Features & Controls

The Coolpix AW110 has a modest 5X zoom lens that does not telescope outward, but stays within the camera body to remain weather-sealed. The lens has a 35mm equivalent of 28mm-140mm, offering a wide angle. The aperture range is limited, at f/3.9-4.8.

Focus range:
  • Wide angle: Approx. 50 cm (1 ft 8 in.) to infinity
  • Macro mode: Approx. 1 cm (0.4 in.) to infinity

The camera employs both lens-shift and electronic vibration reduction to prevent blurry photos.

The 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor captures a total of roughly 16.79 million pixels, of which 16 million are effective.

The camera manual advertises the range of the small flash as 1 foot, 8 inches to 17 feet at wide angle, and up to 14 feet in telephoto. In my testing, the tiny flash cast a lot of light for its diminutive size - enough to adequately illuminate objects within roughly 12 to 15 feet.

Next to the flash is the AF-assist illuminator.

On the top of the camera you'll find minimal controls - just the power button and the shutter release button.

In the middle of the top panel is the GPS antenna, and on the left side the Wi-Fi antenna.

Note that the AW110 is quite thin, at 1 inch deep - thin enough to slip into a pocket.

The 614,000-dot OLED monitor is not the highest resolution screen on the market, but images look very sharp and colors are vivid. One disappointment, though, is that when viewing thumbnails the resolution seems to drop - you can't see as much fine detail on index pages as you can when viewing images full-screen.

Also, in our testing we noticed that the anti-reflective coating on the screen is susceptible to scratching. Not that we purposefully tried to scratch it, but the screen ended up with some scratches just from our travels. As a follow-up, I was able to put a minor scratch on the screen using just my thumbnail. For a camera built to withstand the elements and go underwater, this could make the camera a little less well-suited for rugged shooting situations.

The back panel has a familiar look to it, with a four-way control assigned common functions (from top, clockwise): flash menu, exposure compensation, macro mode, and self-timer. Unfortunately, the self-timer position does not double as the drive mode menu, so to select one of the continuous shooting modes, you'll have to visit the shooting menu.

At the top of the back panel are the zoom lever and movie record button. The zoom lever works smoothly and is well-placed for one-handed operation.

Above the four-way control are the shooting mode and playback buttons. The shooting mode button pulls up a five-item menu of automatic shooting modes and scene modes - you won't find even a Program mode here, much less a manual mode or aperture-priority mode.

Shooting mode menu:
  • Easy auto mode: Camera selects optimum scene mode
  • Scene mode: 20 selections ranging from portrait )
  • SO (special effects): Soft, nostalgic sepia, high-contrast monochrome, high key, low key, selective color (12 selections)
  • Smart portrait: Uses smile timer and releases shutter when smiling faces are detected
  • Auto mode: Automatic settings used, though you can change white balance, continuous shooting, ISO, AF area mode, and auto focus mode


In preparation for a swim, the camera battens down the hatch with this hefty dial and release button. The small icons indicate the open and shut positions (or, Pac-Man, if you prefer). To turn the dial you need to press the center button, thereby ensuring that it won't accidentally get sprung open and ruin the camera.

Behind the door are the SD Card slot, Li-ion battery compartment, and the ports (see below). It's all behind one door.

Here is the yellow rubberized weather seal that protects the camera's components in water up to 60 feet deep.

Next to the SD Card slot and battery compartment are the USB/AV port and mini HDMI port. The camera comes with both a USB cable and AV cables.

The other side of the camera has two buttons: the map button and action button.

The map button, at top, brings up an on-screen map, using GPS to indicate your location. You can choose a level of detail from 1 to 6, and whether to display points of interest.

The action button would most come in handy for underwater shooting, enabling you to shake the camera to change the selection five menu functions. You press the button to bring up the menu, then shake the camera to change the selection. You press the action button a second time to make the selection.

Action button menu:
  • Shooting mode: Easy auto mode, Auto mode, Beach, Snow, Landscape, or Underwater
  • Start movie recording: Press action button to record video
  • Quick playback: Full-frame playback mode
  • Current position: Map displays GPS data selected in GPS options menu

To charge the Li-ion battery, you place it in the battery charger, which connects to a power source via power cable. The camera is rated to last approximately 250 shots on a battery charge. But that's based on the CIPA rating, which supposes 50% flash use.

In my testing, when rarely using the flash, I was able to capture roughly 450 photos and more than 25 short videos on a single charge.

Memory card formats supported:
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
  • SD Card

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.