Nikon Coolpix AW100 review

Nikon's waterproof and shockproof with GPS

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As you'd hope, for a camera designed to appeal to active photographers, the Nikon Coolpix AW100 offers quick focusing and shooting speed.

The AF tracking is fast, and the high-speed continuous shooting mode is capable of capturing up to three full-res images at a speed of 7.1 frames per second (although you'll need plenty of light in order to hit this). We did find, though, that the autofocus struggled for acquisition when lighting conditions were less than ideal.

For a weatherproofed camera, the Nikon Coolpix AW100 is capable of decent picture quality. As you'd expect with a 16MP compact camera, noise is an issue - even with the type of backlit CMOS sensor Nikon has used here to improve speed and low light ability.

The lowest ISO setting is 125, and even then details can look a little gritty. It's not enough to be a problem though, unless you're pixel-peeping.

During our field tests, sharpness dropped a little at ISO 200, although it wasn't until ISO 800 that there was an intrusive increase in noise and smeared detail that results from noise reduction. Thankfully, the Auto ISO setting won't select a sensitivity higher than ISO 800, while Fixed Range Auto sticks from 125-400. At ISO 1600 colours and contrast weaken markedly, and by ISO 3200 clean edges and fine details are lost.

In terms of exposure and colour balance, the Nikon Coolpix AW100 put in a good performance. The 3-inch screen has a slightly warm colour balance and is very bright, which helps when shooting in direct sunlight or murkier conditions underwater.

However, it does mean that exposures can appear more generous than when they're analysed on a computer.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyCoolpix
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Optical Zoom5x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameNikon
DurabilityShock Resistant, Freeze Proof, Water Proof
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, QuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)178 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height64.9 mm
Width110.1 mm
Depth22.8 mm
Focal Length5 mm to 25 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesManual, Auto
ManufacturerNikon Corporation
Product ModelAW100
Product NameCoolpix AW100 Compact Camera
Product LineCoolpix
Exposure Control

Programmed Auto Exposure

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberVMA894E1
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Built to capture the action on land or in the water, the COOLPIX AW100 is as ready for an adventure as you are. Waterproof, shockproof and freeze-proof, it is the perfect camera for active pursuits - be it winter, spring, summer or fall. The built-in GPS system, electronic compass and world map mean you can geo-tag your images, orient yourself in new places and track your route when on the move. The highly sensitive 16 megapixel CMOS sensor and dedicated low light modes combine to deliver stunning results under bright sunlight, at night or deep down under the sea.

Package Contents
  • Coolpix AW100 Compact Camera
  • Camera Strap AN-CP19
  • Audio Video Cable EG-CP16
  • Battery Charger MH-65P
  • Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
  • USB Cable UC-E6
  • Filter Adapter UR-E23
Limited Warranty1 Year