Nikon’s no stranger to underwater cameras, with experience dating back 50 years to the Calypso 35mm camera, which later evolved into the no-longer-available Nikonos underwater cameras. Now the company has released the waterproof Nikon 1 AW1. Essentially, this is a Nikon 1 J3 camera that’s waterproof to 49 feet, shockproof to 6.6 feet and freezeproof to 14 degrees F. While 49 feet is a little shallow for some SCUBA divers (we’d like to see a depth-rating of 130 feet), the camera offers built-in color and distortion controls to compensate for underwater conditions. The pop-up flash works underwater as well, and Nikon is in the process of developing an underwater Speedlight (the SB-N10).
In addition to withstanding the elements below and above water, the Nikon 1 AW1 is equipped with an altimeter, depth gauge, GPS and an electronic compass. Some settings can be changed by simply moving the camera (think flick-of-the-wrist), so you won’t have to fuss with dials and buttons while wearing heavy gloves.
At the same time, Nikon has also introduced two equally-rugged, waterproof lenses: an 11-27.5mm (30-74.24mm-equivalent) zoom and a 10mm (27mm-equivalent) prime. Above water, the Nikon 1 AW1 is compatible with the same lenses and accessories as the Nikon 1 J3. Nikon also announced accessory skins as well as a filter attachment (AW 50.5 NC) for the 1 AW 1 to help combat condensation under extreme temperatures and humidity.
Shipping in October, 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 both the 11-27.5mm and the 1 Nikkor AW 10mm f/2.8 lenses. The kits will come in black, silver or white.
one-lens kit: $800
two-lens kit: $1,000
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