Basic Specifications
Full model name: Nikon Coolpix W300
Resolution: 16.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
(6.2mm x 4.6mm)
Lens: 5.00x zoom
(24-120mm eq.)
Viewfinder: No / LCD
Native ISO: 125 - 1600
Extended ISO: 125 - 6400
Shutter: 1/4000 - 25 seconds
Max Aperture: 2.8
Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.1 in.
(112 x 66 x 29 mm)
Weight: 8.1 oz (231 g)
includes batteries
Availability: 07/2017
Manufacturer: Nikon
Full specs: Nikon W300 specifications
16.00
Megapixels
5.00x zoom 1/2.3 inch
size sensor
image of Nikon Coolpix W300
Front side of Nikon W300 digital camera Front side of Nikon W300 digital camera Front side of Nikon W300 digital camera Front side of Nikon W300 digital camera Front side of Nikon W300 digital camera

Nikon W300 Review -- Now Shooting!

by Andrew Alexander and Brent Durand
Preview posted: 05/31/2017

Last updated:

Updates:
08/30/2017: Field Test posted

 

Click here for our
Nikon W300 Product Overview

 

Nikon Coolpix W300 Field Test

An easy-to-use camera that's tough enough to withstand your adventure

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/4.1, 1/1250s, ISO 125

The Nikon W300 is a rugged compact camera designed to excel during adventures where you leave the mobile phone at home. The camera is waterproof down to 30m/100ft, freezeproof to -10C/14F, dustproof, shockproof to 2.4m/8ft and even tracks your altitude and water depth. Simple camera features let you focus on the adventure at hand, while an affordable price makes the camera available to the every-day adventurer.

I took the Nikon W300 on a deep water soloing (rock climbing) trip in Arizona's Clear Creek and had a great time shooting it. I started the day trading shots between my DSLR and the W300 from the relative safety of our small boat, but soon found myself taking the W300 where I dared not take my other camera -- on the wobbly stand up paddleboard right next to the climbers and even on a climb where I knew I'd be jumping into the water.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
The compact, rugged Nikon W300 captures 16MP photographs and shoots video up to 4K resolution.

Nikon W300 Handling

The Nikon W300 camera has a solid build. It's fairly light and much thinner than the 1-inch-type sensor compacts, making it easier to manage during outdoor adventure activities. The front grip helps you hold the camera with one hand, and there's a convenient thumb grip under the zoom control. These ergonomics work for single-handed shooting, although I preferred to let my thumb drift over the corner of the LCD to create more space.

The 3" LCD screen has an anti-reflective coating that makes it much brighter and easier to see while shooting in broad daylight, however the screen is black if viewed through polarized sunglasses, so I needed to take my glasses off to shoot. This wasn't an issue, however, when shooting portrait orientation.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
6.1mm (34mm eq.), f/4.2, 1/400s, ISO 125

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/4.1, 1/1250s, ISO 125
W300 Features

The W300 is built to let you live your adventure and capture some photos along the way. Various scene modes are designed to maximize the camera's performance for things like landscapes, portraits, macro, indoor, snow, etc. There is even a collection of five time-lapse movie settings, which is a fun way to show the passage of time during your adventure trip video. You are able to manually select a scene mode or set the W300 to auto and let it determine the best scene mode.

Alternatively, you can choose the Auto mode, which opens up manual control of white balance, burst shooting (the W300 can shoot up to 7fps), ISO, AF area mode and Autofocus mode for manual AF point selection. A creative shooting mode, smart portrait mode, and short movie show mode round out the shooting mode selections.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
13mm (72mm eq.), f/4.5, 1/200s, ISO 125

The Nikon W300 also has a unique side control panel with three buttons: an LED Light button that can be turned on to aid with focus or even as a light when the camera is turned off, an Action button that lets you quickly change functions (photo, video, image review) with a shake of the camera, and a Tool button that displays the compass, altitude or water depth.

At first, the Action button seems like a not-too-useful marketing feature. It's easier to simply push the video record button to start video or use the playback button to review images, rather than push the Action button and then shake the camera, and then push the Action button again to switch to that function. The time to use it, however, is when you want to record video and lock the video record button, protecting it from an errant thumb press mid-scene (e.g. in a bumpy car on a dirt road).

Image Quality

The Nikon W300 performs well for still shooting, delivering the best images in even lighting with the sun behind the photographer. The auto scene mode did a nice job capturing everything from landscapes to macro. The 24-120mm eq. f/2.8-4.9 optical zoom lens will focus on macro subjects right up against the lens (at widest angle), which is great for those small subjects and details.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/2.8, 1/30s, ISO 140
Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
100% Crop

Photos shot with optical zoom maintain sharp detail when used with a shutter speed fast enough to eliminate camera shake. I found image quality remained consistent through the zoom range (focal length 4.3-21.5, or 24-120mm equivalent), however those shooting in dark conditions will notice that the lens minimum aperture is f/4.9 in tele, versus f/2.8 at wide -- which therefore necessitates flash, a higher ISO or both in order to avoid underexposed and/or blurry shots.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
Wide: 4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/2.8, 1/30s, ISO 200, Flash fired
Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
Telephoto: 21.5mm (120mm eq.), f/4.9, 1/30s, ISO 720, Flash fired

The W300 also did a nice job exposing for cliff and sky scenes with large dynamic range for this class of camera. Autofocus was precise, although most of my shooting was large landscape scenes and not tracking speedy subjects. As one might expect with an automatic camera, the climbers jumping off rocks were blurry since the camera didn't know to use a fast shutter speed. I didn't play with ISO and exposure comp to speed up the shutter, but this might help freeze the jumpers in these situations.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/4.1, 1/800s, ISO 125

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/2.8, 1/50s, ISO 125

The river wasn't suitable for underwater shots during our weekend, so I also took the W300 out snorkeling in the ocean to test the underwater mode. As expected, this mode pumped up the blacks and added more red tint to the white balance. These sample shots were taken near the surface, but as you take the camera deeper into the water column, the white balance adjustment will become more noticeable and deliver better underwater images than other camera modes.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/2.8, 1/640s, ISO 125

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
Auto mode: 4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 125
Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
Underwater mode: 4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/2.8, 1/500s, ISO 125

Nikon W300 Video

The Nikon W300 video settings I zeroed-in on were 1080/30p, 1080/60p, and 2160/30p (4K), though the W300 also offers non-HD resolutions (640 x 480) at 30fps as well as 120fps. I was also shooting from a rocking boat on a creek, so I immediately noticed Nikon's VR stabilizing the shots. The VR worked very well, and I credit it with making the climbing videos watchable (otherwise the wobble might have been just too much, especially when zooming in for closeups).

Video start/stop is activated with a red button while in shooting mode -- there's no dedicated video mode. This makes it really easy to record video anytime the action starts.

I recommend setting the Digital Zoom to OFF in the W300 menu, as the camera will pause at the end of optical zoom before switching to digital zoom, which you will see in the footage.

1080p30

Nikon W300 Video Sample #1 - 1080/30p
Download Original (31.3 MB .MP4 File)

Nikon W300 Video Sample #2 - 1080/30p
Download Original (41.4 MB .MP4 File)

1080p 60fps

Nikon W300 Video Sample #3 - 1080/60p
Download Original (125.3 MB .MP4 File)

1080p 60fps (slowed 50%)

Nikon W300 Slow-Motion Video Comparison
Download Original (55 MB .MP4 File)

2160/30p (4K)

Nikon W300 Video Sample #4 - 4K/30p (3840 x 2160)
Download Original (288.6 MB .MP4 File)
Connectivity and Sharing

Like most new compact cameras, the Nikon W300 has built-in Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, which enable you to control the camera remotely and review/transfer images to your mobile device or tablet. The W300 uses Bluetooth for files under 2MB, and Wi-Fi for video and stills over 2MB. This is all controlled through Nikon's SnapBridge App. The App doesn't have the most elegant user interface, but it does what you need it to do when you really want to send a photo or video to your mobile to edit and share on social media.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image

Nikon W300 Field Test Summary

The Nikon W300 is ready to join you on an adventure. It's a great camera for those who want to keep their mobile phone packed away during extreme conditions -- canyoneering, skiing, snorkeling, climbing, rain, waterfall mist -- and offers more photo capture options than a GoPro, as well as a large 3" LCD screen. The lack of RAW image capture and manual camera settings sets it below the Olympus TG-5, however the lower price tag makes it more appealing to those on a strict budget.

The W300 has a solid battery life (enabling Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will eat it up quickly, however), and the fact that it can be charged with a portable battery charger makes it convenient on multi-day trips away from the power outlet.

Nikon W300 Review -- Field Test Image
4.3mm (24mm eq.), f/2.8, 1/800s, ISO 125

Photos and videos are bright and colorful throughout the optical zoom range. They look great on a small digital screen, however pixel peepers will soon see the lack of resolution and detail compared to larger-sensor cameras. Shooting into the sun also will quickly wash out the images. The W300 will deliver the best photo/video quality in bright, even lighting with the sun behind the shooter.

The W300 is tough, and ready to take most of the abuse you can dish out during your adventure. I didn't test the altitude and water depth features, but these will be fun features for mountain summits and reef depths.

All in all, the Nikon W300 is a great camera for the adventurer who wants to document their trip without the stress of manual camera settings or overly-complicated cameras. Seasoned photographers will drift towards more advanced (and expensive) options, but the W300 holds its own in the automatic compact camera category and will ensure you bring home nice photos and videos.

 

• • •

 

Nikon W300 Review -- Overview

by Andrew Alexander

Nikon W300 Review -- Product Image

The Nikon Coolpix W300 continues Nikon’s line of waterproof adventure cameras, iterating forward from the AW130. The main upgrade appears to be the addition of 4K video capture, though there are other enhancements and changes on offer.

Like the AW130, the Nikon W300 is waterproof down to a depth of 30m/100 ft., freezeproof down to -10°C/14°F, as well as dustproof, however its shockproof rating has been increased by about a foot to 2.4m/8 ft. The Nikon W300 still has built-in Wi-Fi to share images wirelessly as well as for remote control, but adds Bluetooth for compatibility with Nikon’s latest SnapBridge app. Near Field Communication (NFC) has been dropped, but the W300 still includes built-in GPS and an altimeter/depth gauge.

Little else about this camera has changed under the hood. It's still based around a 16-megapixel, 1/2.3"-type backside illuminated CMOS image sensor, offering a sensitivity range of ISO 125-1600 equivalents which is expandable to ISO 3200 and 6400-equivalent in Auto mode. Exposure modes include Program, Auto, Scene Auto Selector, Smart Portrait and Special Effects and there 20 Scene modes including Easy Panorama. The Coolpix W300 uses contrast-detect autofocus and can shoot full-resolution JPEGs (RAW capture is not supported) at seven frames per second for a total of five frames, which was also true of its predecessor.

Nikon W300 Review -- Product Image

The Nikon W300 still employs a 24-120mm equivalent 5x zoom lens, with a design consisting of 12 elements in 10 groups. At the wide end, the 24mm setting will give you a maximum aperture of f/2.8, but zooming in to 120mm will limit you to f/4.9. The camera features Nikon’s Hybrid lens-shift and electronic VR (Vibration Reduction) system, and Nikon suggests when using it your hand-holding stability will improve by up to three stops.

Nikon W300 Review -- Product Image

On the rear panel of the Coolpix W300 is a 3-inch 921k-dot LCD monitor whereas the AW130 had a OLED display of the same size and resolution. As mentioned previously, one of the main improvements of the Coolpix W300 is the addition of a 4K movie mode, allowing the user to shoot movies in UHD (3840x2160) resolution at 30p (25p in PAL mode). The camera can also shoot Full HD (1920x1080) movies at up to 60p (up from 60i on the AW130), HD (1280x720) at 30p and VGA (640x480) at 30p, though there's also a 4x high-speed VGA mode and a 0.5x low-speed Full HD mode. Other updates to the Nikon Coolpix W300 include a dedicated button to activate the LED light for illumination (in place of the AW130's Wi-Fi button), a new Multiple Exposure Lighten scene mode, a Super Lapse movie mode, and a new Active Guide function to easily display location and altitude data.

Nikon W300 Review -- Product Image

Like the AW130, power for the Nikon W300 comes courtesy of a rechargeable EN-EL12 lithium-ion battery pack, which is CIPA-rated for 280 shots on a charge. This is actually down quite a bit from the AW130, which was rated for 370 shots on the same battery. Images and movies are stored in 473MB of internal memory, or on Secure Digital cards, including the higher-capacity SDHC and SDXC types. And as well as the built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, you can also transfer images (and charge the battery) via the Micro-B USB 2.0 port, and a Micro (Type D) HDMI port is included for connecting to an HDTV.

Nikon W300 Review -- Product Image

The Nikon Coolpix W300 will be available in the US from summer 2017 in red, yellow and orange color schemes, with a suggested retail price of US$389.95.

 

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