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Nikon D2x First impression

Ilse Jurrien
Photokina report
Friday 17th, September 2004
Posted by: Ilse Jurrien

Today we are pleased to give you a first impression of Nikon's new flagship - the D2X. This professional digital SLR camera is the latest of Nikon's SLR series. Again, and kudos for Nikon to stay consistent, the camera features a Nikon DX-format image sensor. The high-end professional D2X delivers 12.4 effective Megapixels. It all began in 1999 with the launch of the breakthrough digital SLR camera - D1 - later followed by the D1X. The D1X was the professional model with a higher pixel-count and soon after the D1X came a high-speed shooter listening to the name D1H. Four years later, in 2003, Nikon released the D2H with innovative functions and a user-friendly and easy-to-handle body.

Nikon D2x DSLR - DX-format image sensor
The D2H was primary focused on the user that needed speed in the first place. Since the introduction of the D2H, there has been a demand for a digital SLR with the high performance and speed of the D2H, but with a higher pixel-count. The Nikon D2X was born... The D2X features, like all Nikon digital SLR cameras, a Nikon DX-format image sensor. One difference to the sensor of the D2H is the fact that this time a new CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor is used to make it possible to get an effective pixel-count of 12.4 Megapixels.

Nikon D2x SLR - 6.8 Megapixels camera
Beside the extra pixels, shooting speed in the continuous mode has been increased to a rate of 5 frames per second when capturing 12.4 Megapixel JPEG or RAW images. Even a rate of up to 8 frames is possible using the High Speed Cropped function that crops the center of an image at 6.8 Megapixel resolution! This amazing shooting speed in continuous mode has been increased by using a 4-channel output method with the improvement of the speed of transferring image data from the image sensor to a memory card. All image-processing functions have been either newly developed or refined.

Nikon D2x digital SLR - Colour distribution
Tone characteristics have been improved with both analogue and digital processing for optimum colour distribution. Moreover, the enhanced accuracy of digital processing in the ASIC provides smoother shading in gradual colour changes, important for subjects, like a blue sky with very subtle tone changes within the blue range.

Nikon D2x camera - sYCC Colour profile support
New features are: sYCC colour profile support which means a wider range of colours can be reproduced for printing JPEG data than the conventional colour profile. Appreciated by professional photographers is the ability to select ADOBE RGB in any of the three colour modes. The combination of image-processing technologies and 3D-Color Matrix Metering II improved with new algorithms found in the D2X makes it possible to capture beautiful 12.4-megapixel images that will fulfil a photographers' need for larger files that are rich in detail, colour and smooth tone range. Of course, those capabilities inherited from its predecessor, the D2H, remain instant, including excellent high-speed shooting performance, rapid start-up, a release time lag of just 37ms, and the 11-area auto focus system, all of which enables the user to concentrate on shooting without being distracted by time-consuming processes of obtaining the most suitable setting for the best possible result.

Nikon D2x reflex camera - DX Nikkor lenses
As part of Nikon's Total Imaging System, the D2X is compatible with Nikon's digital-exclusive DX Nikkor lenses as well as Nikon's 35mm/digital compatible AF Nikkor System. When used with the SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlights, the D2X also maximizes the potential of Nikon's Creative Lighting System with high precision flash performance including i-TTL flash control and support for Nikon's Advanced Wireless Lighting system.

Nikon D2x DSLR camera - Wireless Transmitter
Nikon's Wireless Transmitter WT-1 opened new roads in digital SLR photography by making it possible to transmit images directly from the camera over a wireless LAN. In addition to the WT-1, the new IEEE802.11b/g compatible Wireless Transmitter WT-2 provides faster image transmission with improved security and compatibility with the latest protocols, and has newly added capability for wireless LAN remote control of the D2X used with Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2 (optional) software in a computer.

Nikon D2x digital reflex camera - Software
Nikon has also developed a new cable, the MC-35, which enables connection of the camera to a GPS device for including information such as latitude, longitude and altitude at the time of capture with shooting data. Bundled with the D2X is PictureProject, an easy-to-use software application. The D2X is also compatible with Nikon's own photo-finishing application Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2 (optional), a convenient tool for professional photographers. Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2 has been enhanced with faster processing, improvements to image processing functions, as well as several new functions.

Nikon D2x SLR for Professional photographers
We are glad to see Nikon is able to introduce its answer to some of the impressive competitors products. Unofficially the D2X existence was already known by a great number of professional photographers, but the day Nikon decides to come out of the closet is always exciting and we are sure that a lot of professional users will be glad to see that Nikon gives them the opportunity to make that extra step higher and still with the exact same use of their lens equipment. We expect the availability of the D2X around the end of 2004/beginning of 2005.

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