Nikon has expanded its 1-series line-up with the AW1, a fully waterproof, interchangeable-lens camera. Michael Topham finds out just how tough it is. Read the Nikon 1 AW1 review...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Nikon 1 AW1

Autofocus:
Noise/resolution:
Metering:
Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
Build/Handling:

Product:

Nikon 1 AW1 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£749.00
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Nikon 1 AW1 review – Metering and dynamic range

Metering

The AW1 produces bright images straight out of the camera, which do not suffer from underexposure. If anything, the camera overexposes just a little and, on occasions when I was shooting towards the light or when scenes had some particularly bright highlights, I dialled in -0.3EV or -0.7EV to guarantee highlight detail wasn’t lost. To help preserve extra detail in the shadows of high-contrast scenes, Active D-Lighting can be switched on from inside the shooting menu.

With the effect of Active D-Lighting being less dramatic than other manufacturers’ dynamic range optimisers, it is safe to leave it turned on if you’d like a subtle improvement to detail recorded in the shadows.

Image: Shooting towards the light can cause shadows to appear unnaturally dark, but the AW1’s Active D-Lighting mode has helped preserve detail in the foreground area of this image and delivered a broader tonal range

Dynamic range

As to be expected, the dynamic-range performance of the AW1 is similar to that of the J3, and there were times in bright lighting conditions when I inspected the histogram on the rear display only to find that highlight clipping was occurring. While Active D-Lighting increases the tonal detail in the shadows, I found it less effective at preserving detail in the brightest highlights. To save the highlights blowing out in high-contrast scenes, the backlighting creative mode was frequently put to use and the best results were created when it was combined with the HDR mode.

We continually check thousands of prices to show you the best deals. If you buy a product through our site we will earn a small commission from the retailer – a sort of automated referral fee – but our reviewers are always kept separate from this process. You can read more about how we make money in our Ethics Policy.

  1. 1. Nikon 1 AW1 at a glance:
  2. 2. Nikon 1 AW1 review - Build and handling
  3. 3. Nikon 1 AW1 review - Metering and dynamic range
  4. 4. Nikon 1 AW1 review - Autofocus
  5. 5. Nikon 1 AW1 review - Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  6. 6. Nikon 1 AW1 review - White balance and colour
  7. 7. Nikon 1 AW1 review - Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  8. 8. Nikon 1 AW1 review - Our verdict
  9. 9. Hands-on review
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