Numbers aren't liars, and sales figures from typical point-and-shoot cameras are confirming one thing in particular: that industry is dying. Impressive upgrades in smartphone camera technology has enabled the iPhone to become the most popular camera listed on Flickr, and phones in general are taking the place of conventional P&S shooters. Another wrinkle in all of this is the consumerization of higher-end technologies. Some features that were previously reserved for cutting-edge DSLRs can now be found in a newer breed of camera: the interchangeable lens model.
Nikon's first few entrants into this arena weren't anything to write home about
, falling well behind Sony's NEX line in terms of image quality and pricing. But, instead of trying to take Sony, Olympus and Panasonic on in a game those three are clearly winning, Nikon's latest ILC camera went for the all-important "unique factor." The company's newly-revealed AW1 is said to be the planet's first waterproof and fully ruggedized interchangeable lens camera, build to withstand extreme temperatures, drops, freezing nights, and the occasional dip in the river.
To complement the AW1, Nikon
also introduced two new waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof lenses, the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8. "As the world's first waterproof and shockproof Advanced Camera with Interchangeable Lens System, the Nikon 1 AW1 offers an exciting new option for the family who seeks both exhilaration and a durable yet versatile camera to complement their active lifestyle," said Masahiro Horie, Director of Marketing and Planning, Nikon Inc. "The Nikon 1 AW1 and the new 1 NIKKOR lenses are always ready to capture the action with high speed performance and incredible image quality that users have come to expect from the Nikon 1 System."
Featuring both a 14.2-megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor and Nikon's EXPEED 3A image processing engine, the AW1 is a step ahead on the technical side. There's a wide ISO range (160 to 6400), but those looking for noise-free night shots won't be pleased. Still, users are dealt a full manual control system, 1080p movie mode, a Slow Motion capture selection, and built-in Wi-Fi.
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 the 1 NIKKOR AW 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 and 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 lenses. The Nikon 1 AW1 kit with the 11-27.5mm will be available in October 2013 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $799.957. The Nikon 1 AW1 two lens kit with the 11-27.5mm and 10mm lenses will be available in October 2013 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $999.95. The unit will ship in black, silver and white. Additionally, the new accessory skins for the AW1, 11-27.5mm lens and 10mm lens will come in a variety of colors including black, khaki and orange. These skins will be available in October 2013 for the suggested retail price (SRP) of $36.96.
Rugged and intelligent? Nikon might just have a winner here.