Nikon COOLPIX W100 adds a bit of whimsy to a rugged camera

Who said digital cameras need to be all about serious business? With smartphones eating at their profits, camera makers have been piling up serious features for their cameras. But cameras can be just as fun to use as smartphones. Maybe even more. Like the new COOLPIX W100 from Nikon, which has enough colors and features to make even the younger ones interested in taking photos. And, given its rugged nature, it'll survive to tell the tale, too!

The COOLPIX W100 is clearly built for fun, both in features as well as in survivability. The camera is dustproof, waterproof up to 10 m, and shockproof to survive drops from a height of 1.8 m. It can also withstand bitter cold down to -10 C. Despite that toughness, however, the W100's more rounded design makes it easy to hold, even for kids with small hands.

It does seem like the camera's target audience are the young and young at heart. The camera comes in four bright colors plus one with a marine pattern. Definitely not your usual drab and serious camera fair. There are a ton of camera software features, like Add Cartoon Effects, to make your shots a bit more interesting. Even the act of turning on the camera could be fun, with a welcome screen that changes its content depending on the time of day, number of pictures taken, and more.

But lest you think the COOLPIX W100 is all fun and games, it is also a decent, though not exactly high end, digital camera. It gets a 13.2 megapixel sensor with 3x optical zoom. With Nikon's Dynamic Fine Zoom, however, you et an effective 6x zoom in total. Aside from the usual modern amenities, like Bluetooth connection with mobile devices via SnapBridge, the W100 also sports features that add some excitement to capturing photos, no matter the element. Like Underwater Face Framing for automatically taking photos of human faces under water. Or Add Light Trails multiple exposure for creating a picturesque night sky shot with trails of stars, and even planes, in the background.

Nikon has yet to reveal pricing and availability details of the new COOLPIX W100 "fun" digital compact.