The Most Rugged Compact Camera – Nikon Coolpix Aw130 Review

After recently reviewing the Coolpix S33, which is a more basic waterproof camera, I was interested to see what the Nikon Coolpix AW130 would be like.

Needless to say this baby has all the bells and whistles!

The AW130 is waterproof(30m), dustproof, shockproof (21m) and cold resistant (-10°C / 14°F), It also comes with GPS, Wifi, compass, barometer, altimeter and depth gauge. All with 16 megapixel and full HD video capabilities it will never miss a beat.

The Most Rugged Compact Camera - Nikon Coolpix Aw130 Review


The design is of the AW130 is similar to most compact cameras, small and boxy however it is very easy to handle in just one hand (two is better for stability). As it is a “rugged” camera the housing of the camera is tough and durable but still nice to handle.

The AW130 is a little heavier than the S33, weighing 221grams. The size is similar at 110.4mm (width) x 66.0m (height) x 26.8mm (depth).

At first I found the locking mechanism for the battery and memory card’s protective compartment a pain in the butt but after using it a few times I actually found this to be an excellent addition as it add extra-security, thanks to a button you have to first push and then turn in order to get it open (it can be a little fiddly at first).

The Most Rugged Compact Camera - Nikon Coolpix Aw130 Review

Special features:

The built-in GPS, GLONASS, and QZSS, along with a compass and world map, you’ll always know exactly where you are and later on you will know exactly where your photos were taken.
You’ll also be able to track your journey no matter how high, or how low you were

You can share your experiences with family and friends instantly with the built-in Wi-Fi® and NFC. With the free Wireless Mobile Utility app, this app is available for both iOS and Android smart devices. You can even pre-select your images that get transferred automatically once you’re connected to Wi-Fi, making sharing easy! This fantastic feature also prevents you from having to open the protective cover to pull your memory card out while the camera’s still dripping wet.

Adapted scene modes are available to suit everyone’s fancy, including a sweeping panorama feature, colour filters and various underwater modes etc.

The Most Rugged Compact Camera - Nikon Coolpix Aw130 Review
The Most Rugged Compact Camera - Nikon Coolpix Aw130 Review

Recording and image quality:

The AW130 gives you the ability to record in full HD 1080p format along with the 5-axis Hybrid Vibration Reduction delivers on sharp, still video, no matter how rough or bumpy your adventure is.
Take advantage of the Time-Lapse function to take videos of an amazing sunset or whatever your heart desires.

I found the images to be perfect for what I wanted to use the photos for, such as using them on the blog, online, showing family and friends etc however I am not sure I would use this in a professional setting due to the inability to change the aperture settings causing the images to at times be a little blurry/unfocused/grainy. If you are looking to use the photos for professional use, I would recommend changing your settings to 16M instead of the standard 16M (settings -> image size) as this will give you high quality images, but keep in mind this will take up a lot more space, so getting a bigger SD card.

The Most Rugged Compact Camera - Nikon Coolpix Aw130 Review

Nerdy stats:

  • Effective pixels – 16.0 million, (Image processing may reduce the number of effective pixels.)
    Lens – NIKKOR lens with5x optical zoom
  • Monitor size – 7.5cm (3-in.) diagonal
  • Media -SD, SDHC, SDXC, Internal memory (approx. 473 MB)
  • File format – Still images: JPEG Movies: MOV (Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, Audio: LPCM stereo
  • Image size (pixels) – 16M (High) [4608 x 3456 (Fine)] 16M [4608 x 3456] 8M [3264 x 2448] 4M [2272 x 1704] 2M [1600 x 1200] VGA [640 x 480] 16:9 (12M) [4608 x 2592] 1:1 [3456 x 3456]
  • Shutter speed – 1/1500–, 1s, 1/4000 s (maximum speed during high-speed continuous shooting) 4 s (Fireworks show scene mode)
  • Self-timer – Can be selected from 10 s and 2 s
  • Built-in flash – Yes
  • USB connector – Micro-USB connector, Hi-Speed USB, Do not use any USB cable other than the UC-E21 for Micro-USB connector. Supports Direct Print (PictBridge)
  • Electronic compass – 16 cardinal points (position correction using 3-axis acceleration sensor, automatic correction for the deviated angle, and automatic offset adjustment)
  • Location data – GPS Receiving frequency: 1575.42 MHz, Geodetic system: WGS 84 GLONASS Receiving frequency: 1598.0625 – 1605.3750 MHz, Geodetic system: WGS 84
  • Waterproof -Capacity to shoot images underwater up to a depth of 30 m (100 ft) and for 60 minutes
  • Dustproof
  • Shockproof 21m
  • Charging time – Approx. 2 h 20 min (when using Charging AC Adapter EH-71P and when no charge remains)
  • Battery life of still shooting – Approx. 370 shots when using EN-EL12
  • Battery life of movies (actual battery life for recording) – Approx. 1 h 10 min (1080/30p) when using EN-EL12 Approx. 1 h 20 min (1080/25p) when using EN-EL12
  • Dimensions (WxHxD) – Approx.110.4, x66.0, x26.8mm (4.4, x2.6, x1.1in.)
  • Weight – Approx.221g (7.8 oz), (including battery and memory card)

What you get in the box :

Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL12
Charging AC Adapter EH-71P
USB Cable UC-E21
Camera Strap

The Most Rugged Compact Camera - Nikon Coolpix Aw130 Review



Buy it here $297 USD (via Amazon)

Disclaimer: Nikon provided the Nikon Coolpix Aw130 for me to test.


  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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