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Nikon View 4

The D1x ships with the latest incarnation of Nikon's image file transfer, browsing and viewing application Nikon View. This tool assists you in transferring images directly from the camera (or card reader) to your local PC. Timings reported on this page were carried out on a dual processor 933 Mhz Pentium III workstation with 1 GB of RAM and SCSI disk subsystem.

Installation

Installation is straightforward enough, the (PC) CD-ROM comes with four items of interest:

  • Nikon View 4
  • Nikon D1x firewire driver - required for connectivity to Firewire card
  • Photoshop NEF plugin - allows you to open D1x RAW (.NEF) files directly in Photoshop (no options are provided at time of open)
  • Cumulus plugin

Note, to connect the D1x to a Firewire equipped PC / Mac you'll need a 6-pin to 6-pin Firewire cable. Why Nikon don't include this inexpensive item with the camera is beyond me.

After installation (and a reboot) a small monitor application checks for connections of new devices or insert of a storage card into a card reader. Upon connecting the D1x (via Firewire, switch the camera to PC mode) this small 'transfer tool' window is shown (which can be configured to show a thumbnail list instead):

Transfer

Clicking on the main icon (piece of film with an arrow) will initiate transfer. The transfer of images can follow one of five different rules: All images, marked / unmarked images or protected / unprotected images. You can also choose the download resolution, the Image Transfer tool can resize on download. Note that the tool does not delete images from the storage card. Files are transferred into a directory with the same name as the current date and time (yyyymmdd-hhmmss) and renamed according to the preferences set (see below). During transfer the following dialog is shown:

Thumbnail List

Lets go back a step. Assuming we've not transferred yet, clicking on the first bottom left icon on the Image Transfer window will open the thumbnail list window (this can take some time as it needs to retrieve thumbnails from the camera):

The window layout is: toolbar across the top (you can select from four different thumbnail sizes: 64, 96, 128, 192, 256), the folder list (these are folders created in-camera) and a detailed list of exposure settings, here's an example of that data:

File name DSC_0014.NEF Shutter speed 1/180 second
File size 7.7 MB (8089022 Bytes) Aperture F6.3
Shoot date 2001/06/21 11:31:13 Exposure compensation 0 EV
Picture size 3008 x 1960 Fixed white balance Direct sunlight
Resolution 600 x 600 dpi Lens 28 - 105 mm F 3.5 - 4.5
Number of bits 12bit/channel Flash sync mode N/A
Protection attribute Off Exposure difference 0.0 EV
Hide Attribute Off Flexible program No
Camera ID N/A Sensitivity ISO 125
Model name NIKON D1X Sharpening Normal
Quality mode HI (5.4M Raw) Curve mode Normal
Metering mode Multi-pattern Color mode COLOR
Exposure mode Programmed auto Tone compensation N/A
Flash No Latitude(GPS) N/A
Focal length 56 mm Longitude(GPS) N/A
    Altitude(GPS) N/A

From the thumbnail list you can transfer all, selectively transfer, print, erase, rotate or view the image in a larger window (obviously this initiates a transfer of the full image and can take some time):

Preferences

Nikon View preferences allow you to change: Auto start options; pop up transfer tool window, contact sheet or nothing, destination directory, file naming, database integration, IPTC data and image viewer options.

IEEE 1394 Performance

Our tests were carried out using a high speed IEEE 1394 (Firewire) PCI card connected to the D1x via a 6-pin to 6-pin Firewire cable. The camera was using a 320 MB Lexar Pro 12x card with a mixture of files (2 JPEG, 14 NEF - total 107 MB).

Action Details Time Throughput
Thumbnail list 16 images 50.0 secs n/a
Transfer from camera 16 images (107 MB) 66.9 secs 1.60 MB/sec
View single JPEG 2,391 KB 3.69 secs n/a
View single NEF 7,908 KB 18.19 secs n/a

Overall transfer speed was very respectable, it would take approximately ten minutes to download a full 1 GB IBM Microdrive. Note though that a decent Firewire card reader is almost twice as fast.

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