768 of 787 people found the following review helpful
Wonderful Camera for Outdoor Use,
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This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX AW100 16 MP CMOS Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Orange) (Camera)
I have had this camera a few days now and have been very impressed with the tests I've put it through thus far. This camera does everything Nikon says it will and does them all wonderfully.
This is a small camera in your hands which is a good and bad thing. It's great because it means it's easy to slip in your pants or shirt pocket and always keep with you. It weighs little enough that you hardly notice it's there. I see where some people could see this as an issue because the buttons on it are very small in order to have the back LCD as large as possible. It does not feel cheap even though it's made out of plastic and although I don't plan on doing a drop test, I am confident it would survive a drop from chest high.
With an 8GB SD card I don't see a reason to shoot at any other setting than the highest resolution, so all my playing around with it was done at this setting. The JPEGs that come out look great. The images are sharp, have good color and the auto whitebalance has done an amazing job. The main thing I was worried about was having to do difficult WB corrections after the fact if it wasn't right on with the WB, but so far it has been spot on in full sun shots, shady shots, indoor with incandescent and indoor with fluorescent lights. I honestly think the 16MP is a little overkill, but will keep shooting at full resolution as I don't know when I'll need those extra pixels. Lastly, low light shooting has definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought with a sensor as small as this one there would be lots of noise in the final result but even at the higher ISO levels the pictures are very clear and useable.
I don't really plan on using this for video too much but have tested it out nonetheless. It is very smooth while shooting at 1080p and looks great when run to my TV to view it. The microphones pick up the noises very well and even have a setting that reduces wind noise (I tested by blowing on the microphone while recording). To shoot video you don't have to change modes or anything - you just press the red circle button on the back and you're off.
Everything seems to get in the right place as far as buttons go. Most can be reached with either your right thumb or right index finger while you're holding it up to shoot without adjusting, although if you are a lefty you will need to get used to holding it in your right hand. I also shoot a Nikon d5100 and had no trouble figuring out what everything did without looking at the instruction manual, so if you've used a Nikon in the past few years this should be a breeze. The menu is fairly uncomplicated and not overloaded with useless features. It is quick to get to the setting I want without too many annoying clicks. This is important to me as I had missing shots while I fumble with the buttons.
I tested this out by holding the camera at arms length with one hand while shooting some test shots. Even from the LCD I could tell the image was doing a lot less shaking than my hand was, and was very impressed by the pictures when they came out. This will definitely come in handy on the boat.
Having not used a point and shoot in a few year, I was very pleased with how far the autofocus has come. It quickly locks on to an object, highlights the object and will keep it in focus even if you start swinging the camera around. Going from objects ~1 foot away to 30 feet away has been focused quickly and accurately. No complaints here.
The main reason I got this camera is so I could take it out with me when I go fishing. This means the first chance I got, I took this camera in a pool to start testing it out. It worked as expected, shooting at the 10 foot deep end of the pool with no problem. The color correction for shooting underwater was also quite effective. After taking some test shots, I put the camera in my pocket for the rest of the time in the pool just to keep it submerged for as long as possible. After a quick towel off out of the pool, it looked good as new. The battery/SD card door has a foolproof way of shutting and remaining watertight so unless I puncture something I'm not worried about water getting in there.
I have loved the performance of the GPS even when indoors. This is something that will be very useful when I either go fishing or go out in the woods and want to take a picture of something that is in a location I want to come back to. The GPS data is written to the metadata so I can punch it in googlemaps after I get home to see where things were. It also has an electronic compass which is handy for a few reasons and has worked great so far.
It works and it lights things up. I've sort of grown to love to hate flashes for snapshot while using my dSLR so I try not to use it often. It is significantly better than some of the old point and shoots I've used, so in a pinch I will rely on it.
Don't let the tiny battery fool you - it lasts a long time. After the initial charge, I've spent close to an hour just going through all the menus playing with things, testing out the GPS, taking dozens of pictures and videos and reviewing them on the camera after the fact and am still above 50%. I couldn't imagine a situation where I would feel the need to purchase or bring a second battery along unless I was going to be out of civilization for a week or so.
I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who is looking for an outdoor/waterproof camera, or someone who needs a slightly more durable camera due to butterfingers.
I've been nothing but impressed with it so far and will update this review after a few months and a few fishing trips.
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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 22, 2011 11:35:13 AM PDT
Christian Fredrickson says:
I wonder how good the picture and video quality compares to its direct compition with Panasonic and Olympus models like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3. I am looking to upgrade from the DMC-TS2 because it lacks GPS tagging.
Posted on Sep 24, 2011 4:00:33 AM PDT
A camera with no negatives? Sounds too good to be true....
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 5:36:41 AM PDT
Alan Montgomery says:
It has negatives, of course, but they should be expected. This isnt a fully featured dSLR - you wont get perfect shooting in low light situations at ISO 3200, you cant change the lens out to put a f/1.8 on there to get extremely shallow depths of field, and there are limited hard buttons on it so changing advanced features takes a second or two.
The only way I can see someone posting negative things about this camera is if they bought it (a $400) camera and expected it to behave exactly like their $3000 dSLR. For what this model is intended to do, it does very well.
Posted on Oct 8, 2011 2:37:38 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 8, 2011 2:40:40 AM PDT
Great review. You touched on everything I was wondering about. I am looking for a small Point & shoot and this is IT! I also fish and would also like to hear how that works for you, specifically SALT WATER effects on the camera. Thank You~
Posted on Oct 19, 2011 2:05:11 PM PDT
John Alldredge says:
Do you have to remove the battery from the AW100 camera to charge it?
Posted on Nov 17, 2011 6:34:17 AM PST
How's the shutter release lag time? The Panasonic TS-3 is 0.2 seconds which is unusually fast for a point & shoot camera. This feature is important to me to be able to capture the image (virtually) as soon as it happens - ie my kids running around.
Posted on Dec 16, 2011 1:31:41 AM PST
I go snowboarding and the only thing I didn't see is about an action picture type setting. How does it take those types of pictures? I know on the Sony Cyber-shot TX10, someone said it wasn't good for that.
Posted on Dec 25, 2011 8:53:10 AM PST
Catherine Mackay says:
I have a question, when it saves to your computer or SD card does it save the name of the photo as the location the photo was taken at? (Orlando FL, NYC NY etc...)
Posted on Jan 6, 2012 10:42:16 PM PST
Carlos Marval says:
Does this camera has the feature of panoramic shoot?
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 9, 2012 6:01:15 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2012 6:01:46 AM PST
Paul Williamson says:
No, there is no way to charge it in the camera. The same space is used for the battery and the SD card, as well as the pc/video interfaces.