The black Nikon 1 AW1 Mirrorless Digital Camera is a compact mirrorless camera designed specifically for use in some of the harshest conditions and for underwater shooting. Its rugged, weather-sealed construction is waterproof to 49.2' and shockproof to withstand falls from up to 6.6'. Other key elements incorporated within the body further enhance its use in trying conditions, including sealed and lockable compartment covers, underwater-specific color compensation settings, a wide range of environmental sensing functions, and a dedicated Action control button for intuitive motion-based selection of certain camera settings.
In regard to imaging, the 1 AW1 features a CX-format 14.2MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 3A image processor to produce high resolution still imagery and full HD video recording with tremendous speed and notable low-light sensitivity to support working with in a wide array of shooting scenarios. Full-resolution continuous shooting with full-time AF is supported up to 15 fps, or, when the focus is locked after the first frame, an incredibly quick 60 fps shooting rate can be achieved. An advanced hybrid AF system employs both contrast- and phase-detection focusing methods in order to acquire focus both quickly and accurately and will automatically switch between to the two focusing types depending on the detected scene type.
Enhancing the imaging capabilities are a set of shooting modes designed to isolate key frames in an automatic and intuitive way through the use of successive shooting and intelligent detection to determine the best frame within a series. In-camera panoramic and HDR imagery is possible as well as multi-medium imagery via the unique Motion Snapshot mode, which integrates slow motion video along with a single still frame.
Included with the camera body are the black 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens, which provides a 35mm-equivalent field of view of 30-74mm, and the black 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 lens, which provides a 35mm-equivalent field of view of 27mm. Together, these lenses cover wide-angle to portrait-length perspectives to support working in a wide array of shooting conditions. Both lenses feature the same robust build quality as the camera body and both integrate aspherical elements and protective glass elements to minimize various aberrations throughout the zoom range and maintain a sense of security when using either lens in inclement conditions.
Rugged, Elegant, and Functional Design
The camera body features a fully weather-sealed design, when coupled with 1 NIKKOR AW lenses, that renders it water, shock, dust, and freezeproof to withstand even the most inclement conditions. It employs sealing rubber for the camera cover, operation buttons, battery chamber cover, pop-up flash, connector cover, lens release button as well as an O-ring within the lens mount in order to achieve JIS/IEC Class 8 (IPX8) waterproof performance, supporting the 1 AW1's use underwater for depths up to 49.2'. The tough build quality also presents the ability for the camera to withstand drops from up to 6.6' (MIL-STD 810F Method 516.5) and temperatures as low as 14°F, making it ideal for use in nearly any condition.
While highly robust, the body is also designed with contemporary styling in mind by way of a high-grade metallic exterior, stainless steel front panel, sturdy strap hooks, and softly rounded edges that are both aesthetic and functional in regard to preserving the overall durability. A textured, non-slip grip has been added to the front of the camera to better support use in rigorous shooting situations. Large buttons and a well-spaced layout contribute to intuitive control and double-lock compartment covers significantly reduce the likelihood of accidental opening for greater peace of mind.
14.2MP CMOS Sensor and EXPEED 3A Image Processor
A CX-format 14.2 megapixel and EXPEED 3A image processor are integrated into the design of the 1 AW1 to produce high-resolution still imagery and full HD 1080i/p video recording with natural color rendering and notable low-light sensitivity to ISO 6400. These two technologies also work together to enable a wealth of speed throughout the system, benefitting both the focusing and continuous shooting capabilities.
There is no optical low-pass filter within the camera's design, enabling the image sensor to attain the greatest amount of detail and sharpness to present clean imagery with smooth color gradations and tonality. The sensor also contributes significantly to the hybrid focusing system for improved response and accuracy to support working with a variety of subject types.
The image processor contributes to efficient processing of photos and movies and also handles speed and memory-intensive tasks, such as Smart Photo Selector and Motion Snapshot modes, simultaneous photo and movie recording, and continuous shooting up to 60 fps.
Advanced Hybrid AF System
Employing both contrast- and phase-detection focusing methods, the 1 AW1 features an all-around auto focusing system that is fast, precise, and controllable. When working with fast-paced, moving subject matter, phase-detection AF excels in its ability to quickly acquire focus utilizing a 73-point array that covers a broad range of the image frame. In difficult lighting conditions, the contrast-detection method is the chosen focusing system and uses 135 points across the entire frame to ensure critical sharpness. The advanced hybrid system oscillates between these two methods depending on the detected scene type in order to continuously produce crisp imagery regardless of the lighting or subject matter.
Nikon 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 10mm f/2.8 Lenses
Both the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 lenses are included along with the 1 AW1 body, and together provide a 35mm-equivalent field of view of 27-74mm. The mixture of having both a prime and a zoom lens enables greater versatility while shooting; the zoom lens covers a range of perspectives, whereas the prime lens allows for a more intuitive means of shooting and has a faster maximum aperture. Like the camera body, both lenses feature a weather-sealed design and are waterproof to 49.2' and shockproof to 6.6'.
The 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 incorporates a wide zoom ring for enhanced tactility and handling support. One aspherical element and one extra-low dispersion element work together to minimize chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range and one protective glass element maintains a sense of security when using this lens in trying conditions. The 10mm f/2.8 exhibits a more compact, minimal design than the zoom lens and also utilizes one aspherical element and one protective glass element to enhance image quality and offer reinforced protection to the lens when in use.
High-Speed Continuous Shooting
High-speed continuous shooting is benefitted by both the processing power as well as the phase-detection focusing method to support full-resolution recording of up to 15 fps with full-time focusing to maintain consistent sharpness. With the focus position set after the first recorded frame, continuous shooting up to an impressive 60 fps is possible in order to clearly record and freeze even the fastest movements.
In order to alleviate the need of using multiple buttons for navigating through camera menus, the dedicated Action control button allows user to easily select and refine certain camera settings by depressing a single button and tilting the camera to the right or left. This method of selection, which is especially beneficial for gloved or underwater usage, can adjust shooting modes, display contrast and brightness, advance and rewind movies, and control image playback from within a highly intuitive interface. Once the Action button is released, the settings will remain locked until future refinements are made.
Intelligent Moment Capture
Three distinct methods for emphasizing and highlighting a specific subject are available and can be used to aid in the editing process of imagery as well as for ensuring the crucial moment is captured during shooting. Slow view will automatically record 20 individual frames in just over a second by half-pressing the shutter release button, with the individual results visible on the LCD monitor. During playback, the images are displayed in a slow-motion slideshow and, once you find the specific moment desired, you fully press the shutter button in order for that frame to be automatically saved. Similarly, Smart Photo Selector is an automated shooting mode that works to ensure the critical moment is recorded by shooting up to 20 sequential frames, beginning just prior to fully depressing the shutter button and continuing after the shutter button is released. These frames are automatically sifted through and the five most pleasing shots are presented based on the least amount of detected eye blink, subjects moving out of the frame, and hand shake. The lesser images are automatically deleted and, for even more simplicity, the camera can also just select a single frame based on these pre-defined constraints for minimal editing needed.
Motion Snapshot is a unique mode that works to enhance still imagery by appending four seconds of slow motion video, set to selected music, to the file to provide a multimedia image that adds a greater sense of drama and continuity to imagery. Motion Snapshots are created in-camera but can also be modified during post-production by using the included Short Movie Creator or Nikon Movie Editor software.
Creative Underwater Mode
A dedicated creative underwater mode helps to overcome some of the most common challenges photographers are faced with when photographing during dives. Beginning with the inherent color shift of photographing in different color waters, this mode works to compensate for the color shifts in order to produce rich, naturally toned imagery. Three distinct settings are available: Standard for swimming in pools or other shallow waters, Scuba for deeper dives, and Close Up for maintaining color fidelity with nearer subjects when using the waterproof built-in pop-up flash. Each color compensation effect can be previewed on the LCD screen for selecting the best-fit based on specific conditions.
Full HD Movie Recording
Full HD 1080i/p video recording is supported in both 60 and 30 fps frame rates, respectively, as well as HD 720p at 60 or 30 fps. Enhancing control over the look and feel of movies, Advanced movie mode allows users to employ full P/A/S/M modes for personalized refinement over recording. Additionally, three-second-long slow-motion movie recording is available for an enhanced dramatic appearance in an 8:3 aspect ratio with equivalent frame rates of either 400 or 1200 fps, which playback at 30 fps.
Rounding out the movie mode is the ability to simultaneously record both still photos and HD movies without skipping frames within the movie. When shooting video the shutter release button can be pressed at any time in order to take a high-resolution still image with the same applied exposure settings to provide a greater sensor of continuity between imagery.
Sensing Functions and Wireless Connectivity
A wide range of environmental sensing functions complements this camera's outdoor usage and includes a dual function altimeter and depth gauge, electronic compass, virtual horizon, and GPS/GLONASS support. The information from each of these technologies is logged within image's metadata for further use and plotting during post-production.
- An altimeter/depth gauge allows users to check altitude from -1640.4' to +14,763.8' in 3.3' increments.
- The electronic compass helps to find specific directions and adds this information to the image's EXIF data when using either the 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 or 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.
- The virtual horizon is an objective means to aid in registering perfectly level horizons and plumb verticals when shooting.
- GPS (Global Positioning System) and GLONASS (Global Navigation Satellite System) support helps to improve locational accuracy and speed for recording this information within an image's EXIF data. This geotagging functionality can be further enhanced with the included ViewNX 2 software for precisely plotting images on a virtual map based on where they were taken.
- The 1 AW1 is also compatible with the WU-1b Wireless Mobile Adapter (not water- or shock-proof) for easy transferring of files between the camera and a linked mobile device for instant sharing possibilities. This mobile adapter also supports the use of a mobile device for remote live view monitoring and control over the camera's shutter release. Also aiding in sharing of imagery, photos and movies can be sent directly to the NIKON IMAGE SPACE, which provides users with 20GB of space for sharing and storing images.
Other Camera Features
- A large 3.0" 921k-dot LCD monitor enables bright, clear live view monitoring, image playback, and intuitive menu navigation. Live image control allows you to preview the results of settings adjustments prior to shooting and become more familiar with how specific functions alter the finalized appearance of an image.
- The control lock feature allows you to lock certain buttons in order to avoid accidental pressing or alteration of settings.
- Easy panorama supports the creation of broad, expansive panoramic images in-camera in a simple and intuitive manner.
- Selective color allows you to select a specific colored object with a frame, isolate it, and set it against a monochromatic background.
- Backlighting control functions in a similar way as HDR imagery and helps to extend the visible dynamic range of an image and prevent blocked-up shadows or blown-out highlights by recording multiple, differently exposed, images at once and combining them into a single frame.
- Other shooting modes available include Soft, Night portrait, Night landscape, Miniature effect, full P/A/S/M manual control, dedicated underwater white balance and auto distortion settings, background softening, Active D-Lighting, Brightness control, Motion control, fully Auto mode, Face-priority, and Picture Control settings, which include Vivid, Portrait, Standard, Monochrome, Neutral, and Landscape options.
- Eye-Fi memory cards are supported for wireless image transferring.
- An HDMI jack allows for direct connection between the camera and an HDTV for high-definition playback.
- Language support: Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Marathi, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese (European and Brazilian), Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Spanish, Swedish, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Turkish, Ukrainian, and Vietnamese.