Nikon's entry into the action camera market with the KeyMission 360 earlier this year took most by surprise -- but apparently they weren't done. In September, Nikon introduced two more action cameras, each named for the angle of view their lens has -- the KeyMission 170 and the KeyMission 80. The KeyMission 170 is the camera that's closest to what consumers expect from an action camera, and competes directly with the likes of the GoPro Hero 5.
The Nikon KeyMission 170 shoots 4K at 30 fps, and taking the quality down to plan old HD brings the frame rate up to a whopping 120 fps, good for creating slow motion effects. The camera's ultra-wide lens captures a 170 degree view, equivalent to a 15mm lens on a full frame DSLR. The camera also includes shake reduction, and while it's the electronic form, stabilization was basically unheard of on an action camera before this year. Pairing the 4K with the electronic stabilization will help stabilize video without a dramatic loss in quality.
The KeyMission sports a sleek body that's waterproof without any extra housing all the way down to 98 feet. While LCD screens are tough to find on action cameras, the Nikon KeyMission 170 has one of those too, though a 1.5" that's smaller than the typical 3" for cameras. The screen should help make the camera simpler to use than the screen-free options.
Another way that Nikon is making their action cameras easy to use is a highlight tagging feature. Action videos are often a lot of down time with a few big moments mixed in, and using the included remote control makes it easier to find those bigger moments for editing later. While it's a nice feature, not everyone can use their hands during the peak of the action -- two competing cameras added voice control this year, from Garmin and GoPro.
The KeyMission 170 also includes a few creative shooting modes, including time lapses and time interval mode to shoot short clips at a set time. The camera is bundled with a remote, but it's also compatible with Nikon's new SnapBridge app through both Wi-fi and Bluetooth.
Nikon's entry into the action camera market is an intriguing one with three very different cameras. The 170 is the most traditional, but looks to pack a punch with 4K and a small form factor. Compare closely with the GoPro Hero 5 and the Garmin Virb 30 though -- the KeyMission 170 is similarly priced but has a few different features.