Nikon Coolpix AW100 Review

November 16, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |


Looking much like a regular digital camera, the new Nikon Coolpix AW100 can withstand almost everything that life can throw at it, underwater, in the cold, from a moderate height, although it's not dust- or crush-proof like some rivals. The inclusion of a suite of sophisticated GPS features, which doesn't affect battery-life too adversely, and the innovative Action Control feature makes the AW100 a great travel companion. Sure, just like a regular digital camera, it may not produce the best images and it does cost substantially more than most compacts, but the AW100 is still an assured first stab at an all-action model.

The camera element of the AW100 only produces so-so image quality, being geared more towards point-and-shoot users who will mainly use it in good lighting conditions. Noise at slow ISO speeds, light fall-off and inconsistent sharpness at the edge of the frame, and a poor night mode contribute to merely adequate photographs from the AW100. Video performance is much better thanks to the full HD 1080p mode with stereo sound, slow- and fast-motion options, the ability to use the optical zoom during recording and the economical MOV format, although the video features on offer are still somewhat basic.

An asking price of £329.99 / $379.95 is a lot to ask for a 16 megapixel camera, but it is comparable with the AW100's main action rivals, so as ever with such a specialized camera, you really need to decide exactly how much mileage you'll get out of the extra weather-proof and GPS features. If they fit your particular bill, then we can definitely recommend the new Nikon Coolpix AW100.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 3.5
Value for money 3.5