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Gear Announcements

Nikon 1 AW1 Water/Shock Proof Camera Announced

By Anthony Thurston on September 18th 2013


The Nikonos is back! Well, sort of. Today Nikon announced their new Nikon 1 AW1 Water and Shock Proof ILC Camera body in conjunction with two new water proof lenses to go with it.

It has been 21 years since Nikon’s last Nikonos underwater SLR, the Nikonos RS, was released. That camera was waterproof up to 320 feet and was the worlds first underwater camera with autofocus. It is unclear what spurred Nikon to return to their underwater camera making ways, but this camera nerd thinks it is awesome – even if the lenses leave a lot of room for growth.

The Nikon 1 AW1


While it is based on the Nikon 1 system, the AW1 brings several game changing features with it into the mirrorless market. First off, as mentioned above this ILC is waterproof at 59ft (when used in conjunction with one of Nikon’s new waterproof lenses). It is also shock proof, officially making this the perfect camera for anyone you know who is hard on their cameras.

AW1 Features:

  • The world’s first waterproof, shockproof digital camera with interchangeable lenses
 2. Functionality suited to outdoor use as well as an elegant design that attracts attention 3. A CMOS sensor, AF system, image-processing engine, and no optical low-pass filter for high-speed recording of high-resolution movies and still images
  • The super high-speed AF CMOS Sensor for the world’s shortest shooting time lag
  • The Advanced Hybrid AF System, which offers both superior speed and accuracy
  • The new EXPEED 3A image-processing engine for faster image processing and even better image quality
  • Action control for quick and simple operation
  • A Control lock function that prevents accidental button operation
  • Acquisition and display of various types of information for outdoor shooting
  • Outdoor display for sharper and clearer viewing outdoors
  • Underwater creative mode with 3 options
  • Underwater white balance
  • Underwater auto distortion control
  • Built-in flash that supports i-TTL flash control and can be used underwater
  • Slow View for recording the perfect moment
  • Smart Photo Selector for certain capture of the best shot
  • Motion Snapshot, Nikon’s exclusive form of imaging expression that combines a movie with a still image

Nikon-1-AW1-camera-front Nikon-AW1-camera-back Nikon-1-AW1-camera-top

1 Nikkor AW Lenses

Announced along with the new AW1 are two new 1 Nikkor AW lenses which are fully shock and waterproof just as the new camera body is. This is awesome because it means that you can take these these things almost anywhere and not have to worry about the elements destroying your camera. Plus not needing an underwater or dust housing is incredibly awesome.  Among the two lenses announced were:


1 Nikkor AW 10mm F/2.8 – A new lens for use exclusively with the Nikon1 AW1; it is the world’s first*1 interchangeable lens to be waterproof to 20 m (JIS/IEC Class 8 (IPX8) equivalent)*2 and shockproof to 2 m (MIL-STD-810F Method 516.5: Shock standard compliant).

1-Nikkor-AW-11-27.5mm-f3.5-5.6-lens 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm F/3.5-5.6 – A lens for use exclusively with the Nikon1 AW1; it is the world’s first*1 interchangeable lens to be waterproof to 15 m (JIS/IEC Class 8 (IPX8) equivalent)*2 and shockproof to 2 m (MIL-STD-810F Method 516.5: Shock standard compliant)

EnGadget Hands On

I am very excited for this to come out and give it a try. I think that this has the potential to be a pretty popular camera, assuming some of the gripes about the standard Nikon 1 system cameras have been addressed. Obviously I can’t say until we give it a try, but this looks like a really promising camera.

Plus the kit containing both new lenses and the camera body for just under $1,000 makes this very affordable for the sort of individuals who may find this most useful. I probably wont get one because that is a lot of money for a camera and lenses that I would only use occasionally, but if you do a lot of underwater shooting or want to then this may be a great deal for you. This is definately cheaper than a full sized DSLR like the Nikon D7100 or the Nikon D800 which cost quitte a bit on their own and then on top of that needing to buy an underwater housing that costs about as much as the camera itself, think about that for a second and you realize just how awesome this announcement is for the price they are asking.

Update: You can now PRE-ORDER the Nikon 1 AW1 via Amazon. According to the site they will ship on October 10th. Links below:


Nikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP HD Waterproof, Shockproof Digital Camera System with AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 1 NIKKOR Lens (Black)


Nikon 1 AW1 14.2 MP HD Waterproof, Shockproof Digital Camera System with AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and AW 10mm 1 NIKKOR Lenses (Black)


What are your thoughts? Is this is niche camera or does it appeal to the general public? Let us know your thoughts in a comment below!

[via Nikon Rumors]

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Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Slavo Venglarcik

    i think, it might be good for extreme sports :)

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  2. SASO

    Good concept but totally useless. For shooting kids in the pool is too expensive. For fashion shots in pool the (lens and body) quality will be an issue.
    For us shooting underwater while scuba diving 15m limit is way to shallow. 40m depth would be acceptable if not more.
    And I am sceptical that guys that do just snorkelling (5-6m depth) in Egipt would pay 1000$ for it.
    So we basically have nothing.

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