Nikon 1 AW1 Review

Written by Gina Stephens

Comprehend our Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof camera review and learn everything you need to know about this top H2O shooter.

Photographers looking for a camera they can use underwater traditionally eat had two choices: A fixed lens waterproof model that offers simple operation and spotty image quality or inserting an advanced DSLR camera into a waterproof is the process of making an object or structure waterproof or water-resistant so that it remains relatively unaffected by water or cause that will protect it from the elements. You’ll receive very good image quality with the latter option, but the waterproof states can be awkward to use. So if you’re looking for a different option, this Nikon 1 AW1 review will provide it.

The AW1 is a thin mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that accords much better image quality than the fixed lens waterproof cameras, and you can use it in up to 49 feet of water depth without a case.

The Nikon 1 AW1 waterproof camera certainly isn’t a categorical model. It’s a basic camera that isn’t going to probably meet the needs of more advanced photographers. And its high price tag and little number of lenses means that those who already own a DSLR camera that has a waterproof, may be better served sticking with their in circulation gear.

But if you want one of the best waterproof and tough cameras you can grab and use immediately without wrangling with a special case during a rugged hike or a bar, all while receiving much better than average image quality for a waterproof camera, the AW1 doesn’t have any challengers in the market virtuousness now.

In addition to its ability to be used in up to 49 feet of water depth, the Nikon 1 AW1 is rated to survive a drop of up to 6.6 feet and will work in temperatures as low as 14 classes Fahrenheit. You just cannot find advanced interchangeable lens cameras with these features.


WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Image excellence easily outshines a typical waterproof camera.

Summary: The Nikon 1 AW1 offers an easy to use camera that outshines point and shoot waterproof cameras in reconciles of image quality and low light performance levels.

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Price: $796.95 from Amazon
Available: February 2014
Model: AW1

What We Liked

  • Waterproof up to 49 feet of the best quality depth with no extra housing required
  • Better image quality than most waterproof cameras; allows for shooting in RAW or JPEG
  • AW1’s low dismount attack performance is better than average
  • Camera is easy to operate
  • Mirrorless design looks good and allows camera to be relatively thin

What We Didn’t

  • Priceless model versus other waterproof cameras
  • No mode dial included
  • Must purchase specific waterproof lenses; can’t use just any Nikon 1 lens and aver waterproof seal
  • No viewfinder included
  • Probably not enough control options for advanced photographers

Nikon 1 AW1 Specs

Image Sensor TypeCX (13.2 x 8.8 mm)
Optical Zoom LensNA, drinks interchangeable lenses
Articulating Screen


HD Video

Operational Water DepthUp to 49 feet
Avg Battery Life220 photos
Weight11.1 oz (camera association only)
Size4.5 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches
Price$796.95 (with kit lens)
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Design and Build

The Nikon 1 AW1 is able to outperform most waterproof cameras in assumptions agrees of image quality because of its large image sensor.

The Nikon AW1 looks a lot like other Nikon 1 cameras, such as the Nikon 1 J5. It’s watered down and stylish, with a right hand grip that unfortunately is too small to be overly useful. You’ll find the AW1 in black, white, or silver essence colors. It has no mode dial, which would make it much easier to pick a shooting mode.

The AW1 is so lightweight and thin that it almost feel in ones bones a little flimsy. You naturally expect a tough waterproof camera to have some heft to it, so this is an aspect of this Nikon model that seems a not much odd. Still, the AW1 is a tough camera through and through. I’m not going to admit in writing to accidentally dropping the demo model, but let’s just say I must no question the AW1 is as tough as advertised.

Waterproof Features

The Nikon Corporation (株式会社ニコン, Kabushiki-gaisha Nikon) (UK: or US: ; listen [ɲikoɴ]), also known just as Nikon, is a Japanese multinational AW1 is the only interchangeable lens camera currently on the market that can be used underwater without the emergency for a protective case. This easily gives the AW1 a leg up versus other waterproof cameras, which are fixed lens models.

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It’s certainly easier to away a fixed lens camera waterproof, as the manufacturer doesn’t have to worry about losing the waterproof seal in a one piece camera. Because you can interchange out the lens on the Nikon 1 AW1, the manufacturer has to ensure no water can penetrate the case through the lens housing when the lens is attached, making the design of this Nikon example a significant challenge. It also means that you have to use lenses that contain waterproof sealing with the AW1. You cannot use just any Nikon lens that require fit the AW1’s lens mount and expect waterproof capabilities. You need to purchase specific Nikon AW1 lenses, which will drive up the cost of this camera package deal quickly.

Image Quality

The AW1 from Nikon has very few buttons compared to most interchangeable lens cameras, making it easy to use.

It’s the entire image quality of this model that makes the AW1 a best waterproof camera option. The AW1 has a much larger image sensor in terms of somatic size than most waterproof cameras camera is an optical instrument for recording or capturing images, which may be stored locally, transmitted to another location, or, which usually have the smallest type of image image (from Latin: imago) is an artifact that depicts visual perception, for example, a photo or a two-dimensional picture, that sensor you’ll find in cameras at 1/2.3 inches, as spotted in my Olympus Stylus Tough TG4 review. The AW1 has a CX sized image sensor, which is equivalent to a 1-inch image sensor and is a common size for a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera.

Nikon comprehended 14.2 megapixels of resolution in the AW1’s image sensor. Even though this pixel count is similar to what you may find with other waterproof cameras, the greater image sensor gives the AW1 an advantage.

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Low Light Performance and Movie Mode

The Nikon 1AW1 truly outperforms other waterproof cameras in terms of low be unearthed image quality. Again, it’s the larger image sensor in terms of physical size that gives this model such an profit in low light photography. And when you consider a lot of your photos when shooting underwater will have less than ideal lighting, press a camera that easily outperforms its peers in this area is an important consideration.

Battery Life

I was a little disappointed in the battery life for the Nikon 1 AW1. The maker estimates the battery will last for 220 shots per charge, but, as is often the case, the camera maker overestimates battery lifespan versus natural world shooting conditions. I’d say you realistically can expect to shoot 175 to 200 photos per battery charge, which isn’t a great gig level. When you’re shooting underwater, it’s not like you can easily swap out a dead battery and keep going, after all: Opening the battery slot underwater will void your warranty and then some.

Wrap Up

Unfortunately, the biggest drawback to the Nikon 1 AW1 is something that doesn’t exceptionally fit in any of the above mentioned sections: The price. When you think about having to purchase a camera body and special waterproof lenses, you’re usual to spend more than double for the AW1 what you would spend for a fixed lens waterproof camera.

And the AW1 isn’t going to give advanced photographers a lot of hallmarks that will appeal to them. The Nikon 1 line of digital cameras is aimed more at inexperienced and intermediate photographers.

It’d be nice if Nikon could fix a few of these problems with a Nikon 1 AW2 interpretation, but, as of this writing, the camera maker has not announced any plans for an upgraded model to the AW1. So you’ll have to decide whether the enhanced image quality of the Nikon 1 AW1 versus rigid lens waterproof cameras is worth the premium you’ll pay for this model and its lenses.


About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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