A Comparison of Compact System Cameras: Nikon 1 AW1 and Nikon 1 J3

Jaycee De Guzman September 27, 2013 2
A Comparison of Compact System Cameras: Nikon 1 AW1 and Nikon 1 J3


The Nikon 1 AW1 is an interchangeable lens camera that is also waterproof and shockproof at the same time. According to its company, it is the first in the world among compact system cameras which can be water resilient. Meanwhile, the Nikon 1 J3 which shares almost similar features is a mirror less camera which offers as many functional features as a premium camera. Let’s take a look where these two products can outshine each other.

A Comparison of Compact System Cameras: Nikon 1 AW1 and Nikon 1 J3

Build and Design

The Nikon 1 AW1 has a diagonal monitor size of 3 inches. The sensor size is 13.2 x 8.8mm while camera dimensions are 4.5 x 2.9 x 1.5 inches. It weighs approximately 313g with a slightly bulkier build to support underwater controls. For customers who would want to avail, this camera also comes with a CF-N6000 silicone protector.

On the other hand, the Nikon 1 J3 has the same monitor size of 3.0inches and sensor size of 13.2 x 8.8mm. In terms of the dimensions, this camera is 4.0 x 2.4 x 1.1inches and weighs 201g. Although it does not support underwater features, the company released a waterproof case specifically for this which can be used for at least 130 feet.

A Comparison of Compact System Cameras: Nikon 1 AW1 and Nikon 1 J3

General Hardware

The monitor type of 1 AW1 is TFT-LCD which, along with the other parts of the camera, is waterproof, shockproof and freezeproof all at the same time. It has one memory card slot which is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC. It also has an EH-5b AC Adapter which will work with an EP-5C Power Supply Connector. The battery is EN-EL20 Lithium-ion which can capture at least 220 photos before running out of battery.

Meanwhile, the 1 J3 has the same monitor type of TFT-LCD. To add extra storage, the memory card slot is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC. The power adapter of this camera is also the EH-5b AC which is requiring the same EP-5C Power Supply Connector. The battery which is rechargeable is an EN-EL20 Li-ion which has the same 220 shot limit.

A Comparison of Compact System Cameras: Nikon 1 AW1 and Nikon 1 J3


This Nikon compact system camera has a Nikon Waterproof 1 Lens Mount which is the one that supports its resiliency in water. To maximize further the said features, there are two interchangeable underwater lenses which perfectly match this device. These are the 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 wide angle lens and 1 NIKKOR AW 11–27.5mm f/3.5–5.6 zoom lens.

Given that this Nikon 1 J3 was a predecessor, it only has a Nikon 1 Lens Mount which does not necessarily support underwater features. This camera is compatible with 10-30mm F/3.5-5.6 Zoom Lens in addition to the fact that it also supports interchangeable lenses.


Camera Technology

As an underwater camera, this Nikon 1 AW1 can reach ISO160-6400. It can shoot continuously at 15fps with AF and 30/60fps with locked focus. Other modes of focus include Auto, Continuous-Servo, Single-Servo AF and Manual Focus. In addition, this camera also features white balance with choices that include Automatic, Flash, Fluorescent, Cloudy, Direct Sunlight and Underwater. Lastly, captured videos can be at a the maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 with possible options of slow motion and motion snapshot.

The Nikon 1 J3 sports the same ISO sensitivity which is 160-6400. It also has the same continuous shooting speed, focus modes and options for white balance except the Underwater feature. Even the camcorder has the same capabilities of capturing videos at HD quality. However, this camera does not support GPS which the other one does.

A Comparison of Compact System Cameras: Nikon 1 AW1 and Nikon 1 J3

File Formats

With the current innovation in software functions, the Nikon 1 AW1 can produce a variety of file formats. These are the compressed 12-bit NEF for raw images, JPEG 1:4, JPEG 1:8 and JPEG 1:16. Meanwhile, the default audio and video formats are ACC and MOV respectively.

On the other hand, the Nikon 1 J3 supports the same formats of files as the other camera. It has the 12-bit NEF Compressed and JPEG for 1:4, 1:8 and 1:16 aspect ratios. The video format is also MOV. However, there is no feature in this camera which supports separate audio recording so audio files cannot be isolated from video.


Given that they have the same brand, it is not surprising that these two cameras can look and work almost the same. There are only a few ways where the Nikon 1 AW1 and 1 J3 differ from each other but the good thing is that these are the significant differences which customers are looking for when checking out cameras. For one, the former is an underwater camera but the latter is only water proof. In stores the 1 J3 is priced at $599.99 while the 1 AW1 will be $300 more expensive when released. Unless the customers prefer the 1 J3, it seems that the additional $300 is good enough to bargain an underwater camera with built in GPS.

Which one wins your nod?

Recommended Products



Leave a Response»