Want a rugged mirrorless camera that can survive your rugged outdoor excursions? Sure, just buy one and throw in a rugged case. If dealing with those expensive bulky cases isn't what you had in mind, though, the Nikon 1 AW1 is definitely worthy of your consideration.
Billed as "the world’s first waterproof, shockproof, interchangeable lens camera," the compact shooter makes a perfect companion for wild outdoor adventures both in land and water. Whether you're climbing cliffs, rafting rivers or snorkeling in the ocean, you can capture memorable moments without worrying about turning your camera into a victim of nature's wrath. Oh yeah, the pop-up flash is waterproof, too, so you can have your underwater scenes graced with a little extra illumination.
The Nikon 1 AW1 boasts a heavy-duty construction that can resist water (up to 49 feet deep), shock (up to 6 feet drops) and even freezing temperatures (up to to 14°F) without looking nothing more than a regular compact shooter. Specs aren't quite as powerful as regular interchangeable lens systems, although they're a good deal better than point-and-shoots, which, when combined with the rugged qualities, make for a unique offering in the market. It houses a CX format 1-inch 14 megapixel CMOS sensor, paired with EXPEED 3A image processing. Because it comes with a smaller chip than standard interchangeable lens cameras, it's endowed with a higher frame rate potential, allowing for features such as burst still shooting, super-slow-motion video, and other novice-friendly modes.
Aimed at adventure-loving amateur photographers, it comes with an altimeter, a depth gauge, an electronic compass, built-in GPS, and an Action Control that lets you trigger functions by combining a single button in the rear with a simple swinging gesture. It can work with any Nikon 1 series lenses, although you'll need either the AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 or the AW 10mm f/2.8 to keep it fully waterproof.
Slated for availability in October, the Nikon 1 AW1 retaills for $800 with the 11-27.5mm lens and $1000 with both waterproof lenses in tow.