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The Magnificent Seven — The Best Professional Cameras Of 2012

Nikon Coolpix AW100 [Best Rugged Compact Camera]

Nikon’s first rugged, waterproof (and more) digital camera, the AW100 is submersible to 33 feet, immune to drops of about 5 feet, freezeproof and as near to being dustproof as we can ascertain.

That makes it just about ideal for outdoor / adventure sports applications! It’s 16 megapixel backlit CMOS sensor gives the best IQ of all the current batch of such cameras — such as it is; IQ is still not the strong suit of this genre of photo-making tools. There’s full HD video, a 5x zoom lens, 3-inch LCD display, built-in GPS. It’s also got a decent burst mode – 7.1 fps – for 3 frames. All said and done, this is the one to pick if you’re headed out on a camping / river rafting / snorkeling holiday.


Nikon Coolpix AW100 Features

  • 16 Megapixels – best image quality of all the waterproof cameras. Even though IQ is soft for this entire class, the AW100 is the best of them all.
  • For best results, do not exceed ISO 800.
  • 5 X Optical Zoom.
  • 3-inch LCD Screen.
  • Full HD Video.
  • Waterproof to a depth of 10 metres.
  • Shockproof if dropped from a height of upto 1.5 metres ( 5 feet).
  • Full HD Video.
  • GPS.
  • Lithium-ion battery.
  • Best battery / SD card compartment locking arrangement.
  • Four colors including ‘camouflage’.
  • It’s price has crashed, now that the AW110 has been launched in 2013.
  • Good value for money.
  • Survives where nothing else will, sans expensive underwater housings.

The Final Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix AW100 – tough, reliable and fast – is a terrific point-and-shoot to have with you when the weather turns nasty. Though the image quality isn’t quite up to that of a typical point and shoot camera, it’s the best that a rugged compact can currently offer. Decent 11×14-inch prints are often possible — few would want more.

A little practice on how to get the most out of it will pay off in the wilderness – or on your rain-soaked monsoon street shooting spree. Give it a try; we don’t think you’ll come away disappointed.

BTW, which one suits you the best?

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