Adventure Travel Photography Travel Technology

Nikon Coolpix W300 Review: An Adventure-Proof Camera for Underwater Video

If you (like me) don’t trust flimsy cases with your precious phone for taking water-activity photos or videos, a totally waterproof camera sounds ideal. But the Nikon Coolpix W300 certainly has its pros and cons.

Nikon Coolpix W300 Review

Price and Where to Buy: The Nikon Coolpix W300 is available on Amazon for $387.

How the Nikon Coolpix W300 Rates:

  • Usefulness: 7/10. A camera with a virtually indestructible outer case can definitely give you peace of mind while you’re taking snorkeling or swimming shots. The Nikon Coolpix W300 is also shock-, freeze-, and dust-proof, so you can take it on skiing or camping trips. One major downfall of this camera: Its photo capabilities didn’t satisfy me in terms of the final-product resolution. Slightly lower quality images and 16 megapixels might be satisfactory for some people, but it’s not ideal for the price tag on this camera. While the 4K Ultra HD video it can shoot is impressive, my still shots appeared to be a bit blurred in general:

Nikon coolpix w300

  • Value: 6/10. The photos and video I took still made good souvenirs—but, again, they’re not worth the near-$400 price tag. A Nikon Coolpix W300 might be worthwhile if you’re someone who regularly snorkels, scuba dives (this camera works up to 100 feet below the surface), or kayaks, and would heavily use a waterproof camera for video.
  • Portability: 10/10. This camera is about as portable and user-friendly as an underwater camera can get. It has the ease of a point-and-shoot, plus a handy shoulder/neck strap so you won’t have to worry about it floating away. The macro setting and a big display screen give it a definite edge over GoPro cameras, and it includes a GPS tool as well as depth tracking. The Coolpix W300 can also connect to your phone through Nikon’s SnapBridge app, meaning you can download and share your best shots right away. It took me some troubleshooting to get the camera connected, but once it’s done you can set your photos to remotely auto-download to your phone as you take them. That’s pretty handy.
  • Durability: 9/10. Resistance to water, shock, freezing temperatures, and dust makes this camera pretty much indestructible. My main issue with the actual camera was the resolution of the photos, like the one above.
  • Cool Factor: 8/10. This camera is definitely a great underwater photo and video option, but the need it meets is a little bit too niche for my taste—and for its price tag.

Final Verdict: This camera is a high-performance option for underwater use and video, and a standard one for still photography. For snapshots above the water, you might be better off with your smartphone.

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Editor’s Note: Reviews are based on usefulness, portability, durability, value, and “cool factor.” Some review products are sent to us free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. We offer our unbiased opinions, positive and negative, and will never accept compensation to review a product. If you have any questions or comments concerning our reviews or would like to suggest a product for review, please email us at

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By Shannon McMahon

Editor Shannon McMahon is always planning her next trip and often writing in her travel journal. Follow her on Twitter @shanmcmahon_ and on Instagram @shanmcmahon.

Shannon joined SmarterTravel in 2015. A former news reporter, she's lived in the south of Spain, spotted elephants in Sri Lanka, gone spelunking in the Caribbean, hiked Jordan's Petra Basin, interviewed Sao Paulo's Michelin-Star chefs, and explored China via bullet train. Travel trends, news oddities, and her visits to up-and-coming destinations are some of her favorite things to write about.

Her stories have also appeared online on USA Today, The Sun, Huffington Post, Business Insider,,, and more. Her educational background is in journalism, art history, gender studies, Spanish, and film. She's been quoted as an expert travel source by CNBC,, MarketWatch, The Washington Post, USA Today, and more.

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