A Nikon Coolpix AW110 Camera Review (Part 1)

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The Nikon Coolpix AW110 was announced in January 2013 and was an updated version of Nikon's first all weather camera, AW100. It is now waterproof to an impressive 18m. You can buy the AW110 in blue, black, camouflage or orange for $405.


The Nikon Coolpix AW100 is an extremely powerful camera. It is waterproof to 18m, shockproof to 2m and freezeproof to -10°C. It has a 16 megapixels back-illuminated CMOS sensor and internal 5x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 28-140mm. To help keep your pictures sharp there is Hybrid VR, combining lens-shift and motion blur reduction.

Nikon Coolpix AW110

Nikon Coolpix AW110

The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to transfer the pictures and videos to your mobile devices to share with the social networking sites. The camera can also be used as a remote control.  The AW110 also has built-in GPS and an electronic compass. There is a World display map so you can see where you're shooting and viewing your route. The altimeter gives you your exact altitude and the hydro-barometer shows you how deep underwater you are. The Action Control makes it easy to use the camera underwater or while wearing gloves.

Nikon Coolpix AW110

Nikon Coolpix AW110

When shooting there is auto mode which adjusts the camera settings automatically. There are also a number of scene modes including dedicated light modes such as Auto HDR and Night Landscape. The AW110 can capture up to 6 frames at 8 fps. The Easy Panorama 360°/180° allows you to move the camera vertically or horizontally to create a panorama. When shooting underwater, underwater mode automatically adjusts the white balance.

Video is recorded in Full 1080p HD with stereo sound, optical zoom and autofocus are available during recording. You can also record video in slow motion or fast, with speeds ranging from 15 to 120 fps. You can connect the camera to the HDTV with an HDMI cable.

Menu and buttons layout

Menu and buttons layout

Key Features

·         16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor

·         5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-140mm)

·         Hybrid VR (lens-shift and motion blur reduction)

·         3.0 inch 614k dot OLED screen

·         Waterproof to 18m

·         Shockproof to 2m

·         Freezeproof to -10°C

·         Built-in Wi-Fi

·         Built-in GPS, altimeter, hydro-barometer and electronic compass

·         Action Control

·         Full 1080p HD video recording

·         ISO 125 - 3200

·         1cm minimum focusing distance

·         Auto HDR

·         8 fps continuous shooting

·         Easy Panorama 360°/180°

·         Available in blue, black, camouflage and orange

Product Image

Product Image


The Nikon Coolpix AW110's body is primarily made of plastic with a metal front and its shape makes it easy to grip. On top of the camera are the on/off and shutter buttons. The rear has a zoom rocker with movie record, scene modes, playback, menu and delete buttons. There is also a D-pad key to cycle through the menu, this also allows quick access to exposure modes, flash, self-timer and macro mode.

Also at the rear of the camera is a 3-inch screen with an improved resolution of 614k dots, and quite easy to view under all light. Access to the battery and memory card is via the chunky round dial on the side of the camera. You have to press the center button and turn the dial 90°. The Camera's Menu is clear and easy to navigate.

 On the opposite side of the battery mounting position is a button which switches to the World map and Action Control. If you activate the Action Control in the camera menu, you simply click on it and a menu appears on the screen. You simply flick the camera up and down to go through the menu and press the Action Control button again to make your choice. Options available are mode selection, start movie recording, and playback. It's easy to operate the camera even when underwater or wearing gloves.

To use Wi-Fi connection, you need to download the Mobile Wireless Utility app for your smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android). This allows you to use your mobile device to download images from the camera to edit and share them. You can also use it as a remote control. A preview appears on your cell phone, you can control the zoom or set a timer. The other information will appear on screen, such as shutter speed, aperture, number of shots and the battery life left.

Menu interface

Menu interface

Battery life is rated at 250 shots according to CIPA testing results, the results can be greatly reduced if the GPS and Wi-Fi is used, so you may want to consider carrying a spare battery. We take a number of shots to test the responsiveness of the camera, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We took some photos and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent test, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

The camera's battery

The camera's battery

·         Shutter Response: 0.2 secs

·         Wide - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.25 secs

·         Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response: 0.3 secs

·         Switch on Time to Taking a Photo: 1.75 secs

·         Shot to Shot without Flash: 1.2 secs

·         Shot to Shot with Flash: 1.3 secs

·         Continuous Shooting H: 7.1 fps

·         Continuous Shooting L: 2.0 fps

·         Continuous Shooting H: 120 fps: 122.8 fps

·         Continuous Shooting H: 60 fps: 60 fps

The continuous shooting H & L modes record at full 16 megapixel resolution, with the 120 fps restricted to VGA and 60 fps limited to 1 megapixel images.

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