Nikon Coolpix AW100 Review – The All-Proof Digital Camera
Nikon Coolpix AW100 is not your regular digital camera. The device is more appropriate for outdoor people who like to practice land and underwater sports because it is water resistant, shock resistant and freeze-proof. If you are looking for a stylish and elegant DSLR, this camera will probably not appeal to your tastes.
As any other tech reviewer would do upon seeing the terms “water-proof”, the first thing that me and my colleagues did when the camera arrived in our hands was to submerge it in water. The manufacturer’s description claims the camera lasts up to a depth of 33 feet, but since we didn’t have the possibility to recreate the exact conditions, we simply dropped the AW100 in a tank of water and forgot about it for about 12 hours. Surprisingly, the device was still functional after all this time.
- Highly resistant to rough conditions
- Good price
- Weak performance in low light
- Rugged design
Water is not the only element that this little fellow can take a stand against. According to the official product description, the camera can resist far worse conditions as it was shock proofed to 5 feet, and freeze proofed to 14 degrees Fahrenheit. While we did not subject the AW100 to such rough conditions, we might have “accidentally” dropped it on the floor and stored in the fridge. In spite of all, the Coolpix was stubborn enough to continue functioning, even though some options might have been slowed down after the freezing experiment.
As you would expect it, the Coolpix AW100 is a rugged device that may disappoint professional photographers looking for highly advanced features. Nevertheless, the 16 Megapixel sensor does a pretty good job in full sunlight, so most of the pics we have taken turned out great. The underwater and the indoor images were a little bit too soft because of the low light conditions.
For better results, we recommend you to film underwater scenes as the video capabilities are much better than the photo ones. The camera records Full HD (1080p) movies with stereo sound, so you will get plenty of relaxing sea images and sounds. Since potential customers are likely to travel a lot, the manufacturer has also foreseen the AW100 with a built-in GPS receiver that allows users to geotag the location of their pics.
As previously stated, the design of the camera is rather raw; its dimensions are 4.4 x 2.6 x 0.9 inches and 6.3 ounces. The controls seem to be crammed in the small space available around the 3-inch LCD, but luckily, the camera’s options can be modified by simply tapping the device, so you don’t have to worry that you will press the wrong button.
After all these tests, we have reached the conclusion that Nikon Coolpix AW100 is a good product, but only for outdoor sports lovers. Customers, who need an all-proof camera should consider buying it now that its price has dropped below $300.