Nikon Coolpix W100 Review

November 17, 2016 | Amy Davies | Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon Coolpix W100 is a new tough waterproof camera which is designed towards “family use”. It is simple to operate, and doesn’t have too many controls to change. It is dustproof, waterproof down to 10 metres, shockproof from heights of 1.8m and freeze proof down to -10 Celsius. It has a 13.2 megapixel sensor and a 3x optical zoom, as well as a digital “fine” zoom. Like a lot of current Nikon cameras, it is compatible with the Snapbridge app. This means that the camera maintains a low power Bluetooth link with your phone, automatically uploading any photos that you take to your phone ready to be shared on social networking sites. The camera also has Wi-Fi and NFC. There are five different colour ways you can get the Nikon Coolpix W100 in, including the blue version which was sent to us for review. The Nikon Coolpix W100 retails for £119.99.

Ease of Use

The Nikon Coolpix W100, like other cameras in this line from Nikon before it, has a very blocky and child-like design. That’s not a negative criticism, as it’s designed to appeal to the whole family, and be a camera that you can take on holidays, trips and so on, which everybody can use.

To that end, it has been designed to be as simple to use as possible, with large, easy to press buttons. Having large and well-defined buttons also makes the camera easier to use when underwater, or, when using gloves or anything which might make smaller buttons more fiddly to access.

On the top of the Nikon Coolpix W100 is an on/off button, which you need to hold down for a couple of seconds to switch on. Then you’ll see that there are two large buttons, one of which records video, and the other is the shutter release for still images. These buttons are on opposite ends of the top of the camera and can be easily reached when holding the camera with both hands. If you’re using the camera with just one hand, the stills button is easier to reach, which makes sense.

When you switch the Nikon Coolpix W100 on you’ll be greeted with “waterproofing precautions”. This guides you through how to make sure that water doesn’t get into the camera when you’re using it underwater or in bad weather. The battery compartment requires a two-step unlocking process to help make sure you don’t accidentally open it underwater, or when foreign matter may get inside the battery compartment.

Nikon Coolpix A100
Front of the Nikon Coolpix W100

There aren’t lots of different shooting modes to use with this camera, again because it has been designed to be as simple to use as possible. There are four buttons along the left hand side of the camera which you can use to make all of your changes.

The buttons correspond with icons on the screen, which change depending on which area of the camera you’re working in. So, when you’re coming from the main shooting screen, the bottom button will access settings, the second from bottom button will allow you to change scene mode, the second from top button will switch on the flash or the timer, while the top button takes you back to ‘standard’ shooting mode, if, for example you’ve switched to a different scene mode.

If you press the scene mode button, you’ll now see that all of the buttons have different controls. For example, the bottom button gives you the opportunity to ‘change colours’ (which means adjust brightness, saturation or create a selective colour effect). The second to bottom button is ‘decorate’, which means you can add a frame, while the the second from top button gives you different scene options.

Again, there’s not a huge amount of scenes to work with, but one you might find you use reasonably regularly is ‘shoot close-ups’, which is essentially switching on macro focusing, and you may also use the ‘shoot underwater’ scene mode if you plan on taking the camera underwater too. Often the top button acts as ‘back’ button allowing you to get back to the main screen.

Nikon Coolpix A100
Rear of the Nikon Coolpix W100

In the settings menu, you won’t find anything too extensive - for example it’s not possible to change advanced settings such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO and so on. Instead, you can do some fun things such as change the camera’s sounds (you could, for example, choose a bird sound rather than a conventional ‘click’ for the shutter release). You can also choose different looks for how the menu appears, making it appeal more perhaps to younger users.

Under camera settings you’ll find ‘network settings’, which is where you can set up the camera to work with Snapbridge. It’s very simple to set up the initial connection with your phone once you have the Snapbridge app. You can have it set up so that the camera automatically resizes and sends images across just after you take them so that it’s ready to go, rather than having to go through the hassle of connecting the camera via Wi-Fi every time you want to transfer an image across. It’s a very useful tool that is great for those family and holiday shots that you want to share quickly and without hassle.

To the right hand side of the screen is a four way navigational pad. The up and down keys act to activate the zoom when in shooting mode. It’s not the quickest zoom mechanism on the market, but considering it’s only a 3x optical zoom, that’s not too much of a problem. If you push the up arrow further when it reaches the full optical limit (which you’ll see when the bar on screen turns blue) then you can also use the digital zoom. The right and left arrows only have a use when you’re in playback mode and you want to flick between the pictures that you have taken. The playback button is found on the rear of the camera towards the bottom.

Nikon Coolpix A100
The Nikon Coolpix W100 In-hand

When you’re in playback, you have a few options. You can add effects, frames, and create photo albums from your images. You can even record sounds to go along with an image. You can rate images by giving it a crown or a rosette.

The screen is just 2.7 inches, which is pretty small by most modern camera’s standards. It also has just a 230k-dot resolution, which is also quite low and doesn’t reveal the best detail possible. It can sometimes be quite difficult to see the scene in front of you if you position the screen in an awkward position, which is a particular shame when it’s underwater.

The Nikon Coolpix W100 can be reasonably slow to use, taking some time to process images before allowing you to shoot another one, or view them in playback. In good light, focusing is reasonably quick and accurate, but if your subject is quite close the camera might struggle. Switching on the close-up mode makes things a bit easier, but there can still be times when a false positive is displayed.

Image Quality

In good, bright light, the Nikon Coolpix W100 is capable of producing some pleasing images. However, as soon as the light drops even a little, images start to become a little painterly in appearance. The image quality from this camera is certainly no better than the average modern smartphone, which is a little disappointing considering its a proper camera in its own right.

Colours in bright light can be good, with a natural vibrance which look great - and if your main intention for the Nikon Coolpix W100 is to take quick snaps while on a beach holiday or family outing, then you shouldn’t be too disappointed.

Automatic white balance can be a little confused by certain conditions, with overcast days producing a slightly yellowish tint, and a warmer than natural appearance for images taken under artificial lighting.

In more positive news, the flash produces quite natural-looking portraits, while images taken underwater (especially if you switch on the underwater mode) look reasonably good - again you’re going to want it not to be too dark though.

The fact that everything is automatic will be frustrating if the Nikon Coolpix W100 gets it wrong, but of course it’s arguable that the target audience of this camera wouldn’t want to change settings anyway.

Focal Range

The Nikon Coolpix W100’s 3x zoom lens achieves a maximum wide-angle focal length equivalent to 30mm, and can zoom in to 90mm (in 35mm camera terms).






The Nikon Coolpix W100’s lens will focus as close as 5cm from your subject when the lens is at maximum wide-angle.




The Nikon Coolpix W100’s flash has four settings when shooting in standard Auto mode: Auto, Auto with red-eye reduction, Fill flash & Slow sync. Shooting a white surface from a distance of 1.5m shows the flash provides even illumination with the lens zoomed in, though some minor vignetting is visible in the wide-angle shot.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (30mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (30mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (90mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (90mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

With the flash is set to Fill Flash, red-eye is fairly obvious, but it’s just about eliminated by switching to Auto with red-eye reduction mode.

Flash Off


Flash On


Digital Filters

The Nikon Coolpix W100 offers 5 filter effects, all of which are previewed live and recorded at full resolution.

filter1.JPG filter2.JPG
filter3.JPG filter4.JPG

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon Coolpix W100 camera, which were all taken using the 13 megapixel JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Please note that this 23 second movie is 51.7Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon Coolpix A100

Front of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Side of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Side of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix W100 / Image Displayed

Nikon Coolpix A100

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix W100 / Main Menu

Nikon Coolpix A100

Rear of the Nikon Coolpix W100 / Turned On

Nikon Coolpix A100

Top of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Bottom of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Side of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Side of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Front of the Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix A100

Front of the Nikon Coolpix W100


Oddly enough, the main selling point of the Nikon Coolpix W100 is not really how good it is at taking pictures. 

The point of it is to allow you to take pictures when perhaps your other camera (or phone) is hidden away from the perils of water, being dropped, dust and so on. It’s also very easy to use for anybody - and that includes children - with large buttons and simple menu systems. 

While phones these days are starting to feature waterproofing technology, you may still want something which you can chuck about in your bag, or across the sand, and not worry too much about damaging (or losing, being as the camera is a lot cheaper than the average smartphone). 

It’s a shame not to have a slightly better performance in terms of image quality though, especially when it comes to anything other than brilliant light. The Nikon Coolpix W100 is a good family camera yes, but don’t expect to want to use it in every situation that your family might encounter. 

Another problem is the screen, which makes it quite difficult to compose images from some awkward angles, which can be particularly problematic if the camera is underwater and you are not - for example if you were photographing near the coastline. 

That said, for just over £100 the Nikon Coolpix W100 represents good value for money. You can take family shots and videos without worrying about draining your phone’s battery, and it can be passed around from family member to family member for everybody to take their own memories of the occasion. 

Having SnapBridge on a camera like this is a great idea, as it means you can quickly upload shots you have taken on it quickly and easily - which is great when you’re on holiday and want to show off your latest adventures. 

3 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 3
Features 3
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 2.5
Value for money 3

Main Rivals

Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon Coolpix W100.

Canon PowerShot D30

The Canon PowerShot D30 is an action compact camera that's waterproof to an impressive 25m, as well as being dust, freeze and shock proof. The Canon D30 also offers12 megapixels, a 5x zoom, 1080p HD video, built-in GPS and a 3-inch screen. Read our in-depth Canon PowerShot D30 review now...

Fujifilm FinePix XP90

The Fujifilm FinePix XP90 is a tough water, freeze, shock and dust proof compact camera. The XP90 offers a 16.4 million pixel 1/2.3 inch BSI-CMOS sensor, built-in wi-fi, 10fps burst shooting, 1080i HD movies, a 5x zoom lens and a 3 inch LCD screen. Read our Fujifilm FinePix XP90 review now...

Olympus TG-4

The Olympus TG-4 is a new flagship water, freeze, shock and dust proof compact camera for 2015. Boasting a 25-100mm equivalent f/2.0-4.9 lens, the 16 megapixel TG-4 also offers Raw file support, built-in wi-fi and GPS connectivity, 1080p HD movies, a 4x zoom lens and a 3 inch OLED screen. Read our Olympus TG-4 review to find out what this tough camera is capable of...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT25

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT25 is an affordable freeze, shock, water and dust proof camera. The Panasonic FT25 features a 5x zoom lens, 16 megapixel sensor and HD 720p video recording. Read our expert Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT25 review now...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 is a new freeze, shock, water and dust proof camera. The well-appointed Panasonic FT5 also features built-in GPS, wi-fi and NFC functionality, a compass, altimeter and barometer, 4.6x zoom, 1920x1080 full-HD movie recording and a 16 megapixel sensor. Read our Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5 review to find out if this is the best do-it-all camera for your family....

Ricoh WG-5 GPS

The Ricoh WG-5 GPS is a new shock, freeze, dust, water and crush proof compact camera. The Ricoh WG-5 GPS offers a 16 megapixel Backside Illumination CMOS sensor, a 4x zoom lens with f/2 aperture, Full HD movie recording and built-in LED macro lights. Available for £259.99 / $379.95, read our in-depth Ricoh WG-5 GPS review now...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon Coolpix W100 from around the web. »

The Nikon Coolpix W100 is waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 1.8m, features a 13.2 megapixel sensor, full HD video recording and a 3x optical zoom lens. The camera is designed to be easy to use with large buttons, and a simple user interface, and with built in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth it's quick and easy to transfer photos to your smartphone.
Read the full review »


    • Type

    • Compact digital camera

    • Effective pixels

    • 13.2 million (Image processing may reduce the number of effective pixels.)

    • Image sensor

    • 1/3.1-in. type CMOS, Total pixels: approx. 14.17 million

    • Lens

    • NIKKOR lens with 3x optical zoom

    • Focal length

    • 4.1 to 12.3 mm (angle of view equivalent to that of 30 to 90 mm lens in 35 mm [135] format)

    • F-number

    • f/3.3 to 5.9

    • Lens construction

    • 6 elements in 5 groups

    • Magnification

    • Up to 4× (angle of view equivalent to that of approx. 360 mm lens in 35 mm [135] format)

    • Vibration reduction

    • Electronic VR (movies)

    • Motion blur reduction

    • Electronic VR (still images)

    • Autofocus

    • Contrast-detect AF

    • Focus range

    • [W]: Approx. 5 cm (2 in.) to infinity, [T]: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity, Shoot close-ups, Photograph food, Shoot under water, Mirror, Add a bubble effect, Add a neon effect, Add a cartoon effect, Take soft pictures, Create a diorama effect, Shoot a movie miniature, Highlight colors: Approx. 5 cm (2 in.) (wide-angle position) to infinity, (All distances measured from center of front surface of the protective glass)

    • AF-area mode

    • Center, face detection, target finding AF

    • Monitor

    • 6.7 cm (2.7-in.) diagonal, Approx. 230k-dot, TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating and 5-level brightness adjustment

    • Frame coverage

    • Approx. 96% horizontal and vertical (compared to actual picture)

    • Frame coverage (playback mode)

    • Approx. 100% horizontal and vertical (compared to actual picture)

    • Storage media

    • SD, SDHC, SDXC, Internal memory (approx. 22 MB)

    • File system

    • DCF and Exif 2.3 compliant

    • Storage file formats

    • Still images: JPEG Voice messages: WAV Movies: MP4 (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: AAC stereo)

    • Image size (pixels)

    • 13 megapixels [4160 x 3120], 4 megapixels [2272 x 1704], 2 megapixels [1600 x 1200]

    • ISO sensitivity

    • ISO 125 to 1600

    • Exposure metering

    • Matrix, center-weighted (digital zoom less than 2x), spot (digital zoom 2x or more)

    • Exposure control

    • Programmed auto exposure and exposure compensation (–2.0 to +2.0 EV in steps of 1 EV)

    • Shutter type

    • Mechanical and CMOS electronic shutter

    • Shutter speed

    • 1/2000 to 1 s, 25 s (Add light trails in Choose a style is set to Night sky)

    • Self-timer

    • 10 s, smile timer 5 s (self-portrait timer)

    • Aperture

    • Electronically-controlled ND filter (–2 AV) selection

    • Aperture range

    • 2 steps (f/3.3 and f/6.6 [W])

    • Built-in flash

    • Yes

    • Flash range (approx.)

    • [W]: 0.3 to 3.1 m (1 ft to 10 ft), [T]: 0.6 to 1.7 m (2 ft to 5 ft 6 in.)

    • Flash control

    • TTL auto flash with monitor preflashes

    • USB

    • Micro-USB connector, Hi-Speed USB, (do not use any USB cable other than the UC-E21) Supports Direct Print (PictBridge)

    • HDMI output

    • HDMI micro connector (Type D)

    • Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) standards

    • IEEE 802.11b/g (standard wireless LAN protocol)

    • Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) operating frequency

    • 2412 to 2462 MHz (1 to 11 channels)

    • Wi-Fi (Wireless LAN) security

    • Open system, WPA2-PSK

    • Bluetooth standards

    • Bluetooth Specification Version 4.1

    • Waterproof

    • JIS/IEC protection class 8 (IPX8) equivalent (under our testing conditions). Capacity to shoot pictures underwater up to a depth of 10 m (32 ft) and for 60 minutes.

    • Dustproof

    • JIS/IEC protection class 6 (IP6X) equivalent (under our testing conditions)

    • Shockproof

    • Cleared our testing conditions1 compliant with MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5-Shock

    • Supported languages

    • Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese

    • Power sources

    • One EN-EL19 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (included), EH-62G AC Adapter (available separately)

    • Charging time

    • Approx. 1 h 40 min (when using EH-73P / EH-73PCH Charging AC Adapter and when no charge remains)

    • Battery life2

    • Approx. 220 shots when using EN-EL19

    • Actual battery life for movie recording2

    • Approx. 1 h 30 min when using EN-EL193

    • Tripod socket

    • 1/4 (ISO 1222)

    • Dimensions (W x H x D)

    • Approx. 109.5 x 67.0 x 38.0 mm (4.4 x 2.7 x 1.5 in.), (excluding projections)

    • Weight

    • Approx. 177 g (6.3 oz), (including battery and memory card)

    • Operating environment - temperature

    • –10°C to +40°C (14°F to 104°F) (for land use), 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F) (for underwater use)

    • Operating environment - humidity

    • 85% or less (no condensation)

    • Supplied accessories

    • Camera Strap, EN-EL19 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, EH-73P Charging AC Adapter4, UC-E21 USB Cable, Brush

  • 1. Dropped from a height of 1.8 m (5.9 ft) onto a surface of 5 cm (1 in.) thick plywood (changes in appearance, such as paint peeling off and deformation of the drop shock portion and waterproof performance are not subject to the test). These tests do not guarantee that the camera will be free from damage or trouble under all conditions.

  • 2. Battery life does not reflect the use of SnapBridge and may vary with the conditions of use, including temperature, the interval between shots, and the length of time that menus and images are displayed.

  • 3. Individual movie files cannot exceed 4 GB in size or 29 minutes in length. Recording may end before this limit is reached if camera temperature becomes elevated.

  • 4. A plug adapter is included if the camera was purchased in a country or region that requires a plug adapter. The shape of the plug adapter varies with the country or region of purchase.

  • All measurements are performed in conformity with Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) standards or guidelines.

  • Nikon will not be held liable for any errors this manual may contain.

  • The appearance of this product and its specifications are subject to change without notice.

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