Pre-PMA 2005: Nikon has today announced an upgraded version of their high speed shooting D2H professional digital SLR. The new D2Hs features a range of improvements which have come out of the development of the D2X as well as specific improvements to the D2H design. Highlights; 8 frames per second shooting for up to 50 JPEG or 40 RAW images, 12 bit ASIC processing, WT-2 wireless support (802.11b/g, PTP/IP), improved AWB, 3D Matrix Metering II, higher resolution 'flicker free' LCD monitor, modified vertical shooting buttons, sYCC color space support and more. The D2Hs will be available in March with an MSRP of $3499. We have a five page preview article available.

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Press Release:

Nikon D2Hs

The professional digital SLR for action and sports, featuring ultra-high speed, high image quality, and maximum efficiency

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of a professional digital SLR camera that delivers high speed, high precision, and improved handling for action photography: the Nikon D2Hs.

Since the launch of the D1 series and successful introduction of the Nikon DX Format in 1999, Nikon has been conducting extensive research into the needs of photographers in every field and discipline. This research, coupled with painstaking analysis of feedback from Nikon users worldwide, has led to a string of technological and design innovations for the Nikon DX Format aimed at enhancing system performance for the serious photographer.

Capable of shooting at 8 fps for a continuous burst of up to 50 images at 4.1 effective megapixels, the D2Hs inherits the best of its predecessors while also benefiting from new technologies and feedback from advances made in developing the recently announced D2X digital SLR for professionals. This impressive array of exclusive features deliver the speed, response, resolution and handling to establish the D2Hs as the professional’s choice in photojournalism and sports photography.

The enhanced accuracy of digital processing in the ASIC provides smoother shading in gradual color changes, important for subjects, like a blue sky with very subtle tone changes within the blue range.

The D2Hs supports the sYCC color profile found in many of the latest printers. This means that the wider range of colors can be reproduced for printing JPEG data than the conventional sRGB color profile.

The D2Hs also adopts a combination of image-processing technologies and 3D-Color Matrix Metering II improved with new algorithms initially developed for the D2X, making it possible to capture beautiful images that will fulfill photographers’ needs for action photos with rich detail, color and smooth tone range.

Class-leading performance features inherited from its predecessor, the D2H include instant start-up, an almost imperceptible shutter time lag of just 37ms, and an improved implementation of the 11-area autofocus system, all of which enable the user to concentrate on shooting without being distracted by the time-consuming process of obtaining the most suitable settings for the best possible result.

Improvements to the large 2.5-inch LCD monitor include higher resolution of 232,000 pixels and clear, flicker-free display of images and information. The Histogram display is improved, while new selectable RGB Histogram displays make color channel-specific exposure confirmation quick, easy and accurate. Other handy displays have also been added, including the World Time function and the chronological Recent Settings list.

As part of Nikon’s Total Imaging System, the D2Hs is compatible with Nikon’s growing family of digital-exclusive DX Nikkor lenses as well as the lineup of high-quality Nikkor AF lenses. When used with the SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlights, the D2Hs maximizes the potential of Nikon’s Creative Lighting System with high precision flash performance, including i-TTL flash control and support for Nikon’s Advanced Wireless Lighting system.

The D2Hs is compatible with the new IEEE802.11b/g Wireless Transmitter WT-2/2A, providing faster image transmission with improved security and compatibility with the latest protocols, as well as offering capability for wireless remote control of the D2Hs from a computer with Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2.1 (optional) software installed. Of course, support is also maintained for the Wireless Transmitter WT-1/1A developed for the D2H.

Another feature adopted from D2X development is support for GPS devices, which can connected using the optional new MC-35 cable to include in the shooting data information such as latitude, longitude and altitude at the time of capture.

Bundled with the D2Hs is PictureProject, an easy-to-use software application for managing, editing and sharing image files. The D2Hs is also compatible with Nikon’s own photo-finishing application Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2.1 (optional), a convenient tool for professional photographers. Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2.1 has been enhanced with faster processing, improvements to image processing functions, as well as several new functions.

The design of the camera’s ergonomic styling is adopted from one created by famed industrial designer Giorgetto GIUGIARO exclusively for a new generation of Nikon camera.

Nikon D2Hs Major Features

  • LBCAST image sensor with 4.1 effective megapixels
    Nikon's exclusive DX Format JFET image sensor LBCAST (Lateral Buried Charge Accumulator and Sensing Transistor array) combines optimized resolution and speed to deliver image quality and high-speed performance.
  • Advanced new image processing engine produces high quality images
    The new image-processing engine adopts advances from the D2X to further improve image quality. Increased quantization precision when processing the data from the LBCAST sensor improves image quality to produce finer gradations with consistent and smooth transitions.
  • High-speed continuous shooting at 8 fps for up to 50 consecutive shots
    The speed achieved by the LBCAST sensor and image processing makes it possible to shoot continuously at 8 frames per second for up to 50 consecutive JPEG or 40 RAW (NEF) shots. The increased speed of the buffer memory improves recording speed as well as the speed of writing files to CompactFlash™ (CF) memory cards.
  • 3D-Color Matrix Metering II
    Refinements to the exposure metering system achieve higher precision in calculating optimum exposure from the data supplied from the 1,005-pixel RGB Exposure/Color Matrix Metering Sensor, even when shooting under challenging conditions.
  • Precise white balance
    Advanced Auto White Balance (AWB) and Auto Tone Control (ATC) systems combine the advantages of three sensors – Nikon's 1,005-pixel RGB Exposure/Color Matrix Metering Sensor, the LBCAST image sensor, and the external Ambient Light Sensor – to effectively handle even complicated lighting conditions. Full manual white balance control options include white balance presets and the direct setting of Kelvin color temperature. In addition, white balance bracketing can also be performed using up to nine frames for a single shot.
  • Faster, higher precision 11-area AF system
    Refinements to the system's AF and lens drive algorithms further improve focus precision, subject acquisition, and subject tracking. Nikon's advanced Multi-CAM 2000 AF Sensor Module features eleven widely spread AF sensors, of which nine are cross-type sensors, broad detection range and a selection of four flexible operating modes. The high precision and speed of the D2Hs's AF system also contributes to achieving high-speed continuous shooting.
  • High-speed wireless data transfer and camera control
    The D2Hs is compatible with both the original Wireless Transmitter WT-1/1A that expanded photographic possibilities and with the optional Wireless Transmitter WT-2/2A, which supports IEEE 802.11g for faster transfer speeds as well as IEEE 802.11b networks. The WT-2/2A also strengthens wireless security options and supports a wider variety of network protocols, including the new PTP/IP protocol that realizes wireless Capture Control from a computer running Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.2.1 or later).
  • sYCC color space support
    Support for sYCC color space produces JPEG files that can fully exploit the output capabilities of the latest color printers and use a gamut wider than sRGB to achieve optimum print quality. The D2Hs also continues to feature three available color modes, which are optimized by the advanced color reproduction system to best match the specific assignment and workflow environment. Color Modes I and III use the sRGB color space, while Color Mode II uses the wider gamut of the Adobe RGB color space.
  • JPEG and RAW (NEF) combination filing system
    The option to simultaneously record RAW (NEF) and JPEG files to the CF card for the same shot makes it possible to streamline workflow operations. JPEG files can be used when faster transfer or delivery is the priority, while NEF format is a convenient option for high-quality applications that allows non-destructive editing and changes.
  • GPS connectivity expands applications
    The latitude, longitude, altitude and UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) at which a shot is taken can be recorded from a GPS unit to the image's metadata. GPS units that comply with the NMEA 0183 (ver.2.01) interface standard can be connected using the optional GPS cable (MC-35).
  • High-resolution 2.5” LCD
    A large new 2.5-inch LCD monitor with a higher resolution of 232,000 pixels adds an all-digital interface for clear, flicker-free display of images and information. Displays include preview images at up to 15x magnification, an improved histogram display, and new selectable RGB Histogram displays make exposure confirmation quick, easy and accurate for each of the Red, Green and Blue color channels, or for RGB.
  • New World Time and Help menus improve operational ease
    The World Time menu makes it easy to select the local time from a world map displayed on the LCD monitor, a handy feature for globetrotting professionals. Also new is the chronological Recent Settings list, as well as available help dialogs that describe menu settings.
  • Immediate response & ultra-short 37ms shutter lag
    Instant power-up and a class-leading shutter release time lag of a mere 37 milliseconds combines with optimized systems throughout to maximize all-round performance and deliver the response needed to handle even challenging professional assignments.
  • Body design aimed at efficient handing, durability, and resistance to dust & water
    The D2Hs inherits the refinements made to the controls and buttons on the D2X for easier operation. The body design is optimized for handling efficiency and, along with the highly durable shutter unit, mirror balancer and other internal mechanisms, to stand the rigors of professional assignments while protecting against drops of water.
  • Advanced lithium-ion battery system for more shots per charge
    Revised battery check algorithms help the high-energy EN-EL4 rechargeable lithium-ion battery to power the D2Hs for approx. 2,900 shots per charge. Accurate real-time battery system status displays include the remaining battery level, the number of shots taken since the last charge, the overall status of the battery's service life, and notification when calibration is necessary.
  • Practical output interfaces
    The USB 2.0 (Hi-Speed) interface allows for fast transfer of images to a computer or external storage device. PictBridge support makes it possible to print directly to any compatible printer. And, the supplied Audio Video Cable allows for playback on external devices, including playback of recorded voice memos, which can each be up to 60 seconds in length. Voice memos can also be played back via the built-in speaker.
  • Full integration with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System
    Seamless operation with the SB-800 and SB-600 Speedlights takes full advantage of i-TTL flash control's advanced monitor pre-flash method, accurate measurement when using bounce and robust wireless operation to fully exploit features of the Creative Lighting System such as Advanced Wireless Lighting, Flash Value (FV) Lock, AUTO FP High-Speed Sync, and Flash Color Information Communication. The D2Hs is also compatible with the SB-80DX, SB-50DX, and other earlier Speedlights that use D-TTL flash control.
  • Compatible with the extensive selection of DX Nikkor and AF Nikkor lenses
    The Nikon F lens mount assures unprecedented compatibility with the expanding family of digital dedicated DX Nikkor lenses as well as Nikon’s comprehensive lineup of more than 50 different AF and AF-S Nikkor lenses, which feature high-performance technologies such as VR (Vibration Reduction) functions, Silent Wave Motors (SWM), and ED glass elements. Long favored by professionals for their outstanding autofocus performance, superb color, high contrast and razor-sharp images, over 35 million Nikkor lenses have been sold to date.
  • Supplied PictureProject software supports personal pleasure
    PictureProject's intuitive user interface provides fast and easy access to the basic image management, editing and sharing tools that add to the enjoyment of the digital photography experience. Features include automatic file import, drag-and-drop organization, design layout templates, CD/DVD burning, and plug-in filter support for feature set expansion, (with a RAW plug-in supplied).
  • Nikon Capture 4 (Ver 4.2.1) for professional workflow support
    The optional Nikon Capture 4 (Ver.4.2.1) software package delivers a unique, powerful and expandable environment that provides full control over RAW (NEF) and the color-controlled workflow environment that professionals require. Version 4.2.1 incorporates outstanding new tools that further increase productivity and creative control, while it also improves the speed of data processing. Nikon Capture 4's Remote Camera Control function can control most shooting settings and trigger the camera's shutter release remotely, either connected via the USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface, or using the optional Wireless Transmitter WT-2/2A. (PTP/IP wireless camera control requires Windows XP or Mac OS X.)

Click here for our detailed Nikon D2Hs preview
(includes specifications, comparison and more images)