Nikon 1 AW1 Review

November 21, 2013 | Gavin Stoker | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The Nikon 1 AW1 is a water-, freeze-, dust- and shockproof compact system camera featuring a 14.2-megapixel "CX" format sensor and the Nikon 1 lens mount. Boasting continuous shooting speeds of 15fps with continuous autofocus and 60fps with fixed-point autofocus, Full 1080p HD video capture, an ultra-fast hybrid auto-focus system, Best Moment Capture and the unique Motion Snapshot Mode, the Nikon AW1 also offers more conventional shooting modes like Programmed Auto, Aperture and Shutter Priority, as well as Metered Manual. Also on-board is a high resolution 3-inch LCD display with 921k dots, both an electronic and a mechanical shutter, and a built-in pop-up flash. The Nikon 1 AW1 is available in a single-lens kit with the new all-weather 1 Nikkor AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 lens for £749.99 / €899.00 / $799.95 and a double-lens kit that includes the camera body plus new 1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 and 11-27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 lenses for £949.99 / €1149.00 / $999.95.

Ease of Use

With latest industry sales figures suggesting that the market for compact stills cameras, including those with interchangeable lenses, has already reached full maturity and is presently contracting, manufacturers are looking to innovate to stem any slide. We've had Sony's cameras-in-a-lens QX range for smartphones, and now comes a further surprise in the first ever fully waterproof compact system camera: the Nikon 1 AW1, which is also reportedly dust proof, freezeproof, and can survive drops from a height of two metres (Nikon's own tests involve dropping onto a plywood surface 2-inches thick).

Yes, we've seen cameras with these features before and Olympus' higher-end OM-D E-M1 announced around the same time as the new Nikon is splashproof, dust proof and likewise freeze proof to minus 10 degrees, but the AW1 goes the extra mile in allowing photographers to go about their business at depths of 15 metres for up to a hour without the usual requirement for additional, waterproof housing.

That's unprecedented for a CSC. Obviously this feat requires similarly ‘proofed' lenses along with an O-ring seal for the lens mount (with additional rubber seals elsewhere), and the AW1 is offered as a kit that comes with a brand new waterproof and shockproof 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom (roughly 30mm to 74mm in 35mm terms) for a combined manufacturer's suggested asking price of £749.99. Seems high on first impression, but remember that buying a regular CSC and investing in additional housing will also push the price up, whilst the user will even then end up with a less elegant, less streamlined solution than the one proposed by the AW1. The body here measures an official 113.3x71.5x37.5mm excluding projections and weighs 356g with battery and optional yet essential SD/SDHC/SDXC card but not counting the provided body cap or O-ring protector.

Announced alongside the Nikon 1 AW1 body was a compatible 10mm wideangle lens with faster f/2.8 aperture and the same near indestructible properties for £299.99. Further compatible accessories are inevitably on the way and Nikon has already confirmed a durable SB-N10 flashgun for the AW1 will be with us spring 2014. It's worth mentioning that the kit lens features an internal zoom mechanism as a protective measure, so as you twist the barrel it doesn't physically extend outwards but rather stays within its protective housing. We did notice on one occasion, upon taking the camera from a centrally heated interior to the river front and experiencing a sudden temperature change, the protective glass at the very front misted up on the inside, which was frustrating, as obviously we couldn't wipe it clean.

More positively, not only does the specification indicate it might be the case, but, for a diminutive CSC, the Nikon 1 AW1 actually feels unusually weighty and robust in the palm. Its premium build quality almost puts the entry-level J series – also from Nikon – to shame in that respect. The AW1's Toughness aside, the other headline features of the latest ‘1' system camera include a 14.2 megapixel sensor (a 13.2x8.8mm CMOS chip), the ability to shoot at 15fps using continuous auto focus, plus the inclusion of a Expeed 3A processor, not to mention a hybrid AF system that mixes both phase and contrast detection.

It's also worth noting that the AW1 has a spring-loaded pop-up flash, which has to be lifted manually via the press of a back plate button, and this too can be operated underwater to illuminate those critters hiding in small crevices. Unsurprisingly then there is an underwater shooting mode included on the camera, plus what Nikon claims as another world first for its class: an electronic compass. We further get a virtual horizon level indicator plus a height/depth indicator that works down to 20 metres (recording such information as part of the image's EXIF date in 1m increments), as well as an Action Control mode, which has been implemented to provide for good results when shooting with the camera in one hand, when wearing gloves or otherwise shooting in trickier conditions, claims Nikon. Naturally we also get the opportunity to shoot video, whether beneath the waves, in the local pond, or on dry land, with Full HD clips with the expected stereo sound offered and a prominently featured record button sitting alongside the main shutter release on the top plate. For low light work at stygian depths, up to ISO6400 is provided.

Nikon 1 AW1 Nikon 1 AW1
Front Rear

To appeal to both the fashion conscious photographer who will be buying based on looks as well as the adventure sports enthusiast purchasing for practicality, the Nikon 1 AW1 is available in a choice of minimalist silver, black or white bodies. In our opinion the white looks the least expensive, but is still very cool, the silver looks like it should be the most expensive with an almost art deco quality, whilst the regulation issue matt black version we were sent falls in between. All feature a stainless steel front panel. Incidentally the equally new 10mm wideangle lens is only being made available in black, at least initially. You can buy it with both body and kit lens, therefore getting a double lens bundle, for £949.99 all-in.

Rough and tumble qualities aside, there is much here for the straight photo enthusiast to enjoy. Naturally at this the price here is a camera that can shoot Raw or JPEG files, plus both in combination. Raw + JPEG shooting is not available all the time however; for example if you've selected a mode that the camera deems requires automatic processing, such as night landscape shooting mode for example, the choice here is JPEG only. Also, whilst up to 60fps capture speed (for up to 20 shots) features amidst the specification, if you want auto focus to work then limit yourself to 15fps (for up to 22 images), which in truth is plenty. Top resolution is 14.2 megapixels from a CX format CMOS sensor, so Nikon still isn't up there with the 20+ megapixel APC-C sized sensor models from Samsung, Sony et al, but in many respects early examination of the AW1 sees it suggesting itself as Nikon's best CSC yet, and that's even without the eye-level viewfinder of the range topping V2. Further regular Nikon features include the ‘living image' style Motion Snapshot option that has been a constant in the range since the original J1 and V1 cameras, whereby a short video burst is recorded alongside and combined with a digital still, plus Smart Photo Selector which takes a rapid fire burst of 20 consecutive shots and recommends up to five of what the camera computes are the best. Here we also get a ‘slow view' option, again capturing 20 shots but allowing the user to select the exact instant they want to preserve.

From the very get go in terms of handling, what the Nikon 1 AW1 most obviously misses out on is a physical shooting mode dial, and, without it, we found the process of both finding and selecting a desired shooting mode with precision more awkward than we'd hoped. Yes we still do get the P/A/S/M options plus a Creative Mode, which is more fun still, but they're buried away with the menus – so you'll want to have everything sorted out before you head to the slopes or out for a dip. We also wrestled to remove the O-ring protector and body cap to attach the provided lens in the first place – which at least gives the impression that Nikon takes its protective measures seriously. The lens is attached not by the usual slotting into place on the mount and twisting until a click is heard, but rather slipping on/pushing into place and then twisting. The initial couple of attempts we found ourselves twisting the lens barrel and having it come off in our hand because we hadn't fully connected it with the camera body. In short using the AW1 initially takes a little familiarization. It doesn't help either in terms of convenience that the manual is provided on CD only.

The black iteration of the AW1 hides the fact that this is a boxy looking camera less successfully than the silver or white versions, but at least, as we've noted, this is a reassuringly solid feeling beast of a compact system camera. The relatively flat front means that it lacks much in the way of a handgrip, and unless you're holding it in both hands it does feel as though it could slip through your fingers – particularly if you're taking a dip and those fingers are wet. This is where the roughed surface of the supplied 11-27.5mm kit lens comes in handy, in providing a firmer two handed hold, whilst the equally rough-feel small, raised albeit thin sliver of a grip at the front at least provides something for a couple of fingers to dig in against. We also get two industrial looking lugs – one either side of the faceplate – to which a strap can be attached.

The most immediately obvious thing here as regards the handling of this Nikon is that there is no eye-level viewfinder on the AW1, nor is there any vacant hotshoe atop the camera; an antenna for the built-in GPS feature rests in its place instead. We're totally reliant then on the rear plate 3-inch LCD screen for composing and reviewing photos and videos; unsurprisingly given the unit's waterproof nature, the screen is resolutely fixed, without the ability to tilt it or flip it at all for either low or high angle shots or ‘selfies'. Luckily then said screen is both bright and pixel packed: 921k dots with brightness adjustment control thrown in.

Nikon 1 AW1 Nikon 1 AW1
Pop-up Flash Top

Though the Nikon 1 AW1's top plate is fairly clean in appearance due to featuring a pop up flash that is sunk into it, so wholly hidden until manually activated, the main shutter release button is comparatively huge and slightly raised for easier purchase. To the left of this, if viewing the camera from the back, is a smaller on/off button set completely level with the top plate to avoid accidental activation, whilst to the right of the shutter release is a larger again slightly raised video record button. We found that the fact that the video control is both raised, and near to the right hand edge of the top plate, meant that on occasion our forefinger found its way to it when we meant to reach for the shutter release button instead. The result, frustratingly, was a few seconds of video rather than the still that we wanted. Perhaps Nikon could have included this control where it might instead have fallen under the thumb to provide a point of differentiation for those of us caught up in the heat of the action rather than button watching – as extreme sports fans (as opposed to armchair watchers like ourselves) will undoubtedly be.

Press down on the on/off button and the Nikon 1 AW1 powers up for action in just over a second, the 3-inch backplate LCD blinking almost immediately into life. Squeeze down on the shutter release button halfway and a fraction of a second later AF point/s illuminate in green on screen, accompanied by a familiar bleep of affirmation that focus and exposure has been achieved. Press down fully and a combination of RAW + JPEG files is committed to memory in 3-4 seconds, the screen freezing momentarily to display the captured image in all its glory.

The built-in flash on the AW1 is manually activated by a button located just behind it, located atop the backplate; press this and the flash springs to attention with a solid-sounding judder. Despite this you obviously wouldn't feel confident of the result of dropping the camera whilst the flash was raised however. The strength of the flash feels about right; sensitively and sympathetically illuminating your subject without artificially flooding it with light.

Though operating the Nikon 1 AW1 can feel a little slippery if you've wet hands from the pool, gripping it in the right hand whilst your left encircles the roughened surface of the lens barrel, combined with the solid feeling weight of the camera helped ensure that we largely avoided the blurring effect resulting from hand wobble and camera shake over a two week testing period. There is a small rubber thumb pad provided top right of the backplate. Place your thumb here and as well as noticing a pair of adjacent buttons for either calling up a series of thumbnails or enlarging a portion of a captured image, we're given what Nikon terms an Action Mode button immediate right of the thumb pad and slightly raised.

A press of this intriguing looking button and we're provided with a virtual mode dial on screen. Then it's a matter of simply tilting the camera to turn this dial left or right and thereby alight on the shooting mode required. This feature in theory allows the camera to be operated whilst wearing gloves, as in truth the backplate buttons aren't any larger than you'll find on most compact cameras. The alternative and less ‘sexy' means of accessing the shooting modes is otherwise pressing the menu button located below and tabbing through the on-screen icons utilising a familiar four-way control pad until you find the one required. Nowhere else does Nikon provide a button that actually says ‘shooting modes'. Otherwise what's here includes a familiar playback button, with a multi-directional control pad just below, as mentioned, and a standard ‘OK' button at its centre for effecting any changes.

Nikon 1 AW1 Nikon 1 AW1
Memory Card Slot Battery Compartment

Ranged around the control pad are a means of adjusting exposure compensation (+/- 3 EV, via a slider at the right of the screen) altering the flash settings (just forced flash, forced flash with red eye reduction or flash off if in auto mode, with slow and slow and rear curtain sync options added in program or one of the creative modes), or selecting the self timer or drive modes. At 12 o'clock on the same dial we get a ‘Function' setting providing, as a default, quick access to the camera's creative modes. Here we obviously get program, shutter priority, aperture priority and manual modes. But added to this are means of selecting a dedicated underwater shooting setting. This mode offers up three settings; ‘standard', ‘scuba' and the self explanatory ‘close up'. Joining it on the same scrollable menu are a dedicated night scene and night portrait mode, plus a means of adjusting for back lighting and creating an easy panorama, with the camera self stitching this together for you as you pan with the AW1 through your scene; very effective it is too. Next up we are presented with a soft filter effect, the ‘strength' of which can be manually controlled if wished. Next comes the popular tilt and shift lens apeing miniature mode, plus, finally, a selective colour option. Point the camera at the scene and select the colour you wish to highlight via a toolbar style ‘chart' on the right hand side of the LCD screen.

Back to the menu button for a moment and a press of this offers the user a choice of six icons for selectable folders. These are the shooting modes, as covered, playback menu, image capture menu (where image size and quality are determined), a dedicated movie menu, an image processing menu – which is where the likes of white balance and ISO adjustment plus the ability to turn on built-in image noise reduction are ‘hidden' – plus the familiar set up menu. As well as the usual features of this mode the AW1 provides its altitude/depth settings options here as well as the ability to reset the built-in compass. All these menus are reassuringly straightforward and faff-free in terms of both access and navigation. OK, so we don't get the added convenience of touch screen control, but it doesn't feel like we're unduly missing it.

Whilst on the right hand flank of the Nikon 1 AW1 we get an industrial looking bolt and a lug for attaching the strap provided in the box, at the opposite end of the camera we find a double lock door protecting the AW1's output ports. These are both an HDMI output port plus a standard issue USB port – along with the combined battery and memory card compartment at the base – plus the lens mount itself – arguably the most potentially sensitive parts of the camera to the intrusion of dust and moisture. As it was, we did find that after dunking the AW1 in our local pond small droplets had managed to penetrate just under the flaps protecting both compartments, but had thankfully been retained on the inner sill above both card and battery and avoided direct contact. Unfortunately we're unable to vouch for how effective the water proofing would be if the camera was used for up to an hour at maximum 15 metre depth – which Nikon itself claims as the camera's maximum amount of endurance.

But in short the Nikon 1 system AW1 is a mostly pleasure to use, whether as an everyday workhorse for general-purpose photography or a destruction defying tool; for most of us the latter being, while useful, more occasional. In terms of battery life we were able to loose off around 200 shots before the camera started showing two thirds battery life remaining, although the official measurement seems a slightly conservative 220 images, which falls rather below the likes of Sony NEX models managing around 330 images. But then again rivals don't provide the opportunity to keeping photographing and shooting video in such a wide range of conditions and temperatures, nor provide such peace of mind for the naturally clumsy and butter fingered. But, proofing aside, how does the AW1 shape up as a regular camera for regular photography? Keep reading to find out...

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 7Mb.

If there's one word that could best sum up the AW1's performance when used with its 11-27.5mm kit lens it would be ‘consistency' – which is just what you want if hurtling down a ski slope whilst firing off bursts of images, or dodging sharks in the deep whilst trying to coax a crab from out of a crevice. Forget about its dust, freeze, drop and waterproofing however and this is a cracking and still relatively little camera in its own right. Maintaining sharpness well across the frame and providing bags of detail too, yes there are familiar bugbears such as purple pixel fringing creeping into branches where trees meet the sky but really this is no deal breaker. Colours as a default are a little warmer on this camera than we recall seeing on previous generations of Nikon CSC, which is generally a good thing. Even the digital filters, such as miniature and soft focus produce attractive results, thereby steering clear of being dismissed as a mere gimmick.

In terms of low light performance, ideally we wouldn't recommend going higher than ISO1600 or ISO3200 at a push. Results at top whack ISO6400, rather than showing Nikon to be a little conservative to top things there, instead reveal both image softness and noise which doesn't really do the camera any favours.


The base sensitivity of the Nikon 1 AW1 is ISO 100 and the highest setting is ISO 6400. The 100% crops below show what the quality is like at each setting for JPEG and RAW formats.


ISO 160 (100% Crop)

ISO 160 (100% Crop)

iso160.jpg iso160raw.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso3200.jpg iso3200raw.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso6400.jpg iso6400raw.jpg


The out-of-camera JPEGs are quite sharp but still benefit from a little sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Focal Range

The Nikon 1 Nikkor 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens offers a focal range of 30-74mm, as illustrated by these examples:



focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Nikon 1 Nikkor 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens does not suffer from strong chromatic aberrations - the example below shows the worst-case scenario you are likely to encounter in real-world images.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg


The Nikon 1 Nikkor 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens offers quite a good close-up performance for a kit zoom. The following example demonstrates how close you can get to the subject, in this case a CompactFlash memory card. We have also included a 100% crop to show you what the quality is like.


Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg


The flash settings on the Nikon 1 AW1 are Auto, Auto with Red-eye reduction, Slow Sync, Slow Sync with red-eye reduction, Rear-curtain Sync and Flash Off. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m. Some vignetting and barrel distortion is apparent at the 27mm wide-angle setting.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (30mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (30mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off - Telephoto (74mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (74mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Auto or the Auto with red-eye reduction options caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg

Red Eye Reduction

Red Eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg


The Nikon AW1 has a minimum shutter speed of 30 seconds, with a Bulb setting also available for really long exposures. The shot below was captured at a shutter speed of 20 seconds at ISO 160.


Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Picture Controls

Nikon's Picture Controls, similarly to Canon's Picture Styles, are preset combinations of different contrast and saturation settings. The available Picture Controls are Standard, Vivid, Neutral, Monochrome, Portrait and Landscape. The following series demonstrates the differences across these settings.



picture_control_standard.jpg picture_control_neutral.jpg



picture_control_vivid.jpg picture_control_monochrome.jpg



picture_control_portrait.jpg picture_control_landscape.jpg

Sample Images

This is a selection of sample images from the Nikon 1 AW1 camera, which were all taken using the 14 megapixel Fine JPEG setting. The thumbnails below link to the full-sized versions, which have not been altered in any way.

Sample RAW Images

The Nikon 1 AW1 enables users to capture RAW and JPEG format files. We've provided some Nikon RAW (NEF) samples for you to download (thumbnail images shown below are not 100% representative).

Sample Movie & Video

This is a sample movie at the highest quality setting of 1920x1080 at 60 frames per second. Please note that this 35 second movie is 92Mb in size.

Product Images

Nikon 1 AW1

Front of the Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

Front of the Camera / Pop-up Flash

Nikon 1 AW1

Side of the Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

Side of the Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

Rear of the Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

Rear of the Camera / Image Displayed

Nikon 1 AW1

Top of the Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

Bottom of the Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

Side of the Camera


Nikon 1 AW1

Side of the Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

Front of the Camera

Nikon 1 AW1

Memory Card Slot

Nikon 1 AW1

Battery Compartment


It would be easy to classify the 14.2 megapixel Nikon 1 AW1 as a specialist or niche product and perhaps even dismiss it as such given the at first slightly high seeming £750 asking price on launch, and whilst it is certainly currently in a class of its own when it comes to offering more adventurous photographers the ability to take more adventurous images than they otherwise would, it also works well as an everyday or even occasional camera for use on dry land and with more familiar subjects. If you're not fussed about the lack of a built in eye level viewfinder as previously found on Nikon's 1 series V1 and V2 flagship models, then arguably the AW1 is Nikon's most comprehensive and very probably best compact system camera yet.

With the ability to shoot Raw as well as JPEG, high quality video with stereo sound and do both in otherwise testing conditions, this is one compact styled CSC that just about does it all. Given this perhaps the asking price isn't as excessive as it might first seem in comparison with regular non-protected ‘J' series Nikons. Add in the fact that the AW1's performance is consistent and you have a very tempting proposition for your next purchase that, if you are going to be using the camera mostly on dry land, will allow you access to an increasing number of regular Nikon 1 Nikkor lenses. In short, there is little about the Nikon 1 AW1 that feels compromised in order to achieve the level of protection it offers.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4
Features 4
Ease-of-use 3.5
Image quality 4
Value for money 4

Main Rivals

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

Canon EOS M

The Canon EOS M is a new compact system camera that boasts 18 megapixels, full 1080p high-definition videos with continuous auto-focusing, and a touch-screen interface. Other key features of the EOS M include a 3-inch LCD screen with 1,040k dot resolution, ISO range of 100-25,600, and a flash hotshoe. Is Canon's new mirrorless model a real contender? Read our Canon EOS M review to find out...

Fujifilm X-M1

The Fujifilm X-M1 is a new compact system camera that's designed to expand the appeal of the X-system. The retro-styled X-M1 offers the same image sensor and lens mount as the more expensive X-Pro1 and X-E1 cameras in a smaller, lighter body. The X-M1 has a built-in flash, new 16-50mm kit lens, wi-fi connectivity, tilting LCD screen and of course a more affordable price tag. Read our Fujifilm X-M1 review to find out if it succeeds in bringing Fujifilm's mirrorless range to the masses...

Nikon 1 J3

The Nikon 1 J3 is the new mid-range model in Nikon's compact system camera line-up. The J3 offers more megapixels, a smaller and lighter body, and a more simplified control layout than its predecessor, the 4-month-old J2. Read our in-depth Nikon 1 J3 review now...

Nikon 1 V2

The Nikon 1 V2 is a second-generation compact system camera that's clearly been redesigned to appeal to the serious enthusiast. In addition to a more direct control layout with shooting mode and control dials, a chunky hand-grip and built-in pop-up flash, the Nikon V2 also sports a new 14 megapixel sensor, faster 15fps burst shooting with continuous focusing, and improved Best Moment Capture and Motion Snapshot Modes. Read the World's first Nikon 1 V2 review to find out if this new mirrorless model can capture the attention of the more discerning photographer...

Olympus E-PL5

The Olympus E-PL5 is a new compact system camera that offers a lot more than first meets the eye. Also known as the PEN Lite, the EPL5 has exactly the same image sensor and processing engine as the flagship OM-D E-M5. It also boasts the World's fastest autofocus system, a 3 inch tilting LCD display, full 1080p HD movies, and an extensive range of creative filters. Read our in-depth Olympus E-PL5 review to find out if it's a true bargain or not...

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 is an exciting new compact system camera aimed firmly at keen photographers. With a built-in tilting electronic viewfinder, 16 megapixel sensor, 3 inch tilting LCD touchscreen, pop-up flash, 60/50p high-definition video, integrated wi-fi and NFC connectivity, both lens and in-body image stabilization, and a stylish design, is the GX7 the ultimate interchangeable lens camera? Read our expert Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 review to find out....

Panasonic Lumix G6

The Panasonic Lumix G6 is a new compact system camera that offers a lot of bang for your buck. Standout features of the Panasonic G6 include a 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor, capacitive touchscreen control system, OLED viewfinder, wi-fi and NFC connectivity, fast auto-focus system, 1080p AVCHD movies with stereo sound, 7fps burst shooting and an extensive range of creative effects. Read our in-depth Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 review now to find out if it can take on its DSLR and CSC rivals...

Pentax Q7

The new Pentax Q7 is the smallest compact system camera on the market. Offering a new 1/1.7"-type back-illuminated CMOS sensor, improved low-light auto focus and an upgraded Shake Reduction mechanism, can the Q7 compete with its bigger rivals? Read our Pentax Q7 review to find out...

Samsung NX2000

The Samsung NX2000 is a new entry-level compact system camera with a lot of bells and whistles. Featuring a 20 megapixel APS-C sensor, full 1080p video, ISO 100-25,600, a 3.7-inch touchscreen, 8.6fps continuous shooting and Wi-fi / NFC connectivity, is this the best budget mirrorless camera? Read our Samsung NX2000 review to find out...

Sony NEX-5T

The NEX-5T is the latest mid-range compact system camera from Sony. With a 16 megapixel APS HD CMOS sensor, 1080p HD movies, high-res 3 inch tilting screen and external flash, the Sony NEX-5T also features a touchscreen user interface, fast hybrid auto-focus, built-in wi-fi and NFC connectivity, downloadable PlayMemories Camera Apps and a new 16-50mm kit lens. Read our full Sony NEX-5T review, complete with sample JPEGs, RAW files, and movies...

Review Roundup

Reviews of the Nikon 1 AW1 from around the web. »

The Nikon 1 AW1 is the world's first waterproof and shockproof interchangeable lens digital camera, and features built in Wi-Fi and GPS. The AW1 is fully compatible with existing Nikon 1 system optics, although these are not waterproof and shockproof.
Read the full review » »

The Nikon 1 AW1 is a rugged compact that merits a rugged test. With a storm approaching, what better way to test Nikon’s latest 1-series camera than heading out into the North Sea with the RNLI?
Read the full review »


Product name Nikon 1 AW1
Type Digital camera with support for interchangeable lenses
Lens mount Nikon waterproof 1 mount
Effective angle of view Approx. 2.7x lens focal length (35 mm format equivalent)
Effective pixels 14.2 million
Image sensor 13.2 mm x 8.8 mm CMOS sensor (Nikon CX format)
Storage - Image size (pixels) Still images (auto, best moment capture, and all creative modes other than Easy panorama; aspect ratio 3 : 2): 4608 x 3072, 3456 x 2304, 2304 x 1536. Still images (Normal panorama, camera panned horizontally; aspect ratio 120 : 23): 4800 x 920. Still images (Normal panorama, camera panned vertically; aspect ratio 8 : 25): 1536 x 4800. Still images (Wide panorama, camera panned horizontally; aspect ratio 240 : 23): 9600 x 920. Still images (Wide panorama, camera panned vertically; aspect ratio 4 : 25): 1536 x 9600. Still images (taken during movie recording, aspect ratio 3 : 2): 4608 x 3072 (1080/60i, 1080/30p), 1280 x 856 (720/60p, 720/30p). Still images (Motion Snapshots; aspect ratio 16 : 9): 4608 x 2592
File format NEF (RAW): 12-bit, compressed. 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 system Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
Media SD (Secure Digital), SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
File system DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras) 2.3, PictBridge
Shooting modes Auto; creative, with a choice of the following options: P, S, A, M, underwater, night landscape, night portrait, backlighting, easy panorama, soft, miniature effect, and selective colour; best moment capture (slow view and Smart Photo Selector), advanced movie (HD -P, S, A, M only- and slow motion), Motion Snapshot
Shutter - Type Electronic shutter
Shutter - Speed 1/16,000-30 s in steps of 1/3 EV; Bulb. Note: Bulb ends automatically after approximately 2 minutes
Flash sync speed Synchronizes with shutter at X=1/60 s or slower
Release - Mode Single frame, continuous. Self-timer
Frame advance rate Approx. 5, 15, 30, or 60 fps
Self-timer 2 s, 5 s, 10 s
Exposure - Metering 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 selected focus area
Mode P programmed auto with flexible program; S shutter-priority auto; A aperture-priority auto; M manual; scene auto selector
Exposure compensation -3 - +3 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Exposure lock Luminosity locked at metered value when shutter-release button is pressed halfway
ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index) ISO 160-6400 in steps of 1 EV; auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 160-6400, 160-3200, 160-800) available (user controlled when P, S, A, M, or underwater is selected in creative mode)
Active D-Lighting On, off
Focus - Autofocus Hybrid autofocus (phase-detection/contrast-detect AF); AF-assist illuminator
Lens servo Autofocus (AF): Single AF (AF-S); continuous AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); full-time AF (AF-F). Manual focus (MF)
AF-area mode Single-point, single-point (center), auto-area, subject tracking
Focus area Single-point AF: 135 focus areas; the center 73 areas support phase-detection AF. Auto-area AF: 41 focus areas
Focus lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single AF)
Face priority On, off
Flash - Built-in flash Manual pop-up
Guide Number (GN) Approx. 5/16 (m/ft, ISO 100, 20 °C/68 °F; at ISO 160, Guide Number is approx. 6.3/20.7)
Control i-TTL flash control using image sensor
Mode Fill flash, red-eye reduction, fill flash + slow sync, red-eye reduction + slow sync, rear curtain + slow sync, rear-curtain sync, off
Flash compensation -3 - +1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Flash-ready indicator Lights when built-in flash unit is fully charged
White balance Auto, underwater, incandescent, fluorescent, direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual, all except preset manual with fine tuning
Movie - Metering 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 selected focus area
Frame size (pixels)/recording rate HD movies (aspect ratio 16 : 9) - 1920 x 1080/60i (59.94 fields/s*) - 1920 x 1080/30p (29.97 fps) - 1280 x 720/60p (59.94 fps) - 1280 x 720/30p (29.97 fps) - Slow-motion movies (aspect ratio 8 : 3) - 640 x 240/400 fps (plays at 30p/29.97 fps) - 320 x 120/1200 fps (plays at 30p/29.97 fps) - Motion Snapshot (aspect ratio 16 : 9) - 1920 x 1080/60p (59.94 fps) (plays at 24p/23.976 fps). * Sensor output is about 60 fps.
File format MOV
Video compression H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
Audio recording format AAC
Audio recording device Built-in stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable
Monitor 7.5 cm (3-in.), approx. 921k-dot, TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Playback Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, movie and panorama playback, slide show, histogram display, auto image rotation, and rating option
Interface - USB Hi-Speed USB
HDMI output Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
Electronic compass 16 headings (with 3-axis accelerometer attitude correction and automatic offset adjustment)
Location data Receiving frequency: 1575.4200 MHz (GPS)/1598.0625-1605.3750 MHz (GLONASS). Geodesics: WGS84
Altimeter Operating range approximately -500 - +4500 m (-1640 - +14,764 ft)
Depth gauge Operating range approximately 0-20 m (0-65.6 ft)
Supported languages Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, Vietnamese
Power source - Battery One rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL20 battery
AC adapter EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5C power connector (available separately)
Tripod socket 1/4-in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 113.3 x 71.5 x 37.5 mm (4.5 x 2.9 x 1.5 in.), excluding projections
Weight Approx. 356 g (12.6 oz) with battery and memory card but without body cap or O-ring protector; approx. 313 g (11.1 oz), camera body only
Operating environment - Temperature -10 °C - +40 °C (+14 °F - 104 °F) on land, 0 °C - +40 °C (+32 °F - 104 °F) in water
Humidity 85% or less (no condensation)
Shockproof performance * ** Has passed in-house tests *** to MIL-STD-810F Method 516.5: Shock standard
Waterproof performance ** In-house tests have demonstrated JIS/IEC Class 8 (IPX8) waterproofing; can be used at depths of up to 15 m (49 ft) for up to 60 minutes
Operating depth ** Maximum 15 m (49 ft)
Dustproof performance ** In-house tests have demonstrated JIS/IEC Class 6 (IP6X) dust-proofing
Supplied accessories BF-N2000 body cap, PA-N1000 O-ring protector, WP-O2000 O-ring, EN-EL20 rechargeable Li-ion battery (with terminal cover), MH-27 battery charger, AN-N1000 strap (intended exclusively for use on land), WP-G1000 Silicon grease, UC-E19 USB cable, ViewNX 2/Short Movie Creator CD, Reference manual CD

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