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Difference Between Nikon Coolpix L120 and P500

Nikon Coolpix L120 vs P500

The problem with most point and shoot cameras is that they do not have excellent zoom capabilities like DSLRs with their interchangeable lenses. Nikon addresses this problem by with their new super zoom cameras that include the L120 and P500. The primary difference between Nikon Coolpix L120 and P500  is the resolution of their sensors. The L120 is equipped with a higher resolution 14 megapixel sensor compared to the 12 megapixel sensor of the P500.

The primary advantage of the P500 is its increased zoom factor. Set at 36x, it’s significantly more than the 21x zoom factor of the L120. Even though the L120 has less zoom, they are still more than what you would find on other cameras, even in some DSLR lenses; the L120 achieves the equivalent of a 525mm focal length while the P500 achieves an 810mm equivalent. If that is still not enough for you, you can also complement it with digital zoom, which can enlarge the image even further but at the cost of image quality. Another lens advantage of the P500 is that it can get much closer to the subject in macro mode. While the L120 needs to be at least 4 inches away from the subject to retain focus, the P500 can get to as close as a tenth of that at 0.4 inches.

Another difference between the L120 and the P500 is in their screens. The L120 has a fixed screen typical of most cameras. In contrast, the P500 has a tilting screen that you can move around to obtain the best possible view even when you cannot hold the camera in the proper position. The tilting screen of the P500 makes it easier to shoot at odd angles.

Lastly, there is the issue of batteries. The P500 uses a Nikon EN-EL5 battery that lets you take roughly 220 shots per charge. On the other hand, Nikon decided to use 4 generic AA batteries on the L120 that achieve 330 shots. Generic batteries are easier to get even when on the run and you can easily use spares or even swap them between your other devices in cases of emergencies.


  1. The L120 has a higher resolution sensor than the P500
  2. The P500 has greater zoom than the L120
  3. The P500 can get closer in macro mode than the L120
  4. The P500 has a tilting screen while the L120 doesn’t
  5. The L120 uses generic AA batteries while the P500 does not

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