Bridge cameras are supposed to “bridge” the gap between two different types of camera. The AW1 ups the ante significantly and tries to bridge the gap between three different types of camera – compact enthusiast P&S digicams, interchangeable lens cameras, and underwater/all weather/extreme sports cameras. The first generation AW1 was designed specifically to meet the needs of an active lifestyle demographic and this camera will almost certainly find an enthusiastic audience among divers, extreme sports fans, backpacking travelers, and serious shooters looking for a compact camera with lots of creative and extreme environment potential. While the AW1 does have a couple of blemishes, it will easily and dependably meet the needs of its target audience. I am really looking forward to trying out the Nikon 1 AW2 (whenever it becomes available). This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. DCR editor Laura Hicks has created an informative AW1 “preview” video (located in the video section of this review) and I suggest you watch it if you are considering purchasing this camera.
- Waterproof, shockproof, dustproof, and freezeproof
- Neutral colors
- Fills a unique product niche
- Poorly placed action mode control
- handgrip is less than ideal