Having not really gotten their fill at CES, Nikon has taken some time today to announce another seven Coolpix models for its 2013 line-up. In the mix is one AA-powered compact, a li-ion compact, two waterproof models, one compact high-zoom, and two bridge-style ultrazooms. Whew. I’m going to do just a quick whirlwind tour of them below so neither you nor I have a chance to nod off in boredom going over these things. Most of them fall into the “If you need a new camera and this is in your price point, it’s worth looking at” category, with only a couple standouts that are worth the look even if you don’t actually need a new camera. And those are the two waterproof models.
If the Coolpix AW1100 looks a lot like Nikon’s first rugged camera, the AW100, that’s because it essentially is. There’s still a 1/2.3″ sensor with 16 megapixels, still a 5x optical zoom with the same f3.9-4.8 range, same GPS… But, there are quite a few notable differences too. The 3″ screen hasn’t grown any, but it has switched to the better OLED type, and jumped up to a sharper 614,000 dots of resolution for better clarity. There’s wifi on board now, removing the need to hook up cables or SD cards to get your shots off the camera, and meaning paired with Nikon’s little doodad and your smartphone you could take pictures with the camera while it was at the bottom of a pool, and you were dry on a blanket having a mai tai (note, I’m being hyperbolic, wifi likely won’t work very well from a pool. But hey, at least you won’t have to dry it off before opening up the ports, right?). And, that pool can be a lot deeper now. The AW100 was waterproof to a reasonable 33 feet, and shockproof to 5, but the AW1100 pushes the waterproof up to 59 feet, and the shockproof to 6.6 feet. Freezeproofing to 14 degress Fahrenheit is still on tap as well. This new model will come in the same colors as the last one (orange, black, blue, and Larry-the-Cable-Guy), and will run $349.95 this month once they come in.
The other cool model is the Coolpix S31, which updates the S30. Like the S30, it is a much more budget-friendly waterproof shooter, and it gets the price down by skipping the “ruggedized” portion of the show. There’s some basic shockproofing, sure, but only 3.9 feet. Good for toddlers and kidlin’s, less useful for hardcore adventure thrill-seekers. The waterproofing though is quite adequate for a budget shooter, protecting you to 16.6 feet, or deeper than any public pool I’ve ever been in. The sensor is a smaller 1/2.9″ one with 10mp, and the lens is only 3x, and the 2.7″ LCD doesn’t quite wow like OLED, but, considering this guy costs ha;f of his bigger bro, I think we can forgive that. It’ll come in white, pink, brown, blue, or yellow and cost a mere $119.95 later this month. That’s cheap, folks.
As for the other models, the CoolpixL28 is a 20mp, 5x compact powered by AAs that’ll cost you $120, and doesn’t have the tiny little plastic viewfinder of yore. The Coolpix S5200 is a bit higher up the foodchain with a sleeker metal body, 16mp BSI sensor, 6x zoom, and built-in wifi for $179.95. Over in the zoom camp, the Coolpix S9500 is the compact body with a big old 22x VR lens and an 18mp BSI sensor. it’c clearly aimed at the “travel zoom” category that Panasonic helped make with their TZ model Lumix line. The Coolpix S9500 will run you $349.95, and certainly be easier to manage on a vacation than a Rebel. The other two superzooms are the bulkier, faux-DSLR style. The Coolpix P520 is the better one (the P is for Professional, after all), and will be found sporting a 24-1000mm equivalent VR lens in front of an 18 megapixel BSI sensor with a 3.2″ vari-tilt screen. It’ll cost ya $449.95. The smaller model is the L820, with a 22.5-675mm VR lens and a 16 megapixel sensor for $279.95. All, again, this month or so.