Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange)

Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange)

  • Water-proof, Shock-proof, Freeze-proof: ruggedly built for reliable and comfortable outdoor operation. Water-proof to a depth of 33 feet.
  • 16 effective megapixel CMOS sensor ideal for low light shooting and fast operation
  • Full HD (1080p) movie with stereo sound and movie-record button that enables one-touch recording (HDMI mini connector equipped)
  • GPS and e-Compass functions
  • Points of Interest (locations, landmarks, etc.) and location information (latitude and longitude) can be added to your photos
  • Shockproof if dropped from 5 ft, operating temperature down to 14 degrees F

List Price: $ 379.00

Price: $ 379.00

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  1. K. Chua "KChua" says:
    1,772 of 1,785 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Exceptional camera (compared to Panasonic TS3 or FT3), December 20, 2011
    K. Chua “KChua” (Los Angeles, CA United States) –

    This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange) (Camera)

    I’ve been looking at waterproof and tough camera for over a year now… and I eventually chose this one!

    About me: I’m a techie, over 20 years in photography (started early), played with very many DSLR and compact cameras. I buy best-of-breed and I’m not very brand loyal (SLR I’ve used/owned include: Leica, Nikon, Pentax, Canon; Compact camera I’ve used/own: Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, and now Nikon).

    I did a lot of research (including Canon, Pentax, Olympus) and eventually narrowed down to: Panasonic TS3 (aka FT3 in Europe), Nikon AW100, Sony TX10

    ** Sony TX10 – I love its image sensor, its rugged yet sleek ultra compactness. Unfortunately the lack of GPS killed it. For an all-weather sports camera, you expect to travel everywhere and often in areas you find difficult to mark on Google Maps.

    ** Panasonic TS3 vs Nikon AW100 – There are many forum that compare the specs of these two cameras so I won’t bore you. Both have great specs for a rugged compact; and both have similar setbacks (e.g. no RAW or manual controls, but don’t forget they are not suppose to be high-end compact cameras)

    Panasonic TS3/FT3 is one of my final 2 because:
    1. Panasonic makes exceptional compact cameras (well-designed, and they’re heavily invested in compact cameras, including their m4/3).
    Nikon’s compacts are hit or miss, and more miss actually, when compared to Panasonic or Canon seems lagging behind.
    2. Panasonic’s TS3 is the third generation of rugged compacts… so Panasonic must have refined it and nailed everything.
    Nikon has no rugged compacts and AW100 is the first – risky!
    3. Panasonic seems to produce very good underwater images (e.g. fishes, corals) seem more natural straight off camera.
    Nikon seem to require you to set to underwater mode to ensure it corrects the color hues and color balance.
    4. Panasonic has a tough, metal (and seemingly more durable) feel, but that also (unfortunately) makes it heavier!.
    Nikon has an aluminum-like faceplate that gives color, but overall seem to be a tough lump of plastic.

    Nikon AW100 ultimately won me over because:
    I’m a risk-taker, and take the path less traveled (or camera less proven). It’s got great specs like the Panny, PLUS some advantages:
    1. Lightweight – For traveling, hiking, water sports, having a light camera is good. The plastic looks tough and durable.
    2. Greater ISO range – with ISO 3200 I can take photos in darker situations than with a Panny
    3. Screen is larger and higher res – 460k instead of Panny’s 230k means I an see more and clearer (especially sports can be lots of misses)
    4. Image is higher res – can be good or bad (I hate large files), but for sports, allows me more flexibility to crop and still retain enough resolution
    5. Action button – this sounds gimmicky, but it actually works! It serves as a large button for GPS tracking, and changing modes without having to fiddle with buttons
    6. Video format – I’ll save the technie talks, but safe to say, it’s Apple-friendly (I use both iMac and PC), high def (1080p) at lower file size.
    7. Stereo sound – useful in videos where you’re filming cyclist/athletes zooming past and creates more realistic feel

    Additional bonus that I found very useful in practice as a sports/travel camera:
    8. Clock – It’s clock can synchronize with your location (so don’t need to worry about adjusting the clock while traveling internationally
    9. GPS – it actually works! It can log your route at intervals for period of 6 – 72 hrs, embed POI info, and select different levels of details
    10. VIdeo HS – high-frame rate slow motion video are possible with this little camera. Initially, it sounded silly but as a sports and all-weather camera, I can certainly see great uses for this feature.
    11. Movie light – This gives additional light to dark subject at close distance when its very dark
    12. Smile trigger – Kids love this… We use this instead of self-timer so that when we take a family photo, the camera detects a smile and clicks it for us.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m NOT saying NIKON AW100 is BETTER THAN Panasonic TS3. It’s just better for my use (light to carry around in bag or even board shorts, versatile and travels to different country in sea, rain, mud etc). Honestly, I’m just pleasantly surprised Nikon can get so much right this time!

    *Added tip: I bought this case and find its a good snug fit Lowepro Dublin 20 Slim Profile Pouches for Cameras and Compact Video Cameras (Black/Bordeaux Red)… I posted some pics here to let you see the fit.

    ====== <<UPDATED ON JAN 18 2011>> ========
    See the pics yourself. I’ve uploaded few pics – intentionally provided them straight out…

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  2. Alan Montgomery says:
    412 of 417 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Wonderful Camera for Outdoor Use, September 21, 2011
    Alan Montgomery (Durham, NC) –
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange) (Camera)

    I have had this camera a few days now and have been very impressed with the tests I’ve put it through thus far. This camera does everything Nikon says it will and does them all wonderfully.

    Overall Build
    This is a small camera in your hands which is a good and bad thing. It’s great because it means it’s easy to slip in your pants or shirt pocket and always keep with you. It weighs little enough that you hardly notice it’s there. I see where some people could see this as an issue because the buttons on it are very small in order to have the back LCD as large as possible. It does not feel cheap even though it’s made out of plastic and although I don’t plan on doing a drop test, I am confident it would survive a drop from chest high.

    Picture Quality
    With an 8GB SD card I don’t see a reason to shoot at any other setting than the highest resolution, so all my playing around with it was done at this setting. The JPEGs that come out look great. The images are sharp, have good color and the auto whitebalance has done an amazing job. The main thing I was worried about was having to do difficult WB corrections after the fact if it wasn’t right on with the WB, but so far it has been spot on in full sun shots, shady shots, indoor with incandescent and indoor with fluorescent lights. I honestly think the 16MP is a little overkill, but will keep shooting at full resolution as I don’t know when I’ll need those extra pixels. Lastly, low light shooting has definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought with a sensor as small as this one there would be lots of noise in the final result but even at the higher ISO levels the pictures are very clear and useable.

    I don’t really plan on using this for video too much but have tested it out nonetheless. It is very smooth while shooting at 1080p and looks great when run to my TV to view it. The microphones pick up the noises very well and even have a setting that reduces wind noise (I tested by blowing on the microphone while recording). To shoot video you don’t have to change modes or anything – you just press the red circle button on the back and you’re off.

    Button Placement/Menu
    Everything seems to get in the right place as far as buttons go. Most can be reached with either your right thumb or right index finger while you’re holding it up to shoot without adjusting, although if you are a lefty you will need to get used to holding it in your right hand. I also shoot a Nikon d5100 and had no trouble figuring out what everything did without looking at the instruction manual, so if you’ve used a Nikon in the past few years this should be a breeze. The menu is fairly uncomplicated and not overloaded with useless features. It is quick to get to the setting I want without too many annoying clicks. This is important to me as I had missing shots while I fumble with the buttons.

    Vibration Reduction
    I tested this out by holding the camera at arms length with one hand while shooting some test shots. Even from the LCD I could tell the image was doing a lot less shaking than my hand was, and was very impressed by the pictures when they came out. This will definitely come in handy on the boat.

    Having not used a point and shoot in a few year, I was very pleased with how far the autofocus has come. It quickly locks on to an object, highlights the object and will keep it in focus even if you start swinging the camera around. Going from objects ~1 foot away to 30 feet away has been focused quickly and accurately. No complaints here.

    The main reason I got this camera is so I could take it out with me when I go fishing. This means the first chance I got, I took this camera in a pool to start testing it out. It worked as expected, shooting at the 10 foot deep end of the pool with no problem. The color correction for shooting underwater was also quite effective. After taking some test shots, I put the camera in my pocket for the rest of the time in the pool just to keep it submerged for as long as possible. After a quick towel off out of the pool, it looked good as new. The battery/SD card door has a foolproof way of shutting and remaining watertight so unless I puncture something I’m not worried about water getting in there.

    I have loved the performance of the GPS even when indoors. This is something that will be very useful when I either go fishing or go out in the woods and want to take a picture of something that is in a location I want to come back to. The GPS data is written to the metadata so I can punch it in googlemaps after I get home to see where things were. It also has an electronic compass which is handy for a few reasons and has worked great so far.

    It works and it lights things up. I’ve sort of grown to love to hate flashes for snapshot while using my dSLR so I try not…

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  3. Robert Cozzi says:
    288 of 295 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Great photos, great video, somewhat difficult to use., October 16, 2011
    Robert Cozzi (North Aurora, IL USA) –

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange) (Camera)

    I tend to replace my point-n-shoot about every 3 years. I normally shoot a Nikon D90 but last year upgraded to a D7000.

    [UPDATE Feb 2012] The original camera was replaced by Nikon since it failed on the 2nd use in water. This one worked through our Caribbean holiday for 4 full days before it started overheating and would not shut off. It stayed on until the battery drained. Leaving it “sit overnight” and then removing and recharging the battery got it working again, however I could feel the heat the longer it was in use.

    The disappointing thing is this camera takes such great photos and now that we got it to work underwater, we know it takes fairly good underwater photos and video. But there’s something wrong with either its design or the manufactured batch that we received. Had it too long to return to Amazon for a refund, so I’m probably going to send it a 2nd time back to Nikon. Note their repair service is great, but you have to be proactive and follow up or your repair/replacement will just sit there until you call them and ask for a status update. Once I did that after two weeks of hearing nothing and no status changes they said they’d check and the replacement was shipped out the next day.

    I took it to the Bahamas in order to test out the underwater capabilities. I also took along the D90 for “good” photos. After some fumbling with the crappy menu system, (its just me) I found that the AW100 photos were at least as good as the D90. The default color settings were wonderful. The video was better than expected above water, and much better than the Kodak PlaySport below water. The still photos (above water) were so good in fact, that I left the D90 in the hotel room safe for the rest of the trip.

    It has a 16Megapixel sensor that is back-wired. This moves the connections to the rear of the sensor which supposedly gives less noise and lower-light sensitivity. My testing at night showed this to be true for me.

    The bad things about it: The buttons are VERY touchy, the “use it in the snow with big gloves on” feature is a bit goofy, but then I haven’t used it in the snow.

    The battery life is no where near as good a any CANON point and shoot I’ve owned, but with the GPS off it was acceptable.

    Speaking of the GPS, what a cool features. Not only do you geo-tag your photos, after you take a picture, it shows you the POI (point of interest) aka, the name of your location right on the screen. Not sure how that translates into the photo’s meta data yet, but hopeful it will.

    All-in-all I really don’t care for the menu structure which is rather limited and requires that you be in a specific MODE in order to change a setting. This is just silly IMHO.
    But the photo and video quality is about the best I’ve seen to date. So if you’re looking for a simply camera, keep looking, but if you’re reasonably comfortable fumbling with context menus, this may be the best imaging camera on the market today.

    People are asking why “3 stars”? Because the controls are VERY touchy. While the camera image quality is beyond what I would ever have expected, the controls are difficult to use because they are so sensitive. Making use annoying.

    WATER PROOFING FAILED: On my second trip to the Bahamas with the camera this month, it failed as soon as I hit the water. It was working fine for the two months that I’ve owned it, and was even working on the Beach. But then when I went into the water, it worked for a few minutes and then DEAD… Since it is more than 30 days old, I am sending to Nikon Service for repairs. If it comes back fine, I won’t post again, but it something happens, I’ll update this review again. With the U.S. holiday coming up and the timing of it being returned, I really don’t expect to see it for at least 3 weeks.

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