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A preview of the Nikon D2H - Continued

What's new in the D2H? Everything.

Perhaps the only major component to carry over unchanged from the D1H is the 1005 pixel metering CCD, though in the D2H it's called upon to do a lot more than measure ambient light.

For the D2H, Nikon has developed a new camera body, new autofocus system, new shutter, new image sensor and image processing, new wireless TTL flash system, new battery and charger, new digital control layout on the rear of the camera, new rear LCD monitor, new viewfinder information display and more. And they tossed in wireless LAN transmitting (with the WT-1 accessory transmitter) directly from the camera for good measure.

In short, this is not an upgrade to the D1H as much as it's a new class of Nikon pro camera.

Nikon D2H Feature Overview

D2H major features include:

  • Magnesium alloy body with environmental protection

nikon_d2h_seals.jpg
D2H environmental seals

  • 11 area Multi-CAM2000 AF system (9 sensors are cross-type); AF sensors cover 75% of the frame horizontally and are arranged in a "rule of thirds" grid

  • 4 AF Area Modes: Single Area AF, Dynamic AF with Focus Tracking and Lock On, Closest Subject Priority Dynamic AF and Group Dynamic AF

  • 150,000+ cycle shutter made from duralumin, an aluminum alloy commonly used in the building of aircraft

  • Near-instantaneous camera startup time

  • 8 fps firing rate (adjustable from 1-8 fps in 1 fps increments) regardless of file format, ISO or AF mode

  • Consistent 37ms shutter lag (faster even that the 45ms shutter lag we've previously measured for the Nikon F5); shutter lag plummets to 2ms with mirror lockup engaged

  • 80ms mirror blackout time

  • Top shutter speed of 1/8,000; standard top flash sync speed of 1/250 (plus full i-TTL flash at up to 1/8000 with the SB-800 set to Auto FP High-Speed Sync). It's not possible to cheat the flash sync well above the standard top flash sync speed with non-dedicated strobes, as it is with the D1H

  • ISO range of 200-1600 in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 step increments, plus 3200, 6400 and Auto

d2h-illustration.jpg

  • Ambient metering using the 1005 pixel metering CCD (also found in the F5 and Nikon D1-series digital SLRs)

  • i-TTL flash exposure metering using the 1005 pixel metering CCD and revamped 5-segment TTL Multi Sensor

  • Wireless TTL multiple flash possible (requires Speedlight SB-800)

  • Flash exposure may be locked with Flash Value Lock (FV-Lock) function (requires Speedlight SB-800)

  • Powered by removable, rechargeable 11.1V, 1900mAH EN-EL4 Lithium-Ion battery pack; battery information screen in the camera shows charge remaining in 5% increments, number of frames remaining, service life indicator and calibration status

  • Built-in microphone for recording voice memos; built-in speaker for playing them back

  • nikon_d2H_screen_intvl.jpgBuilt-in interval timer (with configuration options similar to the Time Lapse Photography function of Nikon Capture Control)

  • Viewfinder shows approx. 100% of picture-taking area and incorporates two information displays beneath and to the right of the viewing area; right information displays shows ISO, file format, white balance setting and whether voice memo feature is activated

  • Eyepiece cover locks in place to prevent loss

  • FUNC button on front of camera near lens mount is programmable; can be set to act as FV-Lock button, to switch metering modes temporarily and more

  • Orientation sensor indicates whether the camera is horizontal or vertical (90 left or 90 right) at the time the picture is taken; the image file is tagged with this information. Nikon View 6.1 will automatically orient photos right way up

  • 4.26 million pixel, Nikon-developed LBCAST image sensor with bayer pattern RGB filter array, microlenses and optical low pass filter generates 4.02 million actual image pixel photos. Image dimensions are 2464 x 1632 pixels on [L] resolution setting, 1840 x 1224 pixels on [M] resolution setting

  • Real-time noise reduction during image processing, as well as optional, additional non-real-time long exposure noise reduction

  • Sensor is Nikon DX-size (23.1 x 15.5mm); focal length cropping factor is approximately 1.5x (relative to 35mm film)

  • 12 bits per colour image capture (converted to 8 or 16 bits per colour, depending on file format and processing)

  • File format options include JPEG (three levels of compression), TIFF, RAW NEF (compressed and uncompressed) and simultaneous RAW + JPEG

  • 40 frame JPEG, 35 frame TIFF, 25 frame RAW NEF burst depth

  • Three Color Mode settings for different colour looks: Mode I (sRGB); Mode II (Adobe RGB); Mode III (sRGB)

  • Auto White Balance (AWB) range is 2500K to 10,000K; AWB combines data from the 1005 pixel metering sensor, external Ambience Light Sensor and from the image sensor itself to determine white balance;  AWB system can detect the flicker of artificial light sources such as fluorescent and apply colour compensation to account for that; SB-800 strobes communicates colour information to the AWB system based on flash duration

  • Six Manual White Balance Settings, plus Kelvin (31 increments from 2500 to 10,000K in steps approx. equivalent to 10 Mireds); White Balance Bracketing (2 to 9 frames in 10, 20 or 30 Mired steps)

  • Up to 5 Preset White Balance (PWB) settings may be stored; each one can have a unique name (up to 36 characters); PWB can be determined from existing photo on a CF card, from a measurement with the Ambience Light Sensor and more

  • Automatic Tone Compensation combines data from the 1005 pixel metering sensor, external Ambience Light Sensor and from the image sensor itself to determine the tone curve to be applied; there are three manual Tone Compensation settings (Normal, Less Contrast, More Contrast) plus Custom

  • nikon_d2H_screen_sharp.jpgIn-camera sharpening options are Auto, 5 manual increments plus None

  • Camera includes a single CompactFlash Type I/II slot; cards over 2GB, as well as Lexar's Write Acceleration technology, are supported

  • Optional WT-1 wireless LAN accessory enables Wi-Fi transmission of photos directly from the camera

  • USB 2.0 (not FireWire) port for tethered operation

  • Video out supports NTSC and PAL, as well as audio only (for playback of voice memos)

  • GPS not supported

  • Playback is via 2.5", 211,000-dot TFT LCD with white LED backlighting; brightness is adjustable

  • Playback modes include multi-step zoom as well as single image with AF area overlay, in addition to usual complement of viewing modes

  • Nikon View 6.1 to be included with the camera; Capture 4.0 will be an optional, extra-cost accessory
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