Full official release info for AW100, new rugged Nikon compact

Started Aug 23, 2011 | Discussions thread
Jim Keye Senior Member • Posts: 1,935
Re: Missed chance

lovEU wrote:

While lens range, full HD and GPS are ok I think Nikon missed a chance here:

  • Tough conditions often correspond to tough light conditions. I'm still waiting for the first cam offering a fast lens like Olympus XZ-1 in a small tough body, that is F/1.8-2.5

It's all about the waterproofing and use. The camera needs a small lens that stays flush so the body can be sealed. 2nd, the camera is probably going to benefit from a smaller lens surface/window because of how it's intended to be carried and used. One's fingers have to be kept off the front of the lens always because it has no cap. Any touching means smearing/grease/dirt, unlike a normal camera that can be pocketed and handled (while off) w/o fear of this. Of course, if they could get the lens into the center of the body it would help a lot with that...

But flip it around: are we asking why every compact camera isn't drop-proof? Just as every camera would benefit from a faster lens, every camera would benefit from ruggedness. It's all about design compromises--features vs size, cost, etc.

  • Raw? Where is it? Not interested in the serious user as well?

This is the perpetual disappointment. The explosion of fishing photography alone over the last 5 years should have given any of these 'rugged' camera makers a serious wake-up call on raw. But there are the usual suspects: image processing and lens corrections. Chances are, there's a pretty serious bit of that going on, and they don't want their name on an image (raw) that hasn't had those things done to it.

That said, that still seems a cop-out. Why not make a better lens? Why not stop at 8 or 10 MPs so you don't have to do so much ridiculous noise reduction and pixel-level processing. "Lesser" specs supposedly don't sell, but seems like a camera that had ISO 400-1600/3200 that was clearly a 1-2 stops better than the competition would.

With the specs provided the AW100 mainly looks like a me-too-camera which has been available for quite some time already, imo.

Yes, in the form of the TS3. The Nikon has a better movie feature set. Beyond that, it will be a question of lens quality and sensor quality. The lens bit is interesting--it starts off a half-stop slower than the panny, but is a half-stop faster at the tele end. I have the TS1, and I can testify that the lens is pure garbage at the telephoto end. I hope the nikon manages a little better. The other thing that jumped out was the macro differences. W/O engaging macro, the Panny goes down to 12 inches, the nikon to 18." That's a pretty big difference! Whether or not this has some sort of side benefit (like faster focusing if it does the full hunt) remains to be seen. It would be a shame if it was just lazy engineering.

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