Nikon Coolpix W100 Review

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Pros
  • Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth built-in
  • Good value for money
  • Very easy to use
  • FullHD video
  • Creative filters
  • Decent waterproofing and toughness
Cons
  • Screen could be better
  • Not a very wide-angle lens
  • Remote photography app is limited
  • Image quality isn’t great
  • Limited controls

Nikon Coolpix W100 Blue (3)

The Nikon Coolpix W100 is waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 1.8m, features a 13.2 megapixel sensor, full HD video recording and a 3x optical zoom lens. The camera is designed to be easy to use with large buttons, and a simple user interface, and with built in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth it’s quick and easy to transfer photos to your smartphone.

Nikon Coolpix W100 Features

Nikon Coolpix W100 Blue (1)

The Nikon Coolpix W100 maintains the same 10-metre waterproofing and 1.5-metre shockproofing ruggedness as last years Nikon Coolpix S33, as well as its 30-90mm-equivalent 3x optical zoom lens.

The camera’s 13.2-megapixel sensor only has a maximum sensitivity of ISO1600, but it will capture Full HD 1080p video and record a burst of 12 full resolution still images at 4.7fps.

The W100 also carries over the S33’s easy to use buttons and menu system, as well as its 2.7” 230k-dot LCD screen and its selection of creative filter effects.

Added to the W100 is built-in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth so that you can quickly and easily connect the camera to a smartphone, and the use of Bluetooth means the camera can transfer images without having to use Wi-Fi, which saves battery power.

Nikon Coolpix W100 Blue (2)

Key Features
  • 13.2-megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 3x optical zoom lens, 30-90mm-equivalent, f/3.3-5.9
  • 2.7-inch 230,000-dot LCD screen
  • Waterproof to 10m, shockproof to 1.5m, dustproof
  • Full HD 1080p video recording
  • ISO 125 to 1600
  • 5cm minimum focusing distance
  • Built in Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth
  • Fun filter effects
  • 4.7fps continuous shooting
  • Available in white, blue, pink, yellow, and multi-coloured

Nikon Coolpix W100 Handling

Nikon Coolpix W100 Blue (6)

The Nikon Coolpix W100 is fairly bulky for a compact camera, but it’s a typical size for a toughened, waterproof model. The well-spaced, and oversized buttons are easy to use whilst underwater or when wearing gloves, with the four buttons alongside the screen directly controlling common menu options. Underwater the camera almost floats, with one side of the camera higher than the other – this should make it quite easy to attach even a small floatation device to the camera to make it float.

Nikon Coolpix W100 Underwater

The 2.7” screen has a low 230k-dot resolution which makes menus and images appear slightly pixelated, whilst limited viewing angles make it tricky to shoot high or low angle shots.

Whilst there is a grippy rear thumb rest to hang on to, the smooth, glossy front panel is very slippery. Consequently, the W100 doesn’t feel quite as secure in the hand as rivals like the Fujifilm FinePix XP90, so use of the provided wrist strap is recommended.

Nikon Coolpix W100 Blue (4)

The W100 doesn’t use Nikon’s usual compact camera menu system and instead uses an even easier style. The four buttons to the left of the screen directly correspond to menu items alongside them, so there’s no need for a separate ‘OK’ or selection button. It can take a few moments to adapt to this simplified system, but it soon becomes second nature, and the 4-way controller is used to control the optical zoom.

Wi-Fi features – With built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth you can transfer images to your smartphone, and if yours features NFC, then setting up the connection is even easier. You can also use the app to shoot remotely, and you can adjust the optical zoom, but very few other controls and being able to use the touch-screen of the phone to set the focus point would be a useful addition. There’s an option to add GPS data from your smartphone to photos, as well as setting the camera’s time.

Battery life – Battery life is rated at 220 shots according to Nikon / CIPA test results, which is fairly standard for a compact digital camera. If you want to shoot more or plan on using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth a lot then a second battery is recommended.

Nikon Coolpix W100 Blue (7)

Speed – The Nikon Coolpix W100 isn’t the quickest camera available, but is reasonably responsive most of the time. You can also select a continuous shooting scene mode that will shoot at roughly 4.7fps for up to 12 shots.

Nikon Coolpix W100 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Nikon Coolpix W100 Sample Photos

Aston Martin | 1/200 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 125

Street Art | 1/1250 sec | f/4.7 | 7.9 mm | ISO 125

Portrait Flash | 1/60 sec | f/5.3 | 9.7 mm | ISO 400

Bright Day 2 | 1/640 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 125

Bright Day | 1/500 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 125

Nikon Coolpix W100 Lens test images

Underwater | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 220

Wide | 1/800 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 125

Zoom | 1/400 sec | f/5.9 | 12.3 mm | ISO 125

Sunlight Leaves | 1/200 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 125

Fern | 1/1250 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 125

Camera Performance – In good light the camera produces images with reliable exposure and good colour reproduction. In more challenging conditions, images aren’t as good, with noise becoming an issue. Using the close-up macro scene mode you can focus close to subjects. Even when shooting in bright sunny conditions, images show some signs of noise, and detail isn’t great as a result. Using the flash results in the camera increasing the ISO speed, which results in images with more noise, and less detail as a result. Using the backlit scene mode can result in an artificial looking image. For snapshots and photos that are going to be shared on-line on social media websites, then the results should look good thanks to the good colour reproduction, and by resizing the images to a smaller size, they should also look sharper.

ISO Noise Performance – With a smaller than normal sensor, the noise performance of the W100 isn’t the best on offer, and this can mean some noise is visible in blue skies when shooting outdoors on bright sunny days, even at the lowest ISO setting of ISO125. Results are acceptable, though, and most of the time the camera keeps the ISO setting quite low. Using the higher ISO settings isn’t a good idea, and the camera doesn’t give you any control over the ISO speed used.

White Balance Performance – The camera lacks any control over white balance, which is a pity as its auto white balance isn’t entirely accurate. Under tungsten lighting, images exhibit a slightly warm tone, though auto white balance does perform better in fluorescent conditions.

Nikon Coolpix W100 Digital filters

Bubble | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200

Cartoon | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200

Frame | 1/60 sec | f/5.3 | 9.7 mm | ISO 200

Mirror | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 320

Neon | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 280

Soft | 1/30 sec | f/3.3 | 4.1 mm | ISO 200

Digital Filters – There are a range of shooting styles, which give you a choice of a range of scenes and effects, including: night scenes, macro, food, underwater, underwater face framing, interval shooting, burst shooting, fireworks, backlit, mirror, bubble effect, neon effect, cartoon effect, soft pictures, diorama/miniature, movie miniature, and light trails. The framing option reduces the image size to 2mp. There are also options to adjust brightness (exposure compensation), saturation, and selective colour.

Video – The camera records full HD video with stereo sound, and optical zoom is not available. The camera doesn’t feature optical image stabilisation so you’ll need to hold the camera steady to keep video smooth.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix W100 is one of the cheapest waterproof cameras available from a main brand, and is available for around £119/$178. There are few budget waterproof cameras available, with the main alternatives being the Panasonic Lumix FT30 (£100/$150, 4x optical zoom, no Wi-Fi), and Fujifilm FinePix XP90 (£139/$208, 5x optical zoom, Wi-Fi).

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Specifications

Manufacturer Nikon
Lens
Max Aperture f/3.3 – f/5.9
35mm equivalent 30mm – 90mm
Optical Zoom 3x
Image Sensor
Pixels 13.2Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W) 4160
Pixels (H) 3120
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size 1/3.1inch
Sensor Size (width) No Data
Sensor Size (height) No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor 2.7in
Screen resolution 230k dot
Touch Screen No
Focusing
Min Focus 5cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest 1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest 4sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
Metering
  • Centre-weighted – Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity 125 – 1600
White balance
  • Auto
Exposure Comp No Data
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting 4.7fps
Video
Movie mode Yes
Video Resolution
  • 1920×1080 FullHD
  • 640×480 VGA
Video FPS 30p
Stereo Sound Yes
Optical Zoom with Video No
Other Features
Image Stabilisation No
Interface
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2
Wi-Fi Yes
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery Type Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL19
CIPA Rating 220
Box Contents
Box Contents Camera Strap, EN-EL19 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, EH-73P Charging AC Adapter4, UC-E21 USB Cable, Brush
Dimensions
Weight 177g
Width 109.5mm
Height 67mm
Depth 38mm

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Verdict

The Nikon Coolpix W100 continues to offer a budget, easy to use, waterproof camera, yet adds the all-important smartphone connectivity, and with Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth you are getting an easy to use solution, making it quick and easy to get photos straight to your mobile phone. Whilst we wish the lens was a little wider, or offered a little more zoom, the price and ease of use can’t really be argued with.

If you have a little more money to spend then there are other options available, but none are really designed to be as easy to use as the W100. Bluetooth should also enable image transfer without too much drain on the battery, and the way it is set up to automatically transfer images to your smartphone is excellent. Images shared to social media sites should look great with the camera produces images with pleasing colours. For the more serious photographers who want more control, and for those that like to view detail close up, this probably isn’t the right camera for you.

(ephotozine.com, https://goo.gl/T8RSYi)

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