Since the release of the D2X, the expectations of a younger generation of Nikon fans eager to see their firm compete on the same level as Canon’s have increased.
Users of Nikon products have been let down by the fact that the firm has consistently lagged behind its main rival in the fight for the advancement of sensor technology. For example, since early 2003, customers of Canon cameras have had access to the 11-megapixel EOS 1DS, whereas Nikon users have only had access to 5.9-megapixels with the flagship D1X. (first introduced in 2001).
Although the D2X cannot match the pixel quality of the new 16.7-megapixel EOS 1DS Mark II, understanding the post-capture process has educated professionals and amateurs alike that the number of megapixels is not the only thing that matters. However, a high-quality 12MP camera may be pushed further than its pixels might imply; it can reach the same ceiling as the EOS 1DS II. Therefore, a solid 12MP sensor is suitable for most purposes.
The High-Speed Cropped mode on the D2X is the camera’s most revolutionary and ground-breaking feature. This provides users with the ability to switch from shooting at a resolution of 12.2 megapixels at a burst rate of five frames per second to a smaller crop of 6.9 megapixels with a burst rate that matches that of the D2H at eight frames per second, even though the buffer is slightly reduced from that camera.
The D2H can save 50 JPEGs of total quality and 40 RAW files. However, the D2X can only store 35 JPEGs and 29 RAW files. However, this isn’t too much of a handicap, especially considering that Canon’s 8.5fps EOS 1D II only achieves 40 JPEGs/20 RAW. Thus the D2H may become unnecessary for photographers with the financial means to purchase a new camera.
While the D2X is somewhat inferior to the 1D II in terms of resolution while shooting in High-Speed Cropped mode, it outperforms the 1D II regarding focal length multiplication. This results in a 2x magnification rather than a 1.5x one, which should eliminate the requirement for slower, more cumbersome lenses or even teleconverters (a 300mm lens becomes 600mm).
No user, professional or otherwise, can turn down the opportunity to get essentially two cameras in one – a high-resolution unit that can be used for portraits, landscapes, architecture, and still life, as well as a lightning-fast mid-resolution unit that can be used for sports, press, wildlife, and action shots.
Several additional features have been upgraded on the D1X, and a few upgrades are particularly noteworthy on the D2H. (some of which are replicated on the new D2Hs).
These include a massive 2.5-inch LCD; a user-definable Func button; voice annotation; Kelvin settings for white balance; a brand new, incredibly sophisticated autofocus system; simultaneous NEF (RAW) and JPEG shooting; additional high ISO noise reduction; support for the WT-2 802.11g wireless transmitter (and remote control from a PC or Mac); GPS compatibility; i-TTL flash metering system (user reports suggest it is far superior to D-TT.
The latter is beneficial for extracting as much usable information as possible from shadow detail. It enables the user to clip highlights in a single channel (with due care) while remaining confident that the information will be recovered during the RAW conversion step.
The only significant step backward is a drop in the flash sync speed from 1/500 second to 1/250 second, irritating those attempting to minimize the influence of ambient illumination with studio flash (High-Speed Sync mode covers the fill-in base for on-camera flash in bright light conditions).
The bulky body is a creative reworking of the D1X and closely resembles the D2H in that it is well-labeled, easy to read from the get-go, and features recessed buttons to minimize accidental hits.
Even Canon users shouldn’t have trouble getting a handle on the layout since it is far simpler to understand than the 1DS II’s ridiculous button combinations for exposure mode, autofocus mode, bracketing mode, and driveway.
Once you’ve figured out everything in the layout, taking your attention away from the action is unnecessary because you can still see what shots are left in the viewfinder. All of the essential image parameters are also included. This means that you don’t have to worry about missing any shots.
In addition, there is not the slightest uncertainty that adding the Function button would improve the workflow for most users.
Because of the enormous screen, vibrant style, and user-friendly organization, navigating the menu system is a delightful experience. This helps a great deal. The more you use the camera, the more you’ll rely on the Recent Settings page, which provides access to the eight settings you’ve modified most recently. You’ll depend on this more and more as you continue to use the camera.
The same can be said for the shooting banks, which are an outstanding idea revived from the D1X and have the added benefit of being able to be labeled individually. The custom functions each have their respective banks, and many of them are organized logically.
In addition, you can add speed to the expanding list of benefits associated with using D2X. The power-on delay is merely 37 milliseconds, and the viewfinder goes dark after just 80 milliseconds. However, unless you genuinely go all out with the ‘Burst’ command, hitting the buffer limit will be trickyt.
A test done in Burst mode with 16 compressed RAW and JPEG Fine (big) files was completed in 46 seconds using a 1GB Lexar WA 40x card from the commencement of the writing process. This equates to a fantastic transfer rate of 4.6MB/s.
According to the handbook, timings are improved when using a SanDisk UltraII card; thus, it is entirely plausible that our card was the cause of the bottleneck (80x Lexar cards are now available). Even more astonishing is the result of the same test carried out using a card that does not support WA and does not have a high speed. The lesson to be learned from this situation is?
The one area in which Nikon fails to deliver is its decision to encrypt the white balance information on this camera. Unfortunately, this means that third-party RAW conversion software, such as Adobe Camera RAW for Photoshop CS2 (CS does not have D2X compatibility as of yet) and Capture One Pro by Phase One, are unable to read the “as shot” white balance setting on the camera (though the less renowned Bibble Pro has found a way).
Because of this, those who routinely handle vast quantities of files in batches will find this a significant pain in the neck because it implies that each instance will require manual intervention. Both ACR and Phase One have their automatic white balance systems, but the results aren’t necessarily accurate all the time.
Using Nikon’s weak PicturePerfect 1.1 is not a viable alternative, and spending an additional