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Nikon announces Coolpix AW110 and S31 rugged waterproof cameras

By dpreview staff on Jan 29, 2013 at 04:01 GMT

CP+ 2013: Nikon has announced the Coolpix AW110 and S31 tough, waterproof cameras. The AW110 is the more resilient and feature-packed of the two. It features a 16MP BSI CMOS sensor, OLED screen and a 28-140mm equivalent stabilized zoom. It is waterproof to 18m (59ft) and shockproof from a height of 2m (6.7ft) and includes both GPS and Wi-Fi. The S31 is built around a smartphone-sized 10MP sensor and includes a 29-87mm equivalent lens. It's waterproof to 5m (16.5ft) and shockproof from a height of 1.2m (3.6ft).

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Press Release:


MELVILLE, N.Y. (January 28, 2013) – Today, Nikon Inc. introduced both the COOLPIX AW110 and COOLPIX S31, two innovative yet durable compact cameras for those who want to preserve every fun and action-packed moment as well as share them with friends and family. Waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof1, the rugged AW110 is built to handle the elements, whether hiking up a mountain, hitting the slopes or riding the surf. Nikon’s newest tough camera also offers built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity2 for sharing, Full HD 1080p video capabilities and a slew of advanced features that adventurers covet, including GPS and underwater shooting modes. The COOLPIX S313 provides the reliability that allows every member of the family to preserve their own special memories. Complete with fun shooting modes and a simple yet intuitive user interface, the resilient S31 is a family camera that can be confidently carried to the pool or around the jungle gym.

“The COOLPIX AW110 and COOLPIX S31 are exciting new additions to the COOLPIX camera lineup; both are uniquely designed to complement the needs of different consumers. The COOLPIX AW110 is designed to cater to outdoor enthusiasts who need a camera that can keep up with their active lifestyle, while the COOLPIX S31’s easy-to-use interface is great for family members young and old who seek to capture lasting memories,” said Bo Kajiwara, Vice President of Marketing, Planning and Customer Experience, Nikon Inc. “Whether conquering your desire for exploration while snorkeling or simply capturing a family day at the park, Nikon’s newest cameras offer the performance, features and image quality users have come to expect from the COOLPIX line.”

The Nikon COOLPIX AW110: Durable Performance for the Outdoor Adventurer
The COOLPIX AW110 is the ultimate point-and-shoot camera for the outdoor enthusiast that demands exceptional image quality and sharp, clear HD video from a compact body. Ready for the toughest conditions, this rugged camera sports a fun and innovative feature set designed to capture, preserve and share every moment of a user’s active lifestyle. Waterproof (up to 59 feet), shockproof (up to 6.7 feet) and freezeproof (down to 14° F), the AW110 is a versatile and feature-rich companion, above and below sea level. GPS technology is also enabled, allowing a traveler to track his or her adventure from beginning to end, down to the exact longitude and latitude where an image or video is captured. The COOLPIX AW110 also features built-in Wi-Fi® connectivity2, allowing the image data transfer of any outdoor adventure to compatible smart devices for upload to social networking services or sharing with friends and family through the Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility2 application. Wireless remote camera control is also possible using a compatible smartphone or tablet when using the application.

Beneath its rugged exterior, the AW110 features a 16-megapixel backside illuminated (BSI) CMOS sensor that helps create sharp, beautiful images and HD video even in challenging lighting conditions. The camera also has a NIKKOR 5x optical zoom lens with lens-shift Vibration Reduction (VR) that allows the photographer to get close up to a subject from a distance, as well as the ability to record Full HD (1080p) movies with stereo sound. The COOLPIX AW110 features a 3-inch, OLED display for easy menu access and precise image preview, alongside an intuitive graphic user interface (GUI) that makes it easy to navigate several fun and intelligent shooting modes, including Easy Auto Mode and the Smart Portrait System, while Special Effects can be easily applied to still images and HD video.

The Nikon COOLPIX S31: Every Family Member Can Capture Beautiful Images, Worry Free
Ready for every precious family moment, the 10.1-megapixel COOLPIX S31 allows every family member young and old to capture beautiful photos with ease, whether on vacation or at the pool. Housed in a compact, durable body that is waterproof (up to 16.5 feet), shockproof (up to 3.6 feet) and dustproof1, this point-and-shoot takes the worry out of photography regardless of the setting or situation. Clear and precise images or HD video are made possible with the help of a 3x optical zoom (29-87mm equivalent) NIKKOR lens, and a dedicated video record button creates an effortless transition from stills to video.

A 2.7-inch LCD display supports an enhanced easy and intuitive graphic user interface (GUI) that allows for simple navigation and several shooting and playback modes designed to make photography simple and fun when using the S31. The camera allows the user to instantly show off his or her favorite family moments using unique playback options including in-camera slide shows and photo albums. Image editing and playback filter effects can also be applied to both stills and video, offering the opportunity to add a personal touch to every family memory. The COOLPIX S31 features functions that make shooting simpler than ever before.

Pricing and Availability:
The COOLPIX AW110 will be available in Orange, Black, Camouflage and Blue in February 2013 for a suggested retail price of $349.95*. The COOLPIX S31 will be available in White, Blue, Pink, Brown and Yellow, also in February 2013, for a suggested retail price of $119.95*.

In order to give consumers a more effective way to understand the benefits of each COOLPIX camera and to help users determine the best camera to fit their lifestyle, Nikon has segmented the COOLPIX series into five categories: Advanced Performance, Fun & Innovative, Ultra-Slim Zoom, Comfort Long Zoom and Budget Friendly. For more information about these and other COOLPIX cameras, please visit



  • Cameras having Wi-Fi® capability can only be used with a compatible iPhone®, iPad®, and/or iPod touch® or smart devices running on the Android™ operating system. The Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application must be installed on the device before it can be used with these cameras.


* SRP (Suggested Retail Price) listed only as a suggestion. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 and S31 specifications

 Nikon Coolpix AW110Nikon Coolpix S31
Body type
Body typeCompact
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Effective pixels16 megapixels10 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCMOSCCD
ISOAuto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOpticalUnknown
Image stabilization notesLens-shift and Electronic VR (still pictures), Lens-shift VR (movies)
Uncompressed formatUnknown
File format
  • JPEG
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–140 mm29–87 mm
Optical zoom5×3×
Maximum apertureF3.9 - F4.8
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (up to 4x)
Manual focusYes (with 99 focus areas)
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)
Number of focus points9
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size32.7
Screen dots614,000
Screen typeOLED monitor
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1500 sec
Exposure modes
  • Programmed Auto
Scene modes
  • Back Light
  • Beach
  • Black and White Copy
  • Close Up
  • Dusk/Dawn
  • Easy Panorama
  • Fireworks Show
  • Food
  • Landscape
  • Museum
  • Night Landscape
  • Night Portrait
  • Party/Indoor
  • Pet Portrait
  • Scene Auto Selector
  • Snow
  • Sunset
  • 3D Photography
  • Underwater
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.20 m
Continuous drive8 fps
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notesFull HD: 1920x1080p / 30fps HD: 1280x720p / 30fps HS 1920x1080 / 15fps HS 1280x720 / 60fps HS 640x480 / 120fps HS 320x240 / 240fps iFrame® 540: 960x540 / 30fps Movie file format: MPEG-4 AVC H.264 VGA: 640x480
Storage typesSD / SDHC/SDXC
Storage included26 MB
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmentally sealedYes (Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof, Freezeproof)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNikon EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA)250260
Weight (inc. batteries)193 g (0.43 lb / 6.81 oz)185 g (0.41 lb / 6.53 oz)
Dimensions110 x 65 x 25 mm (4.33 x 2.56 x 0.98)105 x 65 x 42 mm (4.13 x 2.56 x 1.65)
Other features

Additional Images

Additional Images

I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums


Total comments: 18
By maxnimo (Jan 29, 2013)

"shockproof from a height of 2m"

Is that dropped on a granite slab or a mattress?

1 upvote
By reps2 (Jan 29, 2013)

On a P&S camera, I'm perfectly happy to take a throwaway GPS (although the unknown GPS chip in the AW110 seems an improvement on the earlier Nikon GPSs, inasmuch as it provides bearing as well as lat, long & altitude, although it seemingly loses signal under water) but for use with a better body, I'll chose my own GPS, thank-you. I was delighted that there was no GPS in my D3s, and I sincerely hope that the D5 won't have one either (I'm skipping the D4). A bit odd that the Wifi and associated "app" won't let me transfer wirelessly to a Windows Laptop!

Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Jan 29, 2013)

Nikon can put GPS and Wifi in cheap throwaway cameras but not in professional grade ones.

Makes you think they are dedicated to gouging you for grips, GPS and 800 buck wifi transmitters doesn't it? Cue the Nikon are God defenders.

1 upvote
By HowaboutRAW (Jan 29, 2013)

I see that Nikon has not taken a hint from the F2 Olympus TG1 or TG2.

Somehow I don't think raw is going to be a feature when Nikon publishes the full specifications.

Fewer mega pixels would sure help with noise at higher ISOs; the kind of ISO setting one would want to use even few feet underwater. Yes, even though the sensor is BSI.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 14 minutes after posting
By hydrospanner (Jan 29, 2013)

I've said it before and I'll say it again...if the camera makers want people to buy a compact camera from them and use it instead of a cell phone, they have to be able to do things the cell cannot.

Rugged/waterproof is one area, and high-end specs are another...they do both of these, but never in the same model.

If Canon/Nikon/Sony/Panny/Fuji/anyone would make a rugged, waterproof *advanced* compact (RAW, PASM controls, fast glass, and large sensor at a minimum...with nice extras being built-in wi-fi, GPS, and HDR)...maybe even with a metal body...they'd have a piece of equipment that people would easily be willing to pay $5-600 to own.

Comment edited 13 minutes after posting
By JNDD (Jan 29, 2013)

Few months ago, when the nokia 808 was introduced, i remember read a comment about the idea of implement the nokia 808 sensor, lens, processor (or something similiar) to a rough style water- and shockproof P&S.

I also think in these kind of cameras would easily fits an even larger sensor...

Imagine this camera with a f2 lense, much bigger sensor...I think It's not unrealistic to produce that kind of camera for a reasonable price (under $600)

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
By GodSpeaks (Jan 30, 2013)

Years ago, Nikon ruled the underweater scene with their Nikonos line of cameras. Today, Nikon is a has been/me too player. Very sad.

I have often asked the question: Where is the digital Nikonos?

If they built a digital Nikonos around a 1" sensor (ie: a waterproof/rugged Nikon 1) I think they would have a winner.

1 upvote
By slick83 (Jan 29, 2013)

Since I am in the market for rugged compact camera that will survive mu busy urban/rural life. I took my time to check Nikon's site for some details.

According to Nikon site:

-= Waterproof =-
* on camera body itself 18m/59ft:

* in specs sheet:
JIS/IEC protection class 8 (IPX8) equivalent (under our testing conditions)
Up to a depth of 5 m (16.4 ft) and for 60 minutes

link ->

Hmmm, I wonder, is it really 18m/59ft ?

1 upvote
By hydrospanner (Jan 29, 2013)

Read up on IP ratings for environmental resistance. The Wikipedia article does a pretty decent job of explaining this.

Short version: That was their testing conditions.

By schaki (Jan 29, 2013)

As long as Image quality is high piority, the Olympus TG2 should be the best option unless they've gone crazy with the NR. Also the Canon Powershot D20 from last year is good, but the lens is slow already at the wide end.
Nikon AW100 was crap because of too much NR and I doubt that the new AW110 is better. But we might be in for a nice surprise if we are lucky.

1 upvote
By slick83 (Jan 29, 2013)


Have you even read my post, sir?
Or is it like that simply because there is no "IPX9-10-11-12" rating to they use IPX8 instead?

What I point out is the obvious difference in numbers they published.

The number printed on the camera body is different than the one "printed" in the specs sheet on their own web site.

Comment edited 9 minutes after posting
1 upvote
By slick83 (Jan 30, 2013)

OK, since AW110 user manual is not published, yet, I have looked into user manual of its predecessor [AW100] and it goes like this:

-= Notes on waterproof and dust-proof performances =-
The camera is equivalent to IEC/JIS waterproof grade 8 (IPX8) and IEC/JIS dustproof
grade 6 (IP6X) and enables shooting pictures underwater at a depth of 10 m (33 ft)
for up to 60 minutes.*

This rating does not guarantee the waterproof performance of the camera or that
the camera will be free from damage or trouble under all conditions.

* This rating indicates that the camera has been designed to withstand the specified water pressure
for thespecified period of time when the camera is used according to the methods defined by

link ->

Rod McD
By Rod McD (Jan 29, 2013)

I know I'd be repeating a recent post I started in the Open Forum about waterproof cameras, but here goes......

This new Nikon may or may not be a nice camera in relation to its competition - we'll have to give it the benefit of the doubt until we know more about it....BUT

1) Why is it that the manufacturers of these 'tough' cameras assume that outdoor and adventurous photographers are happy with such a small sensor and the comparatively low IQ that it gives? Sure they sell, but that's because there's nothing else. If Sony can shoehorn so much into an RX100 and Canon the G1X, how about a larger-sensored tough camera? And
2) Why hasn't a camera designed to be used in action, wet and in the rough got a GRIP!!!!

By HowaboutRAW (Jan 29, 2013)

The small sensor means that the waterproof box can be smaller.

The lenses on both the Sony RX100 and the Canon G1X physically move out of the body when those cameras are in use. Such a zoom lens system is next to impossible to make watertight.

These small tough cameras get around the moving external zoom by using an internal zoom, the light is probably bent to the sensor with a mirror or prism, but I haven't taken one apart.

So the fact that the sensor is small is completely understandable and the zooming cameras you chose as counter examples operate in a very different fashion than these tough cameras.

You can always glue a grip on to the outside of the casing.

You could propose that a manufacture make a tough camera in a somewhat bigger box, and then a bigger sensor could be used. But it would be a very big box if it used a sensor the size of the Sony RX100 or Canon G1X and had anything like the zoom range of the Canon or Sony.

By GodSpeaks (Jan 30, 2013)

We do NEED a 1" sensored rugged camera, and we NEED that camera to save RAW files. We do not need a huge zoom range. A 2x or 3x zoom ratio would be fine, provided it started at 28mm (35mm eq) or wider.
A larger camera than what is currently made would be fine with me too, and yes, a GOOD grip is also needed.
The manufacturers seem to be making these cameras for children and not for people who actually want a quality waterproof camera.

Comment edited 44 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Deleted pending purge
By Deleted pending purge (10 months ago)

There are absolutely no problems in making a really tough camera with all the optical and actually diver-usable features in the current P&S dimensions. All it takes is to reuse 80% of their Nikonos V project.
The problem is, Nikonos II, III, and V were actually too well made. Today's waterproof cameras can be sold by 3" more depth ability each year. So they keep on implementing risky water sealing principle - to enforce regular sealing replacement, which means that the users have to go on paying. And who would buy that if an (nearly) pocketable camera with interchangeable lens system that can go down to 60 meters were available - again?
Sure, they could also revive all the accessory range once used with Nikonos system... but somehow Nikon Of Today's can't see all the prestige and advantage in that. Go figure.
And even if they saw all this, they'd be more likely to rework the IVa or RS models, which have both been outright flops, compared to the other models.
Just my luck, I guess... :)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
By GodSpeaks (Jan 29, 2013)

Kinda short on specifications for a product anouncement.

1 upvote
By peevee1 (Jan 29, 2013)

AW110 - f/3.9-4.8 over 1/2.33" sensor. Still 2 stops worse than TG-1.
S31 - f/3.3-5.9 over 1/3" (if it is really "smartphone sized"). Even worse.

1 upvote
Total comments: 18