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NikonCOOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black)
 
4.2

(based on 62 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (34)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

87%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (43)
  • Compact (39)
  • Good battery life (30)
  • Large clear LCD (30)
  • Great resolution (29)

Cons

  • No viewfinder (8)
  • Short battery life (8)
  • Complicated controls (6)
  • Limited zoom (4)
  • Poor in low light (3)

Best Uses

  • Travel (36)
  • Sports/action (23)
  • Family photos (22)
  • Wildlife (13)
  • Video (11)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (23), Casual photographer (13), Semi-pro photographer (10), Pro photographer (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (48), Yes (3)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Adequate picture quality, good features

Been using the camera for a few weeks now for ocean kayaking (mostly stills) and first impressions are good so far.

The LCD is bright and easy to see in bright...Read complete review

Been using the camera for a few weeks now for ocean kayaking (mostly stills) and first impressions are good so far.

The LCD is bright and easy to see in bright daylight on the water, even at the medium brightness setting of 3. The power, shutter release, multi-selector buttons and the mode, playback, menu and delete button are easy to push wearing neoprene gloves, but the OK (select) button is hard to press without hitting one of the multi-selector buttons by mistake. We found the supplied two-sided strap to be of limited use, so I modified it to make a 16 inch single-sided leash with loop for clipping to my PDF (life jacket) while paddling. The camera fit comfortably between my PFD and chest while paddling and provided quick one-hand access on the water.

The images stabilization works quite well, providing reasonable sharpness down to 1/8 second. The portrait and pet portrait modes work and we've found them to be helpful. Autofocus worked reasonably well, so long as you pay attention to the screen to see what subjects are in focus (green boxes signify focus area/s). Auto white balance provided good results indoors, but I prefer results setting it to "daylight" when shooting outside to keep color balance consistent during the day. The flash is a little weak for fill lighting in daylight unless you're pretty close to your subject (14-17 foot range per manual is indeed the max).

Coming from a DSLR background, I was expecting some compromises in picture quality and the real-world results are not surprising. Edge sharpness is soft, especially at f2.8 and f/4.2, but it's not real obvious at f/4.8 or above. There's quite a bit of noise reduction visible in the images up close and the images are soft, even at maximum image quality (4608x3456 and 1:4 JPEG compression). However, if you downsize images to (2304x1728), you get a fairly good quality 4 Mpix equivalent image that's pretty sharp and fairly clean, good enough for small and medium prints and plenty good for most other uses.

Test images:
The two test images are 1:1 blowups of a portion of the original image. Original images were shot at maximum quality (4608x3456 and 1:4 JPEG compression). Test images were not sharpened, nor was any other post-processing done. The cat photo shows that even with a very slow 1/8 second shutter speed, image sharpness is usable, even for small prints, especially if the image is downsized as mentioned above. The outdoor image shot at f/4.2 and 1/400 seconds shows acceptable sharpness (for this kind of camera). The "smooth blotchiness" of the images caused by noise reduction and other in-camera image processing is clearly visible.

I only shot a few short videos, but so far I've been pleased with the results (note I'm less experiences in video). The GPS works, though I've done very little with it other than viewing present location. Without using GPS and video, it's hard to know about battery life, but it still had full charge after a full day of kayaking and shooting stills. The camera has not been underwater yet so can't speak to its waterproofing.

Overall, I like the camera and would buy it again if I was still in the market for a compact waterproof. While the image quality is not up to enthusiast compact or DSLR standards, it does a good job for its intended purpose and I would use it for everything except important portraits or images I might blow up beyond 14 inches in size.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Substantial problems with this camera

I have had Nikon DLSR cameras since 2002 and 5 different P&S cameras and this is the first one that I have decided to replace and junk. The camera when new would...Read complete review

I have had Nikon DLSR cameras since 2002 and 5 different P&S cameras and this is the first one that I have decided to replace and junk. The camera when new would lose all its settings including the date and time whenever the battery was removed from the camera so I could insert a new one with a full charge. Sent it in to Nikon and they serviced it. Now I find that it is reusing the same file names so if I shoot and then reformat the card I end up with the new sequence using numbers from the prior sequence again so I have to copy the second set of files into a new folder and then rename them all. The camera also has settings that to change thme you have to roll the camera from side to side and if you roll it one to many times you have to go through the sequence again. Dumbest user interface I have ever come across. There is also a simple mode that blocks access to settings and there is no documentation as to this and the camera ships in this idiot mode. There is no way to set the shutter speed so to insure a sharp picture I have to boost the ISO setting twice as much to force a faster shutter speed. The Macro mode does work very well and is the only aspect of the camera I do like. My other P&S cameras were from Panasonic and Olympus and my next waterproof one will be a Ricoh WG-4 GPS camera.The camera only saves stills in JPEG format and without the ability to save as RAW format the accuracy of the white balance metering becomes critical. In bright sun the WB metering is OK but in low light or with tungsten light sources it is often off.

Reviewed by 62 customers

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4.0

Really good vacation camera

By Brad

from Ontario, Canada

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Fast Shutter Speed
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • Short Battery Life

Best Uses

  • Family Photos
  • Travel

Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black):

I bought this camera for basic vacation photos and video. I had a Canon Power Shot Elph 100 HS but found that dust had worked it's way inside the lens and spots would show up in the photos. This camera is water and dust proof, so I don't expect that to happen again. Very good build quality and still small enough to fit in a pocket. Preset modes work very well, tends to underexpose slightly which is not a bad thing as you can bring out shadow details later in editing if needed. The images are very colour faithful, compression is slightly noticeable at maximum viewing zoom. Over all though, images are more than acceptable for this type of camera. All video functions work well and gives good results. The Wi-Fi is good to have as you can easily transfer photos to tablets and smartphones, however this function works well as long as the battery has a good charge. Over all I am more than satisfied with this camera, does everything I need it to for documenting family vacations.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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5.0

Great tough underwater camera

By Judy the traveler

from avon, ct

About Me Casual Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Fast Shutter Speed
  • Good Battery Life
  • Great Resolution
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • No Viewfinder

Best Uses

  • Travel

Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

I bought this as a tough camera that could withstand water and I wouldn't have to worry about when I don't want to expose my better camera to the elements. I used it whale watching and we were sprayed with water quite a bit. I didn't go underwater with it, so I can't tell you how waterproof it really is. I did a lot of research for a fairly inexpensive tough water camera and the results seemed to be pointed toward either the Olympus Tough or the Nikon. My husband and daughter both have the Olympus and I've never cared for the picture quality, so I purchased the Nikon. The photo quality seems pretty good. I like that it has 5x optical zoom, some basic scenes and a nice panorama. I like this much better than the Canon stitch assist. The video quality is fine and I got some nice shots of the whales. I bought the camera the day before I went on vacation, so I think with time I'll discover some other nice elements. I am happy with the purchase.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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4.0

good product for winter

By patty

from Franklin, indiana

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Compact
  • Easy to Use
  • Easy Use
  • Fast Shutter
  • Fast Shutter Speed
  • Good Battery Life
  • Great Resolution
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • Limited Zoom

Best Uses

  • Family Photos
  • Indoors/Low Light
  • Sports/Action
  • Video
  • Wildlife photos

Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

for outdoor shots in the dead of cold , features are nice, maybe more zoom for the buck. Handles nicely for shots.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • Yes

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(0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Worst Nikon Purchase

By Oz

from New York, NY

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

    • Limited Zoom
    • Poor Image Quality
    • Poor in Low Light

    Best Uses

      Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black):

      I love Nikons but this is product is below their regular standards. I brought on a trip to Australia and the camera started randomly taking pictures, switched form touchscreen to regular use, and then deleted all my photos from my SD card. When I returned I called the 2 year warranty service and they told me to contact the Nikon warranty service. After 30 min with them they told me this is most likely water damage and we don't cover water damage when it is a WATERPROOF CAMERA!!!! I only went under about a foot of water. I can't scuba dive due to asthma so I used just for snorkeling. Now I am stuck with a malfunctioning camera they want me to ship to CT to be serviced with the understanding I may have to pay to have it serviced. What kind of warranty is this. After I paid $40 to recover the photos from my SD card the photos came out foggy and most color was lost.

      Not a great camera.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Great camera, would buy it again!!!!!

      By Mike R

      from Cleveland, Ohio

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Battery Life
      • Good in Low Light
      • Great Resolution
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Small / Compact

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Travel
        • Underwater
        • Wildlife photos

        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

        I bought the camera to use on vacation when I went snorkeling. The camera worked great. I took great stills underwater and a couple videos. The camera surpassed my expectations. The price seemed fair for what the camera can do. it also preformed well for everyday pictures and at night without the flash. i was also impressed with the zoom. Just make sure when you use the camera in water, you do the proper maintenance on the camera and it will work great.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        5.0

        must buy

        By coco

        from nyc

        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

        at first I was a bit skeptical of the cameras capabilities because of its size, but was quickly reassured by the overall amazing qualities and not to mention convenient, compact size of the camera. all in all I would highly recommend.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Bullet Proof Nikon AW 120

        By KVUSMC

        from Chesterfield VA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Fast Shutter Speed
        • Good Battery Life
        • Good in Low Light
        • Great Resolution
        • Great Zoom
        • Large Clear LCD
        • Small / Compact

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Indoors/Low Light
          • Macro Photography
          • Sports/Action
          • Travel
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events
          • Wildlife photos

          Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black):

          This Camera Was Used During Filming in 8 degree weather The Camera Never Fogged Up ! And The Battery Lasts Forever In This Camera !

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          nice camera

          By chris

          from ct

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to Use
          • Great Resolution
          • Small / Compact

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Sports/Action
            • Travel
            • Video

            Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

            casual use , great camera

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            3.0

            Quality Camera but...

            By Gilly

            from New Jersey

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast Shutter Speed

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Sports/Action

              Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Camouflage):

              I liked this camera for a few reasons, namely that it has a very fast shutter speed (not much "processing time" between taking photos), was a durable, waterproof "action camera" ( I was looking for a regular camera alternative to go with my GoPro 3+) and had a pretty cool camo case.

              However, I returned it because it was kind of bulky, had a dated interface, and didn't seem to have the best image stabilization. Opted to focus on using my GoPro 3+ as well as my old Sony TX10 (better interface layout, less weight, solid stabilization and great pics..but slower processor).

              In addition, I do a lot of obstacle races and mud runs. The Sony also won out because it has a sliding door which does a pretty good job of protecting the lens from scratches and helps to keep the lens clean...well, cleaner than a camera with no cover like with the Nikon.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Great camera for hiking

              By Matt

              from California

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Small / Compact

              Cons

              • No Viewfinder

              Best Uses

              • Travel

              Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black):

              Great camera for hiking in the Sierras. Don't have to worry about it being dropped (within reason), getting wet, or, most importantly, weigh you down as you hike or backpack. For those days when I don't want to lug a DSLR, I pack this camera. Good camera to throw in a bag and forget about it till you need it.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Great little camera

              By Joey J

              from New Jersey

              Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

              This camera is awesome. Very easy to use with great results. Haven't figured out how to get the WIFI to work yet, but when I do, it should make my opinion even better.

              Share this review

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great travel camera

              By Travelin Joe

              from Fort Collins, CO

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Good in Low Light
              • Great Resolution
              • Great Zoom
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Small / Compact

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Family Photos
                • Travel
                • Wildlife photos

                Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

                Wife and I heading to Tahiti next week. This camera will prove invaluable for all those snorkeling pictures. My buddy got one last year and the pics are great - so I had to get one. This camera is easy to carry and easy to use and produces excellent results.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Good point and shoot camera

                By William

                from VA

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Battery Life
                • Great Resolution
                • Small / Compact

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Travel

                  Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Camouflage):

                  I use this camera as general purpose camera when a high end digital camera just isn't practical. Like out in a boat, out in the rain, or just for surprising situation where a camera is useful. Although it states it is waterproof, I have not taken it underwater.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Nice P&S

                  By Mick Klass

                  from Tacoma, WA

                  About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Fast Shutter Speed
                  • Good Battery Life
                  • Great Resolution
                  • Large Clear LCD
                  • Small / Compact

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Family Photos
                    • Sports/Action
                    • Travel

                    Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

                    This is a nice P&S camera, even without the weatherproof capability. It does a nice job in any scene. That you can take it out in foul weather, and underwater is even better.

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Great camera!

                    By LindseyCarleton

                    from Freeport, TX

                    About Me Casual Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Fast Shutter Speed
                    • Good Battery Life
                    • Good in Low Light
                    • Great Resolution
                    • Great Zoom
                    • Large Clear LCD
                    • Small / Compact

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Work Documentation

                      Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

                      We have 2 Coolpix camera's already and this one is a higher model. There is no comparison. Even though the model before the AW120 was a great camera this is perfect for our Chemical Plant! GPS helps us map location of certain equipment, the life proof ensures the safety of our pictures when the guys aren't as careful as they should be with a camera, and the picture is so clear every detail shows! Couldn't have chosen a better camera!

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      2.0

                      Substantial problems with this camera

                      By Brock

                      from Walnut Creek, CA

                      About Me Pro Photographer

                      Pros

                      • Small / Compact

                      Cons

                      • Bugs In Firmware
                      • Complicated Controls
                      • No Raw File Save
                      • No Shutter Speed Select

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

                        I have had Nikon DLSR cameras since 2002 and 5 different P&S cameras and this is the first one that I have decided to replace and junk. The camera when new would lose all its settings including the date and time whenever the battery was removed from the camera so I could insert a new one with a full charge. Sent it in to Nikon and they serviced it. Now I find that it is reusing the same file names so if I shoot and then reformat the card I end up with the new sequence using numbers from the prior sequence again so I have to copy the second set of files into a new folder and then rename them all. The camera also has settings that to change thme you have to roll the camera from side to side and if you roll it one to many times you have to go through the sequence again. Dumbest user interface I have ever come across. There is also a simple mode that blocks access to settings and there is no documentation as to this and the camera ships in this idiot mode. There is no way to set the shutter speed so to insure a sharp picture I have to boost the ISO setting twice as much to force a faster shutter speed. The Macro mode does work very well and is the only aspect of the camera I do like. My other P&S cameras were from Panasonic and Olympus and my next waterproof one will be a Ricoh WG-4 GPS camera.The camera only saves stills in JPEG format and without the ability to save as RAW format the accuracy of the white balance metering becomes critical. In bright sun the WB metering is OK but in low light or with tungsten light sources it is often off.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        2.0

                        Not good to use underwater

                        By Marcus Coltro

                        from Miami Beach

                        About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Fast Gps
                        • Wi-fi Transfercellphone

                        Cons

                        • Awful Dark Screen
                        • Buttons Too Small
                        • Complicated Controls
                        • No Viewfinder

                        Best Uses

                        • Family Photos

                        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black):

                        I bought is as a replacement for my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 which I have almost destroyed snorkeling on Kiribati. What attracted me most was the fact I have always used Nikon and thought it would be a plus. It may be a good camera - but not for underwater use, specially on shallow water. The buttons are impossible to operate with gloves, the screen is too dark if sunlight hits it (makes difficult to take pictures on the sun as well). A viewfinder would be a great addition to it - or a brighter screen (I had set it to the brightest). I guess it is a ok camera to use on trips or to take family pictures, but it was not a good camera for me since the main use would be underwater.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Great alternative to the big DSLR!!

                        By Bill the Scuba Diver

                        from Sarasota, FL

                        About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Battery Life
                        • Great Resolution
                        • Small / Compact

                        Cons

                        • Image Slow To Sd Card

                        Best Uses

                        • Family Photos
                        • Macro Photography
                        • Travel
                        • Video

                        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

                        I have been a DSLR user for several years on land and underwater. I've always wanted a small full-function camera (16+ megapixels and HD video) that fit into my pocket on trips to theme parks and light travel. This camera fits the bill. The pictures are clear and the video is exceptional. Haven't used it underwater yet but anxious to do so. Highly recommend it and the price point is just right. Bill from Sarasota, FL

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        Great little camera

                        By Dave

                        from Harrison TN

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good in Low Light
                        • Great Resolution

                        Cons

                        • Short Battery Life

                        Best Uses

                        • At The Beach Or Swiming P

                        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

                        We love using this camera while our grandkids swim and my daughter was blown away with how the photo's came out.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        Compact and versatile

                        By Tedd Santana

                        from Vitória, ES. Brasil

                        About Me Pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Fast Shutter Speed
                        • Great Resolution
                        • Large Clear LCD
                        • Small / Compact

                        Cons

                        • Complicated Controls

                        Best Uses

                        • Macro Photography
                        • Sports/Action
                        • Travel

                        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

                        A great camera for adventures. When it is connected is ready for use in seconds. It is beautiful and sturdy. Could have slightly larger and lighted for nighttime use buttons. Recommend for purchase.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

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