Nikon today announce the new D1X and D1H digital SLR's. These two progressions from the successful D1 are an attempt to satisfy two sides of the professional market, first, the D1X aimed squarely at the commercial market, sporting a new 5.4 megapixel CCD but limited to 3 fps, second, the D1H featuring the same 2.74 megapixel CCD found in the original D1 but now with boosted buffer space and faster ASIC the D1H can shoot up to 40 frames at 5 fps.

Summary points (D1X / D1H)

  • Same body as D1 (some labels / buttons have changed)
  • Same AF system as D1 (and F5)
  • Same 1.5x focal length multiplier
  • Selectable colour space mode (sRGB or Adobe 1998)
  • 3D White Balance (with hue compensation for colour shift produced by artificial lighting)
  • Textual custom functions (available in four languages)
  • Increased number of custom functions, now 35
  • RS232C port for connection to GPS units, GPS location is recorded in image header
  • ISO sensitivity selectable in 1/3 or 1/2 stops (D1X from ISO 125, D1H from ISO 200)
  • D1X also supports a 2.74 megapixel image size which should be of higher quality than a 2.74 megapixel image from the D1/D1H (though frame rates remain 3 fps even at this lower resolution)
  • New faster ASIC processor (image processor)
  • Photoshop plugin for RAW files
  • RAW file optional lossless compression mode (2:1)
  • New "total system anti-noise strategy"
  • Less noise at high ISO's
  • New Nikon Capture 2
  • New Nikon View 4 (file copy from card with rename)
  • Improved IEEE 1394 (Firewire) data transfer speed
  • New 130,000 pixel LCD with "white LED backlight"
  • One-button playback with magnification capability
  • Official support for new 1 GB Microdrive (though not older 340 MB)

The D1X's new 5.4 mp CCD

A portion of a normal "square" CCD A portion of the D1X's double horizontal resolution CCD

Both cameras share the same functional and operating improvements over the D1 the single main difference between the two is the new 5.4 megapixel CCD used in the D1X which breaks the sensor mould by doubling the number of horizontal pixels (4024 vs. the D1/D1H's 2012) but maintains the same number of vertical pixels, thus the D1X's pixel grid layout is rectangular rather than square, in camera processing turns the 4,024 x 1,324 raw pixels (5.4 megapixel) into a 3,008 x 1,960 pixel image (5.9 megapixel). While it's clear that some interpolation is being carried out in the vertical direction (to get from 1,324 rows to 1,960 rows) there is also compression in the horizontal direction (reducting from 4,024 to 3,008 columns), this compression is used to detail the vertical interpolation. Nikon argue that because the input and output resolution are almost identical no image degredation will be visible. (We'll only be able to test this claim when we get a D1X up against a resolution test card).

D1X "sees" an image with higher horizontal resolution, 4000 x 1312 (approx. 6:2)* D1X produces an image which is horizontally narrower and vertically taller, 3008 x 1960 (approx. 3:2)

* 4000 x 1312 is assumed to be the effective output of the CCD taking into account masked "dark point" regions of the CCD (this data is NOT confirmed by Nikon).

The reasoning behind using a layout is that Nikon have managed to double resolution while maintaining a usable frame rate, by keeping the "readout queue" the same (1,324 rows) they have managed to maintain relatively high frame rates while doubling the overall resolution of the camera.

Nikon press release:

Nikon's new D1X and D1H digital SLRs — two solutions for professional digital photographers

Nikon D1X
(Spring 2001)
Nikon D1H
(Summer 2001)

Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of two new professional digital SLR cameras – the D1X and D1H, Nikon’s latest achievements in digital photography. Both models are founded on the pioneering D1 which introduced a new price/quality threshold to the high-end lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera market.

Since its inception in September 1999, Nikon has been conducting in-depth research into the use of the D1 camera and has analyzed feedback from Nikon users in all disciplines of photography. These studies, which called for further increase in quality and ease of operation led to the con-clusion that the requirements of professional photographers needed to be addressed more directly.

The new cameras give professionals exactly what they demand – a choice. They can opt for the super-high resolution of the D1X, or the fast-action workflow-based D1H.

While inheriting many of Nikon’s fundamental concepts in digital camera manufacture that were embodied in the D1 – total image quality, enhanced speed and improved operability – both cameras boast a wide variety of enhancements that make them stand out from competitive mod-els and place them a generation further on from their own predecessor.

The D1X allows photographers to capture images at 5.47-megapixel resolution (output at 3,008 x 1,960 pixels and at 2,000 x 1,312 pixels), while also enjoying improved color management capability for super-high color fidelity in a wide variety of applications and locations. It will become the standard for the professional photographer who requires no-compromise quality from a digital camera. An improved version of the Nikon Capture software allows the full 16-bit image quality and control either in the studio or when post-processing RAW files.

The D1H offers uprated consecutive shooting (up to 40 shots at 5 fps) as well as faster image processing and data transfer both to CF media and direct to computer (transfer speed by IEEE1394 is now enhanced). It will become the standard for press photographers and professionals for whom speed is absolutely essential.

In response to user feedback and a desire to push the boundary of digital photography to the highest possible level, both models incorporate additional improvements in various areas which elevate their performance to the standards required by today’s and tomorrow’s photographers. All of these features and improvements are complemented by broader system compatibility and are packed into a lightweight, rugged magnesium body.

With the launch of the D1X and D1H Nikon has met the needs of photographers who wish to complement their professionalism with the ultimate combination of total image quality, performance, durability, system compatibility and cost-effectiveness.

Click here for Nikon D1X / D1H information leaflet

Nikon D1X / D1H Major Features

Total image quality

  • D1X: 23.7 x 15.6mm 5.47-megapixel CCD for 4,024 x 1,324-pixel images
    (output at 3,008 x 1,960 pixels and at 2,000 x 1,312 pixels)
  • D1H: 23.7 x 15.6mm 2.74-megapixel CCD for 2,012 x 1,324-pixel images
    (output at 2,000 x 1,312 pixels)
  • Newly designed 3D Digital Matrix Image Control (3D Color Matrix Metering, TTL White Balance and Tone Compensation) featuring new algorithm ensures:
    • Precise exposure control
    • Adaptive auto white balance control
    • Optimal color accuracy
  • Picture noise is minimized even in high-sensitivity range
    • D1X: ISO-equivalent 125-800 sensitivity range
    • D1H: ISO-equivalent 200-1,600 sensitivity range
  • 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash controlled by newly developed algorithm
  • Two color modes selectable for different workflow environments (opti-mized for sRGB color space and Adobe RGB color space)

Enhanced speed

  • Superhigh-speed image processing by newly developed system LSI
  • Continuous shooting mode:
    • D1X: approx. 3 frames per second for up to 9 consecutive shots
    • D1H: approx. 5 frames per second* for up to 40** consecutive shots
  • Shutter release time lag as short as the D1 and a quick startup
  • Top shutter speed of 1/16,000 sec. and flash sync speed up to 1/500 sec
  • IEEE1394 interface with enhanced transfer speed

* World’s fastest among lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, as of January 2001
** World’s largest in continuous shooting for full-frame images among lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, as of January 2001

Improved operability

  • Newly developed 130,000-dot TFT LCD color monitor with white LED backlighting
  • Custom Setting menu (offering 35 different settings) is displayed on LCD color monitor (in four languages: English, French, German, Japanese)
  • One-touch playback for rapid review and instant return to Shooting Mode
  • Enlarged playback and thumbnail playback (in either 9 or 4 segments)
  • 100% area-accurate playback coverage on LCD color monitor
  • Supports CompactFlash™ Card (Type I/II) and Microdrive™***
  • Lossless-compression mode for RAW files to increase CF card capacity and image transfer speed without sacrificing image quality
  • RS-232C interface for connection to GPS position information unit
  • Enhanced system compatibility with Nikon professional SLRs F5, F100 and D1
  • Lightweight, durable magnesium (Mg) body

*** As for the 340MB type, there are some restrictions.

Nikon D1X / D1H specifications

  Nikon D1X Nikon D1H
Available Spring 2001 Summer 2001
Price US$ 5,500 US$ 4,500
Type of camera Lens-interchangable digital SLR camera
CCD 23.7 x 15.6mm RGB CCD;
5.47 million total pixels;
5.32-million effective pixels
(4,024 x 1,324 array);
captures 12-bit full-color image
23.7 x 15.6mm RGB CCD;
2.74 million total pixels;
2.66-million effective pixels
(2,012 x 1,324 array);
captures 12-bit full-color image
Recording pixels 3,008 x 1,960 / 2,000 x 1,312 2,000 x 1,312
Sensitivity ISO equivalency 125-800
(variable in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps)
ISO equivalency 200-1,600
(variable in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps)

System: Digitally stored; JPEG Baseline (approx. 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 compressed), uncompressed (12-bit Raw*, 8-bit YCbCr-TIFF, 8-bit RGB-TIFF), monochrome mode
Media: CompactFlash™ (CF) Card (Type I/II) and Microdrive™ *
Modes and No. of frames (approx., with EC-96CF 96MB CF Card):

  D1X D1X / D1H
3,008 x 1,960 2,000 x 1,312
Raw (uncompressed Raw) ** 11 23
Hi (uncompressed YCbCr-TIFF) 8 18
Hi (uncompressed RGB-TIFF) 5 12
Fine JPEG (approx. 1/4 ratio) 29 65
Normal JPEG (approx. 1/8 ratio) 58 128
Basic JPEG (approx. 1/16 ratio) 114 246

* As for the 340MB type, there are some restrictions
** Compressed RAW mode also available

Shooting Modes  • Single frame shooting (S) mode: advances one frame for each shutter release; capture preview mode available
 • Continuous shooting (C) mode: approx. 3 frames per sec. (up to 9 consecutive shots)  • Continuous shooting (C) mode: approx. 5 frames per sec. (up to 40 consecutive shots)
 • Self-timer mode: time duration can be set
 • Playback mode: playback, menu setting
 • PC mode: data transfer via personal computer
White Balance  • Auto (TTL control with 1,005-pixel CCD
 • Manual (6 settings with fine tuning)
 • Preset (3 settings)
LCD Monitor 2-in., 130,000-dot, low temp. polysilicon TFT LCD with LED backlighting; backlight/brightness adjustment available
Playback Menu

 • Protect setting
 • Hide setting
 • NTSC/PAL switching
 • Indication directory switching

Playback Function

 • 1 frame
 • Thumbnail (4/9 segments)
 • Slide show
 • Enlarged playback
 • Histogram indication, highlight point display and focus confirmation indication

Delete Function  • Card format
 • All frames delete
 • Selected frames delete
Video Output Selectable:
�� PAL
Interface  • IEEE 1394
 • RS-232C (GPS Unit (not Nikon product) connection)
Usable Lenses  • D-type AF Nikkor: All functions possible
 • D-type Manual-Focus Nikkor: All functions except autofocus possible
 • AF Nikkor other than D-type: All functions except 3D Color Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1-series possible
 • AI-P Nikkor: All functions except 3D Color Matrix Metering, 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 and auto-focus possible
 • Non-CPU: Usable in [A] or [M] mode Center-Weighted or Spot Metering; Electronic Rangefinder usable with lens with maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster
Picture Angle Approx. 1.5x focal length in 35mm [135] format equivalent
Viewfinder Optical-type fixed-eye level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (–3 to +1 m-1); eyepiece shutter provided
Eyepoint 22mm (at –1.0 m-1)
Focusing Screen B-type BriteView clear Matte screen III; interchangeable with optional E-type screen with grid for D1-series
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 96%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.8x with 50mm lens set to infinity and –1. 0 m-1
Reflex Mirror Automatic, instant-return type
Lens Aperture Instant-return type, with depth-of-field preview button
Autofocus TTL phase detection, Nikon Multi-CAM1300 autofocus module; Detection range: EV –1 to EV 19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature)
Lens Servo  • Single Servo AF (S)
 • Continuous Servo AF (C)
 • Manual focus (M)
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject’s status in (S) or (C) AF
Focus Area One of five focus areas can be selected
AF Area Mode  • Single Area AF
 • Dynamic AF (Dynamic AF Mode with Closest Subject Priority is available)
Focus Lock Focus is locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button or lightly pressing shutter release button in (S) AF
Exposure Metering System TTL full-aperture exposure metering system
 • 3D Color Matrix Metering with 1,005-pixel CCD
 • Center-Weighted Metering (75% of the meter’s sensitivity concentrated on the 8mm diameter circle)
 • Spot Metering (4mm diameter circle, approx. 2% of entire frame)
Exposure Metering Range  • 3D Color Matrix Metering: EV 0-20
 • Center-Weighted Metering: EV 0-20
 • Spot Metering: EV 2-20 (at normal temperature, ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)
Exposure Meter Coupling CPU and AI combined
Exposure Mode  • [P] Programmed Auto (Flexible Program possible)
 • [S] Shutter-Priority Auto
 • [A] Aperture-Priority Auto
 • [M] Manual; shutter speed/aperture adjustable in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
Exposure Compensation Exposure compensation in +/- 5 EV range in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
Auto Exposure Lock Detected value locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
Auto Exposure Bracketing  • Number of shots: two or three
 • Compensation steps: 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV step
Shutter Charge-coupled electronic and mechanical shutter; 30 to 1/16,000 sec. and Bulb
Sync Contact X-contact only; flash sychronization up to 1/500 sec
Flash Control  • Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash controlled by five-segment TTL Multi Sensor:
      • 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1-series when used with SB-28DX /          SB-50DX and D-type Nikkor lens
      • Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash when used with SB-28DX / SB-50DX and AF
         Nikkor other than D-type, AI-P Nikkor lens
 • AA (Auto Aperture)-type Flash available when used with SB-28DX/SB-50DX and lens with built-in CPU
 • Non-TTL Auto Flash with a Speedlight such as SB-28DX, 50DX, 28, 27, 22s, etc.
Flash Sync Mode  • Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync)
 • Red-Eye Reduction
 • Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync
 • Slow Sync
 • Rear-Curtain Sync
Ready-light Lights up when flash fully charged with Speedlight SB-28DX, 50DX, 28, 27, 22s; blinks (3 sec. after flash) for full output warning
Accessory Shoe Standard ISO-type hot-shoe contact; safety lock provided
Sync Terminal Standard JIS terminal, lock screw provided
Self-timer Electronically controlled; timer duration 2-20 secs
Depth-of-field Preview button Stop-down lens aperture by pressing depth-of-field preview button
LCD Panel Information Top LCD panel: Exposure value (shutter speed/aperture), exposure mode, exposure compensation, exposure compensation value, aperture/shutter speed lock, flash sync mode, focus area, exposure bracketing information, electronic analog display, battery power, CF Card confirmation, number of shots taken, number shots remaining, frame number at playback battery power for built-in
clock, date/time
Rear LCD panel: Number of shots remaining, sensitivity, white balance mode, image quality mode, monochrome mode, CF Card status, Custom function, number of pixels (M/L; D1X only)
Remote Control Via 10-pin remote terminal
Power Requirements Ni-MH Battery Pack EN-4 (7.2V DC), Quick Charger MH-17 (12V DC)/16/15; AC Adapter EH-4 (100-240V AC)
Tripod Socket 1/4 in (JIS)
Custom Settings 35 settings can be selected on the LCD
Dimensions (W x H x D) 157 x 153 x 85 mm (6.2 x 6.1 x 3.4 in)
Weight (without batt.) 1.1 kg (2.5 lbs)
Standard Accessories * Neck Strap, Video Cable, “Nikon View” Browser Software
Ni-MH Battery Pack EN-4, Quick Charger MH-17/16, AC Adapter
EH-4, CompactFlash™ Cards, Speedlight SB-28DX/SB-50DX,
IEEE1394 Cable SC-D1, Anti-fog Finder Eyepiece DK-15,
“Nikon Capture” Control Software

* Standard accessories may differ in each country or area