Beneath its tough facade, Nikon's Coolpix AW110 is a sophisticated camera with built-in WiFi and GPS. Master its many features and you can even take photos with one hand.
How it works
The camera syncs with a smartphone through WiFi. Once you link the two devices, it's easy to share photos and video via e-mail without having to connect to a computer. Activate the GPS, and you can map your location and tag photos with the co-ordinates. It's a useful feature if you've forgotten where you ate a memorable plate of pasta in Rome; less so in remote national parks where the mapping function may not work. If you're carrying shopping bags, beach gear or a toddler, press the "action" button, tilt the camera back and forth, and manoeuvre through such basic modes as playback, movie and scene settings with one hand.
Pros and Cons
It takes two thorough reads of the user manual and a call to Nikon's technical support line before I get a handle on the WiFi functionality. The GPS and electronic compass features are much easier to figure out. Photos can be taken under water or in extreme temperatures, then cropped, retouched and sorted by such themes as landscapes, food, movies and pet portraits. The sorting process isn't always accurate (some of my landscapes ended up in the "close-up" folder), but it's a nifty way to separate people shots from scenery.
Although the rugged build is geared to action travellers, tech-savvy photographers will love the bells and whistles. Just be prepared to invest some time in the set-up before you can point, shoot, map and share. $379.95; nikon.ca