Nikon Canada has announced a world’s first this morning with the Nikon 1 AW1 – the world’s first waterproof and shockproof interchangeable lens camera (or compact mirrorless, if you prefer to call them that). This is certainly an interesting development, as prior to the AW1, the Nikon 1 system required an external housing to bring your camera underwater. Now, with the help of two specially designed waterproof lenses, you’ll be able to go snorkelling out on the reefs or in your own pool without having to worry about sticking your camera in a bag of rice for a week or two.
Have you ever used an underwater camera, and if so, is it something you would do again? During my last tropical vacation, I remember bringing along a small waterproof point and shoot, and I vey much enjoyed the images I captured – they were from a different point of view than what you normally expect. So, what do you think about this new introduction from Nikon. Is it something you’d be interested in? Share your opinion in the comments below.
I’ve also also uploaded an image gallery at the bottom of this post.
For your reading pleasure, here’s the full release from Nikon:
Capture the Action at the Speed of Life: Nikon 1 AW1 is World’s First Waterproof and Shockproof Interchangeable Lens Camera
From tropical tides to a whitewater adventure, the Nikon 1 AW1 and two 1 NIKKOR AW lenses help capture family adventures, even when travelling off the beaten path
Mississauga, ON, September 19, 2013 – Today, Nikon Canada Inc. announced the world’s first waterproof and shockproof interchangeable lens camera1, the Nikon 1 AW1. The durable and versatile AW1 is also freezeproof and thrives in harsh environments while delivering the high- performance features and incredible image quality that thrill-seeking families need to capture every moment. By land or by sea, from the tropics to snowy peaks, this newest addition to the Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System (ACIL) is equipped with outdoor- friendly features to capture amazing photos and stunning Full HD (1080p) videos.
To complement the AW1, Nikon also introduced two new waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof lenses: the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8. Striking the ideal balance between portability and performance, the robust 11-27.5mm lens offers a versatile lens option with a 2.5x zoom range. Additionally, the portable wide-angle 10mm lens offers a fast f/2.8 aperture to help deliver a shallow depth of field and excellent low-light performance.
“As the world’s first waterproof and shockproof Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens system, the Nikon 1 AW1 offers an exciting new option for the family that seeks both exhilaration and a durable yet versatile camera to complement active lifestyles,” said Gregory Flasch, National Advertising and Communications Manager at Nikon Canada. “The Nikon 1 AW1 and the new 1 NIKKOR lenses are always ready to capture the action with high-speed performance and incredible image quality that users have come to expect from the Nikon 1 system.”
The Nikon 1 AW1: The World’s First Waterproof and Shockproof Interchangeable Lens Camera
Whether the destination is to the beach, the slopes or a mountain pass, the Nikon 1 AW1 is a must-pack accessory for any adventure. Waterproof (up to 14.9m), shockproof (up to 2m) and freezeproof (down to -10°C), the AW1 can handle the toughest conditions while capturing fast action. Though built to be durable and robust, the camera retains a compact and lightweight body, making it easy to carry on any expedition, above or below sea level.
Additionally, the versatile Nikon 1 AW1 offers the unique feature set which adventurers of all levels can take full advantage of, whether tackling a black diamond slope or an unfamiliar trail. With built-in GPS technology, AW1 users can track their travels while identifying the exact longitude and latitude where an image or video was captured. The AW1 is also equipped with an altimeter, a depth gauge, an electronic compass and a virtual horizon indicator. What’s more, the camera’s pop-up flash is waterproof, allowing the user to add light to a scene automatically or on command.
Capturing the Perfect Shot: The Performance and Speed of the Nikon 1 AW1
Featuring both a 14.2-megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor and Nikon’s EXPEED 3A image processing engine, the AW1 produces sharp, high-quality images and Full HD (1080p) videos with great detail and colour, even in challenging lighting situations. The Nikon 1 AW1 also sports a wide ISO range (160 to 6400), allowing users to capture sharp photos in a variety of lighting, even while handheld.
Swift performance and rapid response are hallmarks of the Nikon 1 system, and in similar fashion, the AW1 includes Nikon’s superfast and extremely responsive Advanced Hybrid Autofocus (AF) system that affords users the ability to capture incredibly fast-moving action. To capture even the fastest moving subjects with clarity, the 73-point AF array can lock on to the action in approximately 80 milliseconds2.To help ensure that no moment is missed, the AW1 offers the world’s fastest continuous shooting frame rate at 15 frames-per-second (fps) with continuous AF3 and continuous shooting at 60 fps when the focus is locked.
Ready for the Next Adventure: The Feature Set of the Nikon 1 AW1
The compact Nikon 1 AW1 strikes the perfect balance between creative and user-friendly features and controls. Similar to the Nikon COOLPIX AW110, the AW1 includes Action Control, which allows users to control certain functions of the camera simply by swinging it in the air. This feature makes it easier to adjust the camera underwater or when wearing gloves.
When using the Nikon 1 AW1, the Creative Mode menu provides an easy way to utilize full manual exposure controls (P,S,A,M) as well as Selective Colour, Miniature, Soft, Night Landscape, Backlighting and Night Portrait modes. Additionally, Easy Panorama provides a simple way to capture vast landscapes from a wide perspective of awe-inspiring landscapes.
The Nikon 1 AW1 includes Full HD (1080p) video capabilities as well as Advanced Movie Mode. In Advanced Movie Mode, users can shoot Full HD videos and high-resolution stills simultaneously. Additionally, Slow Motion Movies can capture all the action at either 400 fps or 1200 fps. The AW1 also features Enhanced Motion Snapshot Mode, which provides shooters with the option of capturing a quick passing moment with a short, slow-motion movie sequence in addition to a single defining still image.
When Best Moment Capture Mode is selected, camera users have access to Smart Photo Selector or Slow View modes. With Smart Photo Selector, the AW1 can capture up to 20 shots with a simple press of the shutter button, and the camera will select the best shot. Slow View is ideal for extreme action sports; once focus is achieved and the shutter button is pressed halfway down, users capture live action (approx. 1.33 seconds) while the subject is displayed in slow motion on the screen. A slowed-down view is then continuously looped over until the shutter is fully pressed, resulting in an amazing moment that would have otherwise been missed.
Furthermore, the Nikon 1 AW1 features an intuitive Auto Mode to help users frame the perfect shot with ease. It also comes equipped with Live Image Control, giving the user access to real- time adjustments of Active D-Lighting, Background Softening, Motion Control and Brightness Control, which are displayed on the AW1’s LCD screen prior to capture.
When it’s time for some aquatic action, the Nikon 1 AW1 offers several underwater controls. When in Underwater mode, users can choose from three options (standard, diving, close-up), which will automatically adjust the camera’s settings to deliver optimal results based on the type of activity in which they are participating. Additionally, the Underwater White Balance setting makes adjusting white balance simple, while the Underwater Distortion Control corrects the effects of distortion caused by water.
Share the Adventure: Wirelessly Send Images from the Nikon 1 AW1
For those who want to share images from their latest expeditions instantly, users will be able to take advantage of the AW1’s Wi-Fi capabilities. Similar to previous Nikon 1 system cameras like the Nikon 1 J3, the AW1 is fully compatible with Nikon’s optional WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter4 (sold separately), allowing high-quality images to seamlessly be transferred to smart devices wirelessly. If using Nikon’s free Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application for AndroidTM5 platform smart devices as well as iPhone® and iPad®6 mobile digital devices, AW1 users will have the ability to remotely take photos with the camera from a smartphone or tablet.
The 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and AW 10mm f/2.8: Lenses for the Nikon 1 AW1
Alongside the Nikon 1 AW1, the waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof 1 NIKKOR AW 11- 27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 provide two versatile lens options for users looking for a compact camera system that can keep up with their active lifestyles. When attached to the AW1, these lenses can handle tough conditions while being waterproof (up to 14.9m), shockproof (up to 2m) and freezeproof (down to -10°C). The compact 11-27.5mm is a lightweight yet durable lens that packs a 2.5x zoom (30-74mm equivalent) and is ideal for capturing landscapes and portraiture during a family’s latest expedition. Portable and ultra-compact, the 10mm provides AW1 shooters with a wide angle of view, useful when capturing everything from sweeping landscapes to close-up action that fills the frame. Not to be outdone, the 10mm has a fast aperture of f/2.8, to capture special moments with incredible clarity and a soft natural background, even in challenging light such as dusk or when underwater.
For further versatility when out of the water, the Nikon 1 AW1 is fully compatible with the expanding lineup of incredibly sharp 1 NIKKOR lenses, Nikon 1 accessories, as well as a wide range of F-Mount NIKKOR lenses when connected to the FT-1 Mount Adapter.
Nikon 1 Accessories: New Skins Provide More Control and Personal Flair
Nikon also introduced new accessory skins for the Nikon 1 AW1, 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 lens. To provide more grip, comfort and control when shooting, the new accessory skins provide extra protection while also adding visibility and personal flair to their Nikon 1 Camera System setup.
For those adventurers looking for the flexibility to swap lenses in environments with extreme temperature and humidity changes, Nikon has developed a new filter attachment, the AW 40.5 Filter NC, to effectively combat the common occurrence of condensation. Nikon has also announced the development of the SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight. The SB-N10 will offer extra illumination when capturing still images underwater or in extreme low-light conditions.