Andre Van Wyk thinks it might be the fly-fishing camera for the moment! Says Andre: As always, loved your weekly newsletter this week; some lovely writing and images as always. Seeing the images reminded me that I’d meant to get in touch with you regarding a new camera I picked up a couple of months ago. I know you have a very keen interest in photography these days, as do I. Being a film and photographic producer by trade, I’m surrounded by incredible photographers, some of the best in the world (mainly the fashion game ) all the time and am constantly inspired by the images we produce. ( Well I take a small amount of credit, as we do the months of work in preproduction to allow the photographer to push the button in the end!). But I’m always wanting to spend more time shooting when out on the water.
Click in images to enlarge. Full sample of images at the end of the article.
Andre Van Wyk with a Nikon 1 AW picture taken on the Smalblaar River Western Cape
I’ve been on the search for a great camera for the streams mainly, but also for my general fishing as well (I’m one of those heathen folks who like to throw lures at big angry saltwater fish as well as flies)) so was looking for something of a high end quality, over and above the typical rugged point and shoots, but didn’t want to deal with the hassle and major expensive of going with a DSLR in a dedicated large scale housing. As magical as a full DSLR set up would be, I wanted something more practical, and came across the Nikon 1 AW ( http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Nikon1/27669/Nikon-1-AW1.html).
The Nikon 1 AW
Unfortunately not yet available in South Africa, I got a producer to bring it over from the UK for me when they came out for a shoot. The beauty of this camera is that it seems to be the best of both worlds… small, compact, easy to use, 100% waterproof etc., like a compact, but is the first mirror-less waterproof camera that has interchangeable lenses, currently available with a 10mm prime (equivalent to about a 27mm ) and an 11mm to 27.5mm zoom (equivalent to about a 32mm to 75mm ).
Both of these lenses are 100% waterproof and shock resistant, making for an amazing little camera to take into environments like our streams, on a boat, surf fishing... Everything!
The camera shoots in RAW as well, and has full 1080 HD video recording.
I was hoping the lenses would be a little wider, as this makes fishing photography a lot easier at times, and has always been a drawback on other compact rugged, underwater cameras. Thankfully I found an amazing lens from Olympus, their Fish Eye Converter, which has the same thread as the front of these Nikkor 1 lenses, and so screws onto the front of these lenses, effectively converting them into wide angle lenses. It doesn’t turn them into a Fisheye lens which is full of distortion and vignetting, but rather just takes it down to around 15mm I would guess, which is just about right in my opinion. The lens also has quite a large front 'glass', which means shooting split-screen or half-in-half-out images is that little bit easier. Still tricky, but certainly easier than with a little regular compact, but not as easy as it would be with a full-dome port on a DSLR set up, but remarkably easier to carry around and whip out your bag when you need it!
I’ve attached a couple images from a few trips over the last 10 days, some from a very slow and low day on the Transport Beat of the Smalblaar River with my fiancé, and the others from some carp-on-fly missions in some VERY clean water. I especially like the trout images and the split-screen ones I got of Leonard Flemming with some lovely clear-water carp.
Thought you might like to know about another possible camera option out there on the market that I for one have found to be a lovely little tool, and perfect for those looking for something a little more than a 'point-and-shoot', but not necessarily looking at chunking out a fortune for a full big rig!
Well, this sounds too good to be true! TS.