I hate posting negative reviews. I really do. In fact, I’d rather just ignore than rant. I can’t help myself though. My beloved Nikon has put out such a lemon in the Nikon AW1 and has failed me in such a major way that I am just…. angry. Let me backtrack…
Nikon AW1- Round 1
In May 2014, I received the Nikon AW1 as a birthday present. I used it twice and it was great, but then it leaked. After posting a negative review, I struck up a conversation with a guy who had the same problem (water leaking into the battery compartment) and told me to contact Nikon.
I contacted Nikon who had me send the Nikon AW1 in for repair. They couldn’t repair it. Tried to get me to split the cost of a new one with them and then, ultimately, after MONTHS of waiting I received a new camera with the express promise from Nikon that should this problem occur again I would not receive another replacement Nikon AW1. Time passed. I didn’t use the camera as I didn’t travel anywhere warranting an underwater camera. Finally, I booked the bucket list trip for my 50th to the glorious Maldives. I dusted off my brand new Nikon AW1, lubed it up and charged the batteries. Please understand, I used it solely to shoot some outdoor photos for education and comparison with my Lumix.
Nikon AW1- Round 2
After 27 hours of flying and arriving in Gili Lankafushi (an amazing resort in the Maldives), I jumped off my deck with camera in hand and started snapping photos. The camera was phenomenal.
Obviously, in the Maldives part of the attraction of the islands is the unbelievably clear water. I didn’t need to change the battery or open the camera in any way. On the second day of using the camera, I completed taking some underwater video. Per the instructions, I washed it in fresh water (as I always do), dried it, and because the battery still appeared to be fully charged left it inside in the shade (I worried that opening anything could compromise the seal).
A couple of hours passed and I decided to take it with me on a snorkeling trip. I went to confirm the battery was still at an appropriate level, the camera wouldn’t turn on. I opened the battery compartment and it was flooded. The same problem with a BRAND NEW camera. C’mon Nikon, you’ve put out a substandard product. You should be ashamed. I know too that a replacement will not be considered. Consumers, beware.
Thankfully, as with much in life, sometimes failures lead to growth and deeper understanding (at least that’s what I tell myself every time I fail). Through this failure, I discovered the greatest service of online camera rental called Borrow Lenses. You can rent almost any camera. One of the few camera rentals that is NOT offered is the Nikon AW1. I am guessing they too are tired of renting out a functioning camera and having a defective camera return.