For years I’ve used a point and shoot — a hideout camera that I could put in my pocket while walking around for those photo opportunities that come up when you don’t expect them. The very first one I had was the Kodak DC210, with an amazing 1 megapixel of resolution. (similar to this)
When the time came to move to more megapixels the natural jump was to a Sony Cybershot and its 8 megapixel but pocket sized awesomeness, the current models of the same camera are now available in a variety of 14 – 16 megapixel models:
After years of use the lens started making a grinding sound when it extended, and sometimes the shutter-like cover leaves did not fully open. While in St. Lucia we took a catamaran trip in the rain and I didn’t feel the least bit uncomfortable snapping away even though the camera was getting drenched because I knew that the time had finally come to replace the Sony.
The pictures came out fine, and the camera did not get damaged, which got me looking for a camera that I didn’t have to worry about in water.
That search led me to the Nikon AW-100, a great little camera that comes fully featured. It can survive immersion up to 33 feet (10 meters,) freezing, and minor shock (drops from five feet.) On top of that has 16 megapixel sensor coupled with built in GPS.
While the glass is not quite as nice as the Cybershot’s Zeiss lens, the Nikon’s 5X zoom lens produces reasonably sharp photos throughout its range, from macro to telephoto. It has many preset modes, and a fully auto mode for capture. The GPS works great, and photos I imported to Lightroom dropped right onto the map once I turned on the GPS feature:
It works great underwater, (see photos below) and the built in ability to imprint time and latitude longitude onto the photo and/or to just capture them to metadata are great tools for scientists, police, sports enthusiasts, and others who need to document either their play or work. The built in GPS compass is also handy, and I can see myself using this camera for a metadata reference shot whenever I shoot a series with my DSLR’s and lenses. I have to say that I am loving the new tech acquisition.