Nikon COOLPIX AW120 16.1 MP Wi-Fi and Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Blue) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
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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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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||350 Photos|
|Battery Type||Lithium Ion|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||6.9 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||921000|
|Display Size||3 inches|
|Expanded ISO Maximum||6,400|
|Expanded ISO Minimum||125|
|Exposure Control Type||Programmed AutoEasy Auto, Scene Mode, Smart Portrait, Auto mode|
|External Memory Included||Yes|
|Flash Memory Installed Size||329|
|Flash Memory Type||SD / SDHC/SDXC|
|Flash Type||Built-In Flash|
|Flash Type||Built-in Flash|
|Focus Description||Contrast Detection|
|Focus Type||Includes Manual Focus|
|ISO Range||Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (3200, 6400 available in Auto mode)|
|Item Dimensions||2.6 x 1.02 x 4.33 inches|
|Item Weight||0.47 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Energy Content||3.9 Watt Hours|
|Lithium Battery Weight||0.315 grams|
|Macro Focus Range||1 cm|
|Maximum Aperture Range||F2.8 - F4.9|
|Maximum Focal Length||120 mm|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,608|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Focal Length||24 mm|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||4 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||16 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Shipping Weight||1.1 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Nikon EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion battery|
|Video Capture Format||MPEG-4, H.264|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p|
|Water Resistance Level||Waterproof|
|Weather Resistance||Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof, Freezeproof|
Compare to similar items
This item Nikon COOLPIX AW120 16.1 MP Wi-Fi and Waterproof Digital Camera with GPS and Full HD 1080p Video (Blue) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
|Shipping||—||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Available from these sellers||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||TECH&TOYS (NO TAX)||Amazon.com||DigitalandMore|
|Screen Size||3 in||2.7 in||7 in||2.7 in||3 in||2.7 in|
|Item Dimensions||1.02 x 4.33 x 2.6 in||4.08 x 0.77 x 2.3 in||2.76 x 6.69 x 5.91 in||1.06 x 4.33 x 2.6 in||1.3 x 4.4 x 2.6 in||1.02 x 4.09 x 2.64 in|
|Item Weight||7.52 ounces||5.07 ounces||0.82 lb||7.84 ounces||0.55 lb||6.24 ounces|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||16 megapixels||16.1 megapixels||13.2 megapixels||13.2 megapixels||12 megapixels||16.2 megapixels|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080p||1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)||1080p||1280 x 720 (30p, 25p), 640 x 480 (30p, 25p), 320 x 240 (30p, 25p)||other||1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (60p), 640 x 480 (30p)|
|Viewfinder||None||None||fixed LCD||None||fixed LCD||None|
16MP 1/2.3 CMOS Sensor NIKKOR 24-120mm f/2.8 Lens (35mm Equiv) 5x Optical Zoom, 3 921k-dot OLED Screen Full HD 1080p Video with Stereo Sound Depth Rating: 59'
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
- AN-CP23 Strap
- UC-E21 USB Cable
- EN-EL12 Rechargeable Battery
- Charging AC Adapter EH-71P
Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Top customer reviews
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. timelapse (but the shortest interval is a pointless 10 seconds, should be a half-second), "manual mode" (can only change either aperture from wide open to fully stopped down, or shutter speed from fast to 4 seconds)
- the Lumix has a terrible live view when you pan (even slowly), the display stutters to catch up; I only ever see this on the cheapest of compacts; very visually annoying as you can't see what you're about to shoot and a dealkiller for me
- the ergonomics of the Nikon are better to me; it feels more natural in my hand and the buttons feel better also
- AW120 lacks the common "Display" button though; that's annoying
- video record is on the back on the AW120, but on the top on the Lumix; my preference is on the back, where I'll never ever confuse it for the shutter release button
- reviews say the Lumix user interface is better but I found the Nikon to be more intuitive
Other reasons I bought the Nikon, even though the Lumix has definitely better dynamic range (from the pics I've seen online):
- the Nikon has f/2.8 max aperture while the Lumix has a slower f/3.3, and good light is hard to come by underwater
- the Nikon is also wider at the wide end, and I've never seen water damage complaints for the Nikons vs lots of complaints for the Lumix (and terrible customer support from Panasonic).
- the Lumix has better video quality, but it can only do 1080p in AVCHD format! Lame, since it's not Mac-friendly; I could deal with the more-painful-than-usual transcoding process of AVCHD but why do I want to transcode (and degrade) in the first place just to view on my computer? Super lame.
- the Lumix has proprietary connectors, not micro-USB like everyone else. So if I lose it among my 30-something connectors, I'm in trouble. Yes, this is what Panasonic thinks is a good idea in 2014.
Yet, you always learn more when you actually take a camera home. Here are my first impressions:
- First thing I notice is the strap. There's no true water strap. The manual describes the strap that comes with it as being for land use only, but it's really ridiculous, the kind that's so big you're probably supposed to wear it around your neck - who wears a compact around their neck?? The Lumix strap is more normal, but it still doesn't have a way to cinch around your wrist. It seems like all the manufacturers want you to buy a separate floaty strap, although I could care less if the camera floats just as long as it's cinched around my wrist. I'll just have to borrow the strap off my D10. For the record, camera manufacturers, here is a REAL water strap (notice the cinch), and they should always be included: [...]
- Second, the battery cannot be charged by removing it, putting in a simple charger, and plugging into the wall. It has to stay in the camera, with the battery door OPEN so the micro-USB can connect to the inside of the camera. This sounds good on an engineer's paper, but in the real world it's a flaw. Why? Because as the battery door lays open over an hour or so to charge, it gathers lint, dust, whatever from the surfaces it touches and the air. Anyone who understands water sealing knows it takes only a tiny hair to break the seal underwater - and sure enough, upon inspection after charging, I had two small fibers right on the rubber seal gasket. Sure I could brush them off with the included tiny brush (which I'm sure I'll lose), but why should I have to? The only upside is that the micro-USB can be used to charge directly from a computer or other device, which I can see being useful in some circumstances. The Lumix can't do that at all, you need a wall outlet.
- Also, I don't like the shutter release on the AW120. It's flush with the camera body, so you can't really squeeze it like you should, you have to press it. That doesn't help sharpness in low-light.
These are smaller items of course; the pictures count most. Will update in a month or so when I've taken lots of underwater pictures.
Side note to manufacturers and everyone - why do all these UW compacts have a ridiculous 16 MP? Please stop this terrible arms race! 16 MP is HURTING image quality by increasing noise, accompanied by detail-destroying noise reduction. Start educating consumers that what's needed now are bigger apertures, bigger sensors and better processors.
OK after using this camera on a 2 week trip to Thailand, here are my additional thoughts:
- underwater photos came out quite nice, about as I expected
- land photos are so-so, but as I expected for a camera like this
- the photo review time (display time on the LCD after you shoot) is insanely short (about 0.5 seconds); there is no way I can find to extend it, which is annoying
- the photo review "info display" unfortunately is nearly useless; if you care about reviewing the aperture, shutter speed, ISO, flash mode, shot mode, and maybe depth you're out of luck
- underwater videos came out very nice, way better than my old Canon D10 (although I expect that most cameras in this class have about as good video)
- battery life was great; I used it all day without a worry; blows the GoPro away in this regard
- the on-screen barometer/depth meter is nothing short of awesome; when I was scuba diving, I never needed to look at my depth gauge because the camera told me everything; I only wish it would record the depth in the metadata but you can't have it all
- no problems whatsoever with waterproofing or condensation; in fact I definitely took it below the 18m rating on my dives; at about 22m I was freaking out because I could see the LCD slightly bending inward under the pressure, but the camera held up like a champ
- underwater auto white balance was not as accurate as the Lumix (from reviews I've seen); I later realized that the camera does have a custom white balance setting, which I should've set by shooting the palm of my hand underwater
- the Easy Auto mode very intelligently switches to Macro when you're close to a subject above water, but not at all when underwater; had some frustration in constantly forcing the camera into macro mode underwater (but I know of no camera that does it any better)
- the slow-sync flash mode, which usually produces a look I love in night land shots, is not nearly as good as Canons; shame but of course I wouldn't usually use this camera at night on land anyway
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. I really appreciate the 24mm wide angle and longer battery life (if true), but the rest of the camera is functionally equivalent to the AW110 (for me, anyway). You'll have to decide for yourself if it's worth the premium.
Since my original review, the AW120 street price has dropped considerably, and the AW110 has been discontinued (although still available), so the comparison is no longer appropriate. After using the AW120 for several months, here are some additional thoughts:
1. The 24mm wide angle lens is truly useful--not just for still photos but especially for videos. To achieve the HD video aspect ratio, the top and bottom of the sensor's image are cropped, effectively zooming in and reducing your field of view. Having a wide angle to start with gives you a fighting chance to keep your close subjects in the frame.
2. Brightly lit, outdoor casual snapshots are about as good as other point and shoot cameras. No complaints here.
3. Indoor shots are another matter. The AW120 really likes to show off its image stabilization feature with slow shutter speeds. The problem is that moving subjects needs faster shutter speeds and there really isn't a good way to control shutter speed. None of the auto modes favor faster shutter speeds, nor is there a manual mode. Forcing flash helps somewhat but the AW120 still tends to slow-sync even with flash. I found that bumping up ISO sensitivity (instead of leaving it in auto) did force the camera to choose a faster shutter speed, but Nikon dropped the ball with their smart modes here.
4. The f/2.8 aperture is a bit of a marketing gimmick. It is only f/2.8 at 24mm. But with just two taps of the zoom lever, the aperture jumps up to f/4.2 (and then increases somewhat linearly to f/4.9 at max zoom). Not that this is a huge deal or anything, it takes snapshots just fine. Just don't buy it for the f/2.8 lens!
5. The neck strap is ridiculous. Nobody wears a point and shoot like a dSLR. I commandeered a wrist strap from an older camera and installed it on the AW120.