Nikon AW1: the world’s first underwater interchangeable lens camera

Rugged, compact sub-aqua system features two new lenses – and can take a real pounding
Nikon AW1 main

Nikon AW1 main

Interchangeable lens cameras are often well-built, but few – if any – could take the kind of punishment you can dish out to the new Nikon AW1.

Nikon claims this snapper, which fits into the company’s 1 system, is the world’s first water- and shockproof interchangeable lens camera ever. It’s waterproof to a depth of 15m, shockproof to drops of 2m in height, freeze-proof up to -10 degrees celsius and fully sealed against dust.

Subaquatic shooting

Nikon AW1 in white

Nikon AW1 in white

It’s that “waterproof to 15m” spec that really interests us. This isn’t merely a splash-proof camera built to survive the odd unexpected downpour – it’s an actual underwater snapper you can take snorkelling. Previously, you’d have needed to invest in a bulky, awkward-to-use underwater housing if you wanted to take any lens-swapping snapper 'neath the waves, but the AW1 changes the game. We're itching to get hold of one, even if it means we have to endure a week-long trip to, say, the Bahamas in order to properly try it out.

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Sensory overload

Nikon AW1 with CF-N6000 silicone case

Nikon AW1 with CF-N6000 silicone case

The camera features a 14.2MP CMOS sensor and ISO up to 6400, continuous shooting speeds of up to 60fps (15fps with autofocus) and Nikon’s advanced hybrid autofocus system. A suite of built-in sensors (GPS, GLONASS, altimeter, depth gauge, compass, and virtual horizon) means every shot can be embedded with precise location and orientation detail.

You can even clad it in a rubbery CF-N6000 silicone jacket for extra grip and protection, and from spring next year a SB-N10 underwater Speedlight flash will be available.

Available from £750

Nikon AW 10mm lens

Nikon AW 10mm lens

Nikon AW1 in black

Nikon AW1 in black

Nikon AW1 in silver

Nikon AW1 in silver

There are two weatherproof lenses available for the AW1: an 11-27mm zoom and a 10mm F2.8 wide-angle prime. You can buy the camera and zoom for £750, the camera and both lenses for £950 and the 10mm alone for £300. They all go on sale from 10th October.