I recently had the chance to play around with a nifty, bright orange Nikon Coolpix W300 digital camera for a week - courtesy of Orms...
Even though I’m definitely no pro when it comes to photography, I can (I think) distinguish a good photo from a bad one and I spend copious amounts of time taking and editing my own photos - usually taken with my iPhone or a GoPro.
My problem, however, seems to be that I either find myself in the waves on a weekend or somewhere walking in the wonderful Western Cape mountains.
My iPhone pics may seem lovely and all, and it’s so convenient having a phone and camera all in one, but I feel like its screen shatters just at the thought of being dropped on the ground. It can be such a girl sometimes. How handy to have a “lifeproof” camera to adventure with, stress-free. Needless to say, I was excited about this little orange friend of mine.
The rugged Nikon is waterproof down to 30m, freezeproof to -10 degrees Celsius, and shockproof up to 2.1m. That's impressive. The GoPro Hero5 Black, Hero5 Session, and Hero Session are only waterproof to about 10m.
Putting it to the test
I convinced my always-keen-for-an-adventure brother to go test out this gadget – which weighs only approximately 231g – in the ice-cold water of Simon’s Town, in the middle of winter… I know, I should be seeing a head doctor. It was my last chance to test it, following a week of horrible weather.
Unfortunately, with the weather still being slightly against us, and the sun setting super fast, the visibility wasn’t great at a spot that’s usually perfect for snorkelling and diving. We had fun nonetheless with numb feet, hands, and ears.
The camera features a high quality 16 Megapixel sensor capable of recording 4K videos, and features great low light capability, 5x optical zoom and built in Wi-Fi for easy sharing.
The Coolpix W300 features a large 16MP CMOS sensor with a light sensitivity range of 125 to 6400 ISO. Due to our poor visibility, my pictures don't reflect it, but Nikon claims the high megapixel count allows you to capture beautiful pictures with exceptionally fine detail, and the highly sensitive sensor allows you to capture sharp pictures at night or in low light.
It also has a great battery life that, according to the company, allows you to capture approximately 280 shots or one hour of video on one battery charge.
Some other cool features
- A three-inch 921,000-dot OLED screen
- Wide-angle glass lens with 5x optical zoom and vibration reduction
- Dynamic fine zoom function that effectively doubles your reach form 5x zoom, to 10x zoom
- 4K UHD and high-speed video with stereo sound
- 5-axis hybrid video vibration reduction
- A target finding intelligent auto focus which quickly determines and focuses on your intended subject.
- Up to seven shots per second
- Built in flash
- Easily send photos wirelessly from the camera to a compatible smartphone or tablet and share your great photos on the go, or use a smartphone, or tablet to control your camera.
- Built-in GPS, e-compass, altimeter, depth gauge to easily track and view your course, steps taken, altitude, depth — even atmospheric and water pressure.
- Range creative of filters/effects including fisheye lens, miniaturise, and glamour retouch.
I do think some might still prefer to just use their phone rather than carrying around another device. And for those like me who like to surf - mounting a tiny GoPro on a surfboard and forgetting about it is maybe still more convenient.
Even so, the Nikon Coolpix W300 is a compact camera with some really impressive features and is perfect for snorkelling, diving, hiking, and just adventure in general.
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