a camera and the phone is less bulky. 

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