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Nikon Coolpix AW100

Tough-style 16-megapixel digital camera with 5X optical zoom (Blue)

17 Reviews

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Item # 054AW100L

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Overview

Our take on the Nikon Coolpix AW100

For all your adventures off the beaten path
When you're hanging from a rope on the side of a cliff, you need a camera that compensates for a shaky hand. This camera's image stabilization keeps your shots steady (even when you're not). Motion detector tracks subjects on the move and adjusts the camera's settings so they stay in focus. And if you want to map where you've been in the wilderness, the camera has a built-in GPS so you can create a travelogue of your adventures.

Go to extremes — and bring back pictures
Now you can get Nikon image quality from a rugged camera built for adventure. The Coolpix AW100 is waterproof, freezeproof, and designed to take minor spills without batting an eye — but it also has a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor that'll give you sharp images in low light. That's handy when you're shooting close-ups of coral formations 33-feet underwater.

For all your adventures off the beaten path
When you're hanging from a rope on the side of a cliff, you need a camera that compensates for a shaky hand. This camera's image stabilization keeps your shots steady (even when you're not). Motion detector tracks subjects on the move and adjusts the camera's settings so they stay in focus. And if you want to map where you've been in the wilderness, the camera has a built-in GPS so you can create a travelogue of your adventures.

If you prefer to make viral videos of snowboarding down the mountain, or cave diving, the camera shoots full HD movies with stereo sound. And the action control feature makes it easy to adjust specific camera settings (even when you're wearing gloves), and gives you one button to touch when you're ready to start recording.

First off, only 4 stars because I did not get to test all of the camera's options. Camping for a week at the end of December in northern Minnesota with no tents, every time I went to use the camera, it worked and the pics were very nice. Even getting to -15 degrees

Bob, Long Island, NY

Featured Video:

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (blue)
  • EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion battery (3.7V/1050mAh) with plastic terminal cover
  • MH-65 Battery Charger (DC output: 4.2V / 0.7A)
  • 6.5' AC power cord
  • 5' USB cable (UC-E6) with a USB type-A connector on one end and a proprietary connector on other end
  • 5' AV cable (EG-CP16) with a composite video/stereo audio RCA connector on one end and a proprietary connector on other end
  • Filter Adapter (UR-E23)
  • Filter Adapter cord
  • Adjustable neck strap
  • Nikon ViewNX2 Installer Software on CD-ROM
  • Reference Manual on CD-ROM
  • Quick Start Guide (Eng/Span/Fren/Port)
  • Nikon Digital Imaging Limited Warranty information
  • "my Picturetown.com" sheet
  • "For Your Safety" (2 sheets)
  • AC Cord Requirements (for MH-65)
  • Error sheet
    Specifications:
    • 16-megapixel CMOS image sensor
    • 28mm wide-angle lens
    • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
    • 5X optical zoom (4X digital zoom/20X total zoom)
    • 3" LCD screen
    Special Features:
    • tough enclosure is:
      • waterproof up to 33 feet
      • shockproof — withstands drops from up to 5 feet
      • freezeproof down to 14°F
    • capture action sequences at up to 3 frames per second, at full resolution
    • built-in GPS tags your photos with location information for fast identification
    • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
    • advanced VR image stabilizing minimizes blurs caused by a shaky hand
    • Action control feature makes it easy to adjust settings even with gloves on
    Connections and Dimensions:
    • mini HDMI output (HDMI cable not included)
    • high-speed USB interface
    • 4-7/16"W x 2-5/8"H x 15/16"D
    • weight (with battery and media): 6.3 oz.
    • warranty: 1 year
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
    Reviews

    Nikon Coolpix AW100 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (17 Reviews)
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    Details

    Hands-on research

    Features and Specs

    General
    LCD Screen Size 3"
    Adjustable-angle LCD No
    Wi-Fi No
    Touchscreen No
    Waterproof Yes
    GPS-enabled Yes
    Lens 35mm Equivalent 28-140mm
    Optical Zoom 5x
    Digital Zoom 4x
    Filter Diameter 40.5
    Manual Focusing No
    Manual Exposure No
    Built-in Flash Yes
    HDMI Output Mini
    Memory
    Internal Memory 83 MB
    Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
    Image
    Sensor Size 1/2.3" CMOS
    Megapixels 16
    Image Stabilization Optical
    Highest Resolution 4608 x 3456
    4K Video No
    Video Resolution 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720
    Dimensions
    Width (inches) 4-7/16
    Height (inches) 2-5/8
    Depth (inches) 0-15/16
    Weight With Battery (ounces) 6.3
    Warranty
    Parts Warranty 1 Year
    Labor Warranty 1 Year

    Product Research

    Features
    Play, Edit and Print Functions
    Battery Information
    Inputs and Outputs Notes
    Supplied Software

    Recording Features

    Rugged Design: The Nikon Coolpix AW100's rugged design protects the camera from the following extreme conditions:

    • Waterproof: Capacity to shoot pictures underwater up to a depth of 33 feet (10 meters) and for 60 minutes. (JIS/IEC protection class 8 (IPX8) equivalent)
    • Dust-proof: Protection against dust (JIS/IEC protection class 6 (IP6X))
    • Shock-proof: Capacity to withstand a drop of up to 5' (MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5 Shock)
    • Freeze-proof: Operating 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.

    Action Control: The Action Control feature lets you easily adjust specific camera settings, even with gloves on. The Action Control button, which activates the feature, is conveniently located on the left side of the camera. You can perform the functions by shaking the camera with your wrist in a single up/down or forward/backward stroke. Functions that can be performed include:

    • Shooting Mode: select Easy Auto Mode, Auto Mode, Beach, Snow, Landscape, or Underwater modes.
    • Start Movie Recording: Press the Action Control button to begin/end movie shooting.
    • Quick Playback: display images in full-frame playback mode
    • Current Position: Display the current GPS location on a map

    GPS: The camera has a built-in GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver, which allows you to record GPS data with your photographs. During shooting, GPS data is displayed in the monitor, including the current location by place name or its coordinates. The built-in GPS can track your progress with the included Nikon View NX2 software, or such online sites as Nikon's mypicturetown.com photo sharing site or Google Earth. The camera also has an electronic compass to help show you the way.

    Note: Because GPS data is received from overhead satellites, you must be in an outdoor location with relatively few obstructions in order for the GPS to work properly.

    3" LCD Monitor: The Coolpix AW100 has a 3" TFT LCD monitor featuring approximately 460,000 dots, an anti-reflective coating and a five-level brightness adjustment. The LCD monitor has approximately 98% horizontal and vertical coverage in the shooting mode and approximately 100% in playback mode. There is no separate viewfinder on the camera.

    Image Sensor: The Coolpix AW100 features a 1/2.3", high-density CMOS image sensor with a total pixel count of approximately 16.79-million pixels. The effective pixel count is 16.0-million.

    Optics: The Coolpix AW100 digital camera uses a Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens for superb image quality. Every aspect of the lens manufacturing process is controlled by Nikon. The Zoom-Nikkor ED lens is designed for the specific camera and image sensor combination. The Coolpix AW100 uses a 5x wide-angle optical zoom lens, that is equivalent to a 28-140mm lens in 35mm photography. Coupled with the 4x digital zoom, the camera's total zoom capability is 20x. The angle of view is equivalent to that of approximately 560mm lens (35mm format).

    Filter Adapter: The camera includes a snap-on Filter Adapter that attaches over the lens of the camera. The Filter Adapter allows you to attach a commercially-available 40.5mm filter, such as a polarizing filter or color filter. The Filter Adapter includes a cord for attaching it to the camera for storage.

    4-Way VR (Vibration Reduction) Stabilization: The Nikon Coolpix AW100 offers a 4-Way Vibration Reduction (VR) Stabilization System:

    • Hybrid VR Image Stabilization: Nikon's Hybrid VR Image Stabilization uses a combination of optical (lens shift) and electronic vibration reduction to compensate for the effects of camera shake. This produces clearer, sharper results in lower lighting or unsteady conditions.
    • Motion Detection: Motion Detection automatically detects moving subjects and adjusts the shutter speed and the ISO setting to compensate for camera shake and subject movement.
    • High ISO 3200: High ISO up to 3200 capability gives you sharper results when shooting in low light or capturing fast-moving subjects. This creates new opportunities to take sharper, more natural-looking photos in lower light conditions.
    • Best Shot Selector (BSS): Nikon's Best Shot Selector (BSS) automatically takes up to 10 shots while the shutter is pressed and then saves the sharpest image.

    File Formats: The Coolpix AW100 records still images in JPEG format. HD and SD movies are recorded in MOV format (Video: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Audio: AAC stereo). You have a choice of nine still image size options and five movie options (see chart below).

    Built-in Memory: The camera has a built-in 83 MB internal memory for storing still images and movies with sound.

    Recording Media: In addition to the built-in memory, images can be recorded onto SD, SDHC, or SDXC Memory cards. When an SD Memory card is inserted in the camera, the images are automatically recorded onto the card. When no card is inserted, the images automatically record to the internal memory. The camera can support 2 GB SD cards, SDHC cards from 4 GB to 32 GB, and SDXC cards over 32GB. The capacity of the internal memory and optional memory cards is as follows:

    Image Size/
    Resolution
    Image Quality
    (Compression Ratio)
    Number of Storable Images (approx.)
    Internal Memory
    83 MB
    SDHC Memory Card
    4 GB
    16M
    4608 x 3456
    High (1:4) 10 490
    Normal (1:8) 21 970
    12M
    4000 x 3000
    Normal (1:8) 28 1280
    8M
    3264 x 2448
    Normal (1:8) 42 1910
    5M
    2592 x 1944
    Normal (1:8) 65 2940
    3M
    2048 x 1536
    Normal (1:8) 102 4640
    PC
    1024 x 768
    Normal (1:8) 334 15000
    VGA
    640 x 480
    Normal (1:8) 593 24100
    16:9
    4608 x 2592
    Normal (1:8) 28 1290
    Movie Option Frame Rate Internal Memory
    83 MB
    SDHC Memory Card
    4 GB
    HD 1080p
    1920 x 1080
    30 fps (14 Mbps) 50 sec 35 min
    HD 1080p
    1920 x 1080
    30 fps (12 Mbps) 58 sec 40 min
    HD 720p
    1280 x 720
    30 fps (9 Mbps) 1 min 18 sec 55 min
    iFrame 540
    960 x 540
    30 fps (24 Mbps) 29 sec 20 min
    VGA
    640 x 480
    30 fps (3 Mbps) 3 min 53 sec 2 hrs 55 min

    Note: The maximum movie length for a single movie is 29 minutes or 4 GB file size, regardless of the amount of free space on the memory card.

    Shooting Modes: You can choose one of the following shooting modes:

    • Easy Auto Mode: The camera automatically selects the optimum scene mode for simple shooting: Portrait, Landscape, Night Portrait, Night Landscape, Close-Up, Backlighting, Underwater, or Other Scenes. All you have to do is frame the picture.
    • Scene Mode: You can manually or automatically select a scene mode with settings optimized for the shooting situation:
      • Portrait: Useful for photographs where you want the main subject to stand out clearly from the background.
      • Landscape: For vivid landscape shots that enhance outlines, colors, and contrast in such subjects as forests and skyscrapers.
      • Sports: For shooting sporting events; the camera captures a series of still images that allow you to clearly see detailed movements in a moving subject.
      • Night Portrait: For shots that provide natural balance between the main subject and the background when shooting portraits under low lighting.
      • Party/Indoor: Shots include details of the background behind the main subject, or to capture the effects of candlelight and other indoor background lighting.
      • Beach: Vividly captures the brightness of subjects such as beaches or sunlit expanses of water.
      • Snow: Vividly captures the brightness of subjects such as snow fields.
      • Sunset: Preserves deep hues seen in sunsets and sunrises.
      • Dusk/Dawn: Preserves the colors seen in the weak natural light before sunrise and after sunset.
      • Night Landscape: A slow shutter speed is used to produce stunning night landscapes.
      • Close Up: Used to capture vivid colors in close-up shots of flowers, insects and other small objects, with the background artistically blurred.
      • Food: Used when shooting cuisines.
      • Museum: Use indoors where flash photography is prohibited or in other settings in which you do not want to use flash.
      • Fireworks Show: Slow shutter speeds are used to capture the expanding burst of light from fireworks.
      • Black & White Copy: Provides clear pictures of text or drawings on a white board, business card or in other printed matter.
      • Backlighting: Use when light is coming from behind your subject or when your subject is in the shade but the background is brightly lit. You can use the HDR (high dynamic range) function when a bright backlight cause dark shadows on the subject.
      • Panorama Assist: Use to take a series of photographs that you will later join to form a single panoramic scene.
      • Pet Portrait: This mode is for taking pictures of dogs or cats; the camera detects the faces of dogs or cats and focuses on that face.
      • Underwater: This mode is for shooting underwater. The camera focuses on the subject in the center area of the frame.
    • Special Effects Mode: You can choose from the following six effects: Soft, Nostalgic, High-contrast Monochrome, High Key, Low Key, and Selective Color
    • Smart Portrait: If the camera detects smiling faces, the shutter is automatically released without pressing the shutter-release button (Smile Timer). You can use the Skin Softening feature to make facial skin tones softer.
    • Auto Mode: A "point-and-shoot" mode with some user adjustments to suit the shooting conditions and type of shot you want to capture.

    Continuous Shooting: In the continuous shooting mode, you can select in the menu from the following options:

    • Single: One picture is taken each time the shutter-release button is pressed.
    • Continuous H: Takes up to 3 pictures at a rate of about 7.1 frames per second while the button is pressed and held.
    • Continuous L: Takes up to 12 pictures at a speed of about 1.4 frames per second while the button is pressed and held.
    • Best Shot Selector: Camera captures up to 10 images while the shutter release is held down, and the sharpest image in the series is selected and saved.
    • Multi-shot 16: Camera takes 16 shots at about 30 fps and arranges them in a single image of 2560 x 1920.

    Movies: You can record movies by simply pressing the red movie-record button. Color tones, white balance, and other settings are the same as when you are taking pictures.

    Self-timer: The camera is equipped with a 10 second and 2 second timer for self-portraits. In addition, the camera can use face detection to detect human faces, and automatically release the shutter when a smile is detected (Smile Timer).

    AF Area Mode: You can select between the following AF Area Modes to determine where the camera focuses.

    • Face Priority: When the camera recognizes a face (front view only), the camera will focus on the face automatically. The camera can recognize up to 3 or 12 faces depending on shooting and exposure mode. This is the default setting.
    • Auto: The camera automatically selects the focus area (up to 9) containing the subject closest to the camera.
    • Manual: You can manually select one of 99 focus areas in the monitor. This method is handy when the intended subject is not positioned in the center of the frame, and is relatively still.
    • Center: The camera focuses on the subject in the center of the frame.
    • Subject Tracking Mode: For taking pictures of moving subjects. The camera moves the focus area automatically to track the registered subject within the frame.

    Macro Mode: Macro mode is used for taking pictures of objects as close as 0.4". The flash may be unable to light entire subject at distances less than 1 feet 8 inches.

    Focus Lock: The Focus Lock feature is used to focus on off-centered subjects in the frame while shooting in Center AF mode.

    AF-Assist Illuminator: If lighting is poor, the AF-assist illuminator may light to assist the focus operation when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway. The illuminator has a range of about 11' at the maximum wide-angle position and 6'-6" at the maximum telephoto position. You can turn this function on or off.

    Blink Warning Function: The Blink Warning function is available when you are shooting in Face Priority mode. When the camera detects that one or more human subjects may have blinked, the blink warning screen is displayed. The subject is framed by a yellow border, allowing you to check the picture and decide whether or not to take another picture.

    Exposure Compensation: You can alter the exposure from the value suggested by the camera, making pictures brighter or darker. You can adjust the exposure from -2.0 to +2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps.

    ISO Settings: Sensitivity is the measure of how quickly the camera reacts to light. The higher the sensitivity, the less light needed to make an exposure. The camera features the following ISO settings:

    • Auto: Sensitivity is set to ISO 125 when there is sufficient lighting, and raises the sensitivity to a maximum of ISO 800 when lighting is dim.
    • Fixed Range Auto: The camera automatically sets the sensitivity between ISO 125 and ISO 400.
    • Manual: Sensitivity is locked at the set value: ISO 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, or 3200.

    White Balance: You can set the White Balance to Auto, Daylight, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Cloudy, or Flash. You can also choose Preset White Balance and use a neutral-colored object as a reference to set the white balance under unusual lighting conditions.

    Built-in Flash: The Coolpix AW100 has a built-in flash with a range of 1' to 11' (Wide angle) and 1'-8" to 7'-2" (Telephoto). You can choose from the following flash modes:

    • Auto: Flash fires automatically when lighting is poor.
    • Auto with Red-eye Reduction: Pre-flash fires before main flash to reduce red-eye effect.
    • Flash Off: Flash will not fire, even when lighting is poor.
    • Fill Flash: Flash will fire whenever a picture is taken.
    • Slow Sync: Auto flash combined with slow shutter speeds.

    In-Camera Red-Eye Fix: If the camera detects red-eye after the pre-flash has fired, advanced red-eye reduction processing is used to further reduce red-eye, slightly increasing the time required before the next picture can be taken.

    AF Modes: When shooting still images or movies you can choose between two auto-focus modes:

    • Single AF: The camera focuses when the shutter-release button is pressed halfway and locks at this position during recording.
    • Full-time AF: The camera constantly adjusts focus, even when the shutter-release button is not pressed.

    Voice Recording: Audio voice memos for pictures can be recorded over the camera's built-in microphone and played back over the unit's built-in speaker. Memos can be up to 20 seconds in length.

    Play, Edit and Print Functions

    Copy: You can internally copy images and voice recordings between the camera's internal memory and an inserted SD-card.

    Slide Show Playback: View pictures in the internal memory or on the memory card in an automatic slide show with 2, 3, 5, or 10 seconds between pictures. If desired, you can loop the slideshow so it will continuously play. Maximum slide show duration is 30 minutes without operation.

    Thumbnail Playback: During playback, you can view multiple thumbnail images (4, 9, 16, or 72) at a time. While these "contact sheets" are displayed, you can use the multi-selector to highlight individual pictures. Highlighted pictures can be deleted, if desired.

    Calendar Display: This feature displays a calendar allowing you to select and view pictures taken on the same date.

    Playback Zoom: During playback, you can enlarge a still image up to 10x. Once the image is zoomed, you can use the multi-selector to scroll around to non-visible portions of the image. You can record a new picture of the cropped image by pressing the shutter button.

    Rotate Image: Recorded pictures can be rotated 90-degrees clockwise or counter-clockwise on the unit's LCD screen.

    Editing Picture: You can use the Coolpix AW100 to edit recorded pictures in-camera and store them as separate files. You can choose from the following editing functions:

    • Quick Retouch: Quick Retouch can be used to easily create retouched copies in which contrast and saturation have been enhanced.
    • D-Lighting: D-Lighting can be used to brighten dark or backlit subjects. While playing back an image, you can select the D-Lighting function, apply it, and save the corrected image without harming the properly exposed areas of the image.
    • Glamour Retouch: The camera makes facial skin tones softer and make faces look smaller with larger eyes.
    • Filter Effects: You can apply a variety of effects using the digital filter effects, such as Color Options, Soft, Selective Color, Cross Screen, Fisheye, Miniature Effect, or Fog Removal.
    • Resizing Pictures (Small Picture): You can create a small copy of a recorded image. The copy will be stored as a JPEG file with a compression ratio of 1:16. You can choose from the following sizes: 640 x 480 (suited to television playback), 320 x 240 (suited to display on web pages), or 160 x 120 (suitable for email attachments).
    • Cropping: Create a copy containing only the portion visible in the monitor.

    Multi-Language Menu: You can choose from 29 different menu display languages including English, Spanish or French.

    Printing Pictures: You can print pictures stored in the internal memory or on the memory card by using the Print Set option in the playback menu. Using DPOF (Digital Print Order Form), you can designate which images to print, and how many copies to print. Pictures can be printed as followed:

    • Printer or Photo Lab: insert the memory card into a printer, or take the memory card to a digital photo lab (images stored in the internal memory need to be transferred to a memory card prior to printing).
    • PictBridge-compatible Printer: connect the camera to a PictBridge-compatible printer via USB cable
    • Transferring to Computer: transfer the images to a computer before printing them via USB

    Battery Information

    Power Requirements: The Coolpix AW100 is powered by a supplied rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery (EN-EL12). The battery is charged using the supplied MH-65 Battery Charger. The supplied rechargeable battery will last up to approximately 250 shots or 1 hour 35 minutes of HD movie recording on one charge. A fully-exhausted battery charges in about 2.5 hours.

    Auto Off: When the camera is operated on battery power, the Auto Off mode will automatically turn off the monitor to reduce the drain on the batteries if no operations are performed for the length of time specified in the Auto Off menu. The time limit for the Auto Off mode can be set to 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes or 30 minutes.

    Inputs and Outputs Notes

    HDMI: The Coolpix AW100 is equipped with a mini-HDMI (Type C) output, allowing you to connect the camera to an HDTV. An optional mini-HDMI-to-HDMI cable is required. The camera's HDMI output can be set to Auto, 480p, 720p or 1080i.

    USB/Audio-Video Output: The camera features a single proprietary jack for connecting the supplied AV or USB cable. This one output allows you to download your photos to your computer or printer via USB using the supplied USB cable, or view your photos on a TV using the supplied AV cable. The USB interface is USB 2.0 Hi-Speed compatible. The video output is NTSC or PAL compatible.

    Supplied Software

    Software Suite CD-ROM: The supplied ViewNX 2 Installer CD-ROM contains the following software:

    • Nikon Transfer 2: to transfer pictures from the camera to the computer
    • ViewNX 2: for viewing your images and movies on the computer
    • Nikon Movie Editor: for basic editing of transferred movies.
    • Panorama Maker 5: for creating panoramic images from the camera's recorded still images

    System Requirements: The supplied software will work with the following Windows and Macintosh Operating Systems:

    • Windows 7: Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate
    • Windows Vista: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, Enterprise, Ultimate (Service Pack 2)
    • Windows XP: Home Edition, Professional (Service Pack 3)
    • MAC OS X Versions: 10.4.11, 10.5.8, 10.6.5

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