If latest trade reviews are to be believed, the marketplace for point-and-shoot digital cameras is dwindling year-on-year. This is not shocking giving the rising reputation of smartphones, particularly ones with more-than-capable cameras. The necessity of the hour for digital digicam producers is to provide you with merchandise that may do issues smartphones cannot, when it comes to each, options and picture high quality.
Some producers have tried to face aside with rugged or a water-resistant cameras which cater to individuals who take pleasure in travelling or are into excessive sports activities. Nikon, an trade veteran, has the Coolpix AW sequence of point-and-shoot cameras servicing this demographic. Other than being waterproof, these cameras are additionally shockproof and will very effectively be nice journey companions.
Nikon unveiled 16 new cameras in its 2014 Spring Sequence, one in every of which was the Coolpix AW120 – an improve to the AW110. The brand new mannequin is sort of similar to its predecessor aside from a slight improve in heft, larger ISO sensitivity, and improved battery life. Let’s dive proper in (see what we did there?) and discover out if the AW120 is price shopping for.
Nobody who has seen the Coolpix AW110 will discover a lot totally different with the design of the Coolpix AW120. It has the identical toughened plastic enclosure with a protruding lens within the high proper nook with the flash to its proper. We obtained the camouflage version for evaluation, nevertheless it It is usually obtainable in purple, black and blue. The Coolpix AW120 weighs round 213g together with the battery and reminiscence card. The issue with the load is that the digicam turns into barely unwieldy to make use of with one hand.
A perforated black strip runs across the edges of the digicam . On the highest are the facility and shutter launch buttons. The shutter launch is ever-so-slightly raised, making it straightforward to find, and its tactile suggestions is nice too. The eyelets for a strap are within the higher proper and left corners. The left edge has buttons for the Map and Motion capabilities.
The appropriate edge might be a very powerful floor of the digicam since that is the place you will discover the waterproof cowl which protects the battery chamber, reminiscence card slot, Micro-HDMI port and Micro-USB port. This cowl has a novel latching mechanism that we discovered tough to determine initially, however received used to later. On the underside is the tripod socket. One helpful function is you could cost the AW120’s battery simply by plugging in a Micro-USB charger; you do not have to take the battery out and use a separate sled.
The again of the digicam encompasses a Three-inch OLED monitor. The zoom management to its proper is only a bit too small in our opinion, and its mechanism is somewhat awkward to make use of. A video file button is correct subsequent to it. There are 4 buttons for capabilities akin to pulling up the scene modes, reviewing footage, displaying the menu, and deleting images. The four-way navigation controls double up as shortcuts to the self-timer, macro mode, flash choices, and publicity choice. All these buttons are somewhat small and felt somewhat uncomfortable to make use of throughout our time with the digicam. One other irritating downside was a slight rattling sound each time we shook the digicam, which made us a bit cautious of the construct high quality.
Options and specs
The Coolpix AW120 is waterproof as much as 18m and in addition freezeproof as much as -10 levels Centigrade. Within the sweltering warmth of Mumbai there was no means we might check if the digicam was freezeproof, however we did dunk it in a bucket of water. The Coolpix AW120 labored flawlessly underneath water and managed to seize simply fantastic. Furthermore, the Coolpix AW120’s inner parts are shockproof, which signifies that it ought to have the ability to survive drops from a peak of 2m. Reluctantly, we dropped it, and located that it did not maintain even a single scratch. Now we have to provide it two thumbs up within the ruggedness division.
The 16-megapixel Coolpix AW120 has a half.Three-inch CMOS sensor, which has similarities to the one within the Samsung Galaxy Digicam – pretty fundamental for a digital digicam. It’s engineered to seize photographs within the gentle sensitivity vary of ISO 125 to ISO 6400. The lens has a focal size of four.Three-21.5mm. The Coolpix AW120 has a wider aperture of f/2.eight in comparison with the AW110’s f/Three.9. In macro mode, this rugged digicam can get as shut as 1cm to a topic, which is fairly good. It might additionally seize full-HD (1080p) movies and as much as 6.9 nonetheless frames per second in burst mode.
The three-inch OLED display has an anti-reflective coating which does will increase legibility in daylight. The display is somewhat vivid and even when it is not pretty much as good as an digital viewfinder, it at the very least comes near displaying you what the digicam can really seize.
The digicam options built-in Wi-Fi to connect with Android and iOS units. We examined this function on each cellular OSes and it simply did not work. There may be additionally a preloaded map of the world, and your GPS location information may be appended to picture metadata, which labored fantastic. The Motion button that we talked about earlier brings up a menu of fast choices that may be navigated by tilting the digicam, which actually would not work too effectively. In any other case, the software program on the digicam is simple to navigate and pretty clean too with no lag.
The digicam took precisely a second to energy on – a very good quantity to boast about. It would not take too lengthy to focus and seize photographs both. We recorded a mean time of 51ms to seize photographs underneath good lighting circumstances. In high-quality burst mode the Coolpix AW120 was in a position to take 5 photographs in 7 minutes, 33 seconds which is barely on the upper facet.
Our ISO check revealed that noise began creeping in at ISO800. Check out the highest left nook of the picture to guage the picture high quality. The small black speck turns into vague at larger settings.
For all sensible functions we anticipate customers to stay to auto settings however in case one needs to experiment with ISO settings and low-light pictures, we advise utilizing a tripod. We used the auto mode – which, weirdly, is the mode that allows you to play with all of the obtainable controls – to shoot in low gentle and located that except a tripod or a flat floor was used the digicam didn’t focus correctly. Captured photographs had a yellow tinge to them. As anticipated, utilizing the flash to create a synthetic supply of sunshine provides a metallic impact to textures, which feels extraordinarily unnatural. However the flash is admittedly highly effective and will gentle up a 300 sq.ft. room with ease.
There may be completely no oversaturation in daylight pictures, and color copy is near pure. This would possibly delay some customers who need aptitude of their images however we expect that it’s nice for a point-and-shoot digital digicam. On the flip facet, inexperienced leaves on a tree tended to merge into one another, which means the digicam would not deal with chromatic aberration to effectively. Furthermore, we even seen that the digicam made it appear like we have been soft-focussing our topics.
Movies had pure colors and there was no discernible tearing, although the soft-focus downside was obvious right here too. Thus, regardless of all of the great weather-proofing options, the Coolpix AW120 falls barely wanting ‘good’ within the image high quality division.
One space the place the Coolpix AW120 shines is in macro mode. The image readability, color copy and total definition of textures have been all actually good. The battery is rated to final for 350 pictures earlier than dying and we seen that this was roughly correct. However please observe that if you’re utilizing the Wi-Fi and GPS options it’s going to lose cost quicker.
Sports activities and journey lovers who desire a no-nonsense compact digicam ought to give the Nikon Coolpix AW120 some severe consideration. Customers with a Coolpix AW110 haven’t any cause to spend cash to replace. Sporting a price ticket of Rs. 17,950 (MRP), the Coolpix AW120 is decently priced for the options it provides. However there are some caveats – underwhelming photographs in low gentle, and an absence of fantastic element even in daylight. You will should resolve whether or not the Wi-Fi, GPS, ruggedness, and weatherproofing options are essential sufficient to make it price settling for less-than-ideal picture high quality.