Tuesday, August 18, 2015

orange is the new black

Maybe it is just an orange silicon skin on a black camera.  Or maybe it's me trying to relive my youth.  I don't know.

My new Nikon 1 AW1 with the orange silicon skin arrived on the front porch yesterday.  Waterproof, shock proof and with a full range of digital features (save for built in wifi), it should be an excellent camera for cruising.   

I love my GoPro with its ability to be controlled remotely by an iPhone, the interval shooting feature, simple waterproof housing and crisp clear images.  But it only shoots very wide angle images.

I love the Fuji X-20, below, with the Leica looks, optical viewfinder and wide-to-short telephoto zoom lens.  But it is not waterproof.  (And some of my favorite photographs are taken when things get pretty wet.  See "stormy" for some examples.)

The Nikon 1 AW1, being waterproof and with a 11-27.5 zoom lens, should be perfect for when things get interesting on Spartina.  

Just as the Fuji reminded me of my old Leica M3, the Nikon AW1 recalls the Nikonos cameras that I used from the teenage years through my early 20s. (ok, definitely reliving my younger years.)  I owned a few of them, including this old no-longer-working Mk ll that I found tucked away in an old camera bag in the closet (the rest sold on ebay in the early 90s).  They were great, simple, sturdy waterproof cameras.  I had a lot of fun with those cameras while diving in the kelp beds off San Diego, the Florida Keys, offshore of the Philippines and in the chilly waters of the Pacific Northwest.  Might have even taken a good photograph or two, but that might just be my memory playing tricks on me. 

The AW1 comes in three colors: black, white and silver.  And there are three different colors of silicon skins: orange, black and khaki.  I chose the black body with orange skin in honor of the last Nikonos I used, an orange and black Nikonos Mk V.

The orange lanyard in the top photograph is of my own making.  My last waterproof camera, a nice Pentax Optio something-something (can't remember the numbers that went with it), now lies at the bottom of the Pasquotank River with some excellent photographs from crossing Pamlico Sound during small craft warnings.  Hopefully this lanyard and bronze clip with save the AW1 from a similar fate.

I can justify the new camera, it wasn't that expensive.  But if this trend of trying to relive my 20's continues, I may find myself in the market for a 1964 VW camper bus.  That might be a tough sell at the kitchen table.


MaryLou said...

I wish there was a "like" button on blogger. Great post and it looks like a neat camera. My waterproof Olympus takes a good photo but the wimpy zoom is limiting. It spends much of its time on a lanyard in the kayak. Everything goes on a lanyard in the kayak.

Brian said...

Thanks for posting about the AW1. I am 65 tomorrow, sea swim every morning, and have been thinking of treating myself to one. Had missed the no wifi. Seems there is a way though.

"The AW1 has a built-in GPS that automatically adds your geographic location to photos. It's a great feature for a camera that's likely to spend some time traveling; with the right software or Web service (Lightroom, Flickr, and Picasa will do fine) you can view photos as pins on a world map. There's no Wi-Fi in the camera, but the AW1 does support the WU-1b add-on. You can't take that accessory underwater, and we found that its functional twin (the WU-1a) had some issues when we reviewed it. If you want to add wireless transfer, consider our Editors' Choice Eye-Fi Mobi memory card; it works seamlessly and you won't have to open or close any doors in order to beam images from the camera to your smartphone or tablet"

Steve said...

Yes, MaryLou, I learned the hard way that lanyards are a good thing.

Brian, to me there is a big difference between built in wifi and wifi with accessories. Available at such a low cost, I can't see a reason for any recently designed camera not to have built in wifi. I've used eye-fi and other devices, they were fine but not completely stable (sometimes they work, sometimes they don't). If GoPro can add built in connectivity to a $400 camera, seems like Nikon should be able to do the same with a camera that costs almost twice as much. Other than wifi, it seems like the AW 1 is a pretty cool camera.