Well, so I got a Nikon 1 AW1 ruggerized and waterproof to 15m interchangeable lens camera for outdoor and kayaking shots yesterday and I've been doing some test shots with it comparing it to my Canon 5D mark II with the new EF 24-70 f/4L IS USM lens.
Obviously its not going to be any sort of match to the Canon due to sensor size (1" CX-form vs. 35mm full-frame) neither is it going to have a chance in a hot place to compete in the dark. But for what it is I'm positively suprised with the image quality and focus/handling speed.
Attached are a couple comparison shots, both converted from RAW (CR2 and NEF) with Lightroom lens correction and manual noise reduction and sharpening applied, had to limit file size to max. 9MB to fit into the 40MB/post limit on FOG.
Nikon 1 AW1 Flowers
Canon 5D mark II w. EF24-70 f/4L IS USM Flowers
Nikon 1 AW1 Trees and Lamp post
Canon 5D mark II w. EF24-70 f/4L IS USM Trees and Lamp post
As you can see in day light the AW1 does a rather good job for such a small sensor and less pixels (14MP vs. 21MP). Unfortunately is has quite pronounced graininess in normal inside lighting which can be corrected to some extent in post, but you will smooth a lot of detail out. Luckily its fairly snappy with its flash so as long as you use it like a point 'n' shoot it works inside as well.
I haven't had a chance to take diving with me yet, but that's obviously the thing I cannot do with my Canon (unless I'd win the pools to have money for a Nauticam shell).
In conclusion a rather ok piece of kit for the 500€ I paid for it with the kit 11-27.5mm lens (~30-75mm in 35mm eq.).