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Nikon COOLPIX AW120 16.1 MP Wi-Fi and Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

4.2 out of 5 stars 393 customer reviews
| 118 answered questions

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DPReview Tested
From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 73%
See review summary and sample images
What is DPReview and its awards?

Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.

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  • 16MP 1/2.3"-type CMOS sensor
  • 24-140mm F3.9-4.8 equivalent lens (5.8x optical zoom)
  • ISO 125-1600 (expandable to 3200)
  • Up to 6.9 fps continuous shooting
  • 3.0" OLED LCD with 614,000 dots
  • 1080p/30fps HD video (MPEG-4/H.264)
  • Waterproof to 59'
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Technical Details

Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Tested June 2014
The Coolpix AW120 is a rugged camera with an impressive GPS implementation, Wi-Fi, and a nice focal range of 24-120mm. Unfortunately, detail is lacking in photos and the display is very difficult to see outdoors.
Jeff Keller Jeff Keller


First and foremost, the Coolpix AW120 is an amazing value, packing in a ton of features - most of which well-designed - for less than its competitors. It has a great GPS implementation, Wi-Fi, and 1080/60i video. It does not, however, have a great display, and heavy noise reduction smears away detail in photos.

Reasons to buy

  • Nice 24-120mm lens range
  • Fast focusing in good light
  • Elaborate GPS system with compass, pressure, landmarks, and maps
  • Good value

Things to consider

  • Critical image quality not as good as some competitive models
  • Display hard to see outdoors
  • Blue color cast underwater (often)

Suggested for

Divers and outdoorsy photographers who want a broad feature set at a great price.

Not suggested for

Those taking most of their photos in bright sunlight. Full size image quality inspectors.
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure & focus accuracy
Image quality (JPEG)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Movie / video mode
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Color: Black

Product Description

Waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof Built-in Wi-Fi for instant photo sharing Built-in GPS, mapping, Electronic Compass and Points of Interest (POI) Full HD 1080p videos with stereo sound for dazzling movies

From the Manufacturer

The camera for those who go big.

To capture thrilling first-person views of your epic moments, to really share the rush with your friends and family, you need a camera that's rugged, sure—but you also need a camera that takes outstanding photos and videos. The waterproof, freezeproof and shockproof COOLPIX AW120 delivers the image quality your big moments deserve. Strap it to your chest with the optional Chest Harness and record mind-blowing Full HD 1080p videos with stereo sound, smooth slow motion sequences and high-res photos, even in challenging conditions. When things get bumpy, Nikon's new Hybrid VR system helps keep your shots sharp and steady. The camera's superb wide-angle (24mm equivalent) f/2.8 NIKKOR glass lens gets more in the frame and captures bright, sharp images that will have you reliving the action on your "off" days. You don't even have to wait to share the rush—with built-in Wi-Fi, your COOLPIX AW120 shots can instantly appear on a compatible smartphone or tablet for easy sharing. Your friends will be jealous they weren't there!

Ready for extreme adventures

Waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof

The COOLPIX AW120 can handle all that Mother Nature can throw at it. Take it diving to depths of up to 59-feet. Shoot at temperatures as cold as 14° F. And don't sweat drops of up to 6.6 feet. Whether it's in your hand, mounted to a surfboard, clipped on a backpack or attached to a scuba tank, every twist, splash, dive and crash can be recorded in both still and Full HD 1080p movies. Plus, Nikon's Action Control brings fast and easy operation to gloved hands. The COOLPIX AW120 lets you capture every thrilling moment from inside the action—not the sidelines.

Your smartphone's new best friend

Built-in Wi-Fi for instant photo sharing and remote camera control with a compatible smartphone or tablet

Your smartphone or tablet will be your favorite accessory! Take beautiful photos with the COOLPIX AW120 and watch them instantly appear on your compatible smartphone or tablet. Then share them without missing a beat—text them, email them, upload to your favorite social networking site—it’s your choice! You can even use your smartphone or tablet as a remote control for the COOLPIX AW120, perfect for self portraits and group shots that actually include you.

See where you've been

Built-in GPS, mapping, Electronic Compass and Points of Interest (POI) for creating amazing photo journals

Relive the excitement of your travels in a whole new way. The COOLPIX AW120 records the exact location of each shot you take, so you can follow the path of your adventure and every stunning view along the way! Share your journeys on Google Maps, Google+, and other social networking sites, or with the included Nikon View NX2 software. Built-in mapping and Electronic compass also help you navigate unfamiliar destinations, and Points of Interest (POI) show you nearby photo-ops like scenic lookouts and historic landmarks. The COOLPIX AW120 is the ultimate travel companion!

Record superior videos

Full HD 1080p videos with stereo sound for dazzling movies

If you want a compact camera that shoots stunning Full HD videos, the COOLPIX AW120 delivers. Full HD 1080p means exceptional video quality. Record the action, then connect to an HDTV* and watch your videos come alive. A built-in mic records high-quality audio in stereo. Your videos will look and sound phenomenal.
*Requires optional cable

Supplied Accessories

  • AN-CP23 Strap
  • UC-E21 USB Cable
  • EN-EL12 Rechargeable Battery
  • Charging AC Adapter EH-71P
  • BU-2

Product Information

Product Dimensions 4.3 x 1 x 2.6 inches
Item Weight 7.5 ounces
Shipping Weight 1.1 pounds
Item model number 26465
Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
Customer Reviews
4.2 out of 5 stars 393 customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Best Sellers Rank #9,119 in Camera & Photo
#914 in Camera & Photo > Point & Shoot Digital Cameras
Date first available at Amazon.com February 6, 2014

Warranty & Support

Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here


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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Color: Orange
I'm a prosumer photographer that owns 6 cameras, as of today 7 including this one. This is my third underwater (others are Canon D10 and GoPro Hero 3+ Black edition).

I bought this as a replacement for my bulbous and dated Canon D10. I hate using water housings and would never risk one of my DSLRs in one or shell out for one anyway. I simply like the fact that I can take a waterproof camera in my swimsuit pocket around all day on the beach or on dive boats and never worry about it.

After doing more hours of research online than I care to admit, it came down to the Panasonic Lumix TS-5 and the Nikon AW120. I still had to try out each in a store before choosing, and even then wasn't sure. All of which underlines not that there's a great field of worthy choices to choose from, but each UW camera out there as of this writing has so many weaknesses it's difficult to choose the least bad one.

Here are the differences I found by briefly trying the Lumix and AW120 in-store:
- the AW120 has slightly slimmer dimensions, but noticeably less heavy, which appealed to me
- the Lumix has a far stronger, more evenly-lighting flash (or maybe it was automatically choosing slow-sync, but it doesn't matter, it looked great); I don't plan to take too many land night shots, but I've seen that underwater flash does come out better on Lumix
- the Lumix appears to have more "features", but they're basically useless: e.g.
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By Troy D. on March 11, 2014
Color: Camouflage Verified Purchase
First off, this is an upgrade to the fairly popular AW-110, and there's a ton of YouTube videos that list the features and show comparisons to other cameras. I suspect that Nikon wanted to compete with the Olympus TG-2 with this model, which has similar features. The biggest upgrade here is the 24 mm wide-angle lens and faster maximum aperture of 2.8. The Olympus still has an F2 lens. There is of course a GPS, and Wi-Fi. I don't much use my camera as a compass, so this really wasn't a big deal for me. I can see where the Wi-Fi could come in useful for remotely controlling the camera. Nikon has also added a number of new video formats. Admittedly at highest resolution you're going to generate some humongous file sizes. Even a short video can run 500 to 600 megs. I suspect most people would be happy with the 720 mode.

I would not get too wrapped up in megapixel rating as the sensor sizes are generally very small in point and shoot cameras. More megapixels does not necessarily equate to better images. In fact, it usually means more noise. I'm not sure how this camera stacks up against other point-and-shoot cameras in its class as most of my other gear is pro equipment. To me, I see a fair amount of noise even at ISO 400, but again I think this is pretty common for this price level camera.

There's a number of things that do bother me about this camera. One is the zoom. I don't know if I have a defective camera, but the zoom is very jerky, and not smooth at all. Occasionally (Frequently) it just zooms all the way out or all the way in instead of settling at an intermediate step. I'm going to contact Nikon about this as again, I may have a defective camera. I have been unable to take any professional looking, smooth videos.

The focus is fairly fast.
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Color: Black Verified Purchase
This camera does what I ask of a point-and-shoot. It's easy to use with a minimum of work to extract useable photos and video. But as of right now, this camera costs $130 more than the camera it replaces, the Nikon AW110. I purchased the AW120 over the AW110, with no reviews to guide my decision, hoping it resolved some of the AW110's shortcomings. Here are some of my initial impressions:

1. 24mm equivalent wide angle is more versatile than the 28mm AW110.
2. There seems to be an extra lip around the lens to prevent unwanted fingers wandering into the frame.
3. Longer rated battery life (using the same battery).
4. The sensor and image processor appear to be identical to the AW110 - acceptable 16MP photos with heavy noise reduction smoothing (standard for this class of camera). No improvement here.
5. Smart auto mode appears biased toward "night" mode in low light. This has the effect of relatively longer shutter speeds and blurry subjects if they are moving. Setting the camera to portrait or regular auto mode seems to enable the flash and eliminate the blurry phenomenon. From reviews of the AW110, the AW120 seems very similar with perhaps no improvement.
6. Videos have a quiet ticking sound when using zoom during filming, but I found it acceptable.
7. Charger does not have the option of charging the battery out of camera. I believe this is a change from the AW110.
8. Display screen is higher resolution than the AW110, but may still be prone to washout in bring sunlight.
9. Buttons are on the mushy side. They are probably the same as the AW110. They are useable, but inferior to the Panasonic TS5 buttons for sure.

So it boils down to a few modest improvements over the AW110 for quite a hike in price.
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