Best Nikon Waterproof Digital Cameras (Updated for 2021)

Michael Sand
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Going for a swim can be very relaxing, especially if you’re doing a few laps in your local swimming pool and not worrying about your camera getting wet.

Nikon makes some of the best waterproof digital cameras available so if you’re looking for one to take with you to the pool, they’ve got you covered.

And don’t feel bad about it.

It’s a skill to be able to properly use a waterproof camera. When they were first launched, it was reported that a number of professional underwater photographers were being sponsored by the Japanese Oceanographic Centre and Japanese Olympic Committee because their team of photographers were so good at using cameras underwater and successful at winning competitions, they were in fact appearing to be robots.

These (current) cameras, here, are what I consider to be the best, and you may agree.

Those on a budget will want to check out my review of the best value waterproof cameras.

NameCategoryProduct
Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital CameraBest OverallNikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital Camera
Nikon KeyMission 360Budget PickNikon KeyMission 360
Nikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP HD WaterproofUpgrade PickNikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP HD Waterproof

1. Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital Camera

Our rating: 9 / 10

Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • * Easy to use

The Nikon Coolpix S33 Waterproof Digital Camera is a decent family camera. It is an LCD touch-screen, waterproof camera. The camera has 10 megapixels and an included 4x digital zoom, which is a feature many cameras of this price range do not always have. Great for older kids and kids that are rough on their toys. It has a 1.6" LCD screen that is user friendly, but the battery is not replaceable, so if it leaks, that's the end of the camera. The sensor does a good job reviewing pictures and the contrast is clear for the current exposure of the light. It is eco-friendly as it doesn't use more battery than it already does, and it conserves power when it is in standby mode. It is recommended for children nine years of age and up.

2. Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera

Our rating: 7 / 10

Nikon W300 Waterproof Underwater Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Waterproof down to 20 meters
  • Not very expensive
  • 5x optical zoom
  • Works in inclement weather
  • Good battery life

Cons:

  • Waterproof housing is more bulky than a standard SLR camera
  • Included housing cover has some flimsy plastic pieces that feel weak

The Nikon W300 is a true digital camera that allows you to take pictures underwater. While it’s not big or fancy enough to be called a true digital SLR (single-lens reflex), it is a watertight camera that allows you to use it in many exciting situations. With a 5x optical zoom you can really get a lot of things in the picture. Use the zoom to get a close-up of an eagle in the sky, or use extreme wide-angle to get a whole crowd in the picture.

Although this is not meant to be an advanced camera, the W300 does allow you to change controls like the white balance and ISO. Use the ISO to get a wide variety of light in low light situations. If you are snorkeling and a big fish swims by you will want to make sure you have the right settings. The white balance options allow you to control the overall color of the picture. Get the best white balance based on the situation.

3. Nikon COOLPIX W100

Our rating: 6 / 10

Nikon COOLPIX W100

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Pros:

  • The W-100 provides a long list of cool features that make it a decent choice for the outdoor enthusiast
  • It can accommodate a Micro SD card with a max of 64GB of storage
  • Up to 5 Hours of shooting

The Nikon Coolpix W100 is one of the popular cameras for shooting videos and taking outdoor action shots. This is a Nikon Coolpix W100 which is waterproof which makes the camera suitable for swimming pools, water parks, and more. It means it can shoot in depths of up to 3.3 feet for up to 30 minutes. The camera will work when submerged in water, thanks to a nitrogen-purging system, but it will still take photos and record videos. The lens on the Nikon Coolpix W100 is 2.7x optical zoom and it can take full HD 1080p movies.

The camera has a 23.2-megapixel camera sensor, which captures plenty of detail and clarity. You can capture photos in RAW format and the camera will still have an effective higher resolution than most cameras of this class, and it still has a higher resolution than the Nikon AW130. It’s also quite compact and lightweight, making the camera easy to carry.

4. Nikon Coolpix AW130 Shock & Waterproof GPS Digital Camera

Our rating: 5 / 10

Nikon Coolpix AW130 Shock & Waterproof GPS Digital Camera

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Pros:

  • Gives up to 12 hours of battery life
  • GPS geotagging of photos (not the physical location of the camera)
  • Shockproof up to 5 ft
  • Waterproof to 50 ft

Cons:

  • Heavy at 21.1 oz
  • The GPS features are difficult to use
  • Reading eye capabilities about as poor as any model on the market

The AW130 model is one the latest in Nikon's lineup of rugged cameras. It's waterproof to 50 ft and shockproof to 5 ft. It has a built in GPS, which identifies your photos with coordinates using the Nikon mapping system.

This can save a lot of time if you're looking to compile a great photo collection from a recent trip. The AW130 has a burst mode camera at 6.75 frames per second for a continuous shooting of 5 shots, but this mode will not work in low light.

It has a wide-angle 3x optical zoom lens, but it's not the most satisfying on the market. Nikon has specifically designed this camera to be a high-quality, lightweight, and simple device. One of the most notable features is that this is the first time that Nikon has made a camera that doesn't display the image on full-time on the viewfinder.

5. Nikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP HD Waterproof

Our rating: 4 / 10

Nikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP HD Waterproof

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Pros:

  • Waterproof to 49 feet
  • Shockproof to 7 feet
  • Full HD video recording
  • Optical vibration reduction
  • Fast continuous shooting

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Poor battery life
  • Heavy

The AW1 Camera is Nikon’s first waterproof interchangeable lens camera. It’s shockproof as well, so it can be submerged up to 49 feet and still function. It’s also rugged, with the ability to withstand temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit and up to 140 degrees. It has a 14.2-megapixel CMOS sensor that captures sharp photos, even in low light. It’s also capable of full 1080p HD video recording. The camera shoots up to 7 frames per second, with a large 921,000-dot resolution viewfinder, 3.0-inch tilting display screen, and 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

The camera has a built-in GPS when paired with an optional adapter. If you’re taking a lot of action shots, you can use the built-in Wi-Fi to wirelessly connect your phone to the camera, which allows you to use the touch screen on your phone to change settings and frame your shots.

6. Nikon KeyMission 360

Our rating: 3 / 10

Nikon KeyMission 360

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Pros:

  • It is very easy to use
  • Can shoot great shots in any kind of weather
  • You can record interactive 360-degre videos

Cons:

  • Battery life could be improved
  • Doesn't handle fast-pace situations well

The Nikon KeyMission 360 is an excellent camera for those who are seeking an underwater, 360-degree camera. If you’re planning to use the camera outside of the water, you’ll be glad to know that its performance is also very impressive. As this is an all-around camera you can take just about anywhere and at any occasion, you can feel assured that your little investment will be safe and secure. Even though there are other cameras with similar features, this one has a very user-friendly design that almost anyone can operate.

This camera features a 12.2-megapixel camera with 10x optical zoom and it supports a livestream feature on YouTube. This camera is similar to cameras such as the Panasonic FZ2500 and the Olympus TG-5 but has extra perks such as a microphone jack and full HD video support. The company has released the KeyMission 80 which is another model designed for underwater photography. The 24.2-megapixel camera can document movement thanks to its slow-motion capture feature.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the best waterproof camera to buy?

The Nikon AW130 is the best all-around waterproof camera we have come across. The camera is loaded with features that are designed for adventure photography, but also has an excellent array of standard features for all kinds of shooting.

The bestselling waterproof camera from Nikon is the same model in a black color instead of the purple model we reviewed. You can learn more about the Nikon AW130 on Amazon here.

What is the best camera 2021?

The best camera 2021 is one that suits your specific photography needs. If you want to take great group shots, for example, then a digital SLR is not your best bet. Your best camera 2021 for group shots will be a digital camera with a lot of zoom. Likewise, a telephoto lens would be the best camera for wildlife and nature photography.

If the best camera 2021 is one that suits your specific needs, then there is no best camera 2021. Each camera will have strengths and weaknesses you should consider before making the purchase.

The camera you’re looking for will include the basics, such as a great, easy to use zoom and HD video recording capabilities. Today’s cameras are taking better images than ever.

What is the best Nikon camera for professional photography?

The D610 is a full-frame Nikon DSLR that is ideal for most professional use in a variety of settings. This camera boasts a full range of physical controls as well as great image quality and features. If you're an aspiring professional who wants to be sure that you can capture everything you want without worry, this is the Nikon camera to get.

When it is time to do professional-quality photography, the D610 is a great way to go. The camera is easy to work with, boasts physical controls, and provides good image quality across the board. This camera is available in two different color schemes and provides all of the features that are available on the higher-end models.

If you're looking for a professional DSLR on a budget, the D610 might be the right model for you!

Is Canon better than Nikon?

In the water camera category, even professional photographers have a hard time choosing which brand to use. The answer depends on all factors such as budget, ease-of-use, durability, and picture quality.

You will find a lot of BOTH Nikon and Canon cameras in this list, but we have to declare our own preference: Canon. It’s hard to say why, exactly, but we feel that the combination of Canon’s effective and intuitive software and ease of use outweighs its higher cost in some situations.

As with all these digital cameras, you should test out both brands to see which one works best for your purposes.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best water-resistant digital camera for 2016, Nikon has a solid choice in the Coolpix W300 – a 12MP waterproof, shockproof, and freezeproof digital camera. These cameras are often used by divers, as they can withstand both high and low temperatures, and the results are often spectacular.

If you’re looking for an even better water camera, you might want to opt for the Surfwalker SW330 instead. It’s waterproof all the way up to 33 feet underwater, and it’s produced by Nikon.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Nikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital CameraBest OverallNikon COOLPIX S33 Waterproof Digital Camera
Nikon KeyMission 360Budget PickNikon KeyMission 360
Nikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP HD WaterproofUpgrade PickNikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP HD Waterproof