Go Pro vs Nikon Aw100

I’m looking at both the Go Pro and the new Nikon Aw100. Has anyone seen good comparative reviews on these cameras or seen them used side by side? I like that the Go Pro has a ton of accessories that are reasonably priced but I think I could find most of those for the Nikon in the aftermarket world. I like that the Nikon has a built in GPS as I enjoy having my photos tagged for future reference. I shoot pro level Nikon so I’m very familiar with the company that is why I’m only looking at these two cameras. This would be only used while in my boat or on the go in other adventures where it is a pain to pull out my DSLR for a quick photo or too risky to do so. I don’t shoot much video since my DSLR doesn’t have that capability but I see myself shooting more especially as our kids are joining us on our adventures. Any thoughts?

aples and oranges?

– Last Updated: Feb-13-12 11:55 AM EST –

I would think these are apples and oranges. The GoPro comparison points are normally the Contour Roam and Oregon Scientific ATC-9k. These cameras are primarily video cameras, but also take photos. And they are made to be used mounted to things (helmets, handlebars, etc.), not as much as hand helds.

The Nikon looks like a hand held point and shoot. Photo quality is better than video, and made to be used when held in your hands. More closely compares to the Olympus Tough, Pentax Optio WP series, and others.

can’t compare "in general"
GoPro is one of the best in its niche. Yet it fails bad compared to even a relatively basic point and shoot for general photography or video other than point of view kind of stuff. No zoom, no flash, no or no easy control of even basic photographic features…

As for the AW100 - nice cam. A rfiend bought one after being rather disappointed with another brand with no image stabilization (uselessly choppy videos underwater). His cam made nice enough photos from our trip. But it would fog-up a lot underwater. In contrast my Sony TX5 did not fog all. Perhaps user “error” in letting humid air in, perhaps not - we both spent 2 weeks in a humid area and I recharged mine at least as often as he did, meaning we both had to open the cams many times to take out and put back the batteries. Perhaps worth researching the issue to make sure this is not a systemic problem (24 hours on rice did not fix the fogging, so one it happens it is bad, even without visible leaks).

Lumix TS3
If you want a great waterproof camera, look at the Panasonic Lumix TS3. Great image quality, HD video with stabilization that works, and tough. Mine has seen quite a bit of action in Class II and III including many dunks in turbulent play spots.

The GoPro is great for helment cam’s and it can shoot at intervals all day in a mounted position. It’s very nice in hands-off mode.


A Comparison for several models is here:


Kind of late here…
But will chime in for other googlers who find this and are interested in the subject.

Do not buy a go pro (even the black edition) without reading the Amazon.com reviews first. They are brutal. Make sure you have a good return policy from where-ever you get one as they do break down a lot.

Big problems with the Go Pro are its need for micro SD and not standard SD Cards and its lack of view finder (how are you supposed to do exposure compensation and review pictures?). You can get a viewfinder for the go pro, but it is pricey.

The AW100 (or better yet the AW110) will take good video and ok pictures (for rugged cameras). Fast panning will cause some blurring with the AW100… There are plenty of youtube demos if you want to see what it looks like. It takes very good sound recordings (perhaps the best among rugged cameras), has a nice built in GPS tagging/map system and has good image/video stabilization. The video is a tad dark, but technically looks better than most other rugged camera videos.

I use the AW100 all the time kayaking (mounted to my kayak with a gorillapod to my deck straps). Love it. But will say it can over-compensate for noise with by smudging some details (you can get a water-color look type picture). For video this doesn’t matter.

My personal preference would be the AW110 or the Olympus TG2. If you do heavy under-water stuff, then the go-pro might be best as that is probably the most water tight camera though.

Lot’s more info out there if you google “rugged cameras”.