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Nikon COOLPIX P530 Review: Pros, Cons, Top Features

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A satisfying upgrade from its predecessor, the P520, the revamped Nikon COOLPIX P530 has enough functionality to easily handle nearly any type of photography. This bridge camera provides users with both the feel and overall control of a typical DSLR, offering up the best of both worlds.

This is a great tool for enthusiasts who want to take the leap from a basic point-and-shoot to something more substantial. Plus, with this camera’s 42x optical zoom NIKKOR lens, it’s hard to pass up. Check out our review of the Nikon COOLPIX P530 for an overview of the pros, cons, and top features.

Nikon COOLPIX P530 Specs

  • 16.1MP 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS Sensor.
  • EXPEED C2 Image Processor.
  • ISO 100 – 6400, ISO 12800 for High Sensitivity Mode.
  • 3-inch 921k-Dot LCD Monitor.
  • Electronic Viewfinder with 100% Coverage.
  • 42x Optical Zoom and 82x Dynamic Fine Zoom.
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 Video Recording.
  • Manual Exposure Control.
  • Built-in Flash.
  • Optional Wi-Fi Functionality with WU-1a Adapter.
  • SD / SDHC / SDXC Memory Cards.
  • Dimensions of 4.9 x 3.4 x 3.9-inches.
  • Weighs 17.5 ounces.

Nikon COOLPIX P530 General Information

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Body, Build, and Buttons

Despite the chunky body of the Nikon COOLPIX P530, the rubberized coating and deep grip allows for a secure fit in the hand. The top plate of the camera features a mode dial for switching between various exposure options like fully automatic, semi-automatic, and manual. Also included is a function (Fn) button that allows for the adjustment of white balance, ISO sensitivity, metering, and more. Easily adjust the optical zoom lens with a lever located near the shutter release button.

Included on the back of the camera are standard functions, as well as a scrolling dial that works as a directional pad with each direction assigned a specific function — up prompts the flash, down prompts various focusing modes, left prompts the timer, and right prompts exposure compensation. Quickly adjust the autofocus point by using the scrolling dial until reaching the desired point.
Also found on the back is a record button that activates movie mode, regardless of which stills shooting mode the camera is in.

Display and Viewfinder

The Nikon COOLPIX P530 is equipped with a 3-inch 921k-Dot LCD monitor that offers 100-percent coverage during shooting for achieving the desired composition. Use the anti-reflective LCD monitor for quick playback of images and videos. Note that the LCD monitor is fixed and lacks tilting and swiveling capabilities.

An electronic viewfinder is available, also offering 100-percent coverage during shooting. If the overall feel of a DSLR camera is desired, the electronic viewfinder will help you achieve that natural shooting style. The one downside of this camera’s electronic viewfinder is that it lacks an eye-sensor, meaning that users are required to press the button next to it to both engage and disengage each time. That being said, the electronic viewfinder is quite satisfactory for a bridge camera and is definitely useful overall.


With its 16.1MP 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS Sensor and EXPEED C2 image processor, the Nikon COOLPIX P530 delivers quality images and provides users with a vast range of possibilities to explore. This camera’s low-light capabilities are quite good, providing a native maximum ISO of 6400 in aperture-priority, shutter-priority, program, and manual modes. An expandable ISO of 12800 is available upon switching to the monochrome-only High ISO mode.


The 42x optical zoom gives an equivalent of 24mm-equivalent wide-angle to 1000mm-equivalent telephoto — given the incredible range of this optical zoom, the Nikon COOLPIX P530 is suitable for countless shooting conditions. For those who prefer more customization, this camera offers full manual control of various settings, including center-weighted or spot metering, matrix, exposure bracketing, exposure compensation, and six white balance modes.

Nikon COOLPIX P530 controls
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While there is no external flash connectivity on this model, a built-in popup flash is included, allowing for a range of 26 feet at wide angle or 14 feet at telephoto. The autofocus system utilized is one of contrast-detection with subject-tracking, face-priority, and target-finding functions, helping users to achieve that perfect shot each and every time.

You may find the need to enhance image clarity when shooting at or around the 42x zoom setting — in order to do this, take advantage of the lens shift-VR (Vibration Reduction) feature, which helps minimize camera shake. ACTIVE mode is provided to lessen image blur when shooting from a moving vehicle or similar unstable conditions.

Dynamic Fine Zoom

If you want to get even more of a telephoto reach, employ the camera’s Dynamic Fine Zoom, which takes you to a 2000mm-equivalent. Keep in mind, however, that image blur is bound to occur at this point, regardless of how good the shooting conditions are. In order to get the best possible quality images at this level of zoom, utilize a combination of a tripod and the vibration reduction feature.

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Nikon COOLPIX P530 sample image (Image Source: Pixabay)

Video Capabilities

The Nikon COOLPIX P530 offers the capability to capture full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution video at 60 frames per second, including audio, thanks to the built-in microphone. Also available is an option to record video at a reduced rate for accelerated playback or record in slow motion by dropping the resolution to 640 x 480 resolution. Full HD videos utilize H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC compression with LPCM stereo audio.

Other Features

Although this camera lacks built-in Wi-Fi, you can access Wi-Fi functionality with the optional WU-1a adapter available separately. If you like having the ability to get all images and videos off of your camera as quickly as possible, the optional Wi-Fi adapter will help you achieve that quite easily — simply transfer over your content to a compatible smartphone or tablet. You can control the camera directly from the camera manufacturer’s app as well.

Nikon COOLPIX P530 Price and Extras

The Nikon COOLPIX P530 is priced at $269 for the body and a NIKKOR 4.3-180mm f/3-5.9 VR lens. A refurbished body with lens configuration is also available for $219.


While the Nikon COOLPIX P530 offers quality images, an extensive zoom range, and full manual control, it is a basic, no-frills camera. A basic camera like this one is what people are always looking to get their hands on, especially those on a budget or those looking for something they can take while on the move.

This particular model is perfect for enthusiasts who simply want the ability to get the job done and don’t want to fuss around with too many complex features. Simply put, the Nikon COOLPIX P530 is an all-around versatile bridge camera suitable for any type of photography. Whether you agree or disagree, reach out and let us know!



Tony Mack

On Key

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