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Nikon D2X

By: Dave Etchells and Shawn Barnett

Nikon introduces a 12.2 megapixel hybrid pro SLR that can be either high resolution or high speed as the job requires.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 04/14/2005, Updated: 06/10/2005

True Nikon pro SLR compatible with most Nikon F-mount lenses.
12.2-megapixel CMOS sensor, 4,288 x 2,848-pixel images.
ISO from 100 to 800 ("ISO Boost" to 1,600 and 3,200).
Very fast shutter response and cycle times.
Faster wireless image transfer capability with optional 802.11g transmitter accessory.

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Manufacturer Overview

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The new Nikon D2X is the latest addition to one of the world's most famous camera lines. The new D2X updates the D1X model that hit the market in mid-2001. As you might expect, there's been a lot of development in the intervening three years between the two camera's respective releases, and the Nikon D2X is solid evidence that its maker is still very much a force to contend with in the professional SLR marketplace. While carrying a host of significant improvements and feature enhancements over its predecessor, resolution and shooting speed are probably the two features that will attract most photographers to the Nikon D2X. In its full-resolution mode, the D2X can capture five 12.2 megapixel (4,288 x 2,848) frames per second, a very respectable rate, at a very respectable resolution. Its unique "Speed Crop" mode reduces resolution to 6.8 megapixels (3,126 x 2,316) but boosts the frame rate to a blazing 8 frames/second, the equal of any other camera on the market, at least as of its release in late Spring 2005. This is an obvious shot across the bow of arch rival Canon, as the Nikon D2X in Speed Crop mode equals the speed of the flagship Canon EOS-1D Mark II, with better buffer depth and buffer clearing speed, and with only an ~8% reduction in linear resolution.

All in all, the Nikon D2X is an impressive camera, with high resolution, excellent shooting speed, excellent color, exceptional dynamic range, and the "cameraness" that Nikon is so justifiably proud of. Its unique dual-mode combination of high resolution (with respectable speed) and high speed (with respectable resolution) promise to make it a near-universal SLR, meeting the needs of studio and sports shooters in a single chassis. Read on for all the details, but if you're a professional shooter using Nikon gear, this is clearly a camera you've been waiting for.



  • 12.4-megapixel (effective), 23.3 x 15.5mm CMOS image sensor delivering image resolutions as high as 4,288 x 2,848 pixels (12.21 megapixels).
  • High-speed crop mode for 8fps performance at 6.87 megapixels (3,216 x 2,136)
  • Single-lens reflex digital camera with interchangeable lenses (supports essentially all standard Nikon F mount lenses).
  • Variable ISO (100 to 800 with "Hi" settings equivalent to 1,600 and 3,200).
  • TTL optical viewfinder with detailed information display.
  • 2.5-inch, low-temperature polysilicon TFT color LCD with 232,000 pixels.
  • Program AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual exposure modes.
  • Exposure / Flash / White Balance Bracketing, Interval photography, and Multiple Exposure modes.
  • Image Overlay function combines two RAW images to form a single new image.
  • Depth of field preview.
  • Adjustable Low-Speed (1 to 7 fps) and High-Speed (8 fps) Continuous Shooting modes, plus Single-Shot, Self-Timer and Mirror-Lockup modes.
  • Variable White Balance with nine modes, including a manual setting, fine tuning capability and ability to choose a color temperature from 2,500 to 10,000K (31 steps).
  • 11-point TTL autofocus with Single-Area (manual), Dynamic-Area, Group Dynamic, and Dynamic-Area w/ Closest Subject Priority options to select AF point(s).
  • Topside hot shoe for external flash connection of Nikon Speedlight as well as a second PC-style flash sync socket.
  • Flash exposure determined by combination of TTL 1,005 pixel Matrix sensor and Five-Segment Multi sensor.
  • 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, one-half, or one-step increments, in all exposure modes.
  • Fine Tune Exposure custom setting allows adjustment of the camera's default exposure value +/-1EV in 1/6EV.
  • Lock-on mode prevents camera from losing focus lock when something briefly passes between lens and subject.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/8,000 to 30 seconds in one-third, one-half, or one f-stop increments, and a Bulb setting for longer exposures.
  • Color Mode, Sharpening, Tone Compensation, and Hue Adjustment options.
  • 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), and NEF (RAW) data file formats.
  • Two JPEG compression modes: Size priority (for greater predictability of remaining images) and Optimal quality.
  • 10-pin remote terminal for optional remote control accessory.
  • Optional wireless transmitter accessory for wireless image transfer to a computer. (FTP and PTP/IP over 802.11g wireless LAN.)
  • NTSC / PAL-compatible A/V Out jack and included video cable for connection to a television set.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compliant.
  • Powered by EN-EL4 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack (battery and charger included), or optional AC adapter.


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