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Customer Review

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Impressive, 27 May 2012
By 
This review is from: Nikon COOLPIX AW100 Waterproof Compact Digital Camera - Black (16MP, 5x Optical Zoom) 3 inch LCD (Camera)
I have had this camera a few days now and have been very impressed with the tests I've put it through thus far. This camera does everything Nikon says it will and does them all wonderfully.

Overall Build
This is a small camera in your hands which is a good and bad thing. It's great because it means it's easy to slip in your pants or shirt pocket and always keep with you. It weighs little enough that you hardly notice it's there. I see where some people could see this as an issue because the buttons on it are very small in order to have the back LCD as large as possible. It does not feel cheap even though it's made out of plastic and although I don't plan on doing a drop test, I am confident it would survive a drop from chest high.

Picture Quality
With an 8GB SD card I don't see a reason to shoot at any other setting than the highest resolution, so all my playing around with it was done at this setting. The JPEGs that come out look great. The images are sharp, have good color and the auto whitebalance has done an amazing job. The main thing I was worried about was having to do difficult WB corrections after the fact if it wasn't right on with the WB, but so far it has been spot on in full sun shots, shady shots, indoor with incandescent and indoor with fluorescent lights. I honestly think the 16MP is a little overkill, but will keep shooting at full resolution as I don't know when I'll need those extra pixels. Lastly, low light shooting has definitely exceeded my expectations. I thought with a sensor as small as this one there would be lots of noise in the final result but even at the higher ISO levels the pictures are very clear and useable.

Video
I don't really plan on using this for video too much but have tested it out nonetheless. It is very smooth while shooting at 1080p and looks great when run to my TV to view it. The microphones pick up the noises very well and even have a setting that reduces wind noise (I tested by blowing on the microphone while recording). To shoot video you don't have to change modes or anything - you just press the red circle button on the back and you're off.

Button Placement/Menu
Everything seems to get in the right place as far as buttons go. Most can be reached with either your right thumb or right index finger while you're holding it up to shoot without adjusting, although if you are a lefty you will need to get used to holding it in your right hand. I also shoot a Nikon d5100 and had no trouble figuring out what everything did without looking at the instruction manual, so if you've used a Nikon in the past few years this should be a breeze. The menu is fairly uncomplicated and not overloaded with useless features. It is quick to get to the setting I want without too many annoying clicks. This is important to me as I had missing shots while I fumble with the buttons.

Vibration Reduction
I tested this out by holding the camera at arms length with one hand while shooting some test shots. Even from the LCD I could tell the image was doing a lot less shaking than my hand was, and was very impressed by the pictures when they came out. This will definitely come in handy on the boat.

Auto-Focus
Having not used a point and shoot in a few year, I was very pleased with how far the autofocus has come. It quickly locks on to an object, highlights the object and will keep it in focus even if you start swinging the camera around. Going from objects ~1 foot away to 30 feet away has been focused quickly and accurately. No complaints here.

Water-Proofness
The main reason I got this camera is so I could take it out with me when I go fishing. This means the first chance I got, I took this camera in a pool to start testing it out. It worked as expected, shooting at the 10 foot deep end of the pool with no problem. The color correction for shooting underwater was also quite effective. After taking some test shots, I put the camera in my pocket for the rest of the time in the pool just to keep it submerged for as long as possible. After a quick towel off out of the pool, it looked good as new. The battery/SD card door has a foolproof way of shutting and remaining watertight so unless I puncture something I'm not worried about water getting in there.

GPS
I have loved the performance of the GPS even when indoors. This is something that will be very useful when I either go fishing or go out in the woods and want to take a picture of something that is in a location I want to come back to. The GPS data is written to the metadata so I can punch it in googlemaps after I get home to see where things were. It also has an electronic compass which is handy for a few reasons and has worked great so far.

Flash
It works and it lights things up. I've sort of grown to love to hate flashes for snapshot while using my dSLR so I try not to use it often. It is significantly better than some of the old point and shoots I've used, so in a pinch I will rely on it.

Battery Life
Don't let the tiny battery fool you - it lasts a long time. After the initial charge, I've spent close to an hour just going through all the menus playing with things, testing out the GPS, taking dozens of pictures and videos and reviewing them on the camera after the fact and am still above 50%. I couldn't imagine a situation where I would feel the need to purchase or bring a second battery along unless I was going to be out of civilization for a week or so.

I would highly recommend this camera to anyone who is looking for an outdoor/waterproof camera, or someone who needs a slightly more durable camera due to butterfingers.

I've been nothing but impressed with it so far and will update this review after a few months and a few fishing trips.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Oct 2013 11:29:29 BDT
Jn Parkinson says:
[...] It's great because it means it's easy to slip in your pants [...]
OMG Why would you put a camera in your pants?

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Oct 2013 12:47:53 BDT
Dad says:
lol - I meant Jogging Pants and Jeans!!!! this made me laugh.....
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