This past spring I decided to purchase a waterproof camera and was pleasantly surprised to find they’ve come a long way since the disposables with the plastic housings. Every top manufacturer had at least one camera in their rugged line with features such as being waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof–but Nikon was mysteriously absent. Five months later, the AW100 Coolpix camera was released, and it proved to be worth the wait.
The AW100 features a 5x Zoom NIKKOR ED glass lens and 16mp CMOS sensor allowing it to capture low-light and fast moving action in both still and HD video (1080p) shooting modes. The specs for this camera blow away all the others in its category–it’s waterproof to 33 feet, capable of shooting in temperatures down to 14°F, and is able to withstand a drop of 5 feet. And since this is an adventuring camera, there is a built-in GPS and compass for both viewing your path and geo-tagging your shots. It has a 3″ LCD screen, but no touch screen features. Instead, expecting a user with gloved hands, it has an Action control that when activated will respond to shakes of the camera to navigate through the menus. There are a variety of preset shooting modes for most environments including Snow, Underwater, Night, Sports, and Pet Portraits–as well as a neat little smile detector which will automatically fire off a shot once the subject smiles.
I bought this camera day of release and so far it has withstood a trip to the Florida theme parks, the beach, and an intense journey through Tough Mudder.
The Nikon AW100 comes in orange, black, and blue and will set you back about $380 through Nikon.