Nikon 1 AW1 is world’s first rugged, waterproof digital mirrorless

Nikon has announced the 1 AW1, the world’s first rugged, waterproof mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. It has also made AW versions of its 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 10mm f/2.8 lenses that are both shock and waterproof. The Nikon 1 AW1 features similar underlying specifications to the J3, featuring a 14MP sensor capable of shooting at up to 15 frames per second with continuous AF (60 fps with focus fixed), but is waterproof to a depth of 15m (49ft) and shockproof from a height of 2m (6.6 ft).

The 1 AW1 includes built-in GPS, altimeter and depth gauge, and its pop-up flash is also waterproof. The camera includes three modes that attempt to optimize underwater photographs. It will cost around $800/£750/€799 with 11-27.5mm lens and $1,000/£950/€1019 with the 10mm f/2.8 added to make a two-lens kit.

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From Tropical Tides to a Whitewater Adventure, the New Nikon 1 AW1 and Two New 1 NIKKOR AW Lenses Help Capture Family Adventures, Even When Traveling Off the Beaten Path

MELVILLE, NY (September 19, 2013) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the world’s first waterproof, shockproof interchangeable lens camera1, the Nikon 1 AW1. Also designed to be freezeproof, the durable and versatile AW1thrives in harsh environments while delivering the high-performance features and incredible image quality that thrill-seeking families need to capture every moment and memory. By land or by sea, from the tropics to snowy peaks, this newest addition to the Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System (ACIL) is equipped with outdoor friendly features to capture amazing photos and stunning Full HD video.

To complement the AW1, Nikon also introduced two new waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof lenses, the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8. Striking the ideal balance between portability and performance, the robust 11-27.5mm lens offers a versatile lens option with a 2.5x zoom range. Additionally, the portable wide-angle 10mm lens offers a fast f/2.8 aperture to help deliver a shallow depth of field and excellent low-light performance.

“As the world’s first waterproof and shockproof Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System, the Nikon 1 AW1 offers an exciting new option for the family who seeks both exhilaration and a durable yet versatile camera to complement their active lifestyle,” said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. “The Nikon 1 AW1 and the new 1 NIKKOR lenses are always ready to capture the action with high speed performance and incredible image quality that users have come to expect from the Nikon 1 System.”

The Nikon 1 AW1: The World’s First Waterproof and Shockproof Interchangeable Lens Camera

Whether the destination is to the beach, the slopes or a mountain pass, the Nikon 1 AW1 is a must-pack accessory for any adventure. Waterproof (down to 49 feet), shockproof (up to 6.6 feet) and freezeproof (down to 14° F), the AW1 can handle the toughest conditions while capturing fast action. Though built to be durable and robust, the camera retains a compact and lightweight body, making it easy to carry on any expedition, above or below sea level.

Additionally, the versatile Nikon 1 AW1 offers the unique feature set that adventurers of all levels can take full advantage of, whether tackling a black diamond slope or an unfamiliar trail. With built-in GPS technology, AW1 users can track their travels while identifying the exact longitude and latitude where an image or video was captured. The AW1 is also equipped with an altimeter, a depth gauge, an electronic compass and a virtual horizon indicator. What’s more, the cameras pop-up flash is waterproof as well, allowing the user to add light to a scene automatically or on command.

Capturing the Perfect Shot: The Performance and Speed of the Nikon 1 AW1

Featuring both a14.2-megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor and Nikon’s EXPEED 3A image processing engine, the AW1 produces sharp, high-quality images and HD video with great detail and color, even in challenging lighting situations. The Nikon 1 AW1 also sports a wide ISO range (160 to 6400), allowing users to capture sharp photos in a variety of lighting, even while handheld.

Swift performance and rapid response are hallmarks of the Nikon 1 System, and in similar fashion the   the AW1 includes Nikon’s superfast and extremely responsive Advanced Hybrid Autofocus (AF) system that affords users the ability to capture incredibly fast moving action. To capture even the fastest moving subjects with clarity, the 73-point AF array can lock on to the action in approximately 80 milliseconds2. To help ensure that no moment is missed, the AW1 offers the world’s fastest continuous shooting frame rate (approx. 15 frames-per-second [fps] with AF)3 and continuous shooting at 60 fps when the focus is locked.

Ready for the Next Adventure: The Feature Set of the Nikon 1 AW1

The compact Nikon 1 AW1 strikes the perfect balance between creative and user-friendly features and controls. Similar to the Nikon COOLPIX AW110, the AW1 also includes Action Control, which allows users to control certain functions of the camera simply by swinging it in the air. This feature makes it easier to adjust the camera underwater or when wearing gloves.

When using the Nikon 1 AW1, the Creative Mode menu provides an easy way to utilize full manual exposure controls (P,S,A,M) as well as Selective Color, Miniature, Soft, Night Landscape, Backlighting and Night Portrait modes. Additionally, Easy Panorama provides a simple way to capture vast landscapes from a wide perspective of awe-inspiring landscapes.

The Nikon 1 AW1 incorporates Full HD 1080p video capabilities as well as Advanced Movie Mode. In Advanced Movie Mode, users can shoot Full HD video and high-resolution stills simultaneously. Additionally, Slow Motion Movies can capture all the action at either 400 fps or 1200 fps. The AW1 also features Enhanced Motion Snapshot Mode, which provides shooters with the option of capturing a quick passing moment with a short, slow-motion movie sequence in addition to a single defining still image.

When Best Moment Capture Mode is selected, camera users have access to Smart Photo Selector or Slow View modes. With Smart Photo Selector, the AW1 can capture up to 20 shots with a simple press of the shutter button, and the camera will select the best shot. Slow View is ideal for extreme action sports; once focus is achieved and the shutter button is pressed halfway down, users capture live action (approx. 1.33 seconds) while the subject is displayed in slow motion on the screen. A slowed-down view is then continuously looped over until the shutter is fully pressed, resulting in an amazing moment that would have been otherwise been missed.

Furthermore, the Nikon 1 AW1 features an intuitive Auto Mode to help users frame the perfect shot with ease. The AW1 also comes equipped with Live Image Control, giving the user access to real time adjustments of Active D-Lighting, Background Softening, Motion Control and Brightness Control, which are displayed on the AW1’s LCD screen prior to capture.

When it’s time for some aquatic action, the Nikon 1 AW1 offers several underwater controls. When in Underwater mode, users can choose from either three options (standard, scuba, close-up), which will automatically adjust the camera’s settings to deliver optimal results based on the type of activity that a user is participating in. Additionally, the Underwater White Balance setting makes adjusting white balance simple, while the Underwater Distortion Control corrects the effects of distortion caused by water.

Share the Adventure: Wirelessly Send Images from the Nikon 1 AW1

For those who want to share their images from their latest expeditions instantly, users will be able to take advantage of the AW1’s Wi-Fi capabilities. Similar to previous Nikon 1 System cameras like the Nikon 1 J3, the Nikon 1 AW1 is fully compatible with Nikon’s optional WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter4, allowing high-quality images to seamlessly be transferred to compatible smart devices wirelessly.  If using the free Wireless Mobile Adapter Utility application for Android™5 platform smart devices as well as iPhone® and iPad®6 mobile digital devices, AW1 users will have the ability to remotely take photos with the camera from a smartphone or tablet as well.

The 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and AW 10mm f/2.8: New Lenses for the Nikon 1 AW1

Alongside the new Nikon 1 AW1, the waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 provide two versatile lens options for the individual looking for a compact camera system that can keep up with their active lifestyle. When attached to the AW1, these lenses can handle tough conditions while being waterproof (up to 49 feet), shockproof (up to 6.6 feet) and freezeproof(down to 14° F). The compact 11-27.5mm is a lightweight yet durable lens that packs a 2.5x zoom (30-74mm equivalent) and is ideal for capturing landscapes and portraiture during a family’s latest expedition. Portable and ultra-compact, the 10mm provides AW1 shooters with a wide angle of view, useful when capturing everything from sweeping landscapes to close-up action that fills the frame. Not to be outdone, the 10mm has a fast aperture of f/2.8, to capture special moments with incredible clarity and a soft natural background, even in challenging light such as dusk or when underwater.

For further versatility when out of the water, the Nikon 1 AW1 is also fully compatible with the expanding lineup of incredibly sharp 1 NIKKOR lenses, Nikon 1 accessories, as well as a wide range F-Mount NIKKOR lenses when connected to the FT-1 Mount Adapter.

New Nikon 1 Accessories: New Skins Provide More Control and Personal Flair

Demonstrating Nikon’s commitment to the newly introduced waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof products, Nikon also introduced new accessory skins for the Nikon 1 AW1 and the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. To provide more grip, comfort and control when shooting, the new accessory skins provide extra protection while also adding visibility and personal flair to their Nikon 1 Camera System setup.

For those adventurers looking for the flexibility to swap lenses in environments with extreme temperature and humidity changes, Nikon has developed a new filter attachment, the Filter AW 40.5 NC, to effectively combat the common occurrence of condensation. Nikon has also announced the development of the SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight. The SB-N10 will offer extra illumination when capturing still images underwater or in extreme low-light conditions.

Price and Availability:

The Nikon 1 AW1 will be available as a one-lens kit, with the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, and a two-lens kit with the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6  and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 lenses. The Nikon 1 AW1 kit with the 11-27.5mm will be available in October 2013 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $799.957. The Nikon 1 AW1 two lens kit with the 11-27.5mm and 10mm lenses will be available in October 2013 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $999.957. To complement consumers’ preferences, the Nikon 1 AW1 kits will come in three different colors including black, silver and white. Additionally, the new accessory skins for the AW1, 11-27.5mm lens and 10mm lens will come in a variety of colors including black, khaki and orange. These skins will be available in October 2013 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $36.967. Lastly, the new Filter AW 40.5 NC attachment will be available in Spring 2014, though the suggested retail price (SRP) has not yet been announced.

For more information on these new Nikon 1 Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System products as well as other Nikon products, please visit

1Among digital cameras with interchangeable lenses available as of September 9, 2013 (according to research conducted by Nikon Corporation).
2Among digital cameras with interchangeable lenses available as of September 9, 2013 as determined by Nikon performance tests; measured when using the single-point AF mode and the shortest focal length of 1 NIKKOR VR 10-30mm f/3.5-5.6 (according to research conducted by Nikon Corporation).
3Among digital cameras with interchangeable lenses available as of September 9, 2013 (according to research conducted by Nikon Corporation).

Nikon 1 AW 1 specifications

Additional images

 Nikon 1 AW1 showing waterproof pop-up flash  
   Nikon 1 AW1 with (optional) protective skin
Nikkor 1 AW 10mm f/2.8  Nikkor 1 AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6

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Nikon 1 AW1



I don’t know how it’s going to stand from the marketing point of view and I don’t give a monkey’s about diving, but I could certainly use one of these for cycling. Light, decent IQ, waterproof, reasonably crash-proof, interchangeable lenses – what’s not to like? I already use my J1 + lenses for cycling but once it rains it’s into the plastic bags and that’s that. With this new offering I could take 50% more pictures (yes, I’m in Europe).

Same probably goes for mountaineering & other extreme sports.


I don’t know about the post below me but I think this is an overdue and excellent idea for mirrorless cameras- heck, for any type of camera. Nobody has made a real waterproof enthusiast camera to date.

I didn’t see a button that could be programmed for AEL lock though. I’ll read up on it before making a final initial opinion on it. Have to have an AEL lock button.

Either way, excellent idea Nikon, good for you to bring something like this to the market and actually put the first body out for the 1 system that garners any of my interest what so ever.



This is too funny. Nikon 1 is a dead end so how can we squeeze the last bit from it? Let’s ruggedize it.. any try to compete on the established action cam market. Oh, by the way .. the other 1-lenses won’t fit. LOL

What’s good about all this? It givesw Nikon a way to retire the 1 series on land without loosing face, and finally give us a 1 inch product.


That’s incorrect: The other lenses will fit in the AW, although the AW lenses won’t fit on the existing bodies.


Sea water or fresh water?


I wanna change lenses under water.


The $800 kit with 11-27.5 can be easily replaced by $300 Oly TG-2 or Pentax WG-3 GPS (f/2 at the short end compensates for smaller sensor in low light). But the cameras also have image stabilization and significantly more compact (can be actually put into a pocket of your swimming trunks) and their zoom ranges are wider. With add-on lenses for TG-2 and its close-focusing capability, it is so much more capable than this Nikon it is not even funny.


TG-2 has a 28 mm2 sensor, Nikon 1 has 116 mm2, i.e. 4x larger. This alone makes up for the slower kit zoom (1,6 EV).
Plus there is the prime with f2,8.
And it has an advantage every ILC has: you can switch lenses and when not in water, you can put on a 32mm f1,2 lens and compete with APS-C.


I don’t think 1+1/2 stop is enough to compensate better sensor.

This and the other things of being more compact, with more zoom range, better macro capability… could be said of Canon G16, Oly’s XZ, Pana’s LX, Nikon P7x00… against a lot of mirrorless. Only the price is similar.


It may have similar low light ability, but If you’ve read any of the reviews of the TG-2, you’ll know that the image quality is just awful and won’t even be remotely comparable to this.


Looks like Nikon is trying to find a niche in the market that hasn’t been filled by anyone else. Extra rugged large-sensor interchangeable lens cameras would definitely be better than the rugged compacts already available.


They did find it. 🙂

And I totally agree with you.


Why can’t Nikon introduce a new 1 series camera utilizing Sony’s 20 MP 1″ Exmor R sensor…?! Or could it possibly be that Sony simply won’t license the rights to that sensor to Nikon at the present time…?!

Andy Crowe

Maybe they can’t integrate the PDAF sensors into that chip?


Aptina’s sensor is much faster (1/80s full-sensor readout, allowing them not to have mechanical shutters in this and other 1 cameras except V-series), having integrated PDAF and about the same in image quality. Why would they give money to their competitor for inferior product?

Richard Murdey

I find it amazing (unbelievable?) that the lens & lens mount would survive a 2m fall onto a hard surface.


My D700/24-85 f2.8-4 survived a 2m fall onto tarmac with me on top of it when I slipped on ice. I don’t see why this should be any less rugged.

Andy Westlake

The lenses are in a ruggedised housing and feature a revised, much more solid mount (which is why they won’t fit on existing 1 system cameras). I went to a UK press event yesterday where journalists were merrily throwing the camera around, dropping it onto a hard floor, and throwing it into a water tank. The various camera on display all survived this abuse apparently unscathed.


Is that enough for you Richard? Thanks for the report Andy.



They should buried Nikon 1 system 2m bellow the ground, not throw it into the water.


Yes the AW1 will be very good for caving as well as diving thanks to its excellent low light capabilities. Good to see a someone posting who has some idea of the Nikon 1’s great features for action sports.


If all you ever do is to “baby” your gear then this is not for you.

But there are a lot of us who want to take compact, rugged cameras to places that you’ve probably never even dreamed of. For example, paragliding at 3000m.

I have a V1 (as well as a D800 and D300) and would much prefer the AW1. And it would be great to travel with in rough places.

Some people think that if something is useless to them then it’s gotta be useless to everyone.


I disagree at least on this body. The other bodies for the 1 system …I’ll be nice an just say don’t give me any interest at all. But this one does.



Looks like nikon found their niche. Interesting camera.


Very nice! Why cannot Sony make Waterproof RX Series?


This has some real appeal especially to us outdoor types.

Well done Nikon.

Rod McD

Interesting camera. I’m down on record (in the comments pages of the rugged camera reviews) as saying that someone needed to make one with a larger sensor. And here it is…..

I was hoping for APSC, but this is still a major improvement. I like it – it’ll be a great camera for my beachy and adventurous kids. Good for sailing and kayaking too. A real test will be the performance of the zoom – it needs to be good to attract serious users who like outdoor photography and don’t want crappy compact IQ.

I think Nikon really need to release a couple of extra lenses, but perhaps that will come if the camera is successful. It’s disappointing that the wide prime isn’t wider. In fact I can’t see the point of offering a 28mm (35mm equiv) and a 30mm-74mm zoom (35mm equiv). And it’s only half a stop faster. The system needs a decent wide, maybe a 20mm or 24mm (35mm equiv) especially for underwater use, and a tele-photo zoom.


Art of recycling the 1 wrong system





Mirrorless Crusader

This is bound to be a niche product. A good niche product, for sure, but this isn’t going to be a “regular camera” for many people when they could get the same thing for $300-400 less without the waterproofing.


“bond to be a niche product” Are you serious? Cavers, climbers, hill walkers, mountain bikers, sailors, surfers, wind surfers, companies that work in difficult conditions, divers, beach-goers, hang glider pilots and orienteers to mention a few examples, are going to love this. A waterproof camera that does 60fps is going to sell faster than Nikon can make them, especially at this reasonable price.


All of them would be better with Oly TG-2.


Groucher, I like this camera, we’ll see though if it sells faster than nikon can make them. Remember that small size is very important for many on your list (compacts, and they have many WP ones out there).



Maybe first rugged, but definitely second waterproof. The first was OM-D E-M1.


OM-D E-M1 is “splash-proof”… I would not try to shot with it 49 feet under the water. With this you can!


E-M5 was there already my friend…


OK put the 12-50 or 60mm on and jump in the pool and swim a few meters under water. If you don’t have a pool put it in the bath tub for a few minutes. I am an Olympus user and they have great weather and splash sealing but waterproof as in full immersion I think not.


The EM1 is not waterproof. Splashproof and waterproof are two entirely different categories- and many mirrorless cameras and DSLRS are splashproof.


Aleo Veuliah

Well done Nikon.


Finally, not only a digital Nikonos, but now we have a rugged camera that does RAW.


And what about lens changing under water?
Without that this device wouldn’t be considered waterproof)))


I hope that is sarcasm?


I wish you could see my face right now.


The next move should be Nikon 1 Super Zoom. Like 800mm focal length.

Chaitanya S

Great idea. Lets wait and watch how it sells.


Only 1080 60i and 720 only 60p? 🙁
Not action camera replacement


yeah youre right, i wont touch one now if its not 4k


Outstanding development and direction, because there is absolutely no buzz regarding the concept of an APS-C mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses, particularly one that might take…..existing DX lenses. Just saying.


Maybe we will see some day a real Nikonos in digital, and that has old Nikonos mount and uses same lenses, and, FF sensor.

Franka T.L.

Actually Nikon need to made versions of both the 18.5 and 32mm as well, underwater, when light is naturally less intense, the cam need the speed. And it need a lens that’s wider than 10mm. Underwater, with a different transmission media ( water instead of air ) the coverage of all lens narrows.

This is interesting development for the 1 system. And the outdoor tough cam market is actually a pretty big one. But all we have is either action cam like Go PRO or petite sensor like Nikon’s own Coolpix AW series. Or else it would be full blown system type DSLR / Mirrorless with underwater housing. This 1 AW certainly made a very viable alternative.


I’d better like an underwater version of the 6.7-13, even if it was a fixed 6.7/3.5. At least compacts cover normal zoom range, but for UWA this AW could be an easy and (relatively) inexpensive solution.

Stealthy Ninja

I can’t wait for someone to try to change lenses underwater…


Advice will flood in!

new boyz

Then they’ll complain about watercolor effect on their photos.

new boyz

I like the orange version.


Wow, interesting concept… maybe great for divers at the pricepoint… But a big lens like that, and good light… Well the current rugged point and shoots may have it trumped… I mean in the harshest conditions who wants to change lenses… Just saying.


49 ft depth limit, not good for divers.




They should have built it around the 100ft Nitrox 32 depth limit which applies to very many divers anyway. 49ft is useless when your buddies want to be free to exploit the standard nitrox limit.


If this is Nikon’s plan for developing the system, I’ll take it they’re throwing in the towel in the ML market. It’s a soft landing if you will, for us V1 owners– technically they’re not discontinuing the system, but then again they’re going so niche that they may as well.


Underwater Speedlight too! Sold.


Flash sync, 1/60…
It’s too slow to be used underwater in good conditions, too bad.


why is the x-sync at 1/60?


This should of been the V3.


Oh Nikon. You mention “auto mode” as a feature and then say $999.00 with lens. Contour just folded shop cause they couldn’t compete with GoPro. If the fire sale on 1’s recently is any indication on what people are willing to pay…….


Find me an UW camera that shoots RAW with IL under several thousand dollars. UW housings are often more expensive than the cameras they hold. I’m pretty impressed that you can get this kit for $1000 and then are ready to take in UW as is. Also street price might drop a bit. Those current junk P&S UW cameras cost $300-400 and can’t even produce good IQ out of water.


nikon case for V1 is currently around 500 dollars. when really waterproof, you could simply throw your new AW1 inside the pool/lake and that’s just awesome for me. definitely better handling!

i love to see more models in the Nikon 1 lineup.

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