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Nikon D1H

All the color and image-quality enhancements from the D1x, but 2.7 megapixels and 5 frames/second, and 1,000 lower price!

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 11/16/2001

True Nikon pro SLR that just happens to be digital
2.74-megapixel CCD, 2,000 x 1,312-pixel images
ISO from 200 to 1,600 ("ISO Boost" to 6,400)
Five frames per second, super-fast shutter response, 40 frame buffer!
Part of Nikon "Total Imaging System" - Compatible with >90% of all Nikon F-mount lenses ever made.

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Manufacturer Overview
Nikon is one of the names that literally needs no introduction in the world of photography. Long a leader in the film world, they offer cameras for both the serious amateur and working professional. Their professional line contains cameras like the legendary F3, continuously produced for over 20 years now, and new "legends in the making" like the F5 and F100, renowned for their toughness and advanced features. In the digital world, Nikon has developed a commanding presence in the "prosumer" market with their Coolpix series. They broke new ground for usability and features with their Coolpix 900 a couple of years back, building on that success with the 2 megapixel 950, followed by the 3 megapixel 990, which has now been upgraded to the 995 with a 4x zoom lens and improved flash configuration. The "Nikon Total Imaging System" also includes the hugely successful Super Coolscan 4000ED, 8000ED, and Coolscan IV film scanners, which I've reviewed elsewhere.

Back in early 1999, Nikon announced their first all-digital professional SLR, the D1. At the time, the specifications and projected price point (2.7 megapixels and a list price of $5850 for the body) rocked the pro camera world, and left many wondering whether Nikon could actually do it. They did. Now, not quite two years later, they've once again raised the bar, in the form of the 5.47 megapixel D1x and the new, speedy D1h, with a 2.7 megapixel sensor but improved operating speed and a roomy 40 frame buffer memory. The new cameras have the same superlative "cameraness" (a favorite Nikon term, describing how the device functions as a camera), but incorporate all-new electronics, offering dramatic reductions in image noise and improvements in color fidelity. The D1h (the subject of this review) isn't quite the fastest pro digital SLR on the market -- that honor currently belongs to Canon's EOS-1D. At 5 frames per second though, the D1h is no slouch, and it wins the buffer capacity race handily, with its huge 40 frame capacity. (Just in case you didn't do the math, that's 8 seconds of continuous shooting at the full 5 fps maximum frame rate.) Of course, speed is of little benefit without image quality, so I was pleased to see the same excellent color and tonal rendition I saw when I reviewed the higher-resolution D1x earlier this year.


  • 2.74-megapixel, 23.7 x 15.6mm, 12-bit RGB CCD delivering resolutions as high as 2,000 x 1,312 pixels.
  • Single-lens reflex digital camera with interchangeable lenses (supports essentially all standard Nikon F mount lenses).
  • Variable ISO (200 to 1,600 with "ISO Boost" settings equivalent to 3,200 and 6,400).
  • TTL optical viewfinder with detailed information display.
  • 2-inch, low temperature polysilicon TFT color LCD with 130,000 pixels.
  • Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes.
  • Continuous Shooting mode capturing as many as 40 images, at speeds as high as five frames per second.
  • Variable White Balance with Auto, Preset (manual), Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Overcast, and Shade settings.
  • Plus/Minus fine adjustment (arbitrary units) on White Balance settings.
  • TTL autofocus with Single-Area or Dynamic-Area options.
  • Topside hot shoe for external flash connection of Nikon Speedlight (Nikon SB-28DX recommended) as well as a second PC-style flash sync socket.
  • TTL Matrix flash exposure, independent of ambient light exposure computation.
  • Front-Curtain Sync, Red-Eye Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction with Slow-Sync, Slow Sync, and Rear-Curtain Sync flash sync modes. (With compatible external speedlight.)
  • 3D-Color Matrix, Center-Weighted, and Spot metering options.
  • Adjustable exposure compensation from -5 to +5 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-third step increments, in all exposure modes.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/16,000 to 30 seconds in one-third f-stop increments, and a Bulb setting for longer exposures.
  • Self-timer with programmable duration from two to 20 seconds.
  • Secondary shutter release with lock for vertical-format shooting.
  • Image storage on CompactFlash Type I or II, or Microdrive.
  • JPEG, uncompressed TIFF (RGB-TIFF and YCbCr-TIFF), and RAW data file formats.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compliant.
  • Powered by EN-4 NiMH rechargeable battery pack (battery and charger included).

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