When we were planning our wedding one thing we chose to get together was the Nikon AW100. The point and shoot can go underwater, is a little more rugged than usual, and still takes really great point and shoot photos with average to better weather and lighting conditions. We loved it’s compact size and learned how to use it and care for it.
On our honeymoon it lasted until the second to last port in the Caribbean. This type of camera has a twist knob on the side that locks the battery and memory compartment and seals it with an “O-Ring”. We were fairly careful to inspect the O-Ring znd dust the sand, rinse in fresh water, according to instructions. Then I had a glitch and opened it up on a sandy beach. When we swam in Marigot Bay it drowned the battery compartment.
Hoping we could revive the AW100, we dried it, laid it all out, etc. We were able to retrieve the pictures off the card but the camera was done. We then had to join the strange trend of using a large tablet to take photos in dry areas. It was so awkward to hold up that tablet like we were from star trek or something!
When we got home, the newer version of the AW100 from Nikon was released. We also found out we were a few days past the 1 year warranty from Nikon. They asked us to send it in, we did, and they wanted the full price to fix the damage. This was honestly the first time I ever felt betrayed by Nikon but I was outside if the warranty dates and it did have some pretty bad water damage.
As frustrating as it was, we bought the next model up: the AW110, and spent approximately $20 dollars more than the repair would have costed!
The AW110 has some pretty sweet upgrades including taking pictures remotely with a closed wifi link to your phone. Nikon upgraded the housing, lens, picture resolution, some of the quick settings, and overall the product was better. It still had GPS features which we have honestly never figured out how to use but ocassionally the photos upload with geo tags ??? The best features and most of the reason we bought it again, was at the time, they were one of the best for underwater video in an affordable little box. They even upgraded the depth ratings. At the time, GoPro was still very expensive and not nearly as great of quality. It has a floaty which we didn’t bother with originally, and then we almost lost it when my husband accidently dropped it in the sand.
***TIP: if it gets dropped in shallow water with sandy bottoms, have the other person stand on top of it so you can dive down to find it in the sand if the water is shallow enough. If he had not done this we never would have found it thanks to the current.***
We used it while snorkeling in Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel and it worked fantastically. We tended to be more cautious and cleaned it more carefully. Below are links to videos we recorded with it, this is still my favorite point and shoot travel camera today. For a camera that takes photos/videos/underwater/gps/wifi and can withstand a pretty good beating, all while retaining great photo properties, it is a definite bargain!
Specs From Nikon: Nikon AW110