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Nikon D2H

Nikon introduces an 8 frame/second speed demon, with WiFi connectivity and an amazing new flash system to boot!

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Page 10:Image Storage & Interface

Review First Posted: 12/18/2003

Image Storage and Interface
The D2H uses CompactFlash memory cards for image storage, accommodating Type I and II sizes, as well as Microdrives. The D2H does not come with a memory card, so plan on purchasing one (or several) separately. As with the original D1, D1X, and D1H, I was pleased to find the CompactFlash slot very accessible, letting me quickly change the card while the camera was mounted on a tripod. The D2H utilizes a folder arrangement that allows users to organize images in the camera and a sequential frame counter option to avoid problems with overwriting files when copying them to the computer. It also supports the FAT32 file system, and so is not hindered by the 2GB limit of FAT16-based cameras (a significant point if you want to be able to use the really large flash cards that are now on the market).

Captured images can be individually write-protected via the Protect button on the rear panel. Write-protected files are only immune to accidental deletion, not card reformatting. Images are saved at either 2,464 x 1,632 or 1,840 x 1,224 pixels. File formats include several levels of compressed JPEG files as well as RGB TIFF and RAW data modes. The "raw" file format stores the data exactly as it comes from the CCD array, either compressed or uncompressed. Since the "raw" format is proprietary though, it can only be processed by programs that specifically support it (unlike JPEG files which almost any program will accept). Nikon's provides its own Nikon View software which has basic raw conversion capabilities, and offers the more advanced "Nikon Capture" software as another option. It is likely that Mike Chaney's Qimage or Eric Hyman's Bibble will also offer support for the D2H in future versions since they currently support other Nikon cameras. Finally, commercial software like Phase One's Capture One (C1) and Adobe's Photoshop CS that supports other Nikon RAW files may also support the D2H in future versions. The compressed RAW format is a "lossless" compression, making it difficult to determine the actual amount of compression being used, since the actual amount of compression will depend heavily on the characteristics of each image.

Below are the approximate number of images and their compression ratios for a 256MB CompactFlash card, that really being about the smallest card size I can see anyone using with this camera. (Think about it, 100 images is only about 12 seconds at 8 frames per second.)


Resolution/Quality vs Image Capacity
2,464 x 1,632 Resolution
1,840 x 1,224 Resolution
Images
Approx. File Size
Approx.
Compression
Images Approx.
File Size
Approx.
Compression
HI RAW data (Uncompressed)
40
6.3 MB
~1.9
(relative to TIFF)
n/a n/a n/a
HI RAW data (Compressed)
~67
(Varies)
~3.8 MB
(Varies)
~3.2
(Varies)
n/a n/a n/a
HI RGB TIFF
21
12.2 MB
1:1
37 6.8 MB 1:1
Fine Quality
111
2.3 MB
5:1
195 1.3 MB 5:1
Normal Quality
217
1.2 MB
10:1
356 719 KB 9:1
Basic Quality
391
655 KB
18:1
653 392 KB 17:1

 

The D2H also offers a RAW + JPEG recording mode, but I haven't shown the sizes above, as the space used will just be the combination of that required for the RAW and JPEG files of each corresponding size.

The D2H connects to a host computer via a USB v2.0 port. Connecting the D2H to my main Windows XP workstation (a Sony VAIO, powered by a 2.4 GHz PIV chip), I clocked the D2H's download speed at an amazing 2.6 Megabyte/second. This is very fast, although I should hasten to point out that you'll need a fast card to get this sort of performance. In the case cited above, I was using a 4GB/40x speed-rated Lexar card.

 

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