Nikon has revealed a pair of cameras which have been designed to withstand anything your action-loving lifestyle, or your children, can throw at them. The family-friendly COOLPIX S31 can survive being dropped on the floor (or in a swimming pool) by your accident-prone children, while the even tougher COOLPIX AW110 is waterproof to an impressive 59 feet and shockproof to 6.6 feet.
The COOLPIX S31 is targeted at families whose children who want to take photos using their parent's camera, but probably shouldn't be trusted with that Leica M9 … or subjected to a kid's camera. Designed to be as rugged as it is simple to use, it's waterproof up to 5 meters (16.4 ft), shockproof up to 1.2 meters (3.9 ft) and dust-proof, all without looking like your typical harder-than-nails shooter.
The used-by-all-of-the-family theme is continued with a simple graphical user interface and an Easy Auto Mode which promises quality point-and-shoot images. If there was any doubt the S31 was designed with younger users in mind, slide shows can be produced in-camera complete with playback effects and built-in music. There's also the little fact the camera comes in white, blue, pink, brown and a very yellow yellow.
On the more technical side, the camera has a 10.1-megapixel CCD sensor and a 3x optical zoom (giving the equivalent of 29-87 mm in 35mm format). The ISO range is 80-1600 and Electronic Vibration Reduction is there to help steady wobbly photos or video. HD video can be shot at 720p and the rear LCD measures 2.7 inches and has 230,000-dots.
Weighing in with considerably tougher credentials is the Nikon COOLPIX AW110, an action camera which is there to help prove you really did hike up that mountain, hit the slopes or ride the surf. It's waterproof up to 59 feet (18 m), shockproof up to 6.6 feet (2 m) and freezeproof down to 14°F (-10ºC).
The COOLPIX AW110 uses a 16-megapixel backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and has a 5X optical zoom which gives the equivalent of 28-140mm in 35mm format. Because there's a good chance this camera will be used on the go, it boasts lens-shift Vibration Reduction, which helps ensure steady photos and video. The autofocus system also incorporates a tracking mode for moving subjects. Full HD (1080p) movies can be recorded at 30fps with stereo sound.
On the back of the rugged camera – which comes in orange, black, blue and camouflage – there's a 3-inch OLED display with 614,000-dots. Built-in GPS means users can log the exact longitude and latitude of where an image or video is captured and view them on a map, or even find local points of interest. An electronic compass is also there to help any lost photographers navigate unfamiliar destinations.
Wi-Fi capabilities mean users can transfer images or video to iOS or Android smart devices running the Nikon Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility app. The app also allows the smart device to be used to remotely control the camera.
The COOLPIX AW110 and COOLPIX S31 will both be available in February. The AW110 will set you back US$350; the S31 will cost you $120.
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