Nikon has announced the Coolpix W100, a family-friendly and waterproof camera, which should be able to survive the odd knock and tumble, even in the all-too-often clumsy and carefree hands of young children on holiday. The camera also boasts built-in wireless capabilities for sharing images on the go.
The new camera looks almost identical to the Nikon Coolpix S33 from 2015, which means it's not going to rival the Olympus PEN F in the style stakes, but is going to appeal to kids. Indeed, the proportions of the S33, along with its reasonably tough credentials and bright colors, have seen us recommend it to countless parents looking for a first camera for their children.
The Coolpix W100 appears to be designed for that same market, families who want a camera the kids can use. Being dust-proof, waterproof to 10 m (33 ft), shockproof to 1.8 m (5.9 ft), and cold-resistant to -10°C (14°F) means it should also be a good vacation camera, which parents don't have to get precious about. It's not as daunting as handing over a Canon G7X II, smartphone camera, or even a tough Leica X-U, for your child to take a photo of their sand castle.
The photographic specifications of the Coolpix W100 are fairly modest. There's a 13-megapixel 1/3.1-inch CMOS sensor, paired with a lens which gives a 30-mm to 90-mm focal range equivalent and a variable F3.3 to F5.9 maximum aperture. This means that while it's going to deliver reasonable quality in good lighting, it may well struggle as things begin to get darker. It can also shoot Full HD 1080p video.
While much of this is the same as the Coolpix S33, the W100 also benefits from Nikon's new SnapBridge technology for wireless sharing, like we saw introduced with the D500. This can use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to connect to smartphones and transfer images, and could be particularly handy on the W100 given it's often likely to be used in situations like on beaches where you don't want to be constantly opening the camera to access an SD card every time you want to share a photo on social media.
The W100 still uses the same child-friendly interface and button layout as the S33, with the optional children's menu which is even more simple to navigate and use. New modes which will appeal to younger photographers include the ability to add cartoon effects or cute stamps like hearts and stars to their images. Unfortunately, this will presumably be done via the buttons as the 2.7-in rear monitor with 230k dots still isn't a touchscreen.
The Nikon Coolpix W100 will come in blue, pink, yellow, white, or with a fetching marine makeover which sees it covered in multicolored sea creatures. Nikon is yet to announce availability or pricing of the new camera, but for reference, the Coolpix S33 cost US$150 when it launched.
Product page: Nikon Coolpix W100