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Gear Review–Nikon AW120

Posted by on October 10, 2014

Shooting high quality pictures while paddling can be a challenge for many. Several years back the Go Pro became all the rage with outdoor enthusiast. I recently decided to acquire a waterproof camera to take both still image files and well as movie files. I opted for the Nikon AW120. I was not a big fan of the GoPro codex – that file format embedded in files. So I looked around for a better alternative. The AW120 allows me to shoot and edit in many programs straight away without additional file conversion. The camera is good down to 59 ft; a depth I don’t plan on taking it to. The video is full HD quality and a test of it’s quality can be seen on my YouTube channel or here, which is paddling on Lake Umbagog or here which is a quick look at the new paddling trail that the North Texas Paddle Trails Association have help bring into being.

The Nikon AW120 allows me to tag my photos with GPS information and using a program like Adobe’s Lightroom, map out where the photo was taken later. The shot of the Houston Street bridge in Dallas was shot while working with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department shooting a video for their programs that air on Saturday mornings here on KERA. It’s about the size of a pack of playing cards and uses the SD card to capture images.

I look forward to capturing many more on the water images with this camera in my bag now. It is also able to be used with wifi so the smart phone can be used to trigger it. I can mount it with my quick release that it’s pictured with, onto my tripod and start shooting with it at the front of my boat with me at the back. It does however require that both phone and camera be on prior to hitting start. I am hoping that’s enough time to get a shot started before I hit the rapids or I’ll be doing a lot of shooting backwards.


I can hear a bit of the motor noise when zooming in or out so that might be an issue if I was tracking something that I wanted to keep the sound from the camera. The GPS unit also includes a map which is quite detailed. All in all I am happy with the purchase. $289 via B&H photo.


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