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NikonCOOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black)
 
4.3

(based on 38 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to use (27)
  • Compact (23)
  • Good battery life (20)
  • Large clear LCD (19)
  • Great resolution (15)

Cons

  • No viewfinder (5)
  • Short battery life (5)

Best Uses

  • Travel (24)
  • Sports/action (16)
  • Family photos (13)
  • Wildlife (9)
  • Macro photography (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (13), Casual photographer (8), Semi-pro photographer (7), Pro photographer (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (30)

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

 

Lens fogs when submerged. Do not bother

The only reason I paid so much for this camera was for being "waterproof", as there are better cameras for lower prices. However, when I submerged it, the lens...Read complete review

The only reason I paid so much for this camera was for being "waterproof", as there are better cameras for lower prices. However, when I submerged it, the lens fogged so I could not take pictures!. Yes, the fog disappeared later on, but happened again the next time. I followed all the recommendations by Nikon and the camera never stopped working, just the pictures and videos where useless. Do not bother buying this camera.

Reviewed by 38 customers

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5.0

Awesome utility camera

By Michael

from Columbus, OH

About Me Casual Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Fast Shutter Speed
  • Good Battery Life
  • Large Clear LCD

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Sports/Action
    • Travel

    Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

    The AW120 isn't the most attractive or compact camera, but it truly is rugged. I purchased the camera to photograph construction sites. I needed something that wouldn't mind getting banged around, dusty or splashed and the AW120 handles it all. I feel comfortable tossing it in my bag when I'm not using it and don't use a death grip when taking pictures because I know that a drop won't be the end of the world.

    I'm not a professional photographer, so I can't comment on the quality of the pictures it takes, but it fits my needs.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Great all-around camera

    By jeff

    from ft lee, nj

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

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

    Cons

      Best Uses

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

      Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

      Whether you use the aw120 out of water or underwater,you can expect clear true to life pictures. Lots of features but automatic works just as well. A must buy!!!

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Ótima escolha

      By Marco Antonio

      from Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Fast Shutter Speed
      • Great Resolution

      Cons

      • Short Battery Life

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Sports/Action
      • Travel
      • Video
      • Wildlife photos

      Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

      Ótimo equipamento com muitos recursos, fácil de usar.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Waiting for the true water test

      By gbear

      from chicago, il

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Fast Shutter Speed
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD

      Cons

      • Short Battery Life

      Best Uses

      • Sports/Action
      • Travel

      Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

      I'm giving this camera 3 stars for now. Since I have not used it for the purpose of buying it (pictures by and in the water). I plan on testing the camera for water use this up-coming weekend at my son's birthday party.

      To date, I have used the camera many times; both picture and video and I have no reason to complain. I really like the fast start up time, as well there are no moving parts on the outside of the camera (like my Canon point-n-shoot). I also think with young kids around the camera, it will be easier to remove smug prints from the lens.

      The true test will come this weekend and maybe i'll be able to update my rating to higher stars.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • Yes

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      LOVE this camera

      By Runner PT

      from NYC

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Fast Shutter Speed
      • Good Battery Life
      • Great Zoom
      • Small / Compact

      Cons

      • Poor in Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Sports/Action
      • Travel
      • Wildlife photos

      Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

      I bought this camera specifically for my outdoor trips. This camera works great underwater and overground. The quality of the pictures are amazing. I have a 18mp camera but the quality of the pictures are comparable.

      The only tough thing with this camera is overground pictures when it is cloudy out. The lighting isn't great, and the pictures come out darker. When it is sunny out or good lighting, the quality of pictures is great.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

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      5.0

      Great Camera For It's Uses.

      By Big Jer

      from Tennessee

      Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

      I bought this camera so I can use it for marketing. I needed light, portable and waterproof. After having it for a few weeks now, I am amazed how well it works, especially for video. It's size makes it easier and smother to hand hold. It helps enhance all videos. If I have all my heavy and cumbersome equipment with me, then the D800 and D810 is a better choice, but if you get into tight spots, in spots where you don't want to risk you very expensive equipment, this camera will blend your projects in a better way.

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Lens fogs when submerged. Do not bother

      By Disappointed

      from Oklahoma

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use

      Cons

      • Poor Image Quality

      Best Uses

        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

        The only reason I paid so much for this camera was for being "waterproof", as there are better cameras for lower prices. However, when I submerged it, the lens fogged so I could not take pictures!. Yes, the fog disappeared later on, but happened again the next time. I followed all the recommendations by Nikon and the camera never stopped working, just the pictures and videos where useless. Do not bother buying this camera.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        so far so good

        By Max's Mom

        from NYC, ME, CT, TX. USA

        About Me Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Ease Of Use Gd Edu Tool

        Cons

        • Condensation On Viewer

        Best Uses

        • Underwater And Inclement

        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

        I am giving it 5 simply for ease of use. I bought this for my 6 yr old son to document aquatic life in brook, pond and beach. he has now used it in the tub and pool as well. Also has used outside of the water and in the rain. Now he plans to use it outside in the snow this winter. So far the only great quality photos have been in a tidal touch pool. I have not spent time testing it so I am not able to properly judge the image quality(i shoot slr fx). The huge drawback is when the battery is exhausted, or memory card full, you cannot change intel camera is completely dry. This is impossible to expedite, even by towel drying. too many tiny crevices. I guess a hair dryer set on cool could work. Camera does not even completely dry when left alone overnight. We have never used an underwater camera before and so far this has been a positive learning experience. we have not downloaded the images yet so again, not able to properly judge image quality.OH,the other day it had condensation in the screen and i almost sent it back, but purchased insurance instead so not as urgent to send back before the 30 day exchange.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        Great compact waterproof camera

        By Mommiflicks

        from Philadelphia

        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

        Ideal for water play, but can occasionally overexpose images.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great Point and Shoot

        By Fisher Mike

        from Missouri

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

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

        Cons

        • No Viewfinder

        Best Uses

        • Travel

        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black):

        I purchaced this camera to take on fly fishing trips. I own several other Nikons and love them all but I wanted something that would fit in my pocket and don't need to worry about getting wet. It is very easy to use even with one hand. Very user friendly with many many features that are easily understood. The battery lasted much langer than I anticipated between charges. Great Little Camera!

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        nice but could be nicer ...

        By markd

        from wallingford, pa

        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black):

        It is small and slippery. Really, get a silicon skin for it right away.It makes a very good quality pictures and movies but it cannot focus pass approximately 3-4x zoom. This sucks. I still decided to keep it hoping the next firmware upgrade will address blurry zooms.

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        5.0

        Wonderful Little Adventure Camera

        By Colin

        from Portland Oregon

        About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Good Battery Life
        • Large Clear LCD
        • Small / Compact

        Cons

        • No Viewfinder

        Best Uses

        • Adventures Climbing Etc
        • Sports/Action
        • Travel

        Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

        I take this camera on treks and climbs where the object isn't photography but I still want to take photos. I can cross and swim through rivers which would ruin my Nikon D5200. GPS is easy to use though the maps need to be periodically updated from the Nikon website but it is an easy process.

        Other cool features earning the five stars are barometric pressure information and altitude. Elevation would be more useful to me than altitude but with the location recorded it is easy to figure out later with Google Earth or GIS.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

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        4.0

        What I needed

        By hcw

        from Houston, TX

        About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Great Resolution
        • Small / Compact

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

            I essentially was looking for a water proof camera that took clear pictures and that's what I got. Thus far I've been pleased with the shots I've been getting. This won't become my go-to camera for regular day-to-day activities (the zoom isn't impressive and I've gown accustomed to larger screen displays), however for what I bought it for, it's great. In addition the Nikon app for the wifi feature is easy to use and I love that I can quickly download my pictures to my phone right away. Overall I'd recommend this camera for anyone looking for a compact rugged outdoor piece to add to their camera collection.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            5.0

            Nikon Coolpix AW 120

            By Kathy L in Texas

            from Kyle, TX

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Good Battery Life
            • Great Resolution

            Cons

            • Short Battery Life
            • When Gps Is Enabled

            Best Uses

            • Great For Water Activity
            • Sports/Action
            • Travel

            Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

            I bought this camera after reading reviews for several different brands of underwater cameras. I took it to Tulum, MX for vacation. I also wanted WiFi. I struggled to get the Wifi to work until I activated the GPS. I didn't want to use GPS because it runs the battery down faster. I am very happy with the pictures. I used it underwater but only to about 5 feet since I didnt get to scuba diving or snorkeling.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Lots of picture fun in the water!

            By Grandpa

            from Florida

            About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Small / Compact

            Cons

            • Short Battery Life
            • Very Very Short Battery

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Pool Water Rides Park

            Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

            I bought this to take pictures of the grand kids in the pool and on water rides and the water park at Disney! Also for the home! Great little camera. Wireless instructions are greatly lacking and I had to call Nikon to get it straightened out but, once you get past the many menus and switches on your smart phone or iPad or whatever,then it works. Kinda silly and complicated for no reason. Nikon needs to work on this. Should have been plug and play.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Excellent "Everyday" camera

            By Jimmy Train

            from Whittier, CA

            About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

            • No Viewfinder

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Indoors/Low Light
            • Macro Photography
            • Sports/Action
            • Travel
            • Video

            Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

            This is a great camera that you can take anywhere. I love the 24mm (35mm equivalent) wide angle lens instead of the typical 28mm that come on most point & shoots. The resolution of the 16MP images are excellent & the camera's menus are intuitive. The video is extremely easy to use & produces outstanding movies.Cons: You have to be careful of your left fingers getting into the picture when you hold it. The camera has an array of features, but you can only figure out how they completely work by reading &/or downloading the 270 page reference manual that should have been packaged with the camera.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            4.0

            Great Rugged Camera

            By Cmonki

            from New York

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Travel
              • Video
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Camouflage):

              This is a great Rugged Underwater camera. Pictures are Excellent. Feels Nice in the hand and well made. I prefered this to the Olympus T series.
              My only complaint is that you can't have the camera submerged underwater for over 25+ minutes.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              5.0

              Digital Camera

              By JH

              from Weston, Florida

              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

                • Family Photos
                • Sports/Action
                • Travel

                Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black):

                This is a great camera. Takes great pictures underwater in the pool and even in the ocean. Loved everything about it.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Excellent Pocket Camera

                By Richnusa

                from Central Florida

                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Need To Learn The Menu

                Best Uses

                • Family Photos
                • Macro Photography
                • Sports/Action
                • Travel
                • Wildlife photos

                Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Blue):

                I purchased the Nikon AW 120 to capture data for work such as equipment information, GPS coordinates, elevations. The camera performs well and GPS system coordinates are close enough to locate the items on google earth etc.

                The camera takes great underwater video and photos.

                The only challenge is learning the menus.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Great Small Camera

                By Mooseman of Milford

                from Milford, Pa

                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
                  • Travel
                  • Video

                  Comments about COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Orange):

                  I bought this camera for my wife as a replacement for a vacation camera. We took it on a road trip to the Florida Keys and the pictures were fantastic.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

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