Nikon's update of its popular D2X should make a good camera better for those whose shooting needs are met by the camera's feature set, and especially those with a hankering to use Hi-Speed Crop mode. The numerous other refinements in the D2Xs are vintage Nikon; since the D2H, the company has been focused on refining many aspects of the way its pro digital cameras operate, and is the undisputed leader in shoe-mount flash technology. This is all to the benefit of Nikon shooters.
But there is room for disappointment in the D2Xs as well. Nikon has yet to produce a camera that combines lots of pixels with manageable image noise at higher ISO settings, and based on what we've learned about the new model so far, the D2Xs will do nothing to change that. And our experience with D2X continuous autofocus for shooting field sports, while good, hasn't matched our results with several different Canon 1-series digital SLRs under similar conditions. We're hoping that the autofocus tweaks in the D2Xs will help bridge the gap.
The Nikon D2Xs is slated to ship in late June/early July 2006 at an estimated selling price of US$4699.95 in the U.S. In Canada, it should emerge at about the same time as the U.S., though the price hasn't yet been set. We haven't checked in with other Nikon regions as yet, but it's a safe bet that it will ship worldwide at about the same time as North American markets.
Thanks to Sig Hallgrimsson, Michael Rubin, Lindsay Silverman and Saurabh Wahi for their assistance with the preparation of this article.
• Added more information about D2Xs GPS functionality (June 5, 2006)