The new COOLPIX AW100 rugged GPS-enabled camera was built to stand up to the rigorous expectations of those with an appetite for adventure who demand incredible image quality within a strong, durable body. The waterproof, freeze proof and shockproof COOLPIX AW100 is forged with features for adventure seekers who need amazing image quality and Full High Definition (HD) movie recording to keep pace with their active lifestyle.
The COOLPIX AW100’s newly designed rugged chassis is built to withstand harsh environments, yet is compact and lightweight enough to pack for a weekend on the trail. Ready to conquer the rocks, the ice and the waves, the AW100 hosts a myriad of Nikon core technologies aimed at providing stunning images and Full HD 1080p movie recording as well as new GPS technologies for outdoor enthusiasts and business/military applications.
“With detailed engineering and advanced technology, the COOLPIX AW100 is the rugged compact camera for the adventure enthusiast who never slows down and needs a camera that delivers amazing images and stunning Full HD movies without a second thought,” said Lisa Osorio, General Manager of Marketing at Nikon Inc. “The AW100 is as tough as the user that needs it, and it offers a sturdy exterior and advanced technology that enables users to capture life’s triumphant moments.”
Adventures Captured with Stunning Detail
The fast and compact AW100 can be used underwater to a depth of 33 feet, is shock resistant from a drop of five feet and weather resistant down to a frigid 14°F. Whether staring in the face of a raging monsoon or kayaking down the rapids, the battery-chamber, SD card slot, HDMI mini connector and USB/audio video connector are securely covered to prevent intrusion from the elements. Because every extra ounce matters when packing for a trek, the COOLPIX AW100 is one of the thinnest and lightest among true water-proof cameras at approximately 0.9-inches thin and 6.3 ounces light.
ability to capture images where lesser cameras do not make the cut. For added versatility, the COOLPIX AW100 also features a 5x Wide Angle Zoom-NIKKOR ED glass lens (35mm equivalent of 28-140mm) to let users shoot wild POV angles and zoom in on the action. When the action starts moving fast, the AW100 helps to create blur free images with the use of Nikon’s Vibration Reduction (VR) to minimize camera shake to capture sharp images and HD movies.
Engineered with Adventure in Mind
The COOLPIX AW100 is born to be extreme and includes features created for the adventurer. The new GPS function and internal map display allow photos to be displayed via location information and saves latitude and longitude information in the image data. Users can now shoot and track their route with the included Nikon ViewNX2 software, Nikon’s picture sharing site mypicturetown.com or Google Earth™ to pinpoint the exact orientation at the top of a ski slope or display thumbnails together with a map of the terrain. The camera will also track location while not in use so the user can show an accurate map of their travels up the mountain or kayaking down a river. The AW100 also includes an E-compass, allowing the user to orientate via the LCD screen.
The COOLPIX AW100 also features a new Action Control operation, which allows photographers to assign a function to a swinging motion to swiftly select specific settings such as scene mode by simply shaking the camera, avoiding the need to remove gloves in situations like skiing, diving or hiking. The camera has a large 3.0-inch, bright LCD screen with Clear Color Display and anti-reflective coating, providing the ability to see in difficult lighting conditions. Users are also able to mount the camera securely to various mounting systems via the built-in standard tripod mount.
Full HD Movie Recording
Adventure happens fast, and the AW100 is ready to capture Full HD video to document the day’s climb, hike, bike or dive. The COOLPIX AW100 can capture stereo audio and has the ability to optically zoom during video recording. In addition to Full HD, the camera features a dedicated movie-record button enabling fast, one-touch recording on the fly. Creative movie making can happen with slow and fast action recording options; shoot slow-motion movies at 60, 120 and 240 frames-per-second (fps) or capture fast motion movies at 15 fps.
The new COOLPIX AW100 also includes Nikon’s EXPEED C2TM image processing engine resulting in enhanced image quality and processing speed. With the high-speed continuous shooting performance of the camera’s CMOS sensor, combined pictures are used for challenging lighting conditions. When HDR controls are accessed in Backlighting Scene Mode, the camera combines consecutive images of different exposure so that a wide tonality is achieved.
Additionally, the COOLPIX AW100 includes Easy Auto Mode, which automatically recognizes the shooting situation and adjusts camera settings accordingly for great pictures. The Smart Portrait System incorporates a series of automatic functions including In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™, Face-Priority AF, Face Priority AE, Smile Mode, Blink Warning, Skin Softening and Pet Portrait mode. Additionally, the COOLPIX AW100 comes with the UE-E23, an attachable 40.5mm thread filter mount adapter.
Review Source: DPReview.com
Review by Scott Bourne
Sorry this is NOT an in-depth review. I spent more time working on it than I planned but I wanted to be sure of my first impressions. So it is what it is. Hopefully some of you will find enough information here to make your own decisions. Also note that all the images you see here are JPEGS with minimal processing, virtually straight out of the camera, through 15 seconds of tweaks in Aperture 3.2 and then converted for use in this post. I had no way to convert the RAW files based on the computer and software I had with me in Alaska so I’ll update later on the RAW files.
I can’t think of many cameras that have been more eagerly awaited than the new full-frame Canon EOS 5D Mark III. The Canon 5D MK II was one of the most popular DSLRs ever sold. But let’s face it, it’s a little long in the tooth.
This may come as a surprise to many of you but I was never a big fan of the 5D MK II. I gave plenty of them away on Twitter because THAT is the camera YOU folks wanted, but as for me, well my best reaction to the 5D MK II was “Meh.”
I think the 5D MK II was soft, slow and bulky. The AF was slow and in general, I think there are many better cameras. That said, I was in the minority and the MK II became a fan favorite – so who am I to argue with the fans? Now that the 5D MK III has shipped, the game has changed. Today I have in my hand a new, revamped camera – the 5D MK II’s successor – the Mk III. All I can say is wow!
Here are my initial thoughts – I am going to primarily concentrate on new features here and give a summary of my limited experience with the III. (By the way this review is based on me actually using, shooting and owning a MK III not based on the Canon press release.)
Let’s start with the new processor. The new, 30% faster DIGIC 5+ offers many improvements to the Canon line including better chromatic aberration correction, a multiple exposure mode and in-camera RAW conversion. There is also now in-camera HDR and 2, 3, 5 and even 7 frame auto exposure bracketing. It also allows for up to six FPS shooting which is a dramatic improvement from the MK II. In my experience all these claims proved to be true. The camera is noticeably faster.
The new magnesium alloy body shell is more waterproof than the old version. It feels beefier in the hand and just a tad heavier than the II. I didn’t personally test the waterproofness – but I did use the camera from a boat for a week and found no problems.
I primarily tested the camera with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II Lens both with and without a new Canon EF 1.4X III Telephoto Extender. The results were fantastic either way, but the camera was (as expected) slower to focus with the 1.4 mounted. The images are crisp and the color rendition accurate. (Thanks to Borrowlenses.com for shipping me the 1.4 TC. I forgot mine and they overnighted me one to Alaska so I could test it for this post.)
The viewfinder now offers 100% coverage and is very bright – I mean REALLY bright. I like this feature because it just makes it easier to find the photograph. There are also electronic levels on display in the viewfinder and LCD. The LCD is 3.2″ and less reflective than the old screen. There’s a noticeable improvement in my opinion.
There is a CF AND an SD slot onboard along with all sorts of improvements to the audio including a dedicated headphone jack, mic jack, and input level control (using a touch sensitive dial). Moire and aliasing problems are mostly gone.
HDSLR movie shooters will love this camera since shooting video was factored into the design of the III where it was more of an afterthought on the II. There is a well-placed, video start stop button and there is less rolling shutter effect. Canon has also added SMPTE timecode recording, maximum 29:59 minute files, a better CODEC and better HDMI out options.
I only shot a few minutes of video on the camera and that just to test the manufacturer claims as best I could. I do see a decrease in rolling shutter – not a dramatic decrease mind you – but noticeable. The overall video quality seems about the same to me.
The autofocus has been beefed up significantly in the MK III and frankly it’s about time. The 61 point AF on the new MK III is identical to the 1DX except that it does not include face detection. (Boo!) It’s fast, reliable and much easier to customize than the MK II’s AF. I cannot stress enough how much I like this new AF. If I had to decide on upgrading to this camera and money wasn’t a factor, I’d do it on the basis of the new autofocus alone. I photographed eagles, flying erratically and straight at me and the new AF stuck with them every time. I had about a 92% keeper rate on the toughest shots – compared with about 85% on the 1D MK IV and 60% on the 5D MK II. This autofocus rocks. Period.
There are other small improvements. You can now set a minimum and a maximum range in the Auto ISO and Auto ISO can now be used in manual shooting mode. One thing I really like is that Canon kept the battery the same for both the MKII and the MKIII. Since many of you have multiple MKII batteries, then you won’t have to waste that investment if you upgrade. I also really like the fact that Canon didn’t take the bait and increase the megapixel rate on this camera to match the D800. It isn’t necessary.
What I don’t like? The price increase is dramatic. Those of you with less-expensive glass are going to complain about your images on the MK III because Canon reduced the thickness of the anti-aliasing filter so cheap glass will be found out quickly here. With 22 megapixels and full-frame resolution, you’re going to want to limit yourself to “L” glass on a MK III. I also think Canon could have thrown in just a few more goodies for video shooters like peaking and focus assist. Some will also complain about the lack of an articulating screen but I don’t think that is that big a deal. The eyepiece comes off VERY easily so I’m ordering several replacements since I know I’ll eventually find one missing.
As far as accessories go, the 5D Mark III works with a new grip, the Canon BG-E11 Battery Grip for Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera. It replicates most of the main shooting controls for portrait format shooting, and can accept either two LP-E6 batteries or a tray full of AAs. Canon is also offering a new flash. The Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT Flash is the new flagship flash which comes with a guide number of 60, a fully-articulated head, zooming that now covers 24-200mm and weather sealing. If you want to shoot off camera you’ll need the Canon ST-E3-RT Speedlite Transmitter to work with the new flash.
NOTE: All these new accessories are very expensive. (The trio listed above will set you back about $1500!) This will no doubt influence the third-party developers to make similar, compatible devices costing less. So if you’re on a budget, and can wait, you might want to wait a few months to see what companies like Pocket Wizard for instance do with the new flash and a wireless way to trigger.
At $3499, the new MK III is about one thousand dollars more expensive than the 5D MK II. Is that a good investment for YOU? It depends. If you shoot video on the DSLR then it’s a no brainer. Absolutely. The video improvements in the 5D MK III make upgrading an easy decision. If you just want the best AF Canon has ever built – upgrade. The handling, interface, etc., are all improved. The camera is faster, beefier and offers a solid full stop of improvement in its already stellar low-light shooting capability. (Canon claims two stops improvement which hasn’t been borne out in my early tests but I’ll continue to evaluate on this front and update here if my opinion changes. I think it’s about a stop better – but it’s still great low-light performance no matter how you slice it.)
All-in-all I think serious shooters will want to consider this upgrade, even with the significant price increase. If you’re a casual shooter or you can’t afford “L” glass, or just don’t ever plan to shoot movies on your DSLR, then you might want to stick with the 5D MK II, especially if you can manually focus.
For me, the Canon 5D MK III is a keeper. Highly recommended. I can even see some wildlife and sports shooters finding this to be a good compromise if they can’t afford the 1DX. It’s that fast.
Looking for a more in-depth review of the Mark III? Click here»
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Geo Tactical Solutions (GTS), in collaboration with Ricoh Americas Corp. and Eka Technologies, is in the final stages of development for its new SE-7 GPS module for the Ricoh G700SE-M Rugged GPS Camera. The SE-7 module will add several important capabilities to the Ricoh G700SE-M to support advanced geospatial photo collection, mapping and analysis. Noteworthy features of the SE-7 module include greater speed and accuracy of GPS readings, automatic photo ‘memos’, recording ‘object’ location, GPS Track-logs, the ability to record and display multiple GPS coordinate formats, electronic compass, selective availability anti-spoofing module (SAASM) compatibility and GIS integration.
Recording ‘Object’ Location
Laser range finders may be connected wirelessly to the SE-7 module via Bluetooth or by cable connection to record distance and GPS coordinates of objects within photographs. The Ricoh G700SE-M with SE-7 module combines the range finder’s data with GPS positional data to calculate the location of an ‘object’ within a photograph. All GPS coordinates collected with the SE-7 module may be stored and displayed in a variety of formats including LAT/LONG, MGRS, Decimal Degrees, DMS, UTM and State Plane depending on user requirements.
The SE-7’s SAASM provides accurate GPS readings even in the presence of malicious jamming or spoofing. Secure and decrypted GPS signals are recorded by connecting an external GPS SAASM device such as a DAGR (Defense Advanced GPS Receiver) to the SE-7 module. This powerful feature ensures the accuracy and precision of GPS coordinates in a GPS-compromised environment.
The Ricoh G700SE-M with SE-7 supports up to 20 attribute fields called ‘memos’ which are used to tag photographs with relevant information such as photographer’s name, operation ID, operation type, unit ID, and so on. This information, along with GPS coordinates, GPS date and Zulu time, are automatically stored as metadata in each image file on the G700SE-M. “Memos are set by the operator before collecting photographs to automate the process of recording complete who, what, when, where and why information for each photo,” explained Andy Shannon, Sales and Support Manager at Geo Tactical Solutions. “Collecting this information not only transforms a photograph into a powerful information source, it keeps photographs organized by common attributes and facilitates more complete, accurate and simplified mapping and reporting during data processing.”
Electronic Compass and GPS Track-Logs
The SE-7’s electronic compass allows users to accurately record the direction a photograph is taken regardless of the angle the camera is held. In addition, the SE-7’s GPS Track-Log feature can record and map the geographic path by which photographs are collected. After images are collected in the field, data is uploaded from the SE-7 module in preparation for analysis, mapping and reporting.
GTS offers photo mapping and management software (PhotoGIS) along with the Ricoh G700SE-M (with SE-7 GPS module) for mapping, editing and reporting photos collected in the field. Digital photographs collected with the G700SE-M can be converted into a number of file formats suitable for mapping in popular GIS applications such as ArcGIS, FalconView, TIGR and Google Earth for further geographic analysis. After importing data, the images are plotted as a separate spatial data layer along with their associated attribute information (‘memos’).
“As a direct result of customer feedback, we designed and developed the SE-7 module to be extremely lightweight, rugged, and versatile while providing all the capabilities required by the most demanding operations and workflows,” noted Mr. Shannon. “This new enhancement will allow the Ricoh G700SE-M to lead the way in GPS camera technology for years to come.”
"What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" asks Regina Dugan, then director of DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency). In this breathtaking and inspiring presentation, she describes some of the extraordinary projects -- a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet -- that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail.
Video Source: Ted.com