Nikon Coolpix AW100 Review – Everything You Need to Know Before Buying

In this blog post, we dive deep into the features of the Nikon Coolpix AW100, a waterproof, shockproof, and freeze-proof digital camera. We discuss its capabilities, specifications, and what users can expect from its performance.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Nikon Coolpix AW100 article cover photo

Key Features

Aug 24 2011


16 megapixels


Sensor Type1/2.3-inch

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Overview of the Coolpix AW100

Photography enthusiasts, adventurers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike will love the Nikon Coolpix AW100 – a rugged, all-weather, and waterproof digital camera designed to capture amazing pictures and videos in any condition. With its shockproof and freeze-proof capabilities, this camera is perfect for those who love to take their photography to the extreme. But what sets this camera apart from the rest? In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Nikon Coolpix AW100 and why it's a must-have for anyone looking to capture stunning images in the great outdoors.

Nikon Coolpix AW100 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Nikon Coolpix AW100 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Freeze proof
High megapixel count
GPS function
Full HD video
Image stabilization
Good low light performance
Large LCD screen


Limited zoom range
Slow autofocus
Average battery life
Limited manual controls
Image quality can be inconsistent in certain lighting conditions
No RAW file support
Limited depth of field control
Limited lens options

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Nikon Coolpix AW100

Weather sealed
Dimensions110 x 65 x 23mm

Weather Sealing

The Nikon Coolpix AW100 camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the Coolpix AW100 is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution460k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 460k dots. This makes the Nikon Coolpix AW100 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Nikon Coolpix AW100 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the Coolpix AW100 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Nikon Coolpix AW100 has a 16MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 16 pixels. Nikon Coolpix AW100 has a native ISO range of 125 - 3200 which can be boosted to null - null.

Key Features

Aug 24 2011


125 - 3200

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4608 x 3456 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Nikon Coolpix AW100 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the Coolpix AW100 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/2.3-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

Battery Life
Battery ModelEN-EL12
Wireless Connectivity


The Nikon Coolpix AW100 supports SD / SDHC/SDXC with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Nikon Coolpix AW100 uses the EN-EL12 model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Nikon Coolpix AW100 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Nikon Coolpix AW100 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Nikon Coolpix AW100 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with null number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Nikon Coolpix AW100?

The Nikon Coolpix AW100 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Nikon Coolpix AW100 weather sealed?

Yes the Coolpix AW100 does have weather sealing.

When was the Nikon Coolpix AW100 announced?

The Nikon Coolpix AW100 was announced on Aug 24 2011

Does the Nikon Coolpix AW100 have in-body image stabilization?

No the Coolpix AW100 does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Nikon Coolpix AW100?

The Coolpix AW100 has a native ISO range of 125-3200, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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