Previous news story    Next news story

Nikon Coolpix AW120 and S32 waterproof cameras make a splash

By dpreview staff on Feb 7, 2014 at 04:00 GMT
Nikon Coolpix AW120 and S32
1 / 6
Image 1
Image 1
Image 2
Image 3
Image 4
Image 5
Image 6

Nikon has announced the Coolpix AW120 and S32 waterproof cameras. The AW120 features a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, a 3-inch OLED screen and a wide-angle 24-120mm equivalent image stabilized zoom. It's waterproof down to 18m (59ft), shockproof from a height of 2m (6.6ft) and freezeproof down to -10C/+14F. It also comes with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS. The S32 has a 13.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, 2.7-inch LCD display and 30-90mm equivalent lens. It's waterproof down to 10m (33ft) and shockproof from a height of 1.5m (5ft). The AW120 will sell for $349.95 and the S32 for $129.95. Both will be available in March. 

Jump to:

Press Release:


Beneath Its Durable Exterior, the COOLPIX AW120 Sports Incredible Image Quality and Useful Features Fit for Life’s Adventures

MELVILLE, NY (February 6, 2014) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the rugged COOLPIX AW120 for those who demand as much from their camera as they do from their adventure. Waterproof (up to 59 feet, 18m), shockproof (up to 6.6 feet, 2m) and freezeproof(down to 14°F, -10°C), the AW120 can handle practically any condition above or below sea level. Equipped with GPS technology, the COOLPIX AW120 lets the user track their exploration down to the exact longitude and latitude of where an image was captured. Explorers can also stay connected when they’re “off the grid” with built-in mapping and an Electronic Compass to help navigate the unknown. Built-in Wi-FiⓇ connectivityallows the user to seamlessly transfer images or HD video of any adventure to compatible smart devices for easy sharing of quality imagery to their social networks, friends and family.

"The new COOLPIX AW120 is uniquely designed for Nikon’s thrill-seeking consumers who are living life to the fullest, and need a camera to keep up," said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. "We’ve incorporated useful features and technology while still providing the image quality that Nikon has become synonymous with, so users can spend less time navigating their camera and more time navigating their adventure."

The COOLPIX AW120 features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor that helps preserve adventurous moments that are worth reliving in stunning photos and Full HD 1080/60i video. Furthermore, a wide angle 5x (24-120mm) optical zoom lens and 10x Dynamic Fine Zoom* with Hybrid Vibration Reduction (VR), a fast f/2.8 maximum aperture and about 6.9 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting ensure that photos and videos are captured in clear detail, despite the distance or tumultuous climate the explorer may be in. Knowing that operating a camera should not stop an excursion, the COOLPIX AW120 sports an intuitive graphic user interface and Nikon’s Action Control function that allows seamless operation with gloved hands. To help frame stunning photos and HD videos, the COOLPIX AW120 sports a bright 3.0-inch (7.5cm) high-resolution OLED monitor as well.

Additionally, the AW120 can be mounted to a new chest harness that allows the user to securely fasten the camera around their chest, which is helpful when capturing exciting stills and videos from a unique in-the-action point of view. The COOLPIX AW120 can also be fitted with optional silicone jackets that provide a second layer of protection as well as a stylish new look. The silicone jackets will be available in several different colors including Black, Orange, Blue and Khaki. 

Price and Availability

The COOLPIX AW120 will be available in March 2014 in Orange, Blue, Black and Camouflage for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $349.95**

Dynamic Fine Zoom magnification is calculated from the full-wide end of optical zoom.


2 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 application can be downloaded free of charge from Google Play™ or the Apple App Store. 

For use with Android or iOS mobile devices, please refer to mobile device compatibility and available features at (Android) or (iOS).

Android and Google Play are trademarks of Google, Inc. 

iPhone, iPad and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. 

Apple, the Apple logo, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. APP Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.

Wi-Fi® and the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo are registered trademarks of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

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

All Nikon trademarks are trademarks of Nikon Corporation.

Specifications, equipment and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

Press Release:


Waterproof and Shockproof, the Family-Friendly COOLPIX S32 is a Must-Have for Every Family Moment

MELVILLE, NY (February 6, 2014) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the family-friendly COOLPIX S32, a fun and durable compact camera that practically anyone in the household can use. Ready to endure the elements of nearly any family outing, this sturdy point-and-shoot is waterproof (up to 33 feet, 10m) and shockproof1  (up to 5 feet, 1.5m). The S32 also includes a 2.7-inch (6.7cm) LCD display with an intuitive graphic user interface that makes photography easy for every family member, and the durable body will help ease worried parents’ minds. 

"Every day can seem like an adventure for busy families, so Nikon designed the COOLPIX S32 to be tough and easy-to-use," said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. "With Nikon’s trusted image quality, capturing memorable photos and HD videos will be one less thing parents have to worry about."

Users can relive the memories of a family vacation through beautiful photos and Full HD (1080p) videos thanks to the S32’s 13.2-megapixel CMOS sensor and 3x optical zoom that help to deliver clear images and video, rain or shine. The family can enjoy their favorite moments together with unique playback options, including an in-camera slide show. From taking the first photo of an annual vacation to laughing over a short video at the end of a fun day, the COOLPIX S32 makes photography a family affair. The S32 also includes user friendly features like Motion Detection, Smart Portrait System, as well as Scene Modes and Effects, which will help capture and create that special moment with ease, regardless of which family member is behind the camera.

Price and Availability

The COOLPIX S32 will be in available in March 2014 in White and Blue for a suggested retail price (SRP) of $129.95*.


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

All Nikon trademarks are trademarks of Nikon Corporation.

Specifications, equipment and release dates are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

Nikon Coolpix AW120 and S32 specifications

 Nikon Coolpix AW120Nikon Coolpix S32
Body type
Body typeCompact
Max resolution4608 x 34564160 x 3120
Effective pixels16 megapixels13 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels14 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)1/3" (4.8 x 3.6 mm)
Sensor typeCMOSCCD
ISOAuto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (3200, 6400 available in Auto mode)Auto, 125, 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)Electronic VR (movies)
Uncompressed formatUnknown
File format
  • JPEG
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)24–120 mm30–90 mm
Optical zoom5×3×
Maximum apertureF2.8 - F4.9F3.3 - F5.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Center
  • Face Detection
Digital zoomYes (up to 4x)
Manual focusYes (with 99 focus areas)
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69)30 cm (11.81)
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39)5 cm (1.97)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size32.7
Screen dots921,000230,000
Screen typeOLED monitor TFT LCD with anti-reflection coating
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed4 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec1/2000 sec
Exposure modes
  • Programmed AutoEasy Auto, Scene Mode, Smart Portrait, Auto mode
  • Easy Auto, Scene Mode, Smart Portrait, Auto mode
Scene modes
  • Backlighting, Beach, Black and White Copy, Close-up, Dusk/Dawn, Panorama assist, Fireworks Show, Food, Landscape, Museum, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Party/Indoor, Pet Portrait, Portrait, Scene Auto Selector, Snow, Sports, Sunset, Underwater
  • Backlighting, Soft, Neon Effect, Close-up, Mirror, Diorama effect, Fireworks Show, Food, Cartoon Effect, Bubble Effect, Night Scenes, Picture Series, Interval shooting, Underwater
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.20 m3.10 m
Drive modes
  • Single, Continuous L, Continuous H, Best Shot Selector, Multi-shot 16, Continuous 120fps, Continuous 60fps, Pre-shooting cache
Continuous drive7 fps5 fps
Self-timerYes (Approx. 10 seconds )
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions1920x1080 (30p), VGA 640x480 (30p, 15p)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Videography notes1920x1080 (30p, 25p, 60i, 50i), 1280x720 (30p, 25p), 1920x1080 (15p, 12.5p), 640x480 (120p, 100p), 1280x720 (60p, 50p), 320x240 (240p, 200p), iFrame 720 (30p, 25p), 640x480 (30p, 25p)
Storage typesSD / SDHC/SDXC
Storage included329MB25MB
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmentally sealedYes (Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof, Freezeproof)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionNikon EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion batteryNikon EN-EL19 Lithium-Ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA)350220
Weight (inc. batteries)213 g (0.47 lb / 7.51 oz)175 g (0.39 lb / 6.17 oz)
Dimensions110 x 66 x 26 mm (4.33 x 2.6 x 1.02)108 x 66 x 40 mm (4.25 x 2.6 x 1.57)
Other features
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 Kokomania (1 month ago)

The camera is already on the market in North America and Europe. I am curious if the problems with the black screen appearing after use underwater for AW110 , have been resolved in AW 120?
I also saw silicone cap for AW120- does anybody has an idea what is the use of this?

By CAcreeks (2 months ago)

The lens is wider and faster than before. I wonder if corners are less soft at wide angle? Could not find any sample images on the web.

By xentar (2 months ago)

Nothing wrong happens with just your normal cameras during hour-long shooting sessions down to at least negative 20s Celsius. Fingers can get numb though.

By zerlings (2 months ago)

The AW120 maybe THE camera I want for scuba diving. I just got an open water scuba diving license and the deepest I have went is 20m so far. I hate those hardcase which is expensive, bulky and have to be taken on/off everytime.

By Revenant (2 months ago)

Interesting that the S32, which is supposed to make photography easy for all family members, has a slower lens, a smaller sensor, and no physical image stabilisation at all. The manufacturers do so much cost-cutting with these "family-friendly" models, that they're almost useless for their intended purpose.

1 upvote
By joejack951 (2 months ago)

So true! I hear five to ten year olds complaining all the time about noise in their low light images.

By wetsleet (2 months ago)

I just hear the noise in five to ten year olds all the time.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
By ALiEN2108 (2 months ago)

What I wonder is if AW120 will actually work!? Huge number of us had LCD failures in strange ways...LCD was not working except when I started to record video, then it worked perfectly or complete failure.

Also 18m depth was a joke....already at 16m the display was so bent inwards, that plastic already touched the LCD module itself...

Nikon lost my trust on this and lets see what first "beta" users will report...

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 49 seconds after posting
By F3d3 (2 months ago)

I recently bought an AW110, on our second day at the beach the screen went black (except for video), we probably submerged it to a depth of 1m. The display stayed black for our entire vacation (2 weeks). Once home, I called Nikon to have the unit fixed but suddenly the display started to work. I'm waiting for it to fail again... I've had several Pentax, and Lumix waterproof cameras, the Nikon is the worst one I've had.

By cgarrard (2 months ago)

S32 - Under $60.00 in less than 6 months at retailers, just watch.

By One_Oldman_4U (2 months ago)

Will there be an update for the AW1? I want one with a EVF ala 1/V2.

I have the AW110 and it's an decent rugged compact and I'm not enthused on the 120 as an upgrade. To make a difference, they should have made the sensor bigger (1/1.7")

But I want a AWx with a EVF. There was also a rumor I read a while back that they will make the 10-100VR in a rugged version. Maybe Nikon will come out with both very soon!

By peevee1 (2 months ago)

DPR, you have a mistake in your spec table for AW110, it starts from f/2.8, not f/3.9 like AW110.

By EricoftheNorth (2 months ago)

Yeah, this brief is woefully lacking that spec. This makes the second reasonably bright water proof on the market (the wg-3 and TG-2 use the same lens.) That should be highlighted front and center.

By peevee1 (2 months ago)

Oops, I meant AW120.

By peevee1 (2 months ago)

"This makes the second reasonably bright water proof on the market (the wg-3 and TG-2 use the same lens.)"

Technically, it would make it 7th, but not so bright - TG-1, TG-2, WG-3, WG-3 GPS, WG-4, WG-4 GPS use the same lens which is also a whole stop faster. But really, f/2.8 is closer to Panasonic TS4's f/3.3 than to these cameras' f/2.0. Unfortunately, that Oly lens is still in the class of its own. :( If only Olympus would release TG-3 putting 1/1.7" sensor (in MAR mode) with 5-axis stabilization and TruePic VII behind that lens... I would preorder (going on vacation soon).

1 upvote
Vincent Aquilino
By Vincent Aquilino (2 months ago)

I wonder if this new aw120 will have the fog and Condensation issue as the last two models have had.

By CaseyComo (2 months ago)

Mine's been good. Rapid changes in temp, pressure, and moisture levels are challenging. Occasionally a little condensation, but nothing outside of the realm of ordinary physics.

By EricoftheNorth (2 months ago)

No, second. You can't list the same lens 7 times and call it new. I use both the we and tg. Same lens, the Pentax just has shitty processing.

Total comments: 18