Previous news story    Next news story

Nikon debuts Coolpix P520, S9500, S6500 and L820 mid-range compacts

By dpreview staff on Jan 29, 2013 at 04:01 GMT

CP+ 2013: Nikon has unveiled a quartet of mid-level Coolpix compacts including the Coolpix P520 42x superzoom and S9500 22x compact superzoom, alongside the Coolpix L820 30x budget superzoom and the S6500 12x compact. The P520 features the same 24-1000mm equivalent zoom seen in the P510 but moves to an 18MP BSI CMOS sensor and is compatible with the optional WU-1a Wi-Fi module. The S9500 has built-in Wi-Fi and fits the same 18MP sensor into a slim body with a 25-550mm equivalent lens.

Jump to:

Press Release:


Combining Connectivity with High Quality NIKKOR Lenses, Nikon’s New COOLPIX Cameras are Designed for Every Shooting Occasion

MELVILLE, NY (January 28, 2013) – Today, Nikon Inc. introduced three new COOLPIX digital cameras with high-power zoom lenses, enabling consumers to capture beautiful images and videos at a wide range of distances. The COOLPIX P520 sports a 42x zoom lens and the versatility needed for advanced performance, while the 22x zoom COOLPIX S9500 combines impressive range with an ultra-slim, pocketable package. Both feature Wi-Fi®connectivity1 that allows users to send images and videos from their camera directly to a compatible smart device through the Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application1, ideal for sharing content with others as well as for posting to social networking sites. The compact COOLPIX L820 offers a 30x zoom and an ergonomic design, making it simple and fun to comfortably capture images and videos at various distances. Great for anyone from the weekend jetsetter to the everyday memory maker, the zoom lenses and user-friendly features of the newest COOLPIX cameras make them ideal to have on-hand for any occasion.

“Nikon’s new long zoom COOLPIX cameras provide consumers with the chance to capture a diverse range of subjects and scenes, whether near the subject or at a distance,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “Designed for the frequent traveler, the instant sharer, and the family memory keeper, these new COOLPIX cameras offer trusted Nikon technology, high image quality, Full HD video and a variety of other features that meet photographers’ needs.”

The Nikon COOLPIX P520: The Advanced Performance Ultra Zoom Camera
For those looking to capture a beautiful and sharp image up close or at a distance, the new COOLPIX P520 boasts a 42x optical zoom-NIKKOR glass lens with an impressive zoom range from a wide 24mm to a whopping 1000mm (35mm equivalent), for users that require the very best in performance and versatility. Lens-shift Vibration Reduction (VR) alongside the new Active Mode assist in capturing blur-free images and video, while full manual controls give users the power to realize their creative potential when shooting. The P520 also features an 18.1-megapixel backside-illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor and high ISO sensitivity to ensure quality images even in low-light conditions. 

Additionally, the COOLPIX P520 allows users to not only shoot images from a distance, but also at unique angles thanks to a versatile 3.2-inch Vari-Angle LCD monitor. Additionally, Full HD (1080p) video recording with stereo sound is possible with the simple touch of the dedicated movie record button. This ultra-zoom camera comes with built-in GPS capabilities as well, allowing photographers to log their journey with an easy-to-use display.

To share images and videos instantly with family and friends, the P520 is compatible with the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter2. This optional accessory paired along with the downloadable Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application1 allows users to transfer their images and videos to compatible smart devices and tablets for easy sharing and viewing with others.

The Nikon COOLPIX L820: A Comfortable Long Zoom Camera Fit to Preserve Precious Family Memories
Designed to capture stunning images at various distances, the compact COOLPIX L820 sports a high-power 30x zoom, a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, and Vibration Reduction (VR) technology to help keep shots steady. With its super wide-angle lens, covering from wide-angle 22.5mm to super-telephoto 675mm, users have the versatility to capture crisp, vivid images, whether up-close or at a distance. The camera’s 3-inch monitor, ergonomic design, along with the convenience of AA-size batteries and a dedicated video button make it easy and fun for users to shoot comfortably. Thanks to a simple and intuitive interface, users can easily access a wide range of features, including Easy Auto Mode and Smart Portrait System, which enable them to enhance their photos with options like Red Eye Fix and Face-Priority AF. Other special effects include Glamour Retouch, Filter Effects and Skin Softening for optimal portrait enhancements.

The Nikon COOLPIX S9500: New Ultra-Slim Zoom Offering Shares World Travels With Ease
The slim COOLPIX S9500 sports a 22x optical zoom (25-550mm) and is the perfect companion for anyone that wants to capture and share high-quality images and HD videos with a sleek and stylish package. Small enough to keep close in a shirt pocket or purse, the S9500 features an 18.1-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor, ideal for capturing low-light images with clarity and sharpness. It also sports a legendary NIKKOR lens with Vibration Reduction (VR) to minimize the effects of blur and camera shake. For those who want to capture their journey through video, this camera also offers Full HD (1080p) movie recording with stereo sound. Additionally, a bright 3-inch OLED monitor assists users to clearly compose or view their recorded movies or captured images, even when in bright conditions. The COOLPIX S9500 also offers various shooting effects to enhance memories, including an upgraded Glamour Retouch function, Skin Softening and Quick Effects.

To enhance the user’s sharing capabilities when away from family and friends, the S9500 offers a built-in GPS function to provide the user the ability to log their travels and share where they have been. In addition, the camera offers built-in Wi-Fi®1 connectivity so images and videos can be shared while on the go by transferring them to a compatible smart device equipped with the Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application1. It also enables users to remotely take photos with the camera from a compatible smartphone or tablet.

The COOLPIX S6500: Compact Camera that Packs a Powerful 12x Zoom
Announced earlier this month, the COOLPIX S6500 is designed for those looking for an easy-to-carry camera that takes and shares great photos, easily. The camera features a 12x optical zoom lens, a 16-megapixel BSI CMOS sensor and a variety of user-friendly features, including five new Glamour Retouch effects, all packed into a slim, stylish camera body. In addition to an extensive feature set, the S6500 offers built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity1 that allows users to transfer images and HD movies from their camera directly to a compatible smart device.

Price and Availability:
The COOLPIX P520 will be available for a suggested retail price of $449.95* in Black, Red, and Dark Grey in February 2013. The COOLPIX L820 will be available for a suggested retail price of $279.95* in Black and Red, while the COOLPIX S9500 will be available for a suggested retail price of $349.95* in Black, Silver, and Red. Both will be available in February 2013. Additionally, the previously announced COOLPIX S6500 will be available in early February for a suggested retail price of $219.95* in Silver, Black, Red and Orange.

In order to give consumers a more effective way to understand the benefits of each COOLPIX camera and to help users determine the best camera to fit their lifestyle, Nikon has segmented the COOLPIX series into five categories: Advanced Performance, Fun & Innovative, Ultra-Slim Zoom, Comfort Long Zoom and Budget Friendly. For more information about these and other COOLPIX cameras, please visit

About Nikon
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics as well as the Nikon 1 advanced camera with interchangeable lens system. In 2012, production of NIKKOR lenses surpassed 75 million, creating a new milestone in Nikon's heritage of superior optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit, which links all levels of photographers to the Web's most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook at and get the latest news and information from Twitter by following @NikonUSA.


  • Cameras having Wi-Fi® capability can only be used with a compatible iPhone®, iPad®, and/or iPod touch® or smart devices running on the Android™ operating system. The COOLPIX P520’s Wi-Fi® capability using the WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter can only be used with a compatible iPhone®, iPad®, and/or iPod touch® or smart devices running on the Android™ operating system.

*SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon Coolpix P520, L820, S9500 and S6500 specifications

 Nikon Coolpix P520Nikon Coolpix L820Nikon Coolpix S9500Nikon Coolpix S6500
Body type
Body typeSLR-like (bridge)Compact
Max resolution4608 x 34564608 x 3456
Other resolutions4608 x 3072, 4608 x 2592, 3648 x 2736, 2832 x 2832, 2592 x 1944, 1984 x 1488, 1920 x 1080, 1024 x 768
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels18 megapixels16 megapixels18 megapixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ISOAuto,80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 2000, 3200Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600Auto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationOpticalUnknownOptical
Uncompressed formatUnknownNo
File format
  • JPEG (DCF) EXIF 2.21
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–1000 mm23–675 mm25–550 mm25–300 mm
Optical zoom41.7×30×22×12×
Maximum apertureF2.8 - F5.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYesYes
Normal focus range80 cm (31.5)
Macro focus range5 cm (1.97)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDUnknownNoFixed
Screen size3.23
Screen dots614,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT-LCD with Anti-reflection coatingOLED monitorAMOLED display
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronicNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed8 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Smart Auto
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual Exposure
  • Scene
  • Movie
  • GPS
  • Wi-Fi
  • Apps (Magic)
Scene modes
  • 3D Photo
  • PIP
  • Split Shot
  • HDR
  • Magic Frame
  • Beauty Shot
  • Night
  • Landscape
  • Text
  • Sunset
  • Dawn
  • Backlight
  • Beach & Snow
Built-in flashYes
Flash range3.50 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync
Continuous drive10 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Double)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
WB BracketingNo
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 10801920 x 10801920 x 1080 (30fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 480fps (176 x 128), 240fps (384 x 288)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage included15 MB65 MB
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Wireless notesWU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery PackAABattery Pack
Battery descriptionNikon EN-EL5 Lithium-Ion battery4 x AA (Alkaline, NiMH, Oxyride or Lithium)Nikon EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion batteryLithium-Ion SLB-10A rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)200320230
Weight (inc. batteries)550 g (1.21 lb / 19.40 oz)470 g (1.04 lb / 16.58 oz)205 g (0.45 lb / 7.23 oz)250 g (0.55 lb / 8.82 oz)
Dimensions125 x 84 x 102 mm (4.92 x 3.31 x 4.02)111 x 76 x 85 mm (4.37 x 2.99 x 3.35)110 x 60 x 31 mm (4.33 x 2.36 x 1.22)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes

Additional Images

Nikon Coolpix S9500  Nikon Coolpix S9500

Additional Images

Nikon Coolpix P520 Nikon Coolpix P520

Additional Images

Nikon Coolpix L820 Nikon Coolpix L820
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
Our favorite products. Free 2 day shipping.
Support this site, buy from dpreview GearShop.
Nikon Coolpix P520


Total comments: 26
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (Jan 30, 2013)

when the P530 (not this 520) will have a hot shoe and can do CLS, I will be buying one..

By mendes (Jan 29, 2013)

It seems from the photo that COOLPIX S9500 has a 22x optical zoom, and range is between 25-550mm, not 25x 22 – 550 mm as shown in your comparison table. But I'd prefer a compact that starts at 22mm instead.

By WilliamJ (Jan 29, 2013)

Do I read well ? The brand new Nikon Coolpix P520 battery is out after just 200 shots ? Is it the first of april today ?

By Nightwings (Jan 29, 2013)

200 shots from a single charge???!!! Turn on the GPS function..and watch that number drop. :) The upside is.. generic spare batteries for the cam are cheap.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
1 upvote
By Combatmedic870 (Jan 30, 2013)

200 shots per charge is a fail no matter how inexpensive the batteries are.

1 upvote
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Jan 29, 2013)

Looking more at the P520 on Nikon's site, this seems to be a surprisingly minimal update. Same shooting speed, EVF, lens, only questions remain about whether the sensor, AF and VR are really better, as the P510 has a lot of trouble autofocusing at longer lengths and is very smudged above base ISO. The battery life was already pretty bad and now worse, but at least they include a charger now!

Yet, leaving aside the lack of raw or a hotshoe, which I really find hard to fathom, if it really is a better photo-taking machine, the update will be worthy.

By mjdundee (Jan 29, 2013)

The specs of the 9500 should read 22x zoom with 25-550 mm focal length equivalent. Now - does it allow jpg only or is there really no information from Nikon?

By peevee1 (Jan 29, 2013)

Isn't 4.5 mm over 1/2.3" sensor more like 28 mm equivalent? Certainly not 22 mm.

By jcmarfilph (Jan 29, 2013)

Ha another toyzoom from Nikon. No RAW, no hotshoe, 18mega-interpolated pixels and no manual zoom.

By Nightwings (Jan 29, 2013)

interpolated pixels? Where are you getting this from? The 16mpx sensor in the P510 was the best in it's class was the glass. The sensor wasn't interpolated .. and I don't see any evidence that this 18mpx sensor is either.

By AlfBundy (Jan 29, 2013)

I think jcmarfilph is right. Sony is cheating on us with these tiny sensors.
They claim they are 1/2.33" 18MP, and I believe they are the same 1/4" 6MP used in Sony Camcorders.
That's why they are so good in video (sharp, no aliasing and no moire), but in the meantime they are absolutely awful in photo.

Did you notice that Sony camcorders offer the same "18MP" photo resolution (it was "16MP" in the previous gen, just like the previous gen of cameras).

- 1/4" sensors allow the lenses to be smaller or with a longer zoom range. (x22 in a pocket camera ? Really ?)
- 6MP allow them to crop a 2MP 16/9 rectangle in the middle to get 1080p without having to downsize with a crappy and power hungry algorithm. The remaining cropped out pixels are used for software stabilization in addition to optical stab (Sony calls it "Active" Steadyshot). And that also explain why you get a narrower field of view in video mode.

But then, don't we all want very good 6MP cameras ?
Well, we have them !

By Revenant (Jan 29, 2013)

So, the specs of the new IMX118CQT sensor is fake, then?

1 upvote
By Nightwings (Jan 29, 2013)

@ AlfBundy

I can not speak for the sensor in the P520, because I don't own one. But what you assert for the previous sensor found in the P510 is ABSOLUTELY INCORRECT. Those sensors are full blown 16mpx sensors. I did a direct comparison with the sensor found in the P510 with shots taken with a D7000:

The is NO WAY those shots came from anything but a 16mpx sensor.

1 upvote
Kim Letkeman
By Kim Letkeman (Jan 29, 2013)

Joms, you are correct that it suffers from a lack of RAW. In fact, that is its only real flaw in my opinion. But you should take your "toyzoom" joke elsewhere, as your perpetual strident protection of Fuji virtue is getting really embarrassing.

1 upvote
By jcmarfilph (Jan 30, 2013)

Only real flaw is RAW? Hehe... what else? Mediocre sensor, tiny peephole EVF, slow AF and STS time. Slooooow motorize zoom. No wonder Nighty sold his P510 and will be joining the Fuji bandwagon soon, =D

By jcmarfilph (Jan 30, 2013)

Nighty , you cannot cram in real 18mp in a tineeweenie sensor. It's just one line in the ROM file of Nikon. Set output_size = Interpolate (data, 18); Better if it is 10 or 8mp.

By Nightwings (Jan 29, 2013)

While I applaud Nikon for keeping the lens intact as the P510, this will in my opinion keep them on top of lens IQ as Canons and Pannys (my opinion) doesn't touch the P510 for clarity, color, sharpness. Having said that, I think Nikon doubled down on DUMB for STILL not putting a HOT SHOE on the camera. I would never have parted with my P510 had it had a hot shoe. Plus as others would argue... STILL no RAW?? And the GPS function worked GREAT if you had to patience to wait upwards of 5 minutes for an acquisition lock, by that time my picture taking opportunity had come and passed.. that and my battery was now drained. I would suggest Nikon refine/add the essentials and save the fluff for later.

Nikon... this isn't a bridge cam.. it's a almost-bridge cam. P530 anyone?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
By jcmarfilph (Jan 29, 2013)

It's a toycam Nighty not bridgecam.

By EYap (Jan 29, 2013)

Personally I'd rather the manufacturers worked on a fast f/2 or f/2.8 lens speed and a zoom range of 20-200mm, or 24-200mm. If they can't do what Panasonic did with their FZ200 I wouldn't mind a variable speed of f/2.8-3.5.

F/3.0-5.9 is not an attractive option, considering many of these small cameras stop at f/8 on the other end. So what, just two stops on the tele end?

By Combatmedic870 (Jan 30, 2013)

By keeponkeepingon (Jan 29, 2013)

30 specifications on a new camera and no mention of aperture?

Or did I miss it?

Phil must be turning in his grave!

According to IR (who seems to care about minor details such as aperture) the 520 " Maximum aperture starts from f/3.0 at wide angle, and falls to f/5.9 at telephoto"

Not stunning but it is a bit better than canon's SX50 (F3.4-F6.5).

1 upvote
G Davidson
By G Davidson (Jan 29, 2013)

So what's really new for the P5200? Higher resolution sensor, but does it have better high (or even medium) ISO? Better VR? I was hoping especially for better AF and a Raw mode, but no word about those. As for the lens, it's long enough for me, but maybe a hard sell when the competition is offering 1200mm.

By eilivk (Jan 29, 2013)

The picture of P520 shows tilting screen and EVF.
The specification list says None and Unknown.....
And - specifications for EVF is as important as for LCD - or what?

1 upvote
By Kokeen4231 (Jan 29, 2013)

Surprised nikon kept their p520 to 42x zoom. Was thinking they would challenge fuji and canon 50x.

By wakaba (Jan 29, 2013)

50x, 42x zoom? Come on guys. High ISO, interpolated and dsp-massaged crap. It is not a engineering/quality related feature, just an marketing gag. All said - can I also browse the web, get emails, message with this P&S? No? Then its a really bad phone.

Would I buy a Nikon branded Nokia WP with a 35mm Sony sensor and a large and powerful 35mm prime lens? Yes, in a heartbeat!

Until this happens, wont buy dumb cams that do not smartphone.

1 upvote
By dpLarry (Jan 29, 2013)

The difference between 42X zoom and 50X zoom is not 8X.

It is Only 20% more zoom vertically and horizontally .

1 upvote
Total comments: 26