The most underestimated camera ever? (the waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof Nikon 1 AW1)


"The most underestimated camera ever" by Henrik Fitinghoff is about the waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof Nikon 1 AW1 mirrorless camera ($797):

I´m a frequent reader of NikonRumors, and there hasn’t been that much good news as of late. I passed 50 years of age and bought my first Nikon when I was 16. It wasn’t a particularly easy choice, and certainly not obvious. But as the years went by I got to work with some hardcore Nikon professionals, and even if I never saw myself as a nothing more than fairly decent with a camera, I guess they inspired me to hold on to my Nikons. I also got to buy some used stuff off of them, which also helped. Since then I’ve renewed my cameras and lenses, trying to keep up with digital development. I left the pro segment with D3 and shifted to D750 and is very happy with that.


But when the Nikon 1 AW1 came out there was no doubt in my mind that this would be a camera for me. I preordered it with the kit lens and started to use it out of the box. I’ve been a quite adventures photographer/writer all my life, including skiing, snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATV:s, hiking etc. and missed a really good adventure camera. The D3 was/is sturdy but heavy as a brick. The AW1 is even sturdier and much lighter.

My first try to take pictures under water. The AW1 did the job.

This kind of pictures, where you stand with water up to your chest and getting sprayed occasionally with water or waves is a no brainer with an AW1.

So the AW1 is watertight down to 15 meters (49 feet) and shockproof if you drop it från two meters (6’7” I think). I haven’t tried that for real, but I do have used it under water and smashed it around quite a bit and it still works as out of the box. But another feature I really like is that it’s guaranteed to work in -10C (14F) which I tried several times, and it’s been a lot colder as well.

The sturdiness makes the AW1 more clumsy than all the other Nikon 1:s (yes I have the V3 and the J5 as well). It also lacks the new sensors with more pixels, the Expeed 4A and so on that the newer Nikon 1 models got, but it is still my favorite companion on all my adventures.

Sweden in November is as dull as it sounds, and during the night I fell both rain and snow. But it was fun anyway.

To have a tough camera that can go anywhere, without extra thought, makes it very useful, and it makes you take pictures you probably wouldn’t otherwise.

And the reason is simple. The AW1 is way better than my smartphone when it comes to capturing a moment, and it is still as easy to bring. I don’t need an extra bag or any packing/unpacking if I don’t want to. In other words, I never think twice about bringing the AW1.

We crossed the Pyrenees last summer in terrible weather conditions with 2C, rain and thick fog that seemed to make the raindrops stand still in the air. The AW1 was probably the only camera out there capturing that day. No, it didn’t become great pictures, but memorable.

Here we are "on top of the world". Apart from the screen not being bright enough, there is no problem taking pictures in any conditions with an AW1 making it a permanent partner on my adventures.

You can actually see the wind in this picture, but snow, cold, wind or all three combined is not a problem with an AW1.

We did a skiing tour in Norway in really harsh conditions. Very windy at the top, cold and of course snowy. Pick up the AW1 and take the picture you want. Put it in the snow while you organize stuff, keep it hanging on your chest if you like and then take the next picture. You can do this with any camera, and risk having moisture getting into the intro or the house. You can also risk dropping it because your hands are cold. There is a lot of things that can happen when you are out there, we’ve all been there, but not with this camera.

Things I don’t like? The screen is really bad in sunlight. I would love to have more AW-lenses. You can get decent pictures, even for publishing, but it demands good light. The Nikon 1 system may also the only one that might actually benefit from jpeg-format and using the cameras own system for noise reduction and such. I still use raw format, but the pictures from my Nikon 1:s demands a lot of processing in LightRoom to become good.

I’ve experimented with some night shots, just bringing a small Gorilla tripod, and it works pretty good.

Since my wife learned the AW1 I’ve been thinking of buying another one as I hardly get to use it anymore. She took this picture of me last summer in O Cebreiro, Spain.

So, while we are waiting for Sony to buy Nikon (?) or any really interesting and good news I would like to sing my praise to this little tough guy. I simply love the AW1, and I think I can sum up that love in one sentence: It’s the camera I bring when all the others stay home and therefore the camera I use to take the picture, making it my best camera.

What I don’t understand is why not every outdoor photographer has one? And why can’t Nikon upgrade it? I would gladly buy an AW2 that would cost like the V3 or more because it’s simply unique and very, very useful.

Some shades covering the sun, but otherwise a tough picture to shoot. The little built in flash helped.

I could probably have taken this picture with my phone, but then I wouldn’t be able to do a big print out of it.

Once again the built in flash made the picture.

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  • animalsbybarry
    • Fitinghoff

      I miss quite a few lenses but nothing that the FT1 can’t handle.

  • Chewbacca

    Even Underestimated by Nikon themselves. This could have been the camera that had a glimmer of marketing potential for a larger audience even in todays floundering camera sale trend. They blew it. People really do value vacation photos and I think they still might consider a camera like this as a do it all solution for this specific scenario. t could have replaced the whole go pro thing and Nikon 1 thing all in one package.

    • Eric Calabros

      From now on, all Nikon understands is ROE: “return on equity, a measure of profitability that calculates how many dollars of profit a company generates with each dollar of shareholders’ equity.” and apparently they’re unable to generate reasonable profit with 1 inch format.

      • Ashok Vashisht

        ROI is good but good marketing is as good !

    • Kiboko

      Agree. If there where one camera in the Nikon 1 segment that I where waiting for a 2.0 version of. This was the one. 🙁

    • Thom Hogan

      I believe that some of Nikon’s reluctance to continue here has been how many “flooded” AW1’s they’ve had to deal with in repair.

      • This probably explains also why nobody else is doing waterproof camera with interchangeable lenses.

        • Andrew

          At least we have to give it to Nikon for taking risks 😉

          • Yes, they used to – I think the AW1 was the last risk they took. Do you remember the camera with the build-in projector? Nikon at least was trying to be innovative. Now they are stuck in incremental upgrades in a time when slightly better is not good enough to trigger a sale.

            • Thom Hogan

              Nikon’s mantra during the digital era has been expansion of product line. DX->FX. Coolpix->multiple levels and many iterations (Android, projector, etc.). Nikon 1. AW models. KeyMission. DL.

              They continued this expansion well past the peak sales point, and even as data piled up that such expansion was risky they were full throttle.

              Now Nikon suddenly seems to be in the opposite realm, which is to reduce to more minimal product lines. Those of you predicting multiple Nikon mirrorless lines should probably rethink: I’ll bet there will be only one. Indeed, at this point I believe that it’s highly possible that in a couple years out we will only see: (1) very large sensor compact; (2) DX line somewhat smaller; (3) FX in mirrorless and DSLR versions. And that’s about it.

              That’s not to say that Nikon isn’t thinking and working on other things, but the management directives in place now make for a very high bar for “new initiatives” to get above.

            • Adam Brown

              Especially in the declining consumer market, I definitely don’t see a reason to have D3400 and D5500. I even find the D7500 and D500 may be a bit too duplicative.
              I think they could get by with 2 aps-c cameras — Something between the D5500 and D7500, as well as the continued D500 line. I suspect they will go with 3 camera — D5____, D7_____ and D500

              Fx — Don’t need DF, D610, D750 and D810 to cover the whole range from enthusiast to semi-pro up to D5 territory. In fact, the D610 and D750 are now selling for about the same price.
              Goodbye Df… Merge the D610 and D750 lines. So 3 FX full frame — D5 for pros. D820 for ultra high resolution. D760 for general full frame enthusiast/semi pro work.

              I don’t know what they have in mind for mirrorless. What’s scary — I don’t know if Nikon knows what they have in mind.
              But if I were making the decisions, I’d go with 3 mirrorless models:
              1 –A Sony A6000/6300 equivalent… basically a mirrorless version situated between the D5500 and D7500. Basically, a mirrorless option for APS-C users, or as a companion camera for full frame shooters. Priced around $1,000.
              2 — High resolution full frame mirrorless. A mirrorless D820 basically. Priced around $3,000.
              3 — A general purpose full frame mirrorless — The M750 — Largely take the D750, rip out the mirror, put on a good EVF, and good OSPDAF. Priced around $2,000.

              So the total number of ILC cameras in the lineup would stay pretty similar, but lose 2 full frame, lose 1-2 aps-c, and gain 3 mirrorless.

            • Mr_Miyagi

              Would the groundbreaking D8XX camera line have ever seen the light of day with such tough criteria in place? Sounds to me as though you’re describing a very pessimistic future for innovation at Nikon in the near future.

            • CERO

              Didnt sony release camcorders with projectors too?

            • Could be, I do not remember.

        • donpnz

          well they managed interchangeable lens on the Nikonos series. Just put a film through my Nikonos III a month ago. Not bad for 40+ years of underwater use! The Nikonos III is practically indestructible as long as you look after the rubber seals.

      • Chewbacca

        I guess a waterproof camera that is not waterproof for deep diving got Nikon in some deep sh…t

      • Andrew

        Then Nikon should call it water-resistant 😉

        From what I have read they have special instructions on how to handle the camera and what to do each time after dipping in water to maintain the waterproof seal. But the problem with mass market consumer products is that the product must be foolproof!

        • Thom Hogan

          I think there’s something more than that going on here. We’ve had many AW1s in use during our Galapagos workshops, and they’ve performed admirably except for one thing: fogging. The LCD does not seem to be sealed properly.

          But as I’ve reported, we’ve had AW1’s rammed against rocks with great force, enough force to damage the lens so it could be used, but no breeches.

          While I can’t completely vouch for it, I’ve seen too many reports of breeching where the person claims to have followed directions. My suspicion is quality control, not design.

      • decisivemoment

        So, atone for the DL fiasco by introducing the Nikon DL-AW1. Built-in lens, fragment-of-dust-in-lens-mount-seal problem solved.

        • Thom Hogan

          More R&D expense, and thus making it even more costly. Moreover, in Nikon world, this would compete with the AW1, thus Nikon would be averse to do that.

      • Allen_Wentz

        Why Nikon did not just bring the Nikonos into digital is beyond me. They already had u/w bodies, lenses, accessories and decades of learning curve. And loyal users like me who went through the learning curve with them.

        • Thom Hogan

          More to the point, why not resurrect the Nikonos brand name even if you were going to make Coolpix and Nikon 1 models?

          Just another example of Nikon marketing not getting it right.

        • I’d guess it’s a cooling issue. Film cameras don’t need anywhere near as much cooling as digital cameras. And cooling a sealed camera is a complicated task for a small camera, let alone a larger SLR camera. But these are just guesses on my part.

      • What’s failing on them? Are folks taking them too deep? Are they buoyant, or do they sink to the crushing depths if dropped, when bone stock?

        • alistair

          Underwater cameras usually fail when an o-ring leaks either because it’s dirty or incorrectly installed. Many divers accept that it’s not if your camera floods but when.

          I love my AW1. The main issues I have is the shallow depth limit and lack of accessories (i.e. ways of attaching it not strobes) and limit to just two lenses.

          The camera is negatively buoyant but if it sank to a crushing depth you’d never get it back to send it for repair!

    • I agree, except to make it more consumer-friendly I’d suggest having a version that was a 3 or 4X attached zoom for better waterproofing and ease-of-use for general consumers. Kind of like the Sony 1″ sensor cameras but with water and weather-proofing.

  • Mr_Miyagi

    I own two copies of this camera, the black model and the silver model. As I’ve written elsewhere, if you intend to use this camera underwater, run a thin bead of plumber’s caulk around the outer edge of the LCD display (very little is needed; scrape off all the excess), which will help to keep the screen watertight and prevent it from fogging.

  • Spy Black

    Too bad the camera suffered from leaks and, for it’s price, the ability to actually go to recreational dive limits. For $350, I picked up a J4 and it’s underwater housing rate down to 150 feet. The AW-1 is much better suited for pretty much what this fellow has been using it for, staying within snorkeling depths and on land use. If this camera was half it’s price it would be a decent deal. At it’s going price it’s a rich man’s snorkeling toy, and a bad joke.

    • Hans J

      yep yep, just use an iPhone 7

      • whensly

        not in the rain

        • Allen_Wentz

          So far I have used my iPhone 7 quite a bit in the rain without issues. Of course if I water damage it the warranty will likely not cover it, so I am careful about it. Much more careful than I am with the D3 or D500.

          • Hans J

            The iPhone 7 is much more water proof then both of those cameras.

            • Allen_Wentz

              Interesting. Thanks for that.

        • Hans J

          You can fully submerge your iPhone 7 in water

    • Hear hear, I use the same combo and the J4 for a variety of purposes. I want to share something I have discovered – the J4 works way way way better with the 18.5mm 1.8 prime in the underwater body, it is light years ahead when shooting underwater with it, focus is great and the light boost is absolutely crucial even at marginal depths – without it I would be limited in my shooting options, I enjoy low ISO and high shutter speed in marginal lighting, and acceptable ISO and shutter speed even on a cloudy day.
      The close focus ability, brilliant wide open performance with low aberration and improved depth of field effects mean one can up close capture the rainbows of light left from rippling waves on a coral stalk for example, with excellent isolation.

      • Spy Black

        I was thinking similarly about the 10mm f/2.8, as underwater the equivalent focal length of a lens is longer than on land, which would put the 10mm more towards a 13-18mm equivalent.

  • Hans J

    Only problem is the image quality is awful, my iPhone 7 takes better photos and its already water proof. I’ve taken is swimming, in to hot tubs in to the shower etc all with out a case, and I already own it.

    • Rick

      Why do you take a camera with you in the shower?? 😉

      • Allan

        To read the latest posts on Nikon Rumors.

    • Allan

      Hans J,

      Rick thinks you’re taking your camera into wet places. I think you’re taking your phone into wet places. We need clarification.

    • Allen_Wentz

      Hans is taking serious risk since Apple does not warrant the iPhone 7 for full immersion. And the phone has water intrusion sensors to catch bogus damage claims.

      • Hans J

        Not true. Plus people have tested it, the iPhone 7 can go 35 feet underwater for 5mins+

        • Allen_Wentz

          Yes, it is true. I did not say that the iPhone 7 was bad – – heck I use mine in the rain. I said it was a RISK because Apple does NOT warrant it as waterproof.

          Here is what Apple says:

          “iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are
          splash, water, and dust resistant and were tested under controlled
          laboratory conditions with a rating of IP67 under IEC standard 60529.
          Splash, water, and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and
          resistance might decrease as a result of normal wear. Do not attempt to
          charge a wet iPhone; refer to the user guide for cleaning and drying
          instructions. Liquid damage not covered under warranty.”

          Note that last: Liquid damage not covered under warranty. And iPhones all have water intrusion sensors to prove phony warranty claims.

          • Hans J

            I get it, don’t worry… there are others like me that will keep testing the limits of this phones water proofing.

      • Hans J
    • Fitinghoff

      Yes, you do have point, even though I would not agree on awful. Physics tells me that a Nikon 1 has huge advantage over the iPhone when it comes to sensor size, but reality begs to differ some times. The sensor sure needs an upgrade among with other stuff, and if you get the picture taken with your iPhone, that’s your best camera.
      But the concept of the AW1 is still unique among cameras, and its a good one. With potential of becoming a lot better.

  • T.I.M

    Look like it’s also sales proof!

    • FountainHead

      That’s cold.

  • MB

    It was nice, but only one lens was ever produced for it and it wasn’t VR and it was pretty expensive for what it is… Nikon could have done better if they made it a non interchangeable lens compact camera… and with VR … and cheaper…

    • Eric Calabros

      and built-in coffee maker

      • MB

        Lets be realistic here 🙂
        But wifi would be nice … and no SnapBridge please ….
        Yeah … i forgot about 10mm AW … oh well ….

    • Mehdi R

      Agree

    • Borgar Tessem

      They introduced that camera whith to lenses and they still produce two, a 10 mm and the kit zoom 11-27,5 i have them. I also have all other Nikon 1 Who was and are made, simply love them. Like the speed, form factor and some of the lenses are very very good. I also use D4 and D500 whith lenses from 14-24 to 200-400 f4, also very good products, but the Nikon 1 still give me more pictures that means alt for my family, cause they just go whith me all the time. And a uppgrade of the AW1 would be putted in on a pre order, so dear Nikon just make it!!!

    • Fitinghoff

      Yes. There’s a lot improve and it strange they haven’t.

  • MonkeySpanner

    I once got a j4 and an underwater housing for 329 on fire sale. But the j4 is so bad with kit lens I had to return it.

    • The kit lens is nothing to write home about. But you dun goofed – the camera kicks ass with the right glass. I have had my work with a J4 on billboards, posters, and websites, I was using an FT-1 with an 18-140mm to make the money shot and I’ve since upgraded to a 70-300mm CX. The platform has many limitations but here’s why it goes everywhere with me – the billboard shot came courtesy of the cameras ability to seamlessly take a full res shot when you press the shutter button, while filming video, so with my other cameras it wouldn’t have been a picture I could have taken.

  • Fly Moon

    I love the fish photo. If I were you, I would print that out and hang it!

  • DLynch

    OHHHHHHH…… I hope they don’t try to revive this series of garbage. You made the mistake now move on please.

    • T.I.M

      I don’t know, sometimes I imagine dating my ex girlfriends….
      ;o)

      • DLynch

        Switch to the left hand.

  • bgbs

    It is a great camera indeed. Nikon ticks me Off that it stopped after AW1

  • eric

    Cool, takes nice images. Proves you don’t need a high megapixel, huge body, with an army of lenses to make good photos. Reminds me of my Ricoh Gr, though not waterproof, I’ve dropped it numerous time on cement by accident and it still works, still makes great images.

    • JoeFunny30

      +1 on the GR although mine is finally on its last legs. Clipped something while in cargo pocket and lens clicks opening/closing

  • jason

    The problem is Nikon could never supply enough of them.

  • Zeev Kirshenboim

    Why not every outdoor….? Due to poor reliability. I have similar experience to that of the writer. However, after failing twice due to water leaks in shallow water I stopped using it. The web is full with similar reliability reports.

    • Fitinghoff

      I haven’t experienced that. You obviously need to take care of the rubber seals. But if it fails you have the guarantee.

      • Zeev Kirshenboim

        Trust me that (like many others) I followed the instructions…Just read the many comments sbout leaking.

        • Fitinghoff

          Yes, it seems to have been a lot of problems with leakage. As other have noticed, the camera got three openings and a big screen at the back, plus buttons of course. I don’t think it was ever ment to be a “under water camera” for divers etc. It is just stupid since it cannot be “user proof”, and there are so many things that can go wrong.
          But that’s where most of this discussion went anyway, just because Nikon said it was water proof (which it therefore should have been). “Outdoor” to me does rarely mean “submerge”. But having a camera that is ready to take a picture no matter what weather or circumstances, that will survive me tripping when crossing a river, or a fall from my chest or…
          To me, that’s the big thing with this camera. It’s more suited for outdoor then any other.

  • MD.

    Mine leaked through the battery compartment the 1st time of use.

  • whisky

    N1. still a great back country system. with a little love, both the V and AW series could have been a viable niche.

  • Micha Quär

    The whole Nikon V1 is a nice set of camera equipment, but lacking in a lot of potential thx to nikon. No good prime zoom (at least f2.8) etc… I bought an used Nikon V1 with the 10-30 for my mother, for casual shooting only. I really like the build quality, the akku power, the EVF, the Slow-Motion-Video and the weight. For myself i would buy an Sony RX100 IV instead, but for the money, this cam is really great.

  • vwking

    The old Nikonos were, or nearly were, indestructible. They were reliable cameras of choice for those who go on deep expeditions. Overland, or under the waves. The idea behind this N1 AW1 reminds me of the Nikonos. So, Nikon has this D810a specialized camera for really serious astrophotographers, nice. But I would expect a small, lightweight camera with really good IQ, built to the rugged standards of the Nikonos will have a broader market demand.

    • Yes, something like the Leica X-U but with the original Nikonos design.

    • Allen_Wentz

      Yup. A digital Nikonos (I had a II and a IV) would have been a killer camera, but Nikon went the way of the low grade AW model instead.

  • oandroplex700

    nice concept, i have had 2 nikon 1 aw1″s……..and the first one flooded, and the second one,”s rear screen went bad, almost right out of the box..

  • DaveyJ

    We were the first user in the USA to review the Nikon 1 AW 1. It is an awesome camera and still is used on the job to Shot construction work, including underwater work like bridge construction. Lately my son has bee not using his Apple iPhone a lot more than the Nikon1 AW1. We have the stock zoom lens. I still rate it as five stars. Would I buy a Nikon1 AW 2? Probably not. They are expensive. They are rugged. The problem of being almost impossible to,use in bright sunlight is a huge problem.

  • Ed

    Can’t help but feel that we’re watching an ignominious end to the glorious tale of Nikon. The last of my Nikons was the D700. Workhorse but only 12MP. Do miss it but don’t miss the bulk. But Sony has killed them all.

    • Ferdinand

      Killed? hehe yeah on the specs

    • Markus

      Can’t see how.

  • stesk

    I agree the Nikon 1 is underestimated.
    I have the V1 and V3 + most of the N1 lenses + FT1 and all my Nikkor lenses. I LOVE it.
    However I sometimes need the D800 but knowing what you can do with the N1 – you can almost do everything.
    I look forward to see what Nikon will come up with – I’m sure they will.

  • chip

    I have a V1, D5 and D810 so I love my nikons. My little V1 used to go on vacation with me and thought about the AW1, but the price made me laughed. Got my V1 on the fire sale used! My iPhone7Plus does great burst and with two lenses I no longer find much use for my V1.

    Oh Nikon what might have been if you rode the V1 and iterated and added fast and complete lense and developed the system, you’d have a compelling killer small mirrorless, but you blew it. Now you whither away as we all wonder should we buy a Sony and bet they develop their lense system, LOL

    • Viktor

      I have just seen the new video with Sony A9 On-eye-focusing feature…. Hope Nikon finally finds answer to it (ML FF).

  • Tom Taubert

    Kukos for V1 18.5 and 10mm. System should have been a (of many) key mission.
    I really don’t get the bulbous evf on the v3. I wouldn’t take me long to smash that bit up.

  • Andrew

    Great article, I really enjoyed reading it 😉

    I wonder if the D7500 would hold up equally well to the elements without obviously the dipping in water part! Nikon does say that it has comprehensive weather sealing – so I would hope that it could take a few splash of water. I have not tried that with any of my other cameras 😉 It is something I would be willing to risk at its low $1,250 price.

    You make a good point about the Nikon 1 being a much more capable camera than a smartphone for the 1-inch sensor size, ruggedness, waterproof feature, and the fact that it is an interchangeable-lens camera. And let us not forget that it is a Mirrorless camera that can shoot 15 fps at full resolution with full autofocus. Though it shoots 60 fps, it locks focus on the first frame. It would be nice to see Nikon use its new faster EXPEED 5 processor to increase the full autofocus to at least 30 fps in the next version.

    Another great camera is the 83x Optical P900 for nature photography. I am looking at getting its upgrade which will come with a 125x Optical zoom when released this 2017 year! I hope Nikon says something about it being weather sealed as there is no such mention about that with the P900.

  • DLynch

    Still waiting for Nikon or Canon to make a real mirrorless camera, hopefully this year.

  • Allen_Wentz

    Interesting. I have heat-fried an iPhone by leaving it on the car dash in the high altitude sun for an hour. Fortunately it came back to normal after 24 hours in a cool dark place; I guess it was just hung over.

    • Hans J

      “hung over” haha, I’ve had that happen also, Apple warranty policy is really good. I didn’t even wait, just went to the story and they gave me another one.

  • Nikita

    The headline of this article should have been Nikon’s print ad. It would have caught anyone’s attention who wanted a bit more than smart phone snaps.

    Really too bad Nikon execs don’t know what they’re doing (except traditional DSLRs). Their lack of vision is driving the company down.

  • Nemmondom Meg

    Whole nikon 1 is underestimated. To be honest and I dare to write it down between nikon j5 and nikon d7200 there is not that big diference between iq. Less diference than between d7200 and d600. If nikon j5 could get a nice viewfinder, it is an ultimate cmera. Incredible af, idela for wildlife etc. I only need good flash for that whet the system doesn’t have. Unfortunately they are to dear, as used they have the value they worth.

  • Aaron Pepelis

    I’ve been waiting for the price to hit about $400 for me to jump on it. recently, the price jumped up to $750…

  • I had this camera for a couple of years and did enjoy using it a number of times where I needed a good camera that I wasn’t afraid to get wet. I did have an issue with it leaking into the LCD screen once, but once it dried out it worked again. Also, I noticed the battery life to be very short, so I ended up buying like 3 extra batteries. I ended up selling it due the the fact that I found myself rarely getting into situations where I needed an underwater camera. I guess my iPhone 7 will need to suffice moving forward, or I’ll do what others have done, get another 1 Series with an underwater housing.

  • Jesús Castro

    I’ve been eyeing the Nikon 1 cameras for planetary photography for a while, do you know if you can use the camera without a lens? the 1 inch format and hi resolution photos would be awesome for staking planets photos taken through a telescope.

    • MiK Images

      Nikon N1 J5 can work without a lens (yes, in M-manual mode).
      I am not astrophoto spec, but remember there is 30 sek bulb time limit and 1” sensor is not the best (mean low noise) performer.

      • Jesús Castro

        The truth is that for planetary imaging noise performance and a 30 sec bulb limit aren’t a problem, most people use cheap webcams because the sensors are really small and planets like Saturn cover a pretty large area of the sensor, the problem is that most webcams are at best 1080p and produce terrible jps/mov files.

        What I like from the nikon 1 cameras is it’s 1″ sensor and the quality of the nikon files it produces, a small planet covers a much larger area of the sensor in this small chip unlike in a full frame sensor where a planet covers about a 1/200 part of the frame.

  • Umano Teodori

    I’d love to see a new aw1 but it has to be really waterproof

  • hussey

    Half the pics aren’t loading for me!

  • Steve James

    For the places & weather where I wouldn’t risk my D7200, I bought a AW130, just as tough, but quite a bit cheaper.
    OK it has 1/2.3″ sensor 1/4 size of the AW1, better zoom range and LCD just as bad in bright light.
    But best camera is the one you have with you ….

  • ChriZZZZ

    I had a bad experience with my AW1, as it was flooded during the first snorkeling of my holiday (of cause I checked the sealings). I never went into water with the replacement camera & sold it for the J5 when it came out. A J5 + underwater housing costs the same & you have a much better images and lighter camera when you don’t need it to be waterproof. I don’t even miss the robustness when i go hiking because i mostly used the AW1 with the 10-100mm then.

    if they ever bring an AW2 on market, i hope they will sell it with a compact wide Angle lens with wide aperture as a kit lens because i think this is a better solution for a outdoor camera than a zoom lens.

  • spicynujac

    I absolutely love my AW1. It did fail me after almost 2 years of use, sent in and my AMEX extended warranty covered the repair cost. Then it failed again on my next use– girlfriend later told me she saw a small pet hair in the battery door (and did not warn me! Ex-gf ha) and indeed, water leaked in there.

    It disabled the use of the menu button and new several of the features don’t work. I would send it in for repair and just stick to using it as a “wet” camera, not an underwater camera, but I’m not sure it’s worth the expense. It’s absolutely awesome for camping trips, kayaking, etc. where you are going down 1-3 feet in the water. But anything more and the slightest imperfection will cause leakage. You need to go over the camera with a magnifying glass before use, and that’s unrealistic for what the camera excels at–a travel / adventure camera.

    I don’t know if I’ll send in for repair. It does “work” now and I’m not sure if its worth spending money to fix. The sensor is old and not great at low light. The battery life is awful (though much better if you disable GPS). But the size, weight, AF, and video features are awesome and it takes photos you cannot take with any other camera (waterproof smartphones are now competing a bit).

    In my opinion they really should have made this non-interchangable lens, and put some extra work into making the battery compartment, the only leak prone spot, really waterproof. But it did get me to buy about 4 lenses, and they are all super. At this point I’ll just wait and see if there’s an AW2. I’ll buy it on day one.

  • Hans J

    oh wow!! I want it!!

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