Nikon Coolpix AW130

Nikon Coolpix AW130


Let’s be frank: the name is terrible. The name is so terrible that I suggest whichever committee invented it (to sound “hip”, maybe?) be disbanded and exiled from ever marketing again. You failed miserably.

And let’s be more frank: you, as a photographer, are a tourist with this camera. It has no program mode. It cannot be customised. The interface feels like a child’s tool.

Nikon Small form-factor at the West Reef, Wied iz-Zurrieq, Malta.

That being said… the Nikon Coolpix AW130 a credit to its hardware engineers. A 30 metre depth rating without a marine casing! When we purchased the Nikon as a replacement for the trusty Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4, it was with the intent of having a better camera that was depth-rated without a bulky marine case.

Nikon Getting dirty in Manchones, Cancún, México, 2016.

You now know what we really don’t like about the Nikon. What we do like about the Nikon is that it takes slightly better underwater pictures than the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4—despite being stuck in auto mode. The videos are of fairly good quality. Both GPS and depth readings are generally pretty good. It can export into gphoto2; although annoyingly, all images are in one enormous directory instead of separated by date.

All-in-all, I would recommend the Nikon for being an entry-level device—it’s depth-rated without a marine casing at 30 metres for an advanced free diver or open water SCUBA diver.

We’ve made good use of this camera, but it won’t have the same longevity as the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS4: we’ve already moved on to a Sony RS100IV.