Nikon Coolpix W100 Review: A Rugged, Waterproof, Inexpensive Camera

By Yvonne

Nikon Coolpix W100: An Inexpensive, Rugged Camera. The Nikon Coolpix W100 isn't a camera with dazzling image quality or fancy features, but it does the job well for its price.

Nikon Coolpix W100

We like this
  • Rugged/Waterproof

  • Affordable

  • Numerous color options

The Things We Hate
  • Subpar video quality

  • Options for limited control

The Nikon Coolpix W100 does exactly what it's advertised to do—take decent images in a range of environments, from campsites to underwater, all without missing a beat. Although image quality is not as good, you will find no better options at this price.

The Nikon CoolpixW100 was purchased by us so that our expert reviewer could fully test it and evaluate it. Continue reading to see our complete product review.

Even though smartphones and DSLRs are extremely robust, you sometimes need something more rugged to take on wild adventures. The rugged world of point-and-shoot camera is now open to you. While there have been many companies that make rugged point-and shoot cameras for years, Nikon is the original to offer a waterproof model. This was decades ago.

One of Nikon's ruggedized entry-level cameras was given to us and we put it to the test. We were impressed by its compact size and reasonable price.

Related Reading: Nikon Coolpix L340 Review: A Disappointing Bridge-style Camera

Design: A playful, yet rugged

The Nikon Coolpix W100 looks very much like a compact camera. Its design looks childish, thanks to its rounded edges. Don't be fooled by its appearance. The camera is rugged and can withstand any kind of abuse.

A lens is located on the front of the camera. It houses a tiny LED light that helps in autofocus in low-light conditions. There's also a Xenon flash above it. Three buttons are located on the top of the camera: a shutter button and power button. There is also a record button that can be used to record video. The device's back features a 2.5-inch 230kot LCD screen, as well as the review and directional buttons. There are also four buttons to navigate through the menu.

It is toy-like with minimal inputs and rounded edges.

This camera's most striking design element is the four buttons at the back. This camera was designed for use in water and dirt conditions. The W100 may be confusing if you are used to using a joystick or directional pad for navigation through the camera menus. However, it is well-designed and executed.

The W100 is simple and straightforward, aside from those design elements. The W100 is quite basic in terms of functionality and features, which is to be expected with a camera costing $100.

Related Reading: Sony DSC-W800 Review: Solid Performance, Price Point

Installation Process: Easily plug-and-play

The W100 can be set up in a few minutes by simply taking the battery out of its box and installing it. After it is turned on, the W100 will ask for the date. This information can be used to add metadata to images taken with the W100. Once it has been set up and an SD card installed, you are ready to begin shooting.

Related Reading: Canon PowerShot SX530 Review: A Great, Compact Camera for Any Beginner

Quality of the Photo: Best

At the core of the Nikon Coolpix W100 is a 13.2MP ½.1-inch CMOS Sensor with a Nikkor 3x optical zoom lens in front of it. Six optical elements are divided into five groups to give the Nikon lens a focal length of 35mm. It also has an aperture range from f/3.3 up to f/5.9 depending on how close you zoom.

The camera was tested in various environments. While the images were acceptable, we found that the sensor's small size and the lens didn't do justice to our expectations. Images often looked flat due to extra glass at the front of the lens, which helps keep it sealed. The image quality was also a bit soft when zoomed in. Low-light conditions were even more difficult, so the ISO had to be increased. Due to noise reduction, details in JPEG files were more soft than they would be under full sunlight.

Although this digital camera is very affordable, considering the quality of the W100's images, it is obvious that you get what you pay.

The image quality of the W100 is comparable to what you would expect from a budget camera. The image quality is good for posting photos on Facebook and Instagram. However, don't expect any prints to exceed 8x10 inches without blurring or graining.

Video Quality - Just right enough to be able to use

Video quality was not as good as still images. Although 1080p Full HD video is a nice feature, the audio quality was poor across all boards. The onboard speakers also sounded muffled due to watertightness.

The video can be used in bright conditions, however it is almost impossible to use when the light is dim.

Software: A great mobile app to make easy transfers

The Nikon SnapBridge technology is also available on the W100, as with all other Nikon cameras. The W100 can be connected to your smartphone using Bluetooth or WiFi, and full resolution photos and videos will wirelessly transferred. SnapBridge by Nikon is not the easiest to use or feature rich, but it does the job and allows us to share images with our friends quickly.

price: An excellent value for those who are passionate about

100 dollars is the MSRP for Nikon Coolpix W100. Although this digital camera is very affordable, considering the high quality images the W100 produces, it is still a good deal. Although the W100 will produce better images than your smartphone, you can take W100 photos underwater or in more challenging environments with your smartphone. The W100 is a superior travel camera.

Nikon FinePix W100 vs Fujifilm FinePix E120

While the W100 stands alone in many regards, there is one competitor that more or less compares with the Nikon in specs—the Fujifilm FinePix XP120.

Fujifilm FinePix XP120 is $166. This makes it more costly than the Coolpix W100. However, for this extra cost, you get better imaging and more processing power. The Fujifilm FinePix XP120 has a 16.4MP backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and a 5-x optical zoom lens (28 to 140mm full-frame equivalent).

Final Verdict

Affordable and long-lasting.

Nikon Coolpix W100 is not trying to be anything it's not. The Nikon Coolpix W100 is a waterproof budget camera that can take good photos in both wet and underwater conditions. Although the video and photo quality may not be the best, the images can still be used to reminisce about memorable experiences.


  • Coolpix W100 Product Name
  • Nikon Product Brand
  • UPC 017817770613
  • Prices from $100.00
  • Weight 8.3 oz.
  • Product dimensions 4.3x2.6x1.5in
  • Color Black, silver, midnight blue, triple midnight, customized
  • Image Sensor 13.2MP ⅓.1-inch CMOS Sensor
  • Bluetooth 4.1/WiFi 802.11 Connection b/g/n
  • Battery life 20 hours
  • Type Storage SD/SDHC/SDXC Cards
  • ISO Auto, 125-1 600
  • Max Resolution 4160 x 3120 pixels
  • Outputs/Inputs 2.5mm Auxiliary Jack, MicroUSB Charging Port
  • 1-year warranty
  • Compatible Android and iOS

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