Much better than my last underwater camera
Owned a Pentax Underwater camera and it filled with water at less than 20ft on my forst dive. Replaced it with the Nikon AW100 and couldn't be more pleased. Picture quality and ease of shooting video is a great improvement. I just wush I could understand the GPS that is built-in. Maybe I should read the book.
Thanks, Scott, Tacoma WA
May 12, 2012
The best on the market a far as I am concerned!
I have never had a camera that is like the AW100! The video is professional quality; the photos are the best I have seen, even better than a DSLR as far as I am concerned. So easy to use and switch from still to video and back with even thinking about it. The underwater feature is also great. The drop feature is one that I haven’t tested as of yet, and really don’t plan to, however, I am sure that it works like all the other features. I have and will recommend this camera.
May 6, 2012
Awesome Rugged Camera!
I have had this camera for over a year now and this thing is great. This camera has awesome picture quality and is very durable, although I did read 4 bad reviews of water getting into the camera after only 1 underwater use which I think is just not properly sealing the back or a bad batch. I on the other hand have had no issues, so far I tested the under water features in a pool and took it down a water slide multiple times which it did take a few hits and is still flawless. I plan to take it on several hiking trips and we are going to the florida keys in july and I can't wait to use it out there. My one thing I would like to see improved is the slow motion video. There is really no point in using that feature because it lowers the video quality so much, but I guess you can personally slow down the video if you feel like editing it, but other then that every thing is perfect and I am really glad I bought this. Also make sure you buy an extra battery and memory card.
April 28, 2012
Love this camera!
Every day I find little cool things that it does. I love all the features and underwater pics come out awesome! It would take too long to describe all the features. Read the reference manual so you don't miss out on any of them. GET ONE!!!
March 31, 2012
Best Splash Camera I've tested.
Best splash camera I could buy for ease of, placement of functions, size, design and quality. Bought in Kauai on 2011 Christmas holidays and very happy with it.
February 22, 2012
it takes the best pictures! I got it for sledding and it is amazing
January 12, 2012
Excellent investment for the active person
The picture quality is as good as it gets for such a small lens and sensor. To further explain, I took comparative pictures with this camera and with my DSLR that with the mounted lens would cost 6 times more than the AW100. By taking just point-and-shoot pictures with both cameras, same compositions and time of the day, the DSLR pictures were a bit better... definitely not 6 times better, just marginally. But again, I did not buy the AW100 camera for it's outstanding picture quality.
The camera has difficulties focusing in very low light (not like my big camera), but that did not come as a surprise. The movie mode works fine.
The GPS gets faster reception than my 4 years old dedicated GPS, so not only that works,... it works great.
One thing apparently missed, is that the strap can be used to secure the camera to your chest and shoot movies. It is much better idea then the hand strap alternative.
I have not tested the water resistance yet, so no comments there... Also I have not figured out very well the benefit of the action button, it does not seem that shaking the camera changes anything.
I may come back with more feedback once I learn more about the camera.
January 11, 2012
Just got this camera for snowboarding. It takes a beating and keeps on going. Great action footage. The built-in flashlight for video recording is a great feature but its too dim, other than that its great.
January 5, 2012
love this camera!
I just got it for my birthday and I haven't been able to put it down! It takes amazing pictures that are as clear as can be. I took it to Disney World and got some stunning pictures of the animals and my family during the action. I got a great picture of my friend on a roller coaster with the best face! You wouldn't be able to get that on any other camera. Overall, highly recommended!!!!!
December 31, 2011
The perfect camera for an outdoor person
I am addicted to taking photos, my D300S is my constant companion on trips to Europe and Mexico. I found myself worrying all the time about my camera staying clean and not getting hurt(dropped it under a taxi in london...it was fine). So I decided I needed an outdoor camera. I recently got the blue AW100 and the carrying case. I have taken it on 2 trail rides to the beach, I just clip the case to my saddle and go! Considering my horse wouldn't stop trotting, my pictures turned out really well. It was very easy to work with one hand, while riding with the other. I plan on trying it out underwater while snorkling in Puerto Rico in a few weeks!
December 10, 2011
Amazing GPS enabled camera!
I have had this camera for about two weeks now and have taken hundreds of photos with it already.
I purchased this camera for the geotagging feature. I have been geotagging photos for a number of years manually with a separate hand held GPS unit and with another GPS enabled camera.
The Nikon AW100 is the second GPS enabled camera I have owned. The first one being the Canon PowerShot SX230 HS.
The Nikon AW100 GPS is amazing. It is fast and super sensitive. The AW100 can lock onto satellite signals inside my home and in heavy tree cover! Something my Canon never could do.
The display shows you when the AW100 has picked up two, three and then locked on to four satellites, and it does it quickly.
The AW100 also has the advantage of using A-GPS file that can be downloaded from this Nikon URL and then loaded onto the memory card you are using in your Nikon AW100
By using the A-GPS file the Nikon AW100 can predict the satellite location before it even searches for them.
Without the A-GPS file the Nikon AW100 GPS may take 10-15 seconds to first lock onto the four satellites after being powered on, but when using the A-GPS file it only takes about two seconds to lock onto all the satellites, simply amazing!
I have found the Nikon AW100 GPS to be a lot quicker then the Canon GPS enabled camera I own and the Nikon AW100 GPS receives satellites just as good in heavy tree cover as my Garmin 60csx hand held receiver.
The Nikon AW100 GPS works like a GPS enabled camera should work, simple, quick, accurate and holds a lock on the satellites.
I got the black Nikon AW100 and it has a good feel to it. Not a cheap plastic feel like some other point and shoot cameras.
With GPS enabled I get around 170 photos out of a battery, but batteries are cheap online and I picked up two extra ones.
Lot of features, built in maps is cool. Weather proof body is a big plus. Love this camera!
November 2, 2011
lo recomiendo porque tiene funciones que otras cámaras no tienen
June 18, 2012
Gran Cámara... diría excelente
Es una cámara asombrosa, Buenas fotos, buen vídeo!
June 7, 2012
Loved it, till it broke
I needed a smaller camera than my old dslr for school to do contextual research. I was doing a project that required me to take low light photos and video and since I love all things out doors, I tend to be tough on my electronics. This aw100 seemed like a perfect match with its size, durability, and cmos sensor. And it was. I freaking love this little device. I wouldn't say that it is perfect, but what is?
- Fairly compact
- Is water proof (at least to 20 something ft.)
- Is shock proof (at least to 4ft.)
- put it in my freezer and it still worked
- gps is neat
- good low light photos
- settings are easy to understand
- the video is good
- there is a slow motion setting
- gps is cool but at this point useless
- sound is good enough but leaves something to be desired
- it will corrupt files randomly (it only does it on the amazing once in a life time shots)
- The lens broke. I have no idea how it happened. I just woke up one day and it was sitting on my nightstand with a shattered lens. So unless the dog did something or a room mate borrowed it and then put it back with out informing me of the situation, it magically broke itself.
June 16, 2012
Everything is good, one weakness
OK, so quickly this is my third underwater camera and I like it the best. I am very happy with all features/functions except one. My biggest disappointment is that the only way to charge the battery is to remove it and use the supplied charger. It cannot be charged via a USB cable which means you have to carry more stuff when you take it somewhere. I am not sure why Nikon omitted this needed function.
June 2, 2012
Great For those always in the move
I got this camera for my birthday also , first i thought its just a compact camera that can dive for 10 m
nothing special ,
but no its much more ,
first the camera got lots of mode for taking pictures e.x( Portait , pet , food , etc.... ) total is 22 plus auto and easy auto which adjust to the best mode automatically and Smart Portait .
So if u chose right , u will get Great photos for a compact camera
the built in GPS and world map work great and fast
The motion sensor , not the great it just used to change the menu in a one way direction . useful only when u are wearing gloves
I strongly recommend it for any one who is always in the move ( sea , mountain , snow , or regular day )
March 27, 2012
good product but it must be improve. lens angel is too close for a action camera it must be little wider and time lapse shooting feature must be added. Action Control is awesome.
January 21, 2012
Wonderful Camera for Travelling
I purchased this camera in Hong Kong. I live in China.
I love this camera, it is very rugged and the waterproof function gives me peace of mind when I use the camera. I don't really worry about small drops or rain etc. I've taken this camera to the beach in Indonesia and although I was fearful the first time it got wet, there were no real issues with leakage. I can say that the fine sand in the water got into the locking mechanism which was stiffer afterwards. It's gradually working its way out now. I am still afraid to use the camera much underwater but it is rated to 33ft. I have another camera with separate housing for diving at any depth.
I bought my camera in the orange color. I think it is more visible and easier to find if it ever get dropped, especially in water. I also use the camera in industrial settings - I feel the orange will be easier to find and less likely to get misplaced. On my camera the orange cover does not seem to be held firmly to the camera body in the top right section (near to the flash). There is some noticeable movement in this area when gently pressed.
I have one major problem with the battery connection. Sometimes the camera will not turn on after I shut it off. I have to open the battery compartment, remove the battery and reseat it. Then the camera will work. This is a nuisance when above ground but makes this camera completely useless underwater. I cannot take this camera under water as I can never know if the camera will start. It is impossible to reseat the battery while underwater. This happens with both of my batteries and is not a function of the battery charge. Perhaps I can fix this by adjusting the battery contacts but I have not tried to pull them higher.
Other than these two issues the build quality is very good.
Photos from this camera is quite sharp. There are tons of scene modes.
I really love the GPS and compass function. The GPS settles really quickly, usually in less than a minute. This is much faster than my phone or other GPS camera (Lumix TZ10). I like the map function and I've used the logging function many times, although this drains the battery quickly over about 6 hours. While using the logging function it is not possible to scroll the map to find places.
The locations listed in the database are generally good. In Indonesia however, most of the locations were small mosques. I am sure that there were better location points in most of the areas that I was travelling. The accuracy of the GPS is wonderful, all locations were exactly where they were shot with one exception (that I know of) in China.
Using the GPS in China
The GPS in my Lumix camera is disabled when in China. The camera gives an information message that it disables the GPS while in China. i was pleasantly surprised that Nikon does not disable the GPS in China but places some limitations on its use. The locations using the GPS in China seem to be off by about 500 ft to the west. In addition, the map function does not work in China and there are not location points for China in the database. I found it interesting that while I was in Southern China, several miles from Hong Kong, the camera would like the closest location point in Hong Kong (which turned out to be a KCR metro station about 10km away.
I am very glad the GPS works in China even with these limitations.
I have not tried the A-GPS functions. I am interested to use this function.
January 18, 2012
Great camera for those of us living around water
I live on an island and take my camera to the beach and on the boat. I bought this camera (my 4th Nikon) because it is shockproof and water friendly. It takes very good pictures inside and outdoors. The size of the camera is just right and the buttons are easy to use.
I have not tried the GPS yet but believe I will like that. I don't intend to take it underwater although it can go to 33 ft. I am a scuba diver and all of my dives are deeper than that., but knowing that it can get wet gives me peace of mind. I chose the blue because it reminds me of the sea.
January 15, 2012
Got this for Christmas and gave one to my son
Ok, read many reviews some good and some bad. Noted mostly unprofessionals had problems. I am a professional that does have problems with point and shoot cameras(using them that is). I have waited for this particular camera for a long time. I looked at it in a camera store liked it purchased it for my son. Got my own the day before Christmas.
Love the features for takeing pics. I am learning how to use each feature . My problem is me a little unsteady at times. Using heavier cameras thats not as noticable. This camera has vibration reduction but apparently not enough for me at times. I still need to read the full manual. At first I was diasapointed with the video. Very noisey, had the strap on, My son who hadn't put the strap on didnt have those noises in his video. I took it off and got much quieter video. I tried to be still but i shook just enough to cause it to hit the cameras side and the mic picks that noise up. The four stars are not for any reason other than I haven't tested all the features. After I've had it a while I will write another it has a learning curve as with any new camera. Over all I am pleased. I do want to add that I love the gps feature and the compass. Haven't figured out the motion control. Need to read up on those.
December 25, 2011
Good underwater, but needs sotftware fixes
II purchased this phone so that I could both take pictures above ground as well as underwater pictures. I took the phone out on a 10 day vacation and took over 800 pictures.
The phone is very feature rich. I was quite surprised the foreign cities and roads that are contained in the small gps data file. I did tried the panoramic picture before the vacation to test this feature, but did not use this beyond testing it. The clarity of the image seems very good. When comparing the pictures of my older 8MP camera, I was surprised how much better the images looked given the internal optics of the camera. Also, having the compass on the camera was a treat. Though the manual implies the GPS is always running, it seemed like the GPS required several seconds to track each time the camera was turned back on.
The camera does have many limitations. When taking pictures, the time between pictures was much slower than my older point and shoot camera. Quite long. I was unhappy with the time used to transfer the picture to the SD card. I was using a class 10 card, so I expected this to be better. On several occasions, the camera never completed the job within 5 minutes, so I removed the battery as to reboot the camera. Battery life also appeared to be awful. The manual indicates the GPS is always running, so I turned this feature off without any improvement in battery life. I had to charge the camera every day and it did not make it through 100 pictures.
The buttons on the back of the camera all have pictures and labels for what they do, but the ink used by nikon does not appear to water proof (perhaps for the ocean). The green color was the first to start to wash off. Other labels are still there but several are fading.
Some pictures under water turned out great and others not so much. Lighting seemed pretty key and it seemed more of an issue for the photographer than the camera. I only used the camera to about 10ft and suspect lighting will get more difficult at the 33ft depth the camera claims to work at. The waterproof door for the battery, etc appears to be well designed and was easy to use.
I used the multiple shot mode. I found this not to work as I would like. It was not awful, but I remain unsure exactly how this feature is supposed to work. The 16 show mode was just weird. I am not sure why this would get used.
I have not used other underwater camera (other than disposable), but it seems a good software update would resolve all my issues other than the button labels on the camera.
December 10, 2011
Ok Images from Great Body
For the longest time, I’ve had a love-hate relationship with compact cameras. I never have been very impressed.
Why? The image quality, frankly, is sub-par when compared to even basic DSLRs. The depth of field is huge. But, it depends on your point of view. If you want to produce professional looking images for print, and have almost unlimited range of possibilities, then a DSLR or at least a “Mirrorless” should be your choice. But let’s face it, most pictures get displayed as tiny facebook images, on blogs and maybe the a tablet. Who needs 24 MP or even 10?
So I changed my attitude. I have skied with a digital rangefinder tucked away in my jacket , I have taken a Nikon DSLR on a kayak and a sail boat and I have biked with medium format cameras. Most of the time, I have worried about damaging it more than I have enjoyed the sport or activity.
Enter the AW 100. This is a no-nonsense camera. It was designed with the outdoors person in mind. It strips away all unnecessary things, and exclusively functions on automatic settings. There is no P, A, S or M mode. There is no RAW data recording. Many people lament that fact. However if you think about it, the camera is designed to be used outdoors, in a kayak, skiing, on the beach, the pool. If you all on the slopes, do you want to fiddle around with multiple settings or just take a quick picture? The Nikon engineers have delivered a well designed product for exactly that purpose. Specs are here on the site, no need to repeat.
There are a few neat features. The AW not only has GPS but also a built in map! The latter is a neat feature, however in the age of the smart phone, somewhat superfluous. I like the geo-tagging feature in the photos, however don’t care to much about this visualizing that location. The AW100 also sports a compass, which I think it neat.
The lens is a 28-140mm (35mm equivalent) f3.9 – 4.8, which is OK for range but a bit slow. It has a ”digital zoom” option – I thought that was something cameras had before people knew what “cropping” meant. I think I’ll leave it turned off. Let’s face it, you cannot put a brilliant lens in that body and then have it behind a waterproof glass. I think Nikon did the best they could here.
The camera is small and has a compact, high quality feel to it. I have never used a camera with the lens in the corner, so that takes some getting used to for close ups. There is an “action button” on the left hand side. I am not sure yet if I like the design of it, but I think it is probably very useful if you wear thick gloves. Basically, this button can either be used to enter the mode where the user can scroll through menu by tilting the camera or the button can be used to pull up the GPS guide. In contrast to the action button, the controls on the back are a bit small. The waterproof compartment housing the memory card, battery and connectors is well sealed and secured with a large button that needs to be pressed as well as turned; a smart move, as it would not be the first time that I opened the battery compartment by accident, which under water can obviously be fatal (at least to the camera).
The back screen is a 460k dot display – not the best in the industry but detailed enough. The shutter button is large and actually has a roughed up surface which is nice. That gives it a bit of a “grip” and it can be found easily in the dark or in murky water.
The operation of the camera is simple. The menus are not very cluttered. The multi-selector has the usual function, the exposure compensation is a nice touch. There is a separate button for the scene/auto settings, which is very practical. The are several modes:
Easy Auto – camera selects the right scene mode depending on the what it thinks you are shooting
Scene – there is a plethora of the usual scene modes, land scape, night portraits, fireworks etc etc. My favorite: pet photography – it actually works pretty well!
Special Effects – high contrast black and white, high key, low key etc. pretty standard and boring
Smart Portrait – waits for a smile….
Auto Mode – auto exposure, interestingly enough the only mode that allows some customization.
While shooting or during review there is a limited choice of what to display. This is a bit annoying. For the money, I would expect at least to be able to display a histogram. Also, the exposure information only flashes briefly just before taking the shot, and is the only warning that you may be a bit underexposed (at least when vibration reduction is on, it seems to “OK” anything faster than 1/5 s at the widest angle setting).
As stated, exposure is automatic. The range of aperture is small, from f3.9 (wide) and f4.8 (tele) to f7.8 – and with an internal ND filter to f9.8. The exposure is limited to 1 second or less (unless you are shooting in fireworks mode which seems to be 4 seconds at f7.8 regardless).
The camera is auto-focus only – not amazingly fast but OK. Subject tracking is decent (a feature that admittedly I don’t use much). There is no manual focus option (which I always have found annoying on P&S anyway).
The GPS mode is somewhat difficult to turn on but works pretty well. It does cost you battery power, though. Maps are sufficiently detailed (and I believe it has world wide coverage).
The AW100 shoots JPG – you have several options, of which I only tested one, the 16 MP* (4608×3456) the * designates a better compression ratio, but I do not think it is a “12/12″). I never get the usefulness of being able to shoot all kinds of formats and sizes, like 4000*3000 (i.e. 12 MP), or even the VGA format of 640×480 (C’mon, do you even HAVE a monitor that small still?) Memory is cheap, guys….
The AW100 produces JPEGs in sRGB, so its color palette is somewhat reduced. But do you care – most consumers won’t notice the difference between that and say Adobe RGB.
There has been some lamenting the fact that this camera does not shoot RAW format. I must say I do not mind. I would prefer however a choice similar to Nikon DSLRS (L, M,S JPGS, where I think the L option would be a JPG Quality of 100%, which I think is better than the “*” rating of the AW100.
When pixel peeping, there is clear evidence of “muddying” of detail – as in suboptimal JPG compression, with a bit of halo suggestive of oversharpening – on the other hand sharpening the JPG actually can improve detail, go figure. I tried a somewhat unfair match of the AW100 (ISO 125, f3.9) against the digital rangefinder (shot at ISO 160 with a 35mm Voigtlaender lens at f4): in this unfair comparison, there is clear loss of detail with the AW100. However the comparison is made to a sensor 30x the size, without an anti-aliasing filter and a superb lens near its peak sharpness. Furthermore, peeking at it in 100% crop, corresponding to a print size at 300 dpi of ~ 15×12 inches. If you print 8×10, I don’t think you’ll notice. On the other hand, some have described the JPG quality as “out of this world”…. I would respectfully disagree. I think it could be improved.
As for higher ISO, the story is the usual for compacts. It gets bad pretty quickly. ISO 400 is about the highest I would go. IMO, offering ISO 3200 on the camera is a marketing gimmick and pretty useless. If you need to shoot ISO 3200, get a D700. In good light, loss of detail and artifacts are not as apparent at base ISO ( 125).
Luckily, there is a ISO Auto setting that limits the range from 125 to 400, but unfortunately it is not customizable.
Have not tried it much, as I am not much into video. It’s 1080/30p…. if you want Hi-res movies, get a movie camera :)
There is an adapter for 40.5mm filters (just when I thought the filters I bought for my film rangefinder were otherwise useless!) I am not sure what to use it for, other than putting a polarizer on an already pretty slow lens. I tried infrared, which actually works fairly well if if was not for the limit of adjusting exposure manually or being limited to 1 s. I like that it has that feature but it has limited use.
Yes, there is in camera flash. No, it’s not a soft box. What can I say?
I did not do the drop test :) I did take the camera down to 28 ft diving and it still works now, but I did not use it (being busy enough handling a D7000 in an underwater housing). Will have to wait for winter to test it at -10 degrees Celsius.
The AW100 is a neat camera that does a decent job when you are active outside. I definitely like the design. It is a good but limited all-rounder There are a few suggestions how to improve it (are you listening Nikon?):
- I don’t need RAW, but memory is cheap, so give me a 16 MP highest quality JPG mode and the ability to adjust sharpening, color and contrast myself. Oh, yes, and manual white balance – not all underwater environments look the same!
- Longer exposure times – it may actually take decent IR images. It does have a tripod socket! Why limit it to 1 s
- More information on the display: shutter speed, aperture. Also a histogram, please, it’s 2011!
Otherwise, I think it is a job well done.
November 22, 2011
Too many options!
Great camera! Fast, reliable, clear colorful pictures.
Easy to use in automatic mode, but choosing specific option is not for me - too many to choose from.
One glitch though - battery shows full charge for very long, but then at the end, battery's charge diminish very quickly.
May 13, 2012
solo una dudaaa
por q al tomar fotos con poca luz aparecen unas burbujas en las fotos, tipo gris es normal?
July 10, 2012
Difficult interface and very annoying "shake" feature
This may be the best waterproof camera of its size, but the photos don't have the sharpness and color saturation I found in at least two other, though more bulky, cameras. The interface takes some getting used to. For example, selecting a flash option or macro doesn't take effect until pushing OK. I'm used to selection the menu item and pressing the shutter - not on this camera.
There is one very annoying "feature" that I will never get used to, shake for action. I was reviewing photos in the car and every time we hit the slightest bump, it would advance to the next photo. Same thing happened each time I rotated the camera to view a portrait photo. And there's no way to turn this off! This alone almost caused me to return the camera.
I still think this camera is a good choice for the size and price. But if you want better image quality and a more intuitive interface and don't mind paying more or carrying a bulkier camera, there are better options.
June 9, 2012
Needs firmware improvement
The camera overall is great. It takes good looking photos when used in the right conditions/situations. My biggest complaint is speed. When the flash is used, the time it takes to process (or maybe recharge) is a bit long. I want to be able to take one flash photo after another with little time in between. I have yet to use underwater, but will update you when I do.
June 7, 2012
nice camera if the lens didn't fog
I took this camera on my recent vacation. It went under water, it went on boats, it went to the beach, it took pictures and video. Then I noticed one of my pictures had what I thought was just a slash of water on it so I went to wipe of the lens and saw that it was fogged over on the inside. I stopped taking pictures and flipped it over so the sun was not shining on it and with in 15 minutes the fog cleared. Same thing happened several times randomly over the next few days fog on the lens. I guess I know why they have the fog removal feature available in the options. I never had a fog problem with my Olympus. Its not very convenient to have to wait for the fog to clear when you are trying to take pictures on the go.
May 25, 2012
Missing tech specs
I wish it has all of the scene modes you see in other nikon's such as a draw feature. Otherwise it's good but needs additional scene modes and quicker time in taking pictures, once this is fix i'll upgrade.
January 26, 2012
Great Camera until it flooded
As a previous user of the Nikonos V camera, I am well aware of the eventual camera flood. Usually there is sand or debris on an O-ring. Not this time! Unfortunately after 3 days of use, the camera flooded on the surface in 1-2 feet of water. I observed bubbles leaking from the joint near the monitor, not the battery door. The door was closed and latched appropriately and there was no debris on the o ring.
The camera is very easy to use and seems to take reasonable pictures and good video. I truly enjoyed using the camera and I expected to use it frequently as a backup during snorkeling trips. I am debating getting another as I think it is overall a good camera for the money. The underwater pictures appeared crisp and clear. NEF (Raw files) would be nice as this allows much better white balancing when editting, especially if taking pictures below 15 feet.
Too bad it flooded or I would give it a 4.5 rating.
July 5, 2012
Great camera with bad lens location
I keep shooting my finger. Best to have lens in the same old place the center so you do not shoot you fingers.
Other than that great camera, but I returned the camera after a week.
The 16g was not what I was looking for an other camera with 10g was just as good
May 14, 2012