Features & Controls

The Coolpix P600 is outfitted with a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor. But the star of the show is the lens, which offers a 24mm wide view in addition to its outsized 60x magnification (which translates to 24mm - 1440mm, 35mm equivalent).

To help prevent blurry shots at such high magnification, the Nikkor lens employs lens-shift vibration reduction. To operate the zoom motor, you can use the ring surrounding the shutter-release button, or the lever on the side of the lens barrel (see photo above).

Shutter speed:
  • 1/4000 to 1 second
  • 1/4000 to 15 seconds (with ISO 100 in Manual mode)

Maximum aperture:
  • f/3.3 at wide angle
  • f/6.5 at full telephoto

Focus modes:
  • Auto
  • Macro
  • Infinity
  • Manual
The AF area mode has to be set to one of the manual selections (below) in order to use continuous AF. Otherwise the camera uses single AF. Perhaps the biggest handicap this poses is if you want to use subject tracking AF, and want the auto focus to be continuous.

In burst modes, the auto focus and exposure are locked at the first frame.

Auto focus area modes:
  • Face priority
  • Manual (spot)
  • Manual (normal)
  • Manual (wide)
  • Subject tracking
  • Target finding AF
Metering modes:
  • Matrix
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot

To use manual focus, you don't go to the shooting menu. Rather, you use the downward position on the multi-selector (labeled with the flower macro icon). This pulls up a separate focus mode menu. (You can use peaking to help you find focus, which uses white spots to highlight edges that are in focus).

Focus mode menu:
  • Auto focus
  • Macro
  • Infinity
  • Manual focus

The built-in flash springs upward from the top of the camera when you press the button just below the flash unit. In my testing, I found the flash to have a range of just 10 feet or so at wide angle, far short of the specified 24 feet. There is no flash shoe for mounting an external flash.

Flash menu:
  • Standard
  • Red-eye reduction
  • Slow sync
  • Rear-curtain sync
Flash range:
  • Wide: 1 foot, 8 inches to 24 feet
  • Tele: 5 feet to 13 feet
Flash control:
  • TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes

The 3-inch LCD offers high resolution (921k dots) and an anti-reflective coating. The screen hinges outward and can be swiveled down 90 degrees and 180 degrees forward for taking self portraits.

The back panel offers two dials - a thumbdial at top near the movie record button, and a second one on the multi-selector four-way control. Just below the mode dial on the top of the camera and to the left of the movie record button are two buttons - one for turning on the electronic viewfinder and a display button for changing the LCD's display mode.

The mode dial offers 11 positions, making it easy to switch between shooting modes. There are three scene modes assigned to their own positions on the dial - Night Landscape, Night Portrait, and Landscape.

The programmable function button (Fn) launches its assigned menu. Pressing upward once on the four-way control will take you to the Fn position, where you can reassign the button to pull up one of nine menus.

Fn button menu options:
  • Image quality
  • Image size
  • Picture Control
  • White
  • Meter
  • Continuous (default)
  • ISO
  • AF area mode
  • Vibration reduction

The P600 has two ports, which sit behind a rubberized flap: mini-USB/AV and mini-HDMI. The camera does not come with an AV cable, but includes a USB cable.

The Li-ion battery is rated to last 330 shots, though performance in my testing was better. However, I did do a fair amount of burst mode shooting, and seldom used the flash. I was able to record 446 still images plus 20 short videos on one charge.

The battery must be charged in the camera using the included charger (though you can purchase an external charger for $50). The SD card slot sits next to the battery compartment behind a spring-loaded door on the bottom of the camera.

Memory card formats supported:
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • No card is included

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.