Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review

The Coolpix AW110 is Nikon's latest All Weather camera - it is waterproof, shockproof, dustproof and freezeproof. Daniel Bell reviews.

| Nikon Coolpix AW110 in Compact Cameras
Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Nikon Coolpix AW110

The Nikon Coolpix AW110 was announced in January 2013 and is an update to Nikon's first all weather camera, the AW100. It is now waterproof to an impressive 18m. You can buy the AW110 in blue, black, camouflage and orange for £270.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Nikon Coolpix AW110

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Features

The Nikon Coolpix AW110 is an extremely robust camera. It is waterproof to 18m, shockproof to 2m and freezeproof to -10°C. It has a 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor and internal 5x optical zoom lens, a 35mm equivalent of 28-140mm. To help keep your images sharp there is Hybrid VR which combines lens-shift and motion blur reduction

The built-in Wi-Fi allows you to transfer your images and movies to a mobile device for sharing to social network sites. The device can also be used as a remote control. The AW110 also has built-in GPS and an electronic compass. There is a World display map so you can see where you took your pictures and view your route. The altimeter gives you your exact altitude and the hydro-barometer shows you how deep underwater you are. Action Control makes it easy to use the camera underwater or when wearing gloves.

When shooting there is auto mode which adjusts the camera settings automatically. There are also a number of scene modes which includes dedicated light modes such as Auto HDR and Night Landscape. The AW110 can shoot a maximum of 6 frames at 8 fps. Easy Panorama 360°/180° mode lets you pan vertically or horizontally to create panoramas. When shooting underwater, underwater mode automatically adjusts the white-balance.
Videos are recorded in full 1080p HD with stereo sound, optical zoom and autofocus available during recording. You can also record slow or fast motion videos, with speeds varying between 15 and 120 fps. You can connect the camera to a HDTV with a HDMI cable.
Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Nikon Coolpix AW110

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor
  • 5x optical zoom lens (35mm equiv: 28-140mm)
  • Hybrid VR (lens-shift and motion blur reduction)
  • 3.0 inch 614k dot OLED screen
  • Waterproof to 18m
  • Shockproof to 2m
  • Freezeproof to -10°C
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Built-in GPS, altimeter, hydro-barometer and electronic compass
  • Action Control
  • Full 1080p HD video recording
  • ISO 125 - 3200
  • 1cm minimum focusing distance
  • Auto HDR
  • 8 fps continuous shooting
  • Easy Panorama 360°/180°
  • Available in blue, black, camouflage and orange
Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Nikon Coolpix AW110

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Handling

The Nikon Coolpix AW110 has a mostly plastic body with a metal front and its shape makes it easy to grip. On top of the camera is an on / off button and shutter release. The rear has a zoom rocker with movie record, scene mode, playback, menu and delete buttons. There's also a d-pad for cycling through the menus, this also gives quick access to exposure compensation, flash, self-timer and macro mode.

Also on the rear of the camera is a 3 inch screen with an improved resolution of 614k dots and is easy to view in all light. 
Access to the battery and memory card is via the chunky round dial on the side of the camera. You have to press the central button and turn the dial 90°. The camera menus are clear and easy to navigate.

On the opposite side to the battery area is a button which switches to the World map and Action Control. If you activate Action Control in the camera menus you simply need to press it and a menu comes up on the screen. You simply flick the camera up and down to go through the menu and press the Action Control button again to make your choice. Options available are mode selection, start movie recording, and playback. This makes it easier to operate the camera even when underwater or wearing gloves.

To make use of the Wi-Fi you need to download the Wireless Mobile Utility app to your smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android). This allows you to use your mobile device to download pictures from the camera to edit and share them. You can also use it as a remote release. A preview appears on your mobile device, you can control the zoom or set a timer. Other information appears on the screen, such as shutter speed, aperture, number of shots left and battery life.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Nikon Coolpix Aw 110 App Screenshot 3 Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Nikon Coolpix Aw 110 App Screenshot 1 Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Nikon Coolpix Aw 110 App Screenshot 4

Battery life is rated at 250 shots according to CIPA test results, this may reduce with a lot of GPS and Wi-Fi use, so you may want to consider carrying a spare. We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response   0.2 secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response   0.25 secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response   0.3 secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo   1.75 secs
Shot to Shot without Flash   1.2 secs
Shot to Shot with Flash   1.3 secs
Continuous Shooting H   7.1 fps
Continuous Shooting L   2.0 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 120 fps   122.8 fps
Continuous Shooting H: 60 fps   60 fps

The continuous shooting H & L modes record at full 16 megapixel resolution, with the 120 fps restricted to VGA and 60 fps limited to 1 megapixel images.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Nikon Coolpix AW110

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Performance

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 AW110 Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The AW110 takes colourful pictures that are well exposed, with good performance when shooting underwater as well. Portraits have good skin tones, while being free of red-eye.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Lens test images

Lens Performance - Detail is good at both ends of the lens, although they are softer in the corners. There is little sign of purple fringing. The lens has a minimum focusing distance of just 1cm, this allows for detailed macro shots.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO 125, 200 and 400, with a slight softening at ISO 800. The noise causes a loss of detail in the images at ISO 1600, with even more detail lost at ISO 3200.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Under the incandescent lights, the auto white balance (AWB) and incandescent preset perform well, taking identical images. Under the fluorescent lights the AWB performs well, with a magenta cast when using the fluorescent preset.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Panorama 1 | 1/1600 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 1 | 1/1600 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Panorama 2 | 1/800 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 2 | 1/800 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review: Panorama 3 | 1/640 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125
Panorama 3 | 1/640 sec | f/3.9 | 5.0 mm | ISO 125

Panorama mode - Panoramas have a decent amount of detail and are stitched together well. There are options for 180° and 360° panoramas, you can also shoot in four directions, left, right up or down.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are some filters to help you take creative shots, with examples above.

Video - Below is a video recorded in full 1080p HD, optical zoom is available during recording, an example of which can be seen on the ePHOTOzine Youtube page.

Value For Money

The Nikon Coolpix AW110 is available for £270. Other waterproof cameras include the Pentax WG-3, available for £305Panasonic Lumix DMC-FT5, available for £295, the Canon Powershot D20, available for £260 and the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX30 for £299.00. For more waterproof cameras, have a look at the Top 10 Best Waterproof Cameras.

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Verdict

The AW100 was Nikon's first all-weather camera and the AW110 proves to be a steady upgrade, adding Wi-Fi to its wide set of features and almost doubling its waterproofness to 18m. Image quality is good and the images are less noisy than the AW100's at lower ISOs. Images are softer in the corners, but this is generally the case with cameras that have internal zoom lens. Overall, we are happy to recommend the Nikon Coolpix AW110.

  Nikon Coolpix AW110 Review:
  The Nikon Coolpix AW110 adds Wi-Fi to its impressive set of features and image quality is good.

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Pros

Waterproof to 18m
Good picture quality
Decent macros
Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
Auto HDR
8 fps full resolution continuous shooting

Nikon Coolpix AW110 Cons

Quite short battery life
Images are softer in the corners
Noise effects image quality at ISO 1600 upwards


Nikon Coolpix AW110 Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.9 - f/4.8
35mm equivalent28mm - 140mm
Optical Zoom5x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)6.16mm
Sensor Size (height)4.62mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution614k
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/1500sec
Shutter speeds longest4sec
Bulb modeNo
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • A
  • Centre-weighted - Average
ISO sensitivity125 - 3200
White balance
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting8fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeEN-EL12
Battery Life (CIPA rating)250shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera Strap AN-CP19 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12 MH-65P, UC-E6, EG-CP16 and UR-E23

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Photographs taken using the Nikon Coolpix AW110

wild butterfly mauritiusNature...Nature...Hawksbill TurtleTrain coming!Lonely BowLevel CrossingSmiling Fish !!!!

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agperenboom Avatar
22 Oct 2013 7:56AM
I bought the AW110 two weeks ago in the Netherlands before leaving on vacations to the Maldives. I own another pro DSLR and a number of lenses from Nikon, and I purchased this one for snorkeling shots after a quick web search, trusting the Nikon quality.

The camera is a complete disappointment to say the least. After one week the whole OLED display was covered by condensation. Just one day later the lenses were also fully covered. All care was taken to access the card/battery compartment only once the camera was totally dry/clean, and the compartment was always carefully closed. I do not do any diving; only snorkeling. So the camera was never any deeper than 1 meter in the water.

After noticing the malfunction I searched the web for similar problems, and the number of comments stating the exact same issue was simply awkward. I was hopping this to be a just a bad unit, but it seems to have happened to many other not so satisfied customers.

Today I switched the camera on to see if the battery was still charged, and switched the camera off. Before leaving for snorkeling I switched the AW110 once again, and realized that the welcome screen did not show up. I tried to switch the camera on several times again, but nothing at all. All controls were simply DEAD.

What I find quite disturbing is that besides all comments I found before on the condensation issue, I realize now that there are a number of comments and blogs stating that the camera ‘simply did not work anymore’.

Are we really talking about Nikon here?? I mean the Nikon quality? I mean, look at all the comments on the web. This is a joke. This is an 18m waterproof / 2m shockproof camera that goes totally dead after a few days snorkeling for a few hours a day.

If Nikon is still the Nikon we all used to know they should be seriously looking into a factory recall.

DO NOT BUY IT. This is not an isolated case.

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