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Nikon 1 AW1 Digital Camera Review
nikon20140710a.jpgDigital Camera Review by: Ashley Akers
Sometimes a lot of things can happen real fast: a car that pulls out in front of you, dinner that burns, a child that falls, all in the blink of an eye. But when do you actually get to have something amazing happen real fast? How about 60 frames in a second? That’s fast; that’s exciting. The Nikon 1 AW1 can do it. Alongside that is a spectacular feat of other things even your show off brother can’t do. It’s even got slow motion, wi-fi sharing and underwater shooting. Beat that.

Appearance & Functionality

The Nikon 1 AW1 is a sleek and stylish little camera. It’s body is set up like a small point and shoot but boasts a decent size metal lens. This Nikon's body is high quality plastic with the finest finish. You can just feel that this camera will do it’s job and won’t let you down.

Enough buttons are present on this Nikon for your common functions, however some functions are hidden a little trickily within a slightly confusing menu. Perhaps to simplify things some settings are not available in certain shooting modes and some are awkward to find. However the design of the menu is very sleek and top quality, again adding to the reassurance in your mind that you’re holding the only tool you’ll need.

nikon20140710b.jpgA pop up flash is available and hidden nicely up top. It’s, perhaps, slightly flimsy but it does it’s job well and can light a dark situation where you’d otherwise be lost without an image.

There’s a small crowd of fun features and functions on the Nikon 1 ready to jazz up any lifeless family gathering, boring work outing, or to ensure your exciting, memorable moments are as fantastic as they could possibly be. Some of these features and functions include: miniature effects, slow motion video, wi-fi sharing and background softening. SanDisk memory cards were used with these tests and ensured the images were captured reliably and quickly.

The amazing amount of frames this Nikon can capture in a short amount of time is worth taking note of. Let’s write it down in a book just to remember how good we feel about it. You can shoot up to 60 frames per second, however only for a short time before the camera needs a chance to catch up to itself. It's the perfect way to easily capture groups and not worry about trying to get the best image or capture an action scene without worrying about missing the shot you need.

Image Quality / Lens Quality

Touching your food won’t tell you if it tastes any good. Touching the lens on the Nikon 1 AW1 however gives you a pretty good idea that this interchangeable lens is going to ‘taste’ real nice. It feels like quality and the images it produces are of the very same high quality.

nikon20140710c.jpgYou’ll have a decent amount of optical zoom with the 11-27.5mm lens (74mm in 35mm sensor equivalent) and a decent wide angle of 30mm (35mm equivalent). Images at all levels of zoom retain the same quality, colours and sharpness. This opens you up to a wide range of uses. The perfect all round applications: get up close, shoot wide, portraits, landscapes, you name it.

The fast aperture of f/3.5 - f5.6 will help you to create some nice portraits with a beautiful, blurred background and shallow depth of field, adding a professional flare to your work. This’ll also help you in low light environments. The ISO settings of the Nikon 1 do a good job of these low light situations as well. Grain isn’t visible until ISO3200 where you’ll only start to notice minimal amounts. You’ll see a lot more grain at ISO6400 and it should only be used as a last resort.

Skin tones are natural and all colours are vivid and accurate. This’ll ensure you're people moments are captured at the best most natural and potentially most flattering they can be. This’ll make your friends become best friends.  Have a look at these images on an EIZO monitor is recommended. Any retouching will get this monitor going.
View street test images via our Facebook page

nikon20140710d.jpgLCD / Viewfinder

The 7.5cm LCD on the Nikon 1 AW1 does it’s job well. It’s high resolution of 921k-dot shows you just what you need to see, everything from accurate colours and crisp images. You’ll be provided with a bunch of useful image information on the LCD screen as well.

Due to the compact size of the body there’s no viewfinder present. However the LCD screen does a good enough job without needing to be partnered up with one.


The video on the Nikon 1 is very sharp and of the highest quality and 1080p resolution. While the 1 AW1 is set up as a stills camera the addition of a video feature pushes this camera down the right path to being the perfect, quality all round compact.

Video is very steady when panning and moving which is a much desirable feature when it comes time to watch back hours of holiday, work or family video. There’s also a handy, instant, video record button on top right next to the shutter so you can easily choose photo or video without missing a beat or a precious moment.

Audio does a decent job considering the compact nature of the on board microphone. Sound is a little lacking on the bottom, bass end but the quality is high and more than appropriately usable for a camera like this.

You’ll find a very cinematic, slow motion video function on the Nikon 1 AW1 which appears to work well. It’s a little low resolution and cropped presumably so it can handle the extra frames and processing. It’ll also therefore only be able to record for a short time before stopping.

The auto focus on the Nikons video does a fast job of accurately locating the subject and adjusting focus. This ensures your videos are sharp and easily perfect.



When it comes to photos in an age of smartphones, often a good quality image is overlooked. It’s easy to forget what a good quality lens and camera such as the Nikon 1 AW1 can do for your images. They’ll make them the best memorable moments you can capture. On top of this you can’t go past the features a camera like this can offer you. From slow motion to fast shooting the Nikon 1 has got it covered. Rest easy with the Nikon 1 AW1 knowing your life is now captured in quality and feature rich heaven.


Camera House Click Through
SanDisk Click Through
EIZO Click Through


Appearance rating 4 stars
Functionality rating 3 stars
Image quality
4 stars
Video quality
3 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
LCD screen 3 stars
Value for money 4 stars
Street Price - Body
$399 (AUD)
Effective Pixels 14.2 megapixels
Sensor Type
13.2 mm x 8.8 mm CMOS sensor (Nikon CX format)
Image Sizes 10 Sizes / 7 Aspect
Lens Internal NIKKOR lens with 5x optical zoom
Lens Mount
Nikon waterproof 1 mount
Resolution Settings - Stills

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
Resolution Settings - Video

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)
Face Detection Face-priority AF
Manual Focus Yes
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Shutter Speeds Electronic shutter, 1/16,000-30 s in steps of 1/3 EV; Bulb

Note: Bulb ends automatically after approximately 2 minutes

Shutter Priority Yes
ISO 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)
Monitor 7.5 cm (3-in.), approx. 921k-dot, TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Viewfinder No
Flash Built-in, Manual pop-up. i-TTL flash control using image sensor. -3-+1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV. Fill flash, red-eye reduction, fill flash + slow sync, red-eye reduction + slow sync, rear curtain + slow sync, rear-curtain sync, off.
Hot Shoe No
White Balance
Auto, underwater, incandescent, fluorescent, direct sunlight, flash, cloudy, shade, preset manual, all except preset manual with fine tuning
Self Timer 2s, 5s and 10s
Stills Format/s
NEF (RAW): 12-bit, compressedJPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1 : 4), normal (approx. 1 : 8), or basic (approx. 1 : 16) compressionNEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Video Format/s MOV (H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding)
Video Recording Time/s -
Storage Type - External SD (Secure Digital), SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
Storage Type - Internal
Connectivity Hi-Speed USB, Type C mini-pin HDMI connector
Power Source EH-5b AC adapter; requires EP-5C power connector (available separately)
Battery Options Rechargeable Li-ion EN-EL20 battery
Battery Life -
Dimensions 113.3mm (W) x 71.5mm (H) x 37.5mm (D)
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





About Nikon


The history of Nikon dates back to 1917 when three of Japan's leading optical manufacturers merged to form a fully integrated optical company. By the end of the century Nikon would have accumulated an immense poll of know-how and experience to become a world leader in not only optics and imaging but also industrial equipment and health and medicine sector.

Today Nikon designs, develops, manufactures and markets a gamut of optical, photographic and optoelectronic products globally. You will find them at work in virtually every corner of the earth. If it has something to do with light, Nikon has something to do with it.

The driving force behind Nikon is technology. Not only in manufacturing and assembling the finest lenses or most comprehensive photography system in the world, but also in making the glass itself. That is why Nikon products have gained worldwide customer satisfaction, and even professional recognition worldwide.

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