Nikon COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Compact Camera

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73% Tried & Tested
The Coolpix AW120 is a rugged camera with an impressive GPS implementation, Wi-Fi, and a nice focal range of 24-120mm. Unfortunately, detail is lacking in photos and the display is very difficult to see outdoors.”

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Key Features

  • 16MP 1/2.3"-type CMOS sensor
  • 24-140mm F3.9-4.8 equivalent lens (5.8x optical zoom)
  • ISO 125-1600 (expandable to 3200)
  • Up to 6.9 fps continuous shooting
  • 3.0" OLED LCD with 614,000 dots
  • 1080p/30fps HD video (MPEG-4/H.264)
  • Waterproof to 59'
  • Shockproof to 6.6'
  • Freezeproof to 14°F
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC memory

Product Description

The AW120 features a 16-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 3-inch OLED screen and a wide angle 24-120mm equivalent image stabilized zoom. It's waterproof down to 59ft (18m), shockproof from a height of 6.6ft (2m) and freezeproof down to 14°F (-10°C). It also comes with built-in Wi-Fi for wireless transfer and GPS with an electronic compass and mapping . The AW120 also features Nikon’s Action Control function that allows easy operation with gloved hands.


Body type
Body type Compact
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size 1/2.3" (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
ISO Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600 (3200, 6400 available in Auto mode)
White balance presets 7
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Optical
Image stabilization notes Lens-shift and Electronic VR (still pictures), Lens-shift VR (movies)
Uncompressed format Unknown
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.) 24–120 mm
Optical zoom 5×
Maximum aperture F2.8 - F4.9
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Center
  • Tracking
  • Face Detection
Digital zoom Yes (up to 4x)
Manual focus Yes (with 99 focus areas)
Normal focus range 50 cm (19.69)
Macro focus range 1 cm (0.39)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3
Screen dots 921,000
Screen type OLED monitor
Viewfinder type None
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 4 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority No
Shutter priority No
Manual exposure mode No
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash Yes
Flash range 5.20 m
Continuous drive 6.9 fps
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Format MPEG-4, H.264
Videography notes 1920x1080 (30p, 25p, 60i, 50i), 1280x720 (30p, 25p), 1920x1080 (15p, 12.5p), 640x480 (120p, 100p), 1280x720 (60p, 50p), 320x240 (240p, 200p), iFrame 720 (30p, 25p), 640x480 (30p, 25p)
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD / SDHC/SDXC
Storage included 329MB
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Wireless Built-In
Environmentally sealed Yes (Waterproof, Shockproof, Dustproof, Freezeproof)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Nikon EN-EL12 Lithium-Ion battery
Battery Life (CIPA) 350
Weight (inc. batteries) 213 g (0.47 lb / 7.51 oz)
Dimensions 110 x 66 x 26 mm (4.33 x 2.6 x 1.02)
Other features
GPS BuiltIn


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Exposure and focus accuracy
Image quality (jpeg)
Flash performance
Low light / high ISO performance
Performance (speed)
Movie / video mode
Tried & Tested
Tried & Tested
73 %
Overall Score

First and foremost, the Coolpix AW120 is an amazing value, packing in a ton of features - most of which well-designed - for less than its competitors. It has a great GPS implementation, Wi-Fi, and 1080/60i video. It does not, however, have a great display, and heavy noise reduction smears away detail in photos.

Good For

Divers and outdoorsy photographers who want a broad feature set at a great price.

Not So Good For

User Reviews

3.66667 out of 5 stars
  • Ant Yeung, Apr 2, 2014 GMT:
    Smart little thing!

    I bought the AW120 due to necessity using it in rough conditions... mine sites, where rain and dust is the norm. I had many other point-shoot previously and they did not survive the rough conditions, so I decided on the AW120. I was surprised to find that most reviews on the Internet do not do this little point-shoot camera justice. I would suggest that you download the user manual first to give you an idea what this smart little thing can do. Within its menu system is a plethora of options, ...

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  • Boofhead, Jun 5, 2014 GMT:
    Best waterproof camera I've owned

    The AW120 is my first Nikon and 10th waterproof camera. I bought it a few weeks ago to take on a overseas holiday, it worked flawlessly. I do have a few suggestions to improve it (see below). WIFI and associated Android app is great. PROS: good image quality, easy to use menu system, great battery life, only had it down to 5 mtrs so can't verify deeper, access door seal and lock appear to be excellent, ability to choose any frame in a video and save it as a still is perfect (saves having to ...

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  • Sea Quest, Sep 4, 2014 GMT:
    Up date or step back ? from the AW110

    I had my AW110 go in for repair with nikon, They could not get the parts for it on time, After 3 weeks it was going to take another 3 weeks, So i asked for a replacement, The 120 was like an extention to my sight , I use and am a semi pro photographer, And scuba diver, The 110 is fast, takes amazing underwater macro if you can get close to the smallest of subjects. And a big bonus for on holiday taking land scape and creative, Come with a filter attachment  So i could use a Polarising filter. ...

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  • SA FOX MULDER, Oct 23, 2014 GMT:
    Great Smoky Mountain Fishing- AW120

    This was my second choice after benching my GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition. I was looking for a waterproof replacement to take on hikes, fishing trips, and wet weather use. I found the images too heavy in noise reduction and the auto focus was very slow. At some times it failed to focus at all. For the money invested I chose to return the camera and exchange for an Olympus TG-3.

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Questions & Answers


Question for Nikon AW120 owners

What would be your pros and cons about the Nikon AW120? Thanks

hsantos asked
5 months ago

ANSWERS Pros Nice 24-120mm lens range Fast focusing in good light Elaborate GPS system with compass, pressure, landmarks, and maps Good value Cons Mushy detail in photos Display hard to see outdoors Blue color cast underwater (often) Continue Reading

John McCormack answered
5 months ago


Copy pictures from computer and view pictures on TV using wi-fi connection

It´s possible to copy pictures from camera to computer using wi-fi connection? It´s possible to view pictures from camera to Smart TV using wi-fi connection? In manual I saw these functions only using USB and HDMI cables. Thanks.

glaucodieter asked
4 months ago



nikon AW120 a step back or an advancement ?

Wondering why the AW 120 has no filter holder or supports one as did the 110 I cannot use the polarising filter now. It Also rattles WHy? taking photos, Slow buffering using same Cf card that was in the 110

Sea Quest asked
3 months ago


Warranty Information

"No registration or "warranty" card is included or needed with a Nikon D-SLR or Coolpix camera. Keep your original, dated proof of purchase from the Authorized Nikon Inc. dealer in case warranty service is ever needed. These products do include either a mail-in form or a paper with a web link to our registration page:
It's advised to register your product with Nikon so that we can send you information about future updates or service issues that may arise.

Nikkor lenses come with a standard one year warranty and Nikon Inc. lenses sold by authorized Nikon Inc. dealers will have a Nikon Inc. Five Year Extension. To register for the five year extension, one copy of the included form must be mailed in as indicated. Keep the Customer copy of the form as well as the original proof of purchase (sales receipt)."

Read the full warranty.

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