Nikon 1 AW1

Key Features

  • Review Price: £0.00
  • 11-27.5mmm f3.5 to 5.6 lens; 15m waterpoof; 2m shockproof, Max 6,400 ISO, Hybrid AF System, 14.2-megapixel

Rugged cameras are all the rage now. The likes of the Go Pro Hero 3 Black Edition have made shooting video an adverse conditions easier and better than ever, but arguably there isn’t a similar camera for still photography where compacts dominate and professionals rely on bulky DSLR enclosures. The Nikon 1 AW1 could change all that as it’s the first ever waterproof interchangeable lens camera. It’s and impressive feat and one I got to spend a little time with this week.

The principal is Nikon has taken its Nikon 1 range camera tech and put it in a stronger and waterproof body. This isn’t just ‘slightly’ waterproof, either, as the Nikon AW1 is waterproof to an impressively deep 15 metres, which is deeper than all the waterproof compacts we’ve tested. It’s shockproof from a height of two metres, too, as well dustproof and freezeproof down to -10 degrees C. 

Inside, it uses a 14.2-megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor that tops out at 6,400 ISO. Like all the Nikon 1 cameras, it has Nikon’s hybrid-AF system. It’s a system that’s proved very effective in the past, particularly for action shots where its continuous AF tracking makes it easier to keep moving subjects in focus. Indeed, with shooting speeds of up to 60fps (15fps with autofocus), the AW1’s speed ought to be perfect for action photography.

While the Nikon 1 AW1 supports standard NIKKOR 1 lenses, it has two specific lenses that are as rugged as the body. The standard kit (£749) comes with a 11-27.5mm f/3.5 to 5.6 lens, and there’s an optional 10mm f/2.8 prime lens available for £299 or for £949 as part of kit with the body and zoom lens. That makes this an expensive camera, but that’s no great surprise considering how rugged the camera is.

I was seriously impressed with the build quality of the Nikon 1 AW1, as you might expect considering its rugged credentials. This ruggedness does have some interesting, and potentially troubling implications, though. For example, the lens have O-rings to create a watertight seal against water ingress, but it means getting lenses off the camera takes some serious elbow grease. It’s hard not to ponder how well the seals will last through prolonged use, too, something we’ll be sure to test when it’s in for review.

The basic design, meanwhile, is very reminiscent of other Nikon 1 cameras, albeit slightly heavier and bulkier. And I mean slightly as this is still an impressively compact camera, which makes Nikon’s achievement all the more impressive. Handling is often a problem with cameras this size and the AW1 isn’t perfect, but a rubber thumb grip at the rear and a ‘lip’ at the front give you something to grab hold of. They should be enough, and it’s a reasonable trade-off for the size.

As we’ve come to expect with modern cameras, the Nikon 1 AW1 has plenty of ‘extra’ non-camera features. This includes GPS, but also an electronic compass and a depth sensor. When underwater you get a depth reading and compass directions, both nice features to help you keep your bearings and ensure you don’t go too deep with your camera.

While the Nikon 1 AW1 is better suited to stills photography than the likes of the GoPro, that’s not to say Nikon doesn’t have half an eye on video, too. The Nikon 1 AW1 shoots a 1080p with phase-detection AF and you can take full resolution photos when recording, which is a fantastic feature to have when shooting underwater.

First Impressions

Overall, the Nikon 1 AW1 looks like a very promising camera. I normally roll my eyes when a company claims a ‘world first’ but for once it’s something actually worth shouting about. The only caveat at this point, or at least one of two, is whether the Nikon 1 sensor is up to the task in the kind of low light conditions it’s likely to face in murky seas. The other is the price, but then I don’t it’s too unreasonable given how rugged the Nikon 1 AW1 is.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money