Nikon Coolpix AW100

A while back I wrote about the GoPro camera.  I have used my GoPro for many things and intended to use it for some underwater shots while on vacation.  After reading reviews I found it was limited on quality underwater.  Further research lead me to the Nikon Coolpix AW100.  Water proof up to 33ft and shock proof up to 5 feet.  This camera was made for mild sports action yet still remains stylish.

The camera looks like a simple point and shoot. Many of the features you would find on most with a couple differences. First the button for the shutter and video are separate. Each has a unique texture so you can feel what is what. Next the batter and memory card door had a rubber seal but also uses a double lock to be more secure from accidental opening. Next the camera has a built in GPS allowing you to GEO tag your images or use it as a functional ground GPS. Finally you will find a underwater setting in the presets for diving.

Dolphin Flight – Discovery Cove, Orlando FL

Going through the presets and doing some tests I found the “simple” mode to be annoying.  I switch it over to “auto” for playing.  During vacation I used several presets like “underwater”, “Beach” and “Night Portrait”.  These are easy to change using the scene mode button on the back of the camera.  All in all I found the scenes to be quite adequate for most of my images.  Remember this is a point and shoot.  The zoom range work well for most situations.  The one drawback was the speed between shots.  The manual boasts 2.5 frames per second but even with my extreme 30MB/s SD card I could not get shots that quickly.

The image quality during daylight was above average to outstanding in the point and shoot category.  I think the color and contrast in the daylight images were spot on.  I also could not see any real issues with noise in these images.  I was a little disappointed in the night images.  They seemed to have a lot of noise and took time to fix in photoshop.  I would say a 5X7 would be the largest you could get a usable print from using night settings.   Overall for a point and shoot the camera performance was above average.  ** note I tested the zoom lens but did not use the digital zoom feature.

Video was also handled very well with this little camera.  It takes 1080p HD video with great color and contrast.  I also took several night videos and amazingly the quality of night video was much better than the photos.  I was able to snorkel taking video and stills again with great results.  The camera was easy to manage underwater.  I did notice one difference here that should be noted.  Using the underwater mode the still images look nice, corrected color but to me look a bit dull.  The video looks great, especially compared to the GoPro but the color looks off a bit.  I have included a video shot entirely using the AW100. (stills and video use the Coolpix AW100, Edited in Final Cut X Pro)

My overall opinion of the Nikon AW100:  If you need a camera that can take some light abuse and for all weather situations I would recommend you check this camera out.  The image and video quality are excellent in most situations.  The controls are simple to use and it has safety locks keeping the camera weather tight.  The drawbacks are minimal unless you plan to do lots of low-light images.  For under $300 (USD) this camera is well worth a look.

Thanks for reading!

GoPro Camera fun with Dobie at Woof Stock 2011

Each year the Kansas Humane Society puts on an event called Woof Stock. I thought what better than to have Dobie put on the GoPro and make a new addition to Dobie Cam. You don’t get the most stable footage when you attach the camera like a collar but it is all in fun….right??

Now you do have to change some settings. I use the upside down mode for recording and since you never know what Dobie will get into I also use the full back so the camera is waterproof.

Now, just remember the footage will be unstable so you may have to run it through a filter like I did. I also used a movie trailer mode like in the iMove demo http://classmact.com/?p=32 Hope you enjoy the video, remember to have fun and if you don’t shoot something you get nothing.

Thanks for Reading!


Welcome to Class mACT

After using a MAC Book for a while I finally decided to go all in a buy a desktop.  Then I thought there must be others out there who are making a switch or thinking about making a switch.  I decided to create a website to provide tips, tricks, and hopefully some help about MAC computing.

First things first I will answer the question is MAC easier than PC….  Answer no but at the same time yes.  It seems to boot faster, I have had no lockups or major crashes outside of some application glitches.  I have not rebooted or shutdown my MAC Book Pro in 4 months until I upgraded to Lion and since have not rebooted it.  It responds well and like I said has no major issues.

Now I still have trouble figuring out where things are for settings.  That part of MAC drives me crazy still after a year of using only MAC (outside of work).  I hate the fact you have to access the tool bar to actually close an application.  If I want it open I’ll minimize it not click the red x that should close the application.  Until Lion you had to use the lower right corner to resize program windows.

So all in all either platform is fine for home computing.  The one other thing I should say is you can dual boot a MAC and run windows on it or use virtual machine programs and use windows on your MAC that way as well.  I have been happy just using the MAC OS myself.   Now for those of you who think I am just a MAC freak let me give you a little background.  I am a Microsoft Certified Professional.  I have a BS in Information Systems and I have (at one time) held 53 industry certifications in products for the windows platform.  I have over 15 years of experience in the IT field.  I also conduct user training for windows based software.  I’m currently working on my Masters in Education Media Design and Technology.  So I’m perfectly fine working on/in the windows environment as well.