Nikon Coolpix AW110
5 Conclusion and Samples
What We Like
- Good photo quality for its class
- Responsive performance in most respects
- Goes deeper than any camera in its class (it's also shock and dustproof)
- Generous GPS feature set, with manometer, landmarks, maps, and logging
- Built-in Wi-Fi allows remote control and photo transfer with smartphones
- Good quality 1080/30p video recording with stereo sound
- Considerably cheaper than competition
What We Don't Like
- Details are smudged at base ISO (though likely not an issue for target audience)
- Tends to clip highlights
- Blue cast in underwater photos/movies
- Display very difficult to see outdoors and underwater
- Cluttered controls on rear of camera
- Panoramas are low resolution and poor quality
- Battery life isn't great
As we mentioned at the start of this review, Nikon is a relative newcomer to the waterproof/rugged camera scene (ironically, given the company's pioneering Nikonos film models of yore). The Coolpix AW110 is only Nikon's second rugged compact, yet it packs most of the features found on cameras that have been around for generations.
Design and Handling
The AW110 may not feel terribly rugged - especially with a plastic rear panel - but it ranks near the top of its class. In fact, the Coolpix can go further underwater than any rugged camera on the market: 18 meters (59 feet). It can also be dropped from 2 meters, if you're on the clumsy side. The AW110's slick front panel and lack of a grip makes it a bit difficult to hold. The controls on the back of the camera are cluttered and not easy to locate quickly. Nikon has implemented a feature called 'Action Control' for glove-wearing photographers, which lets you tilt the camera to move through menu items. While an interesting idea, Olympus' Tap Control feature is a lot easier to use.
You'll find a F3.9-4.8, 28-140mm lens on the Coolpix AW110, which it likely shares with the Canon PowerShot D20 that we reviewed last month. This lens doesn't have a very 'fast' maximum aperture range, meaning that it doesn't let in a ton of light at any point in its focal length span. Like several of its peers, the AW110 does have a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, which gathers more light than regular CCD and CMOS sensors, but this doesn't make up for the fact that the AW110's lens is pretty slow. On the back of the camera you'll find a 3-inch OLED display (possibly the same as the one on the Olympus TG-2) with 614,000 dots. The display looks great if you're indoors, with vivid color and a wide viewing angle. Outdoors, however, visibility is very poor, even if you crank the brightness all the way up.
The Coolpix AW110 is loaded with tons of features. It's largely a point-and-shoot camera, with just a pair of manual controls (for exposure compensation and white balance), and is fully loaded with every whiz-bang feature out there. One of its most impressive features is its GPS system, which combines standard location data with a compass, manometer, landmark database, and maps. The GPS gets a signal quickly in open areas and performs fairly well in the city. The landmark database is substantial, and if the camera got it wrong, you can change or remove the incorrect data. The maps are especially nice, showing exactly where you've taken your photos, as well as nearby landmarks. There's also a logging feature for creating a path of where you took pictures.
Another major feature is Wi-Fi which, when combined with Nikon's iOS and Android apps, lets you take control of the camera. You can control the camera from your mobile device, complete with live view and the ability to operate the lens. Photos can be automatically copied to your phone as soon as they're taken, at which point you can forward them on to their next destination. The app also allows you to browse the photos already on the camera, and move them over to your mobile device.
The Coolpix AW110 also has more conventional features, such as an auto mode with scene selection, numerous special effects, and a 1080p movie mode.
Performance and Photo Quality
Performance is generally very snappy, with a few exceptions. The AW110 starts up in under a second, and focuses quickly in both good and poor light. The delay between shots ranges from two to four seconds depending on flash use. The camera has a whopping seven different burst modes, with the ability to shoot as fast as 7 fps (for six shots). If you want to take more pictures, you can drop down to 2 fps, though be prepared for the minute-long wait before the camera can be used again. Battery life is not one of the AW110's strong suits, with a CIPA rating of a mere 250 shots per charge.
The Coolpix AW110 takes good quality photos, given the audience and shooting situations at which it is aimed. Exposure is generally accurate, though like most compacts, the AW110 will clip highlights. Colors are vibrant and pleasing to the eye when you're above ground, though underwater you'll see a blue color cast in your photos and videos. Pictures are fairly sharp, though if you look at 100% you'll find some smudging details, even at ISO 125. However, this will only be an issue if you're making extraordinarily large prints or cropping. The AW110 isn't great at high ISOs, but the results are good enough for Facebook or a 4x6 inch print. Chromatic aberrations were just an occasional annoyance in our shooting.
Overall, the Nikon Coolpix AW110 is a full-featured rugged camera that performs well and takes photos that'll please all but the most discerning photographers. It's worthy of a silver award, missing out on a gold due to its sub-par screen visibility and cramped controls.
Nikon Coolpix AW110
Category: Waterproof / Rugged Compact Camera
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Movie / video mode
The Coolpix AW110 is a capable rugged camera with good photo quality for its class, an elaborate GPS feature, Wi-Fi for remote camera control, and a nice movie mode - all without breaking the bank. It can also go further underwater than any of its peers. Downsides include smudged details, blue color casts underwater, poor outdoor display visibility, and below average battery life.
There are 29 images in the Nikon Coolpix AW110 review samples gallery. Please do not reproduce any of these images on a website or any newsletter / magazine without prior permission (see our copyright page). We make the originals available for private users to download to their own machines for personal examination or printing (in conjunction with this review), we do so in good faith, please don't abuse it.
Unless otherwise noted images taken with no particular settings at full resolution. Because our review images are now hosted on the 'galleries' section of dpreview.com, you can enjoy all of the new galleries functionality when browsing these samples.
Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review Samples
|Moon 99% D55 C14 St-Zénon 20170806 DP by MarioSS|
from Best Picture of the Week
|Reeds on lake by kkardster|
from Abstracts in Nature
|Florence & the Machine by Dutch Newchurch|
from Second chances..
If you're shooting the solar eclipse here's a hint: don't fry your camera's sensor. Use a proper solar filter that offers at least 16 stops of light filtration, along with UV and IR filtering. More important? Don't look at it unless you've got solar filters. Sensors can be replaced, your retinas can't.
Photographer Rick Wenner recently captured an odd event called the Race of the Gentlemen with a rather odd camera: The Phase One XF IQ3 Achromatic, the world's only 101MP black-and-white digital back.
Buying used is a good way to save some dough, and with the right precautions you can protect yourself from falling victim to a scam.
This two-part video series takes a deep dive into the world of dynamic symmetry and geometric composition, using iconic photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's brilliant photographs as a guide.
Award-winning photographer Jeremy Cowart tells the moving story behind this drone photograph, captured in the aftermath of the devastating wildfire in Gatlinburg, TN in 2016.
Happy 2017 World Photo Day! We asked everyone on staff at DPReview to share one photo that they took within the last year that makes them jazzed on photography. Here's what we chose.
French President Emmanuel Macron has lodged a legal complaint against a paparazzo who snuck onto the president's private vacation property to take pictures.
Ever wonder what the difference is between compressed, uncompressed and lossless compressed Raw files? Photography Life's Nasim Mansurov breaks it down for you in this informative article.
The oldest known portrait of a US president was just discovered after over a century in storage. It's going up for auction in October, where it's expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.
If you're using the popular Sigma 24-70mm F2.8 Art lens with Sigma's MC-11 converter, listen up: you'll want to update your lens and converter firmware ASAP.
If you've heard it once, you've probably heard it a thousand times: never check in your camera gear when flying. This shattered $11,000 lens is what can happen when you do.
Lensrentals just did its first Cine lens comparison, pitting five top-notch 35mm primes against each other: the Zeiss CP.2 35mm T2.1, Canon CN-E 35mm T1.5, Sigma 35mm T1.5 FF, Rokinon Xeen 35mm T1.5 and Schneider Xenon 35mm T2.1.
A team of Google researchers have found that slightly warping watermarks when embedding them into images can help prevent automatic removal.
You don't have to empty your savings account to take your photography to the next level. These cheap buys cost about $50 or less, and come with outsized benefits for your photography.
Joey L, Dani Diamond, Brandon Woelfel and Jessica Kobeissi go head-to-head in an episode of "4 photographers shoot the same model."
The latest flagship phone from Asus combines a 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX362 main sensor with a smaller Sony IMX351 chip for 2x zoom and a background-blurring portrait mode.
The company behind popular photo editor Picktorial 3 just released the X-Pack: a preset package that allows you to add Fuji's in-camera film simulation profiles to your RAF files in post.
Photoshop. GoPro. Every once in a while a product emerges that defines a category. And sometimes, it vanishes just as quickly as it arrived on the scene. This week's Throwback Thursday remembers the Flip, the pocket camcorder everyone had – until they didn't.
The Nokia 8's dual-cam combines the image data from a 13MP RGB sensor and a 13 monochrome chip for better detail, improved dynamic range and lower noise levels.
The company behind retail giant B&H Photo has agreed to pay out $3.2 million in monetary relief and back wages to settle a discrimination and harassment case from 2016.
After a popular Facebook teaser and some studio portrait samples, Godox has finally officially released the Godox A1 smartphone flash and flash trigger. Cheap, versatile and innovative, color us intrigued.
Canon’s EOS 5D Mk IV has won the European Imaging and Sound Association’s Professional DSLR of the Year award, making this the third year in a row that the brand has beaten Nikon to the top spot in the professional camera category.
A photograph and quote tweeted out by former president Barack Obama has officially become the most popular tweet of all time, receiving over 1.3 million retweets and 3.4 million likes.
Edward Weston was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century, and in this episode of Advancing Your Photography we learn the extreme technique he used to capture one of his most famous still life photos.
Instagram just released a small update that will make a huge difference if you're active on the photo sharing app: threaded comment replies.
Venus Optics has announced the price and delivery date of the second lens to join its Zero-D line up: the 15mm F2 for Sony’s E mount. A lens they've dubbed, "the world's fastest 15mm rectilinear lens for full-frame."
Cinnac is a new social network for photographers that will help you separate your good photos from your great ones through a Tinder-like community-based rating system.
The Canon EF 35mm F2 IS USM is an understated jewel of a lens, and one that we've enjoyed on a variety of cameras since its release almost five years ago. Its relatively small size and image stabilization make it a versatile tool for a variety of photography - check out our sample gallery.
You don't need a fancy studio or tons of gear to capture the kind of classic product photography you see in magazines. In this video, Dustin Dolby shows you how to do it with just a couple of speedlights and some know-how.
The life-logging camera is trying to make a comeback. Say hello to FrontRow, a live-streaming enabled life-logging camera from Ubiquiti that hangs on a necklace like a pendant.