Expert Review of Nikon Coolpix AW100 Black
One of the most famous waterproof camera in the world today is definitely Nikon Coolpix AW100. Not only is it waterproof but also shockproof and cold-resistant. This is Nikon’s first attempt into commonly called “TOUGH” market which is meant for all the physically strong and special cameras, mostly involving waterproof and shockproof devices, and it has added the freezeproof feature to Nikon Coolpix AW100 which will work very well even under -10 degree Celsius. Leaving alone the physical specifications and talking about the photography. Nikon Coolpix AW100 sports a 16 megapixel back illuminated CMOS sensor, a 5x, 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens with lens-shift vibration reduction, 3-inch 460K-dot LCD monitor, full 1080p HD video with stereo sound, 3fps burst shooting, built-in GPS, a world map display and an electronic compass. The Nikon Coolpix AW100 is available in black, orange or camouflage. So, Nikon Coolpix AW100 is waterproof to the depth of 10 metres, shockproof at the height of 1.5m and freezeproof at a temperature down to -10 degree Celsius. This is a wonderful device, but not quite as good as Panasonic DMC FT3, which gives 2 metres to Nikon Coolpix AW100’s waterproof range. Also Nikon AW100 is not officially dust-proof too, something that Panasonic DMC-FT3 offers on paper.
Design and Build Quality
Being more of a “physical” camera, the design and build quality of Nikon Coolpix AW100 is very different a normal compact camera, right?! But at the first glance Nikon Coolpix AW100 looks very much like a Nikon Coolpix regular compact device, it is the styling that differs. Nikon makes AW100 much more subtle than some more chunky all-action packed waterproof cameras in the market. At 22.8mm, it is actually more slim that many compact cameras in general, being all water-proof, shock-proof and freeze-proof, truly efficient, isn’t it?!
Focus and Face Detection
Being a physical device, you don’t really expect it to excel in all the soft areas and focusing and face detection is one of the softest of features that a camera can offer. Nikon Coolpix AW100 also offers three autofocusing modes, out of which one has undergone some serious betterment in technology. Talking about face detection there's Face AiAF which automatically switches between a nine-area AF system and face detection if one or more human faces are recognised in the frame. Also Nikon Coolpix forte Tracking AF, lets you place crosshairs over the desired subject, then once you press the left button the S100 will track the subject back and forth and around the frame, or in a simple language, if non living things had faces, this is the AF for them.
Lens and Image Stabilization
There are very few types of cameras where lens is not the headline feature, and the TOUGH camera region is one of them. The lens on Nikon Coolpix AW100 is located on the top-right corner when the device is viewed front on, while shielded by a clear lens cover which is open when the camera is turned on or off. The lens of this device features 5x zoom which is unbranded, so it does not really extend upon zooming as it is stacked. The device also features a focal length equivalent of 35mm and the range varying from 28mm to 140mm. When it comes to aperture, it is not really fast, the brightest is f/3.9 and at the wide end f/4.8 at full telephoto.
Screen and Menus
The rear of Nikon AW100 doesn’t look all muscle at all. It looks like simple compact with almost the entire rear covered by a 3-inch TFT LCD screen which flaunts a really high resolution of 460K dots. This screen also features features Nikon’s Clear Color Display technology which helps to minimize reflections in bright sunlight and underwater, and in practice this did make the screen easier to see than the majority of compacts. To the right of this LCD are 12 buttons, which start from up top, a thumb-controlled rocker switch for zooming the 5x lens out and in, a one-touch movie record button, a pair of Shooting Mode and Playback buttons, a square navigation pad with an OK button at its centre, and Menu and Delete buttons underneath.
Nikon Coolpix AW100 runs on a dedicated lithium-ion battery, and records images as well as videos on SD / SDHC / SDXC cards. As already mentioned, he battery and card share a common compartment with the HDMI and AV-Out ports, whose lockable, sealed door is found on the right of the camera (looking from the rear). The quoted number of images that can be captured on a single charge is a rather average 250, though the actual figure may vary considerably with the amount of flash, GPS and zoom usage that you opt for. On the bottom of Nikon Coolpix AW100 is a plastic tripod socket that's centrally located in line with the LCD screen.
Nikon Coolpix AW100 is one of the few Coolpix models to feature a Full 1080p HD video mode, complete with stereo sound. You can set the set the movie quality to 1920x1080p (two quality levels are available), 1280x720p, 960x540 or 640x480, all at 30fps. Four further options, HS 240fps and HS 120fps, HS 60fps and HS 15fps allow you to film in slow or fast motion. The video features themselves are rather basic: you can uswe the 5x optical zoo, choose from single or full-time autofocusing, turn the movie light on or off, switch the macro mode on or off, and turn wind reduction on or off. You cannot manually set white balance, gain or exposure compensation, neither is there an AE lock function. The clips are compressed using the Quicktime codec and stored in a MOV container.
A waterproof, shock-proof, freeze-proof device featuring 1080p HD movie recording, it is only possible by the shift to CMOS sensor from CCD sensor. Nikon Coolpix AW100 features 16 Megapixel 1/2.3 inch RGB CMOS sensor.
This durable camera is effective to a depth of up to 30 feet and has a useful GPS tracking feature.
The sensitive buttons can cause problems when you're in a hurry to capture a shot.