Nikon Coolpix AW100 – Nikon’s First Waterproof Digital Camera

Featured News Nikon Point and Shoot Underwater

Nikon Coolpix AW100 - Nikon's First Waterproof Digital CameraCome on in – the water’s fine! Nikon has finally joined the rest of the kids in the pool. The other kids being Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, Samsung, Olympus and Kodak – and the pool being the rugged, waterproof camera market. The brand new Nikon Coolpix AW100 is Nikon’s first waterproof camera – since their Nikonos underwater 35mm film cameras, anyway. The Coolpix AW100 has a 5x VR zoom lens, a 16-megapixel backlit CMOS sensor, built-in GPS and 1080p full HD video. And of course, it’s waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof.

Nikon Coolpix AW100 rugged, waterproof digital camera

Nikon Coolpix AW100 Key Features and Specs:

  • 16-megapixel 1/2.3-in. backlit CMOS sensor
  • 5x 28-140mm (35mm equivalent) Nikkor ED VR zoom lens
  • 1920 x 1080 full HD video as well as 60, 120 and 240 frames-per-second slow-motion modes
  • Waterproof to 33 feet (10m)
  • Shockproof from 5 feet (1.5m)
  • Freezeproof to 14 F (-10 C)
  • Sensitivity: ISO 125 to 3200
  • 3-inch 460k-dot LCD display
“The waterproof, freeze proof and shockproof COOLPIX AW100 is forged with features for adventure seekers who need amazing image quality and Full High Definition (HD) movie recording to keep pace with their active lifestyle.”

The first waterproof digital cameras hit the market in 2005 and 2006. Since I do a lot of outdoor photography in all kinds of weather I’ve been using them since the beginning. These rugged point-and-shoot cameras are made for outdoor abuse and I’ve had lots of fun with them on rainy mountain bike rides, skiing on powder days and playing at the waterpark. At first it was just Olympus and Pentax but then everyone else jumped in. Everyone but Nikon, that is. So it’s good to finally have them join the (pool) party. And more competition almost always means better cameras.

The biggest issue with waterproof cameras is compromised image quality. The ruggedness and overall performance of the cameras is great but I’ve yet to use one that I felt had really good image quality. So I my interest was piqued when I read in the AW100 press release, ” Image quality is what sets the COOLPIX AW100 apart from the pack.” Nikon gave the AW100 a 16-megapixel 1/2.3-in. backlit CMOS sensor; the best there is for pocket-sized point-and-shoot cameras right now. However, 16 megapixels is a lot of resolution for a point-and-shoot sensor and high resolution usually means more noise. We’ll have to wait to see what the image quality is actually like. But they’ve definitely got my attention and I’m looking forward to seeing how the AW100 compares to the other waterproof cameras on the market.

At less than an inch thick and weighing only half a pound, the Nikon Coolpix AW100 is easy to keep with you, all the time. As far as features go, the AW100 looks excellent. It’s waterproof to 33 feet (10m), it can handle drops of 5 feet (1.5m) and it’s built to handle temperatures as cold as 14 F (-10 C). Besides tagging images with GPS coordinates, the AW100′s built-in GPS can map your movement and display it on a map. It even has an E-compass LCD display you can use to find your way home after you get lost in the woods.

The Nikon Coolpix AW100 should be available in September in black, blue and orange. The expected price is $379.95. Get one before the fall rain starts!

To learn more about rugged, waterproof digital cameras, make sure to read our Outdoor & Waterproof Camera Guide.

Nikon Coolpix AW100 Press Release >>


Related Content:
Nikon User Reviews
Digital Camera User Reviews
Nikon Cameras Forum
Digital Cameras Forum
Nikon News, Reviews & Articles
Nikon Web Site

Nikon Coolpix AW100 waterproof digital camera - orange

Nikon Coolpix AW100 waterproof digital camera - top view

Nikon Coolpix AW100 waterproof digital camera - LCD display

Nikon Coolpix AW100 waterproof camera - blue

Nikon Coolpix AW100 waterproof digital camera - black

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

Related Articles

NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:

Wordpress Comments:

  • iceman2058 says:

    Nice! If the IQ is up there, this will make the (very) short list for sure. 240fps video – yummy.

  • Photo-John says:

    I agree, iceman. By the way, it didn’t say anywhere in the press release or specs but I’m sure that 240 FPS slow-mo video mode is a low-res mode. There have been cameras with similar features for a couple of years now and the resolution is alwys pretty low. It’s still fun, though – especially for mountain bike clips :-)

  • Brian says:

    Slow lens. f3.9 really? Canon D10 at least sports a f2.8.

  • Photo-John says:

    Brian – good point. But – although the Canon D10 has great image quality, it’s really too big for my taste, effectively eliminating it from the list of rugged cameras I would personally use. The Nikon’s smaller max aperture no doubt helps keep the camera smaller and easy to carry in a pocket, making it a more practical camera – at least in my opinion.

Leave a Reply to iceman2058 Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *