Nikon 1 AW1

Nikon 1 AW1 is a the world’s first waterproof, shockproof, interchangeable lens camera. It features 14.2 megapixel CX format CMOS sensor (2.7x crop factor), EXPEED 3A Dual image processing engine, Waterproof to 15 metres, Shockproof from a drop of 2 metres, Dust proof, Freeze proof to -10°C, Continuous shooting up to 60fps, Sensitivities up to ISO6400 available, Hybrid autofocus system, 1080p video recording, and has HDMI connectivity. This camera also offers fast autofocus, high sensitivities for low light shooting, and plenty of creative control. It will be available on the market with price of $796.95 at October 2013.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Our Review

Features & Design

Nikon 1 AW1 is the first waterproof camera in the world with interchangeable lens feature. This camera offers the ability shockproof, freezeproof, and dustproof as well as equipped with two lenses waterproof and shockproof. The lenses are 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens and 10mm f.2.8 prime lens which is added to the camera as the camera kit. Additionally, this camera has a 14.2 megapixel CX format CMOS sensor, EXPEED Dual 3A image processing engine, continuous shooting up to 60fps, maximum ISO 6400, 1080p video recording and comes with GPS ability.


In addition, the Nikon 1 AW1 combines the features in the stronger and waterproof body that makes it becomes a very impressive camera. The strong body design allows you to use it in water up to 15 feet, shockproof from a height of 2 meters, as well as dustproof and freezeproof until -10 degrees Celsius. A rubber grip at the front of the camera body, allowing you to hold the camera comfortably. In addition, the control buttons are also larger making it easier for users who use gloves in cold weather.

You can also easily change the scene mode by simply tilting the camera while pressing the action button. The standard menu arrangement is also quite clear and easy to understand, and the screen is bright and clear enough to display the image in the water. Despite having a body that is heavier and bulkier than the other Nikon 1 cameras, Nikon 1 AW1 be a very impressive compact camera with advanced features and a strong body. This makes it is eagerly awaited by fans of waterproof cameras.

Performance & Image Quality

In the strong body, Nikon 1 AW1 uses a 14.2-megapixel CX-format CMOS image sensor that combined with EXPEED Dual 3A image processor to produce fantastic images quality. The combination also allow you to shoot with high ISO up to 6400. While the image processor allows you to shoot with continuous tracking of up to 15 frames per second and 60 frames per second with autofocus. This camera also has a hybrid Nikon-AF system that combines phase detection for speed and contrast detection for accuracy.

Sample photos: 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, 20.5mm, ISO 160, (credit: Nikon)

Sample photos: 1/1600 sec, f/5.6, 20.5mm, ISO 160, (credit: Nikon)

You will be quite happy to shoot using the creative buttons of PSAM mode that lets you change the camera exposure manually according your needs and requirements. Although AW1 more suitable for shooting still photography, it does not mean you can not record video. This camera allows you to record 1080p video with phase-detection AF in the water and shoot still photos while recording video.

When compared with GoPros cameras, Nikon AW1 has a better picture quality. So this camera will be a good alternative for underwater photographers. With a price of $ 796.95 including kit lens 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6, this camera will be a great choice for photographing in the water than the Nikon 1 J1 and J2 at the same price but does not have a body that is waterproof.

Should I buy the camera?

Looking at the advanced features, the rugged body design and waterproof, Nikon 1 AW1 be a very promising camera to take pictures in the water. In addition, this camera also offers a fast AutoFocus, high ISO sensitivity for shooting in low light, as well as the many Creative control. And more importantly, the AW1 is equipped interchangeable lens capability. This makes it will be the winners in competing with other waterproof cameras such as Olympus, Fujifilm, Canon, or Pentax.

When compared with GoPros, Nikon 1 AW1 has a more impressive image quality and a fair price to consider when buying it. That makes this camera will soon have a lot of fans.

Rating: ★★★★½


Nikon 1 AW1 Specifications

Images Sensor

Type Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lenses

Lens Mount Nikon 1/Nikon Waterproof 1 Mount

Picture Angle Approx. 2.7x lens focal length (Nikon CX format)

Effective Pixels 14.2 million

Sensor Size 13.2mm x 8.8mm

Image Sensor Format CX

Image Sensor Type CMOS

Total Pixels 15.13 million

Dust-reduction system Dust Shield

Image Area (pixels)

+ Normal Panorama, horizontal pan (40:7 aspect ratio)
4,800 x 920

+ Normal Panorama – vertical pan (8:25 aspect ratio)
1,536 x 4,800

+ Wide Panorama – horizontal pan (80:7 aspect ratio)
9,600 x 920

+ Wide Panorama – vertical pan (4:25 aspect ratio)
1,536 x 9,600

+ Still Images (3:2 aspect ratio)
4,608 x 3,072
3,456 x 2,304
2,304 x 1,536

+ Still images (taken during movie recording; aspect ratio 3:2)
4,608 x 3,072 (1080/60i, 1080/30p)
1,280 x 856 (720/60p, 720/30p)

+ Motion Snapshot (16:9 aspect ratio)
4,608 x 2,592

File Format
+ Compressed 12-bit NEF (RAW)

+ JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx 1:4), normal (approx 1:8), or basic (approx 1:16) compression

+ NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

Picture Control

Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Selected Picture Control can be modified, User-customizable Settings



Card Slot 1 Secure Digital (SD)

File System

+ Compliant with DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0

+ DPOF (Digital Print Order Format)

+ EXIF 2.3 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras)

Viewfinder/LCD Display

Viewfinder: LCD

Monitor Size 3.0 in. diagonal

Monitor Resolution 921,000 Dots

Monitor Type TFT-LCD with brightness adjustment


Shutter Type Electronic Shutter

Fastest Shutter Speed 1/16,000 sec.

Slowest Shutter Speed 30 sec.

Flash Sync Speed Up to 1/60 sec.

Bulb Shutter Setting Yes

Shutter Release Modes
+ Single-frame [S] mode
+ Continuous
+ Self-timer mode

Frame Advance Rate Approx. 5, 15, 30, or 60 fps

Top Continuous Shooting Speed at full resolution 15 frames per second with AF; 30/60 fps with focus locked on first frame

Self-timer 2, 5, 10 sec. Timer duration electronically controlled

Remote Control Modes WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter

Exposure System

Exposure Metering System TTL metering using image sensor

Metering Method
+ Matrix
+ Center-weighted: Meters 4.5 mm circle in center of frame
+ Spot: Meters 2 mm circle centered on select focus area

Exposure Modes
+ Programmed Auto with flexible Program (P)
+ Shutter-Priority Auto (S)
+ Aperture-Priority Auto (A)
+ Manual (M)
+ Scene Auto Selector

Scene Modes Portrait, Landscape, Night Landscape, Night Portrait, Close-up, Auto, Underwater

Shooting Modes
+ Advanced movie mode (includes slow motion)
+ Auto Photo mode
+ Best Moment Capture mode (includes Slow View and Smart Photo Selector)
+ Creative mode (including: P, S, A, M, Night Landscape, Underwater, Night Portrait, Backlighting, Soft, Easy Panorama, Miniature Effect, and Selective Color)
+ Motion Snapshot (16:9)

Exposure Compensation ±3 EV in increments of 1/3EV

Exposure Lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button

ISO Sensitivity 160-6400


Active D-Lighting On, Off

Autofocus System
+ Hybrid autofocus (phase detection/contrast-detect AF)
+ AF-assist illuminator

AF-area mode
+ Single-point AF: 135 focus areas; the center 73 areas support phase-detection AF
+ Auto-area AF: 41 focus areas
+ Subject tracking
+ Face-priority AF

Focus Lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single AF)

Focus Modes
+ Auto (AF)
+ Auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A)
+ Single-Servo AF (AF-S)
+ Continuous-Servo (AF-C)
+ Full-time Servo (AF-F)
+ Manual Focus (MF)


Built-in Flash Yes

Guide Number 5/16 (m/ft ISO 100, 20°C/68°F) Approx.

Flash Control i-TTL flash control using image sensor available

Flash Mode Fill-flash, Fill-flash with slow sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Rear curtain sync, Rear curtain with slow sync, Off,

Flash Compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV

Flash-ready indicator Lights when built-in flash unit is fully charged

White Balance Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset Manual, Underwater, All except preset manual with fine tuning


Movie Metering TTL exposure metering using main image sensor

Movie Metering Method
+ Matrix
+ Center-weighted: Meters 4.5 mm circle in center of frame
+ Spot: Meters 2 mm circle centered on select focus area

Movie File Format MOV

Movie Video Compression H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding

Movie Audio recording format AAC

Movie Audio recording device Built-in stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable

+ HD: 1920 x 1080/60i
+ HD: 1920 x 1080/30p
+ HD: 1280 x 720/60p
+ HD: 1280 x 720/30p
+ Slow-motion: 640 x 240/400fps
+ Slow-motion: 320 x 120/1200fps
+ Motion Snapshot: 1920 x 1080/60p (plays at 24p)
+ Audio file format: ACC
+ Movie file format: MOV


+ USB: Hi-speed USB
+ HDMI output: Type C mini-pin HDMI connector

GPS Yes (Built-in)

Date, Time and Daylight Savings Time Settings Yes

World Time Setting Yes


Battery / Batteries EN-EL20 Lithium-ion Battery

Battery Life (shots per charge) 220 shots (CIPA)

AC Adapter
+ EH-5b AC Adapter
+ Requires EP-5C Power Supply Connector

Weight & Measurements

Dimensions (Width x Height x Depth) 4.5 in. (113.5 mm) x 2.9 in. (71.5 mm) x 1.5 in. (37 mm)
Excluding projections.

Weight 11.1 oz. (313 g) camera body only

Operating Environment 14 to 104°F (-10 to 40°C) on land; 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C) in water
Less than 85% humidity (no condensation)

Video Reviews

Review Video By What Digital Camera

Review Video By WhichWebsite

Review Video By Digital Camera World

Review Video By Engadget

Review Video By TheSnapChick

Sample Photos

Nikon 1 AW1 Sample Photos

Nikon 1 AW1 Sample Photos @ Nikon

Nikon 1 AW1 Sample Photos @ Photographyblog

Nikon 1 AW1 Sample Photos @ Ephotozine

User Manual

Nikon 1 AW1 User Manual (PDF)

Click to view or right click and select Save Target As..(Firefox) or Save link as.. (IE) to download

Download Nikon 1 AW1 User Manual


Listed below are some of the rivals of the Nikon 1 AW1.

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