Nikon Coolpix W300 Camera Review: A neglected image quality

PROS:

  • Water-resistant to -30 m.
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth.
  • Complete GPS package, GLONASS compatible, compass, altimeter, depth gauge.
  • Panoramic 360 ° by scanning.
  • Video 4K / UHD
  • LED activated in video and photo.

CONS:

  • Absence of PSAM modes.
  • TFT screen.
  • Image quality disappointing and stagnant.
  • No evolution of autofocus.
  • Full HD video quality.

BOTTOM LINE :

Despite some innovations such as the 4K / UHD video and a slight evolution of the design, the Nikon W300 disappoints us. The image quality stays, the screen regresses and the absence of PASM modes is felt. Its waterproofness at 30 m and its ample zoom just save it, but it’s a bit just for a device sold at this price.


The Nikon Coolpix W300 succeeds the Nikon Coolpix AW130. Capable of diving up to 30 meters, it now incorporates the 4K / UHD definition, Snapbridge compatibility and a new TFT screen. It still retains the 16-megapixel CMOS sensor with its 5x optical zoom and is competing with the Olympus Tough TG-5, which was released shortly before.

GETTING STARTED

The Nikon Coolpix W300 looks very much like its predecessor, the Coolpix AW130. The small handle at the front is however more imposing and facilitates the gripping of the device. The curves have been rounded and give a less severe side to the device. We appreciate the design of this rugged and well-built robot, available in yellow, red, black or camouflage.

The Nikon Coolpix W300 now resists falls from a maximum height of 2.4 meters, dust and cold down to -10 ° C. It keeps the record of diving reaching 30 meters, always in front of the Canon Powershot D30 which has not been replaced and which goes down to 25 m. The device also includes the GPS pack, compass, altimeter and depth gauge to measure its feats.

Like the previous version, the W300 features a secure locking system to protect the battery and memory card via a push button that must first be pressed and rotated. On the left side, we find the mode “active control” which allows to change mode by tapping on the top of the device and is useful when used with gloves or under water. Another shortcut mode allows you to view all measurements quickly and a third button engages a small torch, placed next to the flash, very convenient for filming or photographing underwater or in low light.

The screen of the Coolpix W300 is no longer Oled but TFT and has 921 000 points; a regression that we do not really understand.

Inside, the menus have not changed and remain clear and legible. The absence of PASM dials and advanced settings shows that Nikon has not yet added a manual mode to handle the aperture or speed yourself. Once again, only speed and sensitivity can be set. We have to be satisfied with automated modes, which do not really allow to optimize the exposure. Adding an A mode to enjoy the luminous aperture of the lens would have been a plus, as is the case on  the Olympus Tough TG-5 , for example.

Wi-Fi is still in order to share its images with a smartphone or a tablet, but also to control the device remotely. The W300 is also Snapbridge compatible to share its images in real time Bluetooth. Use with moderation this option which dramatically reduces the battery life.

REACTIVITY

The behavior of the Nikon Coolpix W300 autofocus is very random. Sometimes the focus is done very quickly, other times it struggles to find the point. This lack of regularity disrupts a little the use of the device, but the chronos remain average. The camera wins 10 seconds in low light compared to the Nikon AW130. However, the latency between two views and the power-up lengthens.

The burst climbs to 10 frames per second, but on a maximum of 5 consecutive views. We would have liked to see a new processor for a more frank evolution and to allow the scout to distinguish itself from its predecessor and competition.

QUALITY OF IMAGES

There is no change in the picture quality, as the W300 takes the same 16.0-megapixel CMOS sensor and the 5x optical zoom is equivalent to a 24-140 mm f / 2,8-4,9 Without major evolution, it is difficult to hope for a real improvement in image quality, and it disappoints us once again. The center is never perfectly clean and the edges are unusable

The absence of PASM modes does not allow to optimize the exposure  Moreover, from 400 ISO, the electronic noise and the smoothing disturb the quality of The main positive point is still the versatility of the zoom, is pretty much everything.

The main novelty of the Nikon Coolpix W300 comes from compatibility with 4K / UHD video at 25 fps. It is the second gadget to be equipped with the Olympus Tough TG-5 . The gain in definition is very marked in 4K / UHD mode. Anyway, it was hard to do worse than recording quality in Full HD, similar to that of the photo. In 4K / UHD, the details finally appear, in the center anyway, and give us satisfaction, although we are very far from the image quality generated by the Olympus Tough TG-5 . To enjoy a reliable video recording, use the 4K / UHD. Sound reproduction is correct.

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