Nikon 1 AW1

The waterproof, shockproof, freeze-proof camera perfect for rugged outdoor adventures


With the advancement of camera technology within mobile phones—like Nokia’s astounding 41-megapixel sensor in the recently released Lumia 1020, for example—the need for a separate everyday point and shoot camera is dwindling. But Nikon is proving where this sector is still relevant with the launch of the über-durable AW1—the latest addition to the Nikon 1 series.

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We put the waterproof and shockproof camera to the test on an outdoor adventure in Hudson, New York. During a day of rock climbing, we experienced its utility as a mobile phone fell to the ground just a few feet into the climb, resulting in a shattered screen. Meanwhile, we continued upward with the AW1s hanging loosely around our bodies, banging into boulders with complete disregard. The “Built For Life” AW1 two-lens camera doesn’t stop there—from shooting in steady rain while exploring the grounds of Bannerman Castle to submersing it underwater (where the pop-up flash still works) for a shot of the fish in Lake Mohonk, the camera withstood all elements.

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Beyond its utter resilience, the AW1 also has a fair amount of features, particularly slow-motion and the capacity to shoot stills while in video mode, that make it really fun to use and great for amateur photographers who want quality images without having to learn the nuances of the craft. The camera’s menus are designed for one-handed use and to avoid manual mode, which isn’t at all deplorable if you’re trying to shoot while simultaneously involved in an activity like kayaking, mountain biking, snowboarding (for which the camera is also freeze-proof), scuba diving or any sport where your hands are occupied or shoved into cumbersome gloves. The mirrorless camera is also perfect for spectators as well. Thanks to its ability to shoot full resolution images at 60 frames per second, you’re sure to get a clear shot of that winning goal.


An essential camera for any outdoor adventurist, the interchangeable-lens Nikon 1 AW1 sells online from Nikon and Amazon in black, silver and white, starting at $800. See more of the camera in action on Statigram or by following #NikonSubaruAdventure.

Photos by Karen Day; Instagram photos courtesy of Kyle Kappmeier