Nikon COOLPIX AW130 Waterproof Digital Camera with Built-In Wi-Fi (Black)
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- BRIGHT F/2.8 LENS FOR BRILLIANT RESULTS ANYWHERE
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Let the world be your playground with the new AW130. Relive your adventures with this waterproof, shockproof, dust and cold-resistant camera and record every adrenaline pumping moment with the 16-megapixel backside illumination CMOS sensor and Full HD video capabilities. Share your epic escapades with your family and friends instantly with the built-in Wi-Fi® and NFC*1.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
In general, I recommend this camera if you are happy leaving it on full-auto for most of your shots. The auto scene selector is very good indeed, it never let me down.
+ image quality is better than I expected for compact cameras in this price segment
+ excellent full-auto focus and exposure control: fast and spot-on
+ especially good exposure when using the flash. Excellent results in difficult situations.
+ full-auto works well underwater, too
+ all controls can be manipulated underwater, not just zoom but everything
+ GPS & GLONASS & Pressure-Altimeter-based geo-tagging features are nice.
- connectivity to the Android app is flaky and downright annoying
- it has WLAN capability, but can't upload photos direct to cloud storage. Wireless image transfer to mobile device only.
- to summarize: the NFC and WLAN features don't work well. That is why I took away one star.
- controls are small and fiddly. Especially the control cross. Why not use a good old chunky Nintendo-style control cross?
- (January 2017) after nearly two years of intensive use, there's a dust spot on the sensor and I'll have to have it cleaned (not user-serviceable).
January 2017: Edited to add another two sample photos.
The first sample shows a typical image at Scuba-diving depth, full-auto "fish mode" without flash.
The second sample shows above-water performance in a shaky, very-high-contrast scenario in full-auto. Here the AW130 overexposes slightly - always prioritizing objects in the foreground - but my experience is that you can count on >50% well-focused well-exposed snapshots even in tricky situations. By the way, the camera's pressure altimeter readings are pretty accurate if you take the time to calibrate, and a nice thing to have in a photo's location tag.
The third image is an average photo showing performance in a standing-still high-contrast scenario, again on full-auto. Stationary hand-held yields are consistently above 90%, close to 100% I'd say. The AW130's software quite reliably figures out what you're asking it to do, and makes sensible trade-offs in exposure parameters.
-- Very good picture quality.
-- Excellent and fast autofocus. Auto face detection which is nice.
-- Easy to use.
-- Excellent low light performance.
-- Very solidly built. Survived a tumble down a lava rock slope that would have broken a regular camera.
-- Has a depth/altimeter gauge that is on the main display. GPS built in.
-- Multiple modes (like pet mode for taking action shots of your dog) but honestly you'll leave it in automatic 90% of the time.
-- To charge it you have to plug the microUSB cable (connected to the charger or computer) into the charging port in the batter compartment. The means the O-rings are sitting exposed to dust, cat fur, etc.. Since you rely on these O-rings being intact and clean to keep for the waterproof seal this isn't ideal. I ultimately ordered a separate battery charger.
-- The setting on the flash is either auto or no flash (in the automatic mode). You can force the flash to fire (to fill in darker areas of the scene) in most of the other modes like portrait.
-- It only comes with a regular "land" strap. If you are taking it into water of significant depth recommend you get a float strap.
Comparing the AW130 to the AW120: The AW130 is a relatively minor upgrade to the AW120 (which is being discontinued). Both cameras have 16 megapixels effective resolution, 5x optical zoom, optical image stabilization, max aperture f2.8, max shutter speed of 1/4000 sec, 3” screen with the same resolution. The improvements in the AW130 are:
-- Better low light performance (ISO 125-6400, compared with AW120 ISO 125-1600)
-- Slightly longer battery life (370 shots vs 350)
-- Timelapse recording (but when are you really going to use this)
Can't wait to take it down on my next dive!