Nikon has made a strong debut with its first All Weather tough compact camera. The Nikon Coolpix AW100 boasts a very desirable automated feature set, housed and protected in a simple, clean-looking camera body.

In terms of features, price and performance, the Nikon Coolpix AW100 hangs towards the top of the rugged camera tree.

If you're looking for even more protection, you'll need to consider the likes of the cheaper Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT3 - which is waterproof to 12 metres and shockproof to 2 metres. However, the zoom range is shorter (28-128mm equivalent), and it's almost 20 grams heavier.

We liked

The Nikon Coolpix AW100 offers no-nonsense styling and shooting and gets a thumbs up for its blend of useful tech, entertaining features and overall picture quality.

We disliked

The controls are fiddly, the zoom's not particularly fast, and judging exposure is fairly imprecise. There are also cheaper GPS-packing rugged compact cameras available that offer a broadly similar range of features.

Final verdict

There are always compromises to be made with image quality when you're looking for the convenience of a camera that you can play rough with. While the Nikon Coolpix AW100 has its issues, it is capable of delivering colourful, attractive images for its class.