Pour some water on me?

Nikon Coolpix Camera

I have always been someone who is more than happy to take pics with my cellphone. As an iPhone user I have become used to getting great shots and having a camera whenever I need one. With filters and apps, you can create some pretty cool snapshots which are ready for sharing or printing.

Well, that theory got dashed after planning a Pacific Island Cruise, as my beloved phone doesn’t do so well when there is water involved. In fact, I don’t think too many do!

Going to one of the best snorkeling spots in the world means that everything worth taking pics of is below the wet stuff. No problem, I contacted the people at Nikon and voila, a shiny Coolpix AW130 arrived, ready for the underwater adventure.

This is a functional review and an exercise that I hoped was going to give me some really cool pictures to remember the trip by.

Boy, am I happy with the results! As per all my other reviews, I never read manuals (I guess it’s a male thing). This caused me a bit of stress, because if I got it wrong, my family was not going to be happy with my failed attempts, and the pictures of nothing that I may have been left with.

1063 pictures later, I’m happy to say that there are some awesome pics and this little camera takes really, really cool shots.

Let’s start talking about the Nikon Coolpix AW130. I told you at the beginning that I am by no means a photographer, so I can’t really comment in a comparative nature about this one versus other cameras, but I did look at how easy it was to use straight out of the box.

The specs that are important are as follows: 16 Megapixels, 2.1m shock proof (thankfully I never dropped it so can’t verify this), 30m waterproof  (I went at least 5m below the surface and had no issues there),  and 5 times optical zoom. The camera has built in Wi-Fi which lets you access and view your pics via the app on your smart device. This is cool for a quick share or social post, and it also has maps for location tagging too.

The camera’s ergonomics were very good. One hand operation is easy, and the included strap let the camera hang comfortably around my neck while swimming. The weight of the camera was impressive, as it was light enough for easy use and heavy enough for me to remember that it was still there.

So it is quite the little package. I say “little” in that the Coolpix AW130 is small and compact, but big on features. The battery life was as impressive as the above specs. I think that during the week I used it, and for more than 1000 pictures that were taken, I only re-charged it no more than once or twice. For a full day out-and-about with a big enough memory card – your trusty smartphone is going to run out of power before the AW130 does.

Two things came from this experience. Firstly, cameras still take better pictures than smartphones! If you are looking to take good photos and having photos is important to you, then get a good camera. Secondly, I have more than 700 awesome photo memories which I would not have been able to get with my smartphone, as they were all shot underwater.