Nikon KeyMission 170 Camera 2020 Updated Review

Nikon KeyMission 170 Camera 2020 Updated Review.

If you’re on the hunt for a new action camera, you’ve probably realized that there are tons of great options for you. Here is a detailed review on the new Nikon KeyMission 170 camera to help you make the right choice.

Nikon KeyMission 170 Camera 2020 Updated Review

About Nikon KeyMission 170 Review

The Nikon KeyMission 170 is a new action camera, which features 4K UHD video recording, along with a 170 degree field of view lens. The camera is waterproof down to 10 metres (or 40 metres with the optional additional waterproof housing) and shockproof from a height of 2 metres. It is freeze proof down to temperatures of -10 degrees.

As well as capturing video footage, you can also capture stills with the camera. As is becoming standard with most Nikon cameras of late, the KeyMission 170 is equipped with Snapbridge bluetooth technology. The camera’s biggest rival is probably the GoPro Hero 5, which is available for around the same price and features a similar design.

The Nikon KeyMission 170 uses a classic action camera design, which has been made popular by the likes of GoPro. Indeed, it is very similar in shape and size to the latest GoPro Hero 5.

It’s a very small camera, which easily fits into the palm of your hand. It’s also pretty chunky however, so you may struggle to fit it into a slim jeans pocket, but a coat pocket should be no problem. The design features a rectangular boxy shape for the camera, with a rounded, protruded lens on the front.


  • Equipped with a bright ultra-wide-angle NIKKOR lens of F2.8 with 4K video
  • Electronic camera shake correction
  • SnapBridge 360/170 support with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth built-in
  • Stereo microphone built-in
  • I/O Terminal: USB-micro connector (Hi-Speed USB) (Do not use any USB cable other than the included UC-E21 USB Cable)


  • 4K video
  • Dedicated photo and video buttons
  • Easy menu system
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Rugged, waterproof body


  • Auto-off can’t be disabled
  • A limited number of video settings
  • Few manual controls
  • Stabilization not available in 4K

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Nikon KeyMission 170 Hardware

Nikon KeyMission 170 Hardware

The lens of the KeyMission 170 is a 2.4mm wide-angle Nikkor lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8. As per its name, the KeyMission 170 grants a 170-degree field of a view. The 8.3 megapixels RGB CMOS sensor produces clear, crisp images that measure a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels.

The KeyMission 170 includes one rechargeable EN-EL 12 lithium-ion battery, and also a micro USB and micro HDMI cable(s). Storage is possible using MicroSD, SDHC or SDXC memory cards. A built-in mic provides clear stereo sound to complement your videos.

Battery Life

The included EN-EL 12 lithium-ion battery provides about 60 minutes of filming the video. This amount of time does not include having WiFi or Bluetooth turned on, or being connected to a smartphone via the SnapBridge app, so the battery life will definitely take a hit when using either of those.

It takes about three hours to fully charge the battery. Additionally, the ability to physically remove the battery is a great feature. As opposed to the smaller, more affordable KeyMission 80 which has a non-removable battery, the 170 allows you supplement your gear with a replacement battery. Perfect for the times when you are filming large amounts of footage and unable to recharge for long periods of time.

Video Quality

The KeyMission 170 shoots 4K ultra HD video and produces beautifully sharp and clear videos and still photos. When set to NTSC, video quality varies from 1920×1080 at 60 FPS to 3840×2160 at 30 FPS, depending on your settings.

When set to PAL, quality varies from 1920×1080 at 50 FPS to 3840×2160 at 25 FPS. High-speed video mode allows two quality options: 1080 at 4x speed or 720 at 8x.

Still images are well contrasted and sized at 3840×2160. Due to the nature of the ultra-wide lens, there’s some fisheye distortion effect with photos and videos. However, this allows you to get every second of action without ever finding yourself out of frame.

Remote Control

The included remote control is the Nikon ML-L6 remote, which allows you to remotely start and stop recording video or capture photos. It has an included CR2032 battery and a USB cable for charging.

The buttons are a comfortable size and are easily usable even while wearing gloves. The remote also allows you to tag highlights from your videos using Highlight Tagging to create a quick and easy highlight reel of your action videos.

Vibration Reduction

Nikon has included the same Optical Vibration Reduction (VR) technology in their entire KeyMission camera lineup that they include in their high-quality SLR zoom lenses. The VR is a great feature and allows your still photos to stay in focus during the action.

The camera captures its own positional and special movements record them and then uses them to counteract any vibrations or shaking that occurs during recording.

Videos are noticeably smoother as the VR decreases much of the noise vibrations, which is especially great when filming from the hand or when the camera is secured to amount. Unfortunately, the VR does not work quite as well when shooting at 4K UHD, as the 1080p resolution allows the camera to crop and compensate for movement.


Nikon’s recommended KeyMission accessory pack includes a KeyMission tripod, extension arm, a rechargeable EN-EL 12 lithium-ion battery (the same battery included with the camera for use as a backup) and the KeyMission System case.

Additional adhesive and suctions mounts, helmet and wrist straps and chest harness, are also available separately that’ll allow you to mount the camera on a helmet, skis, surfboard, or whatever adventure gear you’re using.



The KeyMission 170 is an incredibly well-made camera for an attractive price point. If the KeyMission 80 isn’t quite powerful enough for you, the KeyMission 170 has just about anything most consumers could want.

Also, having a camera that’s fully waterproof, dust-proof and shockproof without the use of a case is an awesome thing, with external cases only adding to the security of the action cam.

The Nikkor 170 degree wide-angle lens produces high-quality videos, and still photos that are truly remarkable to look at. The alternate capture modes like Slow-motion and time-lapse keeps your content fresh and make your final video cuts look almost professional. Additionally, the rear LCD is large and bright, allowing you to review your videos and pictures accurately, and easily change modes and settings.

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