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Nikon’s AW1 is set to make a splash…

AW1SplashLogoVisible
How many outlets will use that original headline, I wonder, and what inspiration leads to it…

AHN6000_AW1

Today, Nikon released the world’s first interchangeable lens digital camera – if you ignore the military version of the Nikonos RS underwater SLR produced with Kodak. Unlike that specialised system, the AW1 is intended for the consumer and is extremely affordable. Available in black, white or silver metal finish for £749 with standard 11mm-27.5mm F3.5-5.6 Zoom lens (equivalent, in 35mm terms, to 30mm to 74mm) which is rated for 15m submersion, or £949 with the 10mm F2.8 and the zoom, with the 10mm supporting 20m submersion.

AW1_11_27.5_SL_SLup

Part of NIkon’s 1-series, the AW1 sports the hybrid AF 14Mp sensor, high-speed shooting (now 15fps with continuous AF) and good high ISO abilities that defined the CX-mount family from the start, with some enhancements inherited from newer models and ideal for underwater use. First, though, let’s look at the mount that makes the AW1 so unique.

_DSC7731

It’s very similar, in concept, to the Nikonos RS mount, but reversed. Even the familiar grease to maintain the seals is included. Naturally, changing the lenses underwater is not possible, as the sensor and electronics are exposed – and any foreign body such as hair or sand will stand a chance of compromising that seal, so Nikon is placing a great deal of trust in their consumers’ ability to understand and maintain the camera properly.

As a member of the CX/1 family, the AW1′s physical lens mount and registration is unchanged, but the body includes a greater protrusion for the flange with a rubber gasket. On the new underwater lenses, the mount is recessed, with the extension of the barrel including a silicone liner. Mounting the underwater lenses is satisfyingly difficult, making it clear that this is sealing to back up the claims of 15m submersion.

AW11_27.5_SL_1

Aiding the underwater experience, the 11mm-27.5mm zoom has a grippy metal zoom collar for most of the barrel, and the AW1 uses an innovative ‘press and tilt’ mode selection – simply hold the mode button, and a virtual pendulum hangs on the LCD to indicate the mode. Tilt the camera body clockwise or vice-versa and it indicates one of the automatic modes for video, creative shooting etc. and selects it without any need for additional buttons or hands. This also eradicates the issue with the early Nikon 1, where the mode wheel could be knocked into a new shooting mode when extracting it from a bag or pocket.

AW1_WH_back

An underwater 10mm prime lens has also been introduced, which can be submerged to 20m.

AW10_BK_1

 

The AW1 does not make existing CX mount lenses suitable for use underwater, and the underwater lenses will not mount on existing CX bodies such as the V2. Yet the flexibility of the system does allow F-mount lenses via the adaptor, so opting for the AW1 really gives very little away in overall ability.

Other technical improvements include GPS/GLONASS support with compass, depth and altitude meters, shockproof from 2m capability, and an underwater Speedlight (the SB-N10) will also be introduced, though the camera’s own pop up flash can be used underwater. Several accessories have been announced, including the obligatory bright rubber housing which includes a grippy collar for the lens.

CF_N6000_OR

We had the opportunity to try a pre-production sample for water, drop resistance and handling, though not photography for publication as the firmware is yet to be finalised, with the camera release date set for 10th October. The silver metal body was particularly attractive, and it seems that at this point, this is where the Nikon 1 system and the CX mount come into their own – offering something truly unique, with a form factor and range of abilities that suits the intended user perfectly.

AW1 Specifications:

Type
Digital camera with support for interchangeable lenses
Lens mount
Nikon waterproof 1 mount
Effective angle of view
Approx. 2.7x lens focal length (35mm format equivalent)
Effective pixels
Effective pixels
14.2 million
Image sensor
Image sensor
13.2 mm x 8.8 mm CMOS sensor (Nikon CX format)
Storage
Image size (pixels)

Still images (auto, best moment capture, and all creative modes other than Easy panorama; aspect ratio 3:2)

  • 4608 x 3072
  • 3456 x 2304
  • 2304 x 1536

Still images
(Normal panorama, camera panned horizontally; aspect ratio 120:23)

  • 4800 x 920

Still images
(Normal panorama, camera panned vertically; aspect ratio 8:25)

  • 1536 x 4800

Still images
(Wide panorama, camera panned horizontally; aspect ratio 240:23)

  • 9600 x 920

Still images
(Wide panorama, camera panned vertically; aspect ratio 4:25)

  • 1536 x 9600

Still images
(taken during movie recording, aspect ratio 3:2)

  • 4608 x 3072 (1080/60i, 1080/30p)
  • 1280 x 856 (720/60p, 720/30p)

Still images
(Motion Snapshots; aspect ratio 16:9)

  • 4608 x 2592
File format
  • NEF (RAW): 12-bit, compressed
  • JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic (approx. 1:16) compression
  • NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control system
Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
Media
SD (Secure Digital), SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
File system
DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras) 2.3, PictBridge
Shooting modes
Shooting modes
auto; creative, with a choice of the following options: P, S, A, M, underwater, night landscape, night portrait, backlighting, easy panorama, soft, miniature effect, and selective color; best moment capture (slow view and Smart Photo Selector), advanced movie (HD-P, S, A, M only-and slow motion), Motion Snapshot
Shutter
Type
Electronic shutter
Speed
1/16,000-30 s in steps of 1/3 EV; BulbNote: Bulb ends automatically after approximately 2 minutes
Flash sync speed
Synchronizes with shutter at X=1/60 s or slower
Release
Modes
  • Single frame, continuous
  • Self-timer
Frame advance rate
Approx. 5, 15, 30, or 60 fps
Self-timer
2 s, 5 s, 10 s
Exposure
Metering
TTL metering using image sensor
Metering method
  • Matrix
  • Center-weighted: Meters 4.5 mm circle in center of frame
  • Spot: Meters 2 mm circle centered on selected focus area
Mode
  • P programmed auto with flexible program;
  • S shutter priority auto;
  • A aperture-priority auto;
  • M manual;
  • scene auto selector
Exposure compensation
-3-+3 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Exposure lock
Luminosity locked at metered value when shutter-release button is pressed halfway
ISO sensitivity
(Recommended Exposure Index)
ISO 160-6400 in steps of 1 EV; auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 160-6400, 160-3200, 160-800) available (user controlled when P, S, A, M, or underwater is selected in creative mode)
Active D-Lighting
On, off
Focus
Autofocus
Hybrid autofocus (phase-detection/contrast-detect AF); AF-assist illuminator
Lens servo
  • Autofocus (AF): Single AF (AF-S); continuous AF (AF-C); auto AF-S/AF-C selection (AF-A); fulltime AF (AF-F)
  • Manual focus (MF)
AF-area mode
Single-point, single-point (center), auto-area, subject tracking
Focus area
  • Single-point AF: 135 focus areas; the center 73 areas support phase-detection AF
  • Auto-area AF: 41 focus areas
Focus lock
Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single AF)
Face priority
On, off
Flash
Built-in flash
Manual pop-up
Guide Number (GN)
Approx. 5/16 (m/ft, ISO 100, 20 °C / 68 °F; at ISO 160, Guide Number is approx. 6.3/20.7)
Control
i-TTL flash control using image sensor
Mode
Fill flash, red-eye reduction, fill flash + slow sync, red-eye reduction + slow sync, rear curtain + slow sync, rear-curtain sync, off
Flash compensation
-3-+1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Flash-ready indicator
Lights when built-in flash unit is fully charged
White balance
Auto, underwater, incandescent, fluorescent, direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual, all except preset manual with fine tuning
Movie
Metering
TTL metering using image sensor
Metering method
  • Matrix
  • Center-weighted: Meters 4.5 mm circle in center of frame
  • Spot: Meters 2 mm circle centered on selected focus area
Frame size (pixels)/
recording rate

HD movies (aspect ratio 16:9)

  • 1920 x 1080 / 60 i (59.94 fields/s*)
  • 1920 x 1080 / 30 p (29.97 fps)
  • 1280 x 720 / 60 p (59.94 fps)
  • 1280 x 720 / 30 p (29.97 fps)

Slow-motion movies (aspect ratio 8:3)

  • 640 x 240 / 400 fps (plays at 30 p / 29.97 fps)
  • 320 x 120 / 1200 fps (plays at 30 p / 29.97 fps)

Motion Snapshot (aspect ratio 16:9)

  • 1920 x 1080 / 60 p (59.94 fps) (plays at 24 p / 23.976 fps)
File format
MOV
Video compression
H.264 / MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding
Audio recording format
AAC
Audio recording device
Built-in stereo microphone; sensitivity adjustable
Monitor
Monitor
7.5 cm (3-in.), approx. 921k-dot, TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Playback
Full-frame and thumbnail (4, 9, or 72 images or calendar) playback with playback zoom, movie and panorama playback, slide show, histogram display, auto image rotation, and rating option
Interface
USB
Hi-Speed USB
HDMI output
Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
Electronic compass/location data/altimeter/depth gauge
Electronic compass
16 headings (with 3-axis accelerometer attitude correction and automatic offset adjustment)
Location data
  • Receiving frequency: 1575.4200 MHz (GPS)/ 1598.0625-1605.3750 MHz (GLONASS)
  • Geodesics: WGS84
Altimeter
Operating range approximately -500-+4500 m (-1640-+14,760 ft)
Depth gauge
Operating range approximately 0-20 m (0-65.6 ft)
Supported languages
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, Vietnamese
Power source
Battery
One rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL20 battery
AC adapter
EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5C power connector (available separately)
Tripod socket
1/4-in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions/Weight
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 113.3 x 71.5 x 37.5 mm (4.5 x 2.9 x 1.5 in.), excluding projections
Weight
Approx. 356 g (12.6 oz) with battery and memory card but without body cap or O-ring protector; approx. 313 g (11.1 oz), camera body only
Operating environment
Temperature
-10 °C -+40 °C (+14 °F-104 °F) on land, 0 °C- +40 °C (+32 °F-104 °F) in water
Humidity
85% or less (no condensation)
Shockproof, waterproof, and dustproof performance
Shockproof performance 1, 2
Has passed in-house tests 3 to MIL-STD-810F Method 516.5: Shock standard
Waterproof performance 2
In-house tests have demonstrated JIS/IEC Class 8 (IPX8) waterproof performance; can be used at depths of up to 15 m (49 ft) for up to 60 minutes
Operating depth 2
Maximum 15 m (49 ft)
Dustproof performance 2
In-house tests have demonstrated JIS/IEC Class 6 (IP6X) dustproof performance
  • * Sensor output is about 60 fps.
  1. Does not apply when built-in flash is raised.
  2. With special-purpose waterproof lens attached.
  3. Using a test method derived from MIL-STD-810F Method 516.5: Shock, the product is dropped from a height of 200 cm (6.6 ft) onto a plywood surface 5 cm (2 in.) thick. Exterior deformation and surface damage are not tested. These in-house tests do not constitute blanket guarantees of invulnerability to damage or destruction.
  • Unless otherwise stated, all figures are for a camera with a fully-charged battery operating at the temperature specified by the Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA): 23 ±3 °C (73.4 ±5.4 °F).
  • Nikon reserves the right to change the specifications of the hardware and software described in this manual at any time and without prior notice. Nikon will not be held liable for damages that may result from any mistakes that this page may contain.

 

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One Response to “Nikon’s AW1 is set to make a splash…”

  1. Nikon AW1 – vattentät systemkamera | kajaknördar - paddling verkar kul Says:

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