Waterproof camera’s are nothing new. Camera makers have been producing waterproof point-and-shoot cameras for decades. But Nikon has taken things a step (or two) further with the AW1, a mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera that keeps shooting when submerged in the water (up to a depth of 15 meters). It is also shockproof and freezeproof.
The AW1 is based on the Nikon 1 J1. There are two lenses that work with the AW1 – an 11–27.5mm (30–75mm equivalent) f/3.5–5.6, which comes with the camera. And a 10mm (27mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens is available as an option.
The AW1 is a compatible with other lenses, but only the two waterproof lenses can be used to take underwater photos.
Spec wise, the AW1 features a 14.2 megapixel 1-inch CMOS sensor and the Expeed 3A processing engine. There is 1080p movie capture, 15fps burst shooting, slow view, smart photo selector, and motion snapshot. When shooting underwater, the AW1 has a custom white balance setting to account for the unusual conditions and also features scuba and close-up modes. There’s also an altimeter, depth gauge, electronic compass, and horizon indicator.
The Nikon 1 AW1 will be available from October 1. The cost is $800 for the base package, or $1,000 if you want the additional lens with the camera. Colors include black, white, and silver models, and Nikon is selling colorful rubber grip cases if you want to personalize things a bit.
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.