The Nikon 1 AW1 is essentially the well-received 1 J3--except it's wrapped up in a waterproof package. As the first digital interchangeable lens camera to be not just sealed against rain, but approved to take underwater up to 49 feet without extra housing, the AW1 is certainly an enticing buy. The AW1 is also shockproof up to 6.6 feet, so it's an excellent companion for rugged outdoor treks. The AW1 has the same fast specs as the J3 with a fun 15fps burst and 1/16000 shutter speed and should have the same solid image quality. The downside to the AW1, like the J3, is the smaller sensor size (1")--there are other mirrorless models with a micro four thirds or APS-C size for a similar price. When compared to the sensors in other waterproof compacts, however, the AW1 has a clear advantage. The Nikon 1 line offers some specs that other sub-$1,000 cameras can't offer; the waterproofing and 15 fps burst speed make the AW1 a top choice for rugged action photos. Nikon also introduced two lenses that are waterproof (though any 1 mount lens will work when staying dry). The one-lens kit starts at around $800 and the two-lens combo sits at about $1,000.
Nikon has long been one of the top manufacturers in the industry, and their products are still solid options today. The camera giant is continuously releasing new products with enhancements in image quality and performance.
It's hard to go wrong with a Nikon DSLR. With a different model available for every skill level from beginner to professional, Nikon's DSLR's have always been top notch. Their latest DSLRs have seen improved noise reduction, enhanced video quality and upgraded designs over cameras from just a few years ago.
Nikon made an interesting move in the realm of mirrorless cameras—instead of pushing for bigger sensors, Nikon instead has focused on speed. The Nikon 1 line cameras use a 1” sensor, which is larger than your average point-and-shoot but smaller than the Micro Four Thirds options. While the 1 line doesn't have much resolution, their cameras boast speeds upwards of 15 fps—no other mirrorless line currently comes close to that level of speed.
Nikon's compacts aren't as much of a sure thing as their DSLRs—some of their smaller cameras are quite impressive, while others are beaten out by competitors. We liked their higher end consumer point-and-shoots like the COOLPIX S6500, but be careful with their budget compacts. They offer quite a range of compact cameras, just be sure to read the reviews on the individual camera first.
Nikon offers a full range of cameras from tiny budget models to professional DSLRs. More often than not, if you go with a Nikon, you're getting a solid camera.
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