Nikon releases a waterproof Nikon 1 system

This morning Nikon Canada announced the release of the world’s first waterproof (up to 14.9m) and shockproof (up to 2m) interchangeable lens camera, the Nikon 1 AW1. The camera will feature a 14.2 megapixel CX-format CMOS sensor and a built-in GPS. They are also releasing two waterproof lenses. Products are scheduled to be available in October 2013.

The Nikon 1 AW1 kit with a 11-27.5mm lens will have a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $849.95.

The Nikon 1 AW1 two-lens kit with the 11-27.5mm and 10mm lenses will have an MSRP of $1,049.95.

The 1 NIKKOR AW 10mm f/2.8 lens will have an MSRP of $329.95.

Nikon is in the process of developing the SB-N10 Underwater Speedlight to compliment the system.

Lens for Portraits

Johane asked,

“My camera is a Nikon SLR D40 and I was thinking of getting a new lens for it. I take a lot of pictures of my daughter and family. I want to get a bigger aperture to get that blurry background that looks so good in portrait pictures but seems like the lower I can go with my camera is 4.0 for some reason and sometimes the pictures turn out blurry itself if I don’t use the flash. I really like natural lighting in the pictures instead of using the flash. What do you recommend for a beginner like me?”

I’m a huge fan of the Nikon f2.8 lenses — the Nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 is on my camera most of the time, but that’s an expensive lens.

You should be able to throw the background out of focus at f4 — you’ll want to ensure that the distance between you and the subject is much smaller than the distance between your subject and the background.

Another alternative to consider is a prime lens.  Both the Nikon 50mm f/1.8 ($200) and f/1.4 ($400) lenses are great, sharp lenses that will act as the equivalent of a 75mm lens on your D40.  That’s a nice focal length for portrait work. It is a different kind of photography (no zoom), and it may take you a bit of time to get used to it, but you can get very nice results.

55-200mm or 70-300mm?

Nancy writes,

“For a complete amateur like myself, who just really really really likes to take a lot of photos…which lens? Nikkor 55-200 VR or the Nikkor 70-300 VR ED.  I currently have the 18-70 which came with my D80. My husband bought me the 55-200 but now he wants to change it to the 70-300 and I am not so sure.”

My first question would be “What are you going to use it for?” Neither are wide enough to be your “main” lens. If you’re buying a lens specifically for nature, the zoo, etc., the 70-300 is the better choice of those two.

However, if you’re heading out on a family vacation, I think you need to be honest with yourself about whether you want to carry more than one lens. If you buy either and end up leaving it in the car or hotel, you may not get your money’s worth.
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