Nikon AW120

 
Nikon Coolpix AW120 front
 
  • 16MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 125 - 6400
  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • 24-120mm (F2.8-4.9) lens
  • 213g - 110 x 66 x 26mm
  • Launched February 2014
  • Succeeded the Nikon AW110
  • Updated by Nikon AW130
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
Portability
92
Imaging
42
Features
45
Overall
43

Nikon AW120 summary

Nikon AW120 is Nikon's Waterproof digital camera first released on February of 2014. It houses a 16 MegaPixel, CMOS 1/2.3" size sensor with a max resolution of 4608 x 3456.

Nikon brought out this model to update the earlier Nikon AW110 (Read Full Comparison) & afterwards brought out the fresher Nikon AW130 (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to replace this camera.

The AW120 ranks at #11 out of 74 in Waterproof cameras & over all #570 out of 1428 for digital cameras in our database. You should check our Advanced camera search to get camera results based on your customized criteria.

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Here is a diagram of multiple factors used in the rating system.

Nikon AW120 history

The Nikon AW120 has a history of related digital cameras. Listed below, you can find all older and the latest models along with main features.

ModelVisualizeLensResolutionSensor SizeReleased
Nikon-Coolpix-A1000 front thumbnailNikon A1000
AW120 vs A1000
24-840mm
F3.4-6.9
16MP1/2.3"2019
Nikon-Coolpix-A900 front thumbnailNikon A900
AW120 vs A900
24-840mm
F3.4-6.9
20MP1/2.3"2016
Instagram's $20 billion Ad success
Nikon-Coolpix-AW130 front thumbnailNikon AW130
AW120 vs AW130
24-120mm
F2.8-4.9
16MP1/2.3"2015
Nikon-Coolpix-AW120 front thumbnailNikon AW12024-120mm
F2.8-4.9
16MP1/2.3"2014
Nikon-Coolpix-AW110 front thumbnailNikon AW110
AW120 vs AW110
28-140mm
F3.9-4.8
16MP1/2.3"2013
Nikon-Coolpix-AW100 front thumbnailNikon AW100
AW120 vs AW100
28-140mm
F3.9-4.8
16MP1/2.3"2011
Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

Nikon AW120 Pros and Cons

Here is a shortlist of good and bad points of the Nikon AW120 based on factors that are typically considered necessary in a digital camera.

built-in flash
built in zoom lens (24-120mm 5.0 x zoom)
good battery pack (350 shots)
has HDMI port
high video quality (1920 x 1080 pixels)
image stabilization (Optical)
OLED tech
provides face detect focus
provides tracking focus
rather wide (24mm)
screen has good resolution (921 k dot)
screen is a decent size (3 inches)
sensor resolution is decent (16 megapixels)
weather proof
cannot use external flash
doesn't have phase detect auto focus
doesn't have RAW support
does not feature selfie friendly screen
lack of manual exposure
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
manual focus not available
missing headphone port
missing microphone port
missing Timelapse recording
no aperture priority mode
no shutter priority
screen is fixed
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
sluggish at long end (f4.9)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)
Google will print your 'Best' photos for $8 a month

Nikon AW120 Sensor information

The sensor specification on the Nikon AW120 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor is able to capture 4608 x 3456 pixels . The camera has Image Stabilization (Optical). Optical stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization since the latter can cause cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 16 megapixels and delivers a standard ISO range of 125 to 6400. Unfortunately, RAW format is not saved therefore the user has less room to maneuver in post.

The image below illustrates the AW120's sensor size in comparison to other popular sizes. The AW120 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is outlined in green.

Nikon Coolpix AW120 sensor size Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

To get an understanding of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Nikon AW120 dimensions

Nikon AW120 has a weight of 0.47 pounds (213 gr or 7.51 ounces) & the dimensions of the camera is 110mm x 66mm x 26mm (4.3" x 2.6" x 1.0"). The weight of typical Waterproof camera is 196 gr and the Nikon AW120 is very much the same when compared to various rivals.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Listed below is a photo of the Nikon AW120 alongside a softdrink so you can get a sense of its size.

Nikon Coolpix AW120 dimensions scale

The top view directly below will highlight the button layout on the AW120.

Nikon Coolpix AW120 topview buttons dials

Nikon AW120 Lens information

The AW120 has got a built-in lens offering a focal range of 24-120mm giving it a 5.0 x zoom which is definitely not very good however it is going to be convenient in certain cases.

At it's widest 24mm, it has an aperture of f2.8 and that is pretty sluggish and not good for low light circumstances and you will find it hard to get good bokeh. You will probably also need to boost your ISO leading to noisy photos. For the long end, 120mm comes to f4.9 which is pretty slow and you might have to utilize slower shutter speeds.

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Nikon AW120 Connectivity

The AW120 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes
  • GPS Yes

Digital cameras that incorporate NFC and / or Bluetooth support are able to be used wirelessly via smartphones. You can transfer images and at times adjust camera settings without connecting physically with the camera.

A few apps also provide a Liveview and hit the shutter if you are not near the camera. If the camera has a HDMI port, it can easily be attached to an external screen. Virtually all cameras will allow you to recharge the battery pack using the USB port.

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Nikon AW120 Video information

The max video resolution on the Nikon AW120 is 1920 x 1080 and you can record in MPEG-4 and H.264 file format. 1080p resolution gives you an excellent balance for video quality vs file size but 1080p isn't going to leave you with any room to downsample. The body does not have a microphone and / or headphone port which means that you have got absolutely no control over the sound. It is perhaps best to look into a different camera if you want better sound for your videos.

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Nikon AW120 Weather Sealing

Nikon AW120 provides weather proofing making it a fantastic option for use for challenging environments. This can be particularly handy any time you are uncertain about the elements you may face for outdoor photography.

Nikon AW120 Screen and Viewfinder

The Nikon AW120 is equipped with a 3" fixed display having a resolution of 921k dots.

Please note that the display screen has no touch support.

Nikon Coolpix AW120 screen and viewfinder Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

The View Finder details for Nikon AW120 are below:

  • ViewFinder None

For bright outdoor situations that make the camera displays washed out and difficult to see, viewfinders will be quite helpful.

Nikon AW120 Shutter information

Nikon AW120 continuous shooting speed is 7.0 frames per second. The maximum shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

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Nikon AW120 Flash and Hot shoe information

Nikon AW120 has just in-built flash without external flash support.

Nikon AW120 Autofocus information

Nikon AW120 has only Contrast Based Autofocus & lacks Phase Detect Autofocus. Phase Detection focusing is a lot quicker and precise as compared to Contrast Based focusing. The camera supports Face detection which is valuable for people photography.

It also comes with Tracking Autofocus for subjects that move. Nikon AW120 doesn't have manual focusing. Manual focusing mode can be good for low light occasions or you need to have more precise focusing control.

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Nikon AW120 Battery life

The battery pack (EN-EL12) on the Nikon AW120 is made to last for 350 images with respect to the CIPA requirements which is above average when compared to its category. The usual Waterproof camera battery life is 274. Olympus TG-4 has got the maximum (380) battery life for this range of cameras.

Listed below is a list of Waterproof cameras which have the highest battery life:

Nikon AW120 for specific styles of photography

The following diagram indicates a summary of the Nikon AW120 for specific styles of photography. To understand more, check out the specific section below.

Portrait photography with Nikon AW120

The Nikon AW120 gets a rating of 36 which is dreadful, and means the camera is just not appropriate to use for portraits. Shooting portraits favors greatly towards sensor resolution, support for RAW files plus the ability to utilize external lighting.

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megapixel count decent (16MP)
has face detect focusing
no manual focus
manual exposure not available
no external flash support
sensor size is very small (1/2.3")
does not have RAW format

Nikon AW120 Street photography factors

Getting a above average rating of 62, the Nikon AW120 is a fine pick to buy for street photography. A decent street photography camera provides a perfect balance of picture quality and portability.

Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos
has image stabilization (Optical)
environment proofing
screen does not articulate
sensor is very small (1/2.3")
no RAW format

Nikon AW120 as a Sports photography camera

A average sports photography rating of 52 indicates the Nikon AW120 is relatively adequate for taking photos of sports. A camera really should have very good autofocus plus continuous shooting for sports photography.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
built in image stabilization (Optical)
decent sensor resolution (16 megapixels)
features tracking focus
weather sealing
great battery life (350 shots)
no shutter priority mode
tiny sensor (1/2.3")
doesn't have phase detect AF

Nikon AW120 Travel photography details

Weight is really important when getting a travel camera. Over-all, the Nikon AW120 gets a very good 70 as a travel camera which is a very decent pick to purchase for your journeys.

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good battery power (350 per charge)
weather sealing
decent MP (16 megapixels)
has built in flash
pretty wide (24mm)
no Time Lapse recording
doesn't contain selfie friendly screen
slow maximum aperture (f2.8)

Nikon AW120 Landscape photography details

If you're looking to choose a camera for landscape photographs, the most vital aspect is going to be image quality. The Nikon AW120 with it's reasonable score of 49 for a landscape camera is reasonably acceptable amongst it's rivals.

Last day to get your files as Canon Irisa shuts down
quite wide (24mm)
nice screen size (3 inch)
has image stabilization (Optical)
MP count good (16 megapixels)
weather proof
great battery pack (350 shots)
focusing manually not possible
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
sluggish maximum aperture (f2.8)
no manual mode
tiny sensor size (1/2.3")
lack of RAW format
does not have Timelapse mode

Nikon AW120 Vlogging info

A camera for vlogging ought to come with a moving display screen, mic port and preferably IBIS. Taking everything into account, the Nikon AW120 is just not appropriate as a vlog camera as it comes to a dreadful rating of 34.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
reasonably wide (24mm)
has image stabilization (Optical)
includes face detection focus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 resolution)
sluggish max aperture (f2.8)
screen isn't selfie friendly
does not have external mic jack

Nikon AW120 Alternatives

If you are searching for replacements to the AW120, here is a range of the highest scored cameras which fall under the class of Waterproof.

The line graph down below will give you an overview of the AW120 versus it's highest scored rivals suggested earlier.

Here are a handful of other cameras you might look at as alternate options. To check out a extensive comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

Photographer fined '$200,000' for failing to deliver photos

Specifications

General Information
Brand
Nikon
Model type
Nikon Coolpix AW120
Class
Waterproof
Launched
2014-02-07
Body design
Compact
Sensor Information
Sensor type
CMOS
Sensor size
1/2.3"
Sensor measurements
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
28.1mm²
Sensor resolution
16MP
Anti alias filter
Max resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW files
Max native ISO
6400
Min native ISO
125
Autofocusing
Manual focusing
AF touch
Continuous AF
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
AF center weighted
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Cross type focus points
0
Lens
Lens support
fixed lens
Lens zoom range
24-120mm (5.0x)
Maximum aperture
f/2.8-4.9
Macro focusing distance
1cm
Crop factor
5.8
Screen
Range of screen
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
3 inches
Screen resolution
921k dot
Selfie friendly
Liveview
Touch friendly
Screen tech
OLED monitor
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
None
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
not tested
DXO Color Depth rating
not tested
DXO Dynamic range rating
not tested
DXO Low light rating
not tested
Features
Min shutter speed
4s
Max shutter speed
1/4000s
Continuous shutter speed
7.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Change WB
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash distance
5.20 m
Hot shoe
AEB
White balance bracketing
Exposure
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080
Max video resolution
1920x1080
Video data format
MPEG-4, H.264
Microphone jack
Headphone jack
Connectivity
Wireless
Built-In
Bluetooth
NFC
HDMI
USB
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
GPS
BuiltIn
Physical
Environment seal
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
Weight
213 grams (0.47 lb)
Physical dimensions
110 x 66 x 26mm (4.3" x 2.6" x 1.0")
Other
Battery life
350 photos
Style of battery
Battery Pack
Battery ID
EN-EL12
Time lapse feature
Storage media
SD / SDHC/SDXC
Storage slots
1
Cost at release
$350