Nikon Coolpix W100

Nikon Coolpix W100

13.2MP 1/3.1" CMOS sensor | 30-90mm equiv. F3.3-5.9 lens | 1080/30p video capture

What we like:

  • Easy to use
  • Large, kid-friendly buttons
  • Inexpensive

What we don't:

  • Poor image quality
  • No optical image stabilization
  • Limited lens range
The W100 is Nikon’s most basic rugged compact, and one of the least expensive waterproof cameras on the market. The W100 sports a 13MP sensor, 30-90mm equivalent F3.3-5.9 unstabilized lens and 2.7” LCD. Though it’s modest in terms of spec, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth make the feature list.
At first glance, the W100 looks like a child’s camera with its rounded design and oversized buttons, and it has a user interface to match. The body feels more plasticky than other rugged cameras. It’s shockproof from 1.8m/6ft, waterproof down to 10m/33ft and freezeproof down to -10°C / 14°F. The door on the bottom (with only one lock, which doesn't build confidence) contains the battery / memory card compartment and the micro-HDMI / micro-USB ports. At 230k-dots, the 2.7” LCD is both low resolution and small compared to its peers. Wireless connectivity works as advertised.
The W100 is simple to use, which also makes it a good kid-friendly camera
The W100 sports a contrast-detection AF system that’s fairly responsive, though there is no tracking or face detection. The W100 can focus as close as 5cm / 2in on the wide end of its lens. Bursts can be shot at up to 4.8 fps when using the 'continuous shooting' scene mode. Battery life is rated at 220 shots per charge, which is poor.
The W100's combination of a sensor the size of a smartphone's and heavy noise reduction leads to subpar image quality - and that's in daylight. The lack of optical image stabilization on this slow lens makes getting sharp photos in low light difficult. Controls are very limited in general, with even exposure compensation buried in a 'change colors' submenu. As you'd expect, Raw shooting is not an option.
Video mode allows for up to 1080/30p capture with a slight crop. The camera offers electronic stabilization to help steady clips, but other than that, video-making tools are nonexistent. Videos are soft and even with electronic IS turned on, still shaky.
The Nikon Coolpix W100 is best suited as a inexpensive rugged camera that you can hand off to your kids. Image quality is worse than modern smartphones in most cases, with the W100's only real advantages being its zoom lens and ability to get wet or dropped without breaking.

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