Are you looking for an affordable gift for a family member or maybe even yourself? This Nikon B500 is priced to sell.

Are there better cameras out there? Of course; but, for this price, you get a small, lightweight camera packed with features.

First impressions: Feels great in my hand, simple button placement, simple menu and, the best thing is, that it is powered by 4 AA batteries. Also, I read that you can get 350-500 photos with a set. Run out of power? Just whack in another 4 AA batteries. The Nikon ED glass with a zoom range of 22.5- 900mm optical and with the digital zoom of a 1800mm reach – truly a super zoom. Not to mention a healthy 16-megapixel sensor.

For my tests, I took the Nikon B500 out to Palm Springs for some random snaps and the grand event of the Super-Moon on November 14th: perfect for the incredible reach of the 40X optical zoom or 900mm’s. I also shot a few short clips of videos and some action shots.

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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather

This little camera has an incredible built in VR (Vibration Reduction), allowing one to handhold the camera at the telephoto setting without camera shake ruining it all. Actually, I am surprised by the quality of this inexpensive camera.

The 7.4 frames per second help me capture the perfect moment as you can see by the go carting photo and you can see in the cropped version how sharp the image actually is.

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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather

I was also surprised by the video quality as well..1080 30 fps. As you can see, this camera has a panoramic mode which comes in handy. One must choose their positioning carefully as I turned a Lexus into a small compact car. Fun…nonetheless!

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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather

The flash works great! Check out my group with the dogs, outdoor flash fill and I used the tiltable LCD to view as I held the camera above my head…what is known in the pro world as a “Hail Mary” shot. The articulated LCD is also great for those waist level or very low angles.

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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather
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Credit: Ralph Elliott Starkweather

Also what is another super feature is the face recognition feature which assures that your main subject will be in perfect focus.

This is a feature-rich camera for such a great price. Just the telephoto range alone saves so much money if you had to buy a dedicated super telephoto or lenses in-between. Forget wrapping this camera, I suggest you give it as an early gift so that the holidays can be documented properly with stills and video.