If a camera is going to be useful to a skier these days, it needs to meet some requirements: It needs to fit in a ski pant pocket, take decent action shots, and be tough. Nobody wants a camera that malfunctions because it got wet or was dropped on a rock. Or even worse, nobody wants to fumble around in the menu looking for video mode when something amazing is going down right this instant.
WHAT IT IS:
Nikon's new AW100 point and shoot was designed with action sports like skiing in mind. The pocket-sized AW100 has all the characteristics of a good, casual ski camera: It can handle impact, it's fully waterproof, and it has an easily navigable menu. The 5x optical zoom, 16 megapixel camera looks and feels sturdy, and all you do is hit the power button and it's ready to shoot. The same goes for when you want to shoot a video instead of stills; press the record button for high definition video with stereo sound. "The super fast start up time is really nice, and the wide angle 24mm f/3.9 and the macro are nice features, so you can get up close and personal with some of your subjects," says pro photographer Re Wikstrom, who uses Nikon equipment.
WHY IT RULES:
Although you probably shouldn't entirely rely on it to guide you on your next hut expedition, the camera has GPS positioning built in and an electronic compass. Other features include several 'continuous' mode settings, 19 scenes including 'sports' for fast action, and an auto mode to adjust ISO, white balance, and focus. Plus, it's lightweight and it comes in a few colors including an easy-to-spot-in-the-snow bright orange. "It's great for adventure seekers due to the rugged waterproof and drop-proof features," adds Wikstrom. "The GPS is cool, too, for us map nerds." More features mean more battery drain, so if you are going away from power sources for a few days, bring an extra battery (or two) and keep it warm in your sock.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
Buy now or find authorized dealers at Nikonusa.com .