Problem: Rugged cameras usually sacrifice shooting chops for durability.
Solution: Nikon’s new AW1.
It’s the first digital interchangeable-lens camera that’s waterproof (to 49 feet), shockproof (up to 6.6 feet), and worthy of being a pro shooter’s kit. The reason it takes such remarkably crisp photos is what’s under the hood. The giant CMOS sensor refuses to pixelate, even in shots that blend bright white snow and forest shade, and it can capture 15 frames per second at shutter speeds up to 1/16,000—see falcon in flight, freeze falcon in flight. Nikon gave the camera rubber gaskets that seal underwater, and the whole body is packed into a polycarbonate-lined steel frame to insulate it from shock. The AW1 is also equipped with a GPS that tracks where photos were shot, and an on-screen dial lets users switch among six shooting modes with one hand, useful for photographers who need to keep one eye on the action and the other glued to the LCD.