Underwater with the AW100

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I wrote about the Nikon AW100 around the beginning of the year but have just now had the chance to really use it underwater so here is an update.

We just returned from a peaceful vacation in the Caribbean. We stayed in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, close to Grace Bay Beach. How close? It was about 3/10’s of a mile walk from our front door to the water. Much less expensive than staying on the beach with no excuse for not getting in the ocean every day.

The photo accompanying this article was not post-processed. You can see that the sharpness is good but the color has a little too much green cast. I found that the green cast issue depended heavily on where the sun was in relation to the picture angle. Of course it also depended on depth and whether the water was clear and calm or all stirred up.

I shot quite a few stills and a few videos of coral and fish with generally pleasing results. The AW100 doesn’t replace a full DSLR in an underwater bag or housing but it does a good job for a vacation camera. It also shot very good land shots making a good only camera for a winter warm-up trip.

Nikon AW100

Today I enjoyed some fishing with a new AW100 in my pocket. I only had a few chances to take pictures and one or two movie clips but so far I am impressed. It will take more time to determine if this camera is good enough to be the one and only camera on a vacation where I don’t want to lug around the DSLR and lenses. I know I’ll miss a longer reaching zoom as well as the width of the 10mm end of the 10-24mm zoon on the D7000 but enough to want to carry the big kit? Probably not. So then it becomes a question of picture quality and whether I can live with not much manual control. The big plus, of course, is this can also be the snorkeling camera and without having to haul the Ikelite enclosure I’ve been using on my Canon compact S series.

I’ll be adding some sample photos and a more detailed review as I get more usage with this new camera. For the curious, mine is orange and the first accessory will be a different and floating strap.