Nikon Coolpix AW100: Video and Image Quality

by Kimberly Hallen Reads (129)
Editor's Rating
6.75

TG Ratings Breakdown

    • Image/Video Quality
    • 6
    • Features
    • 7
    • Design / Ease of Use
    • 6
    • Performance
    • 8
    • Total Score:
    • 6.75
    • Rating 1 to 10, top score 10

Video Quality
Shooting video with the AW100 is a breeze thanks to a quick button on the back. Users don’t have to switch modes to record movies.

Video can be shot in full 1080p HD and the front of the camera is equipped with a stereo microphone that picks up sound rather well. Some of my hand movements while holding the camera were recorded rather loudly, something to be wary of, yet the optical zoom, which is enabled during recording, wasn’t audible. High speed shooting is also available, along with slow motion, however, these features impair image quality. Filter effects can be applied here as well.

Image Quality
With 16 megapixels and a CMOS sensor, the AW100 offers impressive resolution, with a sharpness close to that of a DSLR. This is attributed not only to the camera’s quality lens but also the in-camera contrast and edge enhancement. Auto white balance is generally reliable, aside from shooting a bit warm under indoor incandescent lights.

Nikon AW100 Sample Image
Auto White Balance, 5500k fluorescent light

Special effect options like, “Soft,” “Nostalgic Sepia,” “High-Contrast Monochrome,” “High Key,” “Low Key,” and “Selective Color” are available and easily accessible in shooting mode. The results are not as cheesy as you’d expect from a point and shoot, at least not from all the effects (there is no hope for “Soft” on any camera, it’s always cheesy). For example, “High Contrast Monochrome” yields a decent black and white.

Nikon AW100 Sample Image

Retouching features area also available, but the results aren’t noticeably pleasing. Default color reproduction is neutral without much in-camera saturation. Some may find it a bit flat and dull, especially as ISO is raised to compensate in dim lighting conditions.

And that brings us to our array of studio test images. In these and other images captured in the field, there was a lot of visible noise at ISO 400 and over. In some situations, noise is apparent even at ISO 200. Shots taken at ISO 1600 and above (it goes up to 3200) are barely usable.

Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 125
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 125, 100% crop
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 200
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 200, 100% crop
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 400
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 400, 100% crop
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 800
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 800, 100% crop
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 1600
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 1600, 100% crop
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 3200
Nikon AW100 Sample Image
ISO 3200, 100% crop

Additional Sample Images

Nikon AW100 Sample Image Nikon AW100 Sample Image
Nikon AW100 Sample Image Nikon AW100 Sample Image
Nikon AW100 Sample Image Nikon AW100 Sample Image


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