Nikon Coolpix AW100

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Ease of Use: / 5

Pricing: / 5

Video Quality: / 5

Photo Quality: / 5

Features: / 100

The AW100 is the tough new take on go-anywhere photography.

The AW100 is built to be able to take photos anywhere and boasts quite impressive specs. 16.0 Megapixel photos, 5x zoom,3200 ISO, face detection, 3” LCD screen, Nikon’s VR image stabilization technology and full 1080p HD video recording. It can also withstand drops of 1.5m, temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius, as well as depths up to 10m underwater and even has an electronic compass and built in GPS, to be able to record location information for each photo or video taken. That mouthful basically means you can take photos or video just about anywhere, anytime and in any situation.

The camera is small in stature, but looks as tough as it sounds. It feels solid and the buttons are easy to navigate. The back is adorned with a big 3” LCD screen and the normal function buttons. By looks alone, it seems to be able to justify Nikon’s claims.

It comes bundled with the usual extras you’d expect. The software CD features Panorama Maker 5 and Capture NX 2. You have to be online to download Capture NX 2 though, and you only get 60-day trial. The Capture NX software is disappointing. I’ve never been fond of Nikon’s proprietary software. Having to pay for software this light on features, is beyond me.

But wait, things get better from here.

Firstly, the LCD screen is fantastic. The high resolution screen produces crisp images, has vivid colours and amazing viewing angles. It was a joy working with the LCD screen.

The camera produces good photos. The photos do have good amounts of detail for a compact. Colours are realistically rendered and at lower ISO’s the noise (grain) is very well handled.

Camera operation is very basic, with basically no manual control. You can choose from 19 different optimized scene modes, from landscape to night to snow photography. They do work very well though. In the right mode, the camera did not miss a beat. Not even shooting at night.

The HDR mode was a revelation with amazing results in a few seconds, even when shooting straight at the setting sun. The camera also has a nifty Panorama mode, which works very quickly, but is not without flaws.

The review continues on page 2.

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