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Nikon Coolpix AW110

July 2013 | By Jeff Keller
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16MP | 28-140mm (5X) Zoom | $282/£250/€289

This is the third in a series of short underwater/rugged camera reviews on DPReview. We're testing the cameras concurrently, and once all six cameras have been reviewed, we'll publish a roundup of the class, comparing them directly.

Nikon is a relatively new entrant into the world of underwater/rugged cameras much like its arch rival, Canon. Its original model, the AW100, was announced in Fall of 2011, and then replaced in January 2013 by the Coolpix AW110.

The Coolpix AW110 is quite similar to its predecessor, retaining its design, sensor, and lens. So what's new? The AW110 is more rugged, sports a sharper OLED display, and supports Wi-Fi for easy photo sharing.

Specification Highlights

  • 16.0 effective megapixel BSI-CMOS sensor
  • F3.9-F4.8, 28-140mm equivalent zoom lens (5X)
  • Optical image stabilization
  • 3-inch OLED display with 614,000 dots
  • Built-in GPS with compass, manometer, landmarks, maps, and tracking
  • Waterproof to 18m, shockproof from 2m, freezeproof to -10C
  • 'Action Control' allows for camera control while wearing gloves
  • Wi-Fi allows for image sharing and remote control with smartphones/tablets
  • 'Quick Effects' lets you choose from a selection of special effects immediately after a photo is taken
  • 1080/30p movie mode with stereo sound

As mentioned above, the Coolpix AW110 uses the same 16 megapixel, back-illuminated CMOS sensor as the AW100. BSI sensors, as they are known, promise higher sensitivity than traditional CCD and CMOS designs, by allowing more light to hit the photosites. Unfortunately, the AW110's lens doesn't help with high sensitivity / low light shooting, as it has a maximum aperture of F3.9-4.8, which means that it's not letting in as much light as a camera with a 'faster' lens.

The AW110 features an F3.9-4.8, 28-140mm zoom lens. It bears a strong resemblance to the lens on the Canon PowerShot D20, and it wouldn't surprise us if they're the same unit.

To its left you'll find the AF-assist lamp, which can also be used to brighten the scene when recording movies.

The Coolpix AW110 has features that go above and beyond its ability to go underwater and take some knocks. Read on to find out more about them.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 95
12
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jul 5, 2013)

@DPR - copy and paste again: "Even if you ignore the panning issues that we found, the TG-2's video quality is just average."

0 upvotes
Jeff Keller
By Jeff Keller (Jul 5, 2013)

Thanks for both of your corrections, they've been fixed. I've reworded the video section a bit, as well.

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jul 5, 2013)

"This first video shows a seaplane taxing from its mooring. The wind filter is turned on, and appears to do a good job. The video is sharp, with vivid color, and no undesirable effects."

Actually, there is plenty IS "jumping" instead of smooth panning.

0 upvotes
Mr Fartleberry
By Mr Fartleberry (Jul 5, 2013)

Pay attention to the negatives - they are ALL valid. I have the 100 which I bought solely for GPS marking, and it frequently won't get a satellite lock. The smeared jpg files these AW cameras generate mean I do all my non-DSLR shooting with my iPad. Much better results.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jul 5, 2013)

@DPR. copy and paste? "The TG-2's built-in flash has a maximum flash range of 5.2m at wide-angle and 4.2m at telephoto (at Auto ISO, which maxes out at ISO 1600). "

0 upvotes
Total comments: 95
12