Nikon's D1 has been around for over a year now, first officially announced on 15th June 1999, though we'd seen plenty of "behind glass" prototypes before then. I first got my hands on an early product D1 back in September last year.

The D1 was Nikons answer to Kodak's domination of the professional SLR's market. It marked an important step in history, the first digital SLR designed and built solely by one of the big manufacturers ("home grown"). It also marked a huge change in expectations over price for this kind of equipment, at the time it was releasd it was at least half (if not a third) the price of it's nearest Nikon based competitor the Kodak DCS 620. Better stll it soprted a 2.7 megapixel sensor compared to the DCS x20's 2.0 megapixel allowing the camera to shoot for larger prints and higher quality output.

I'd better explain why it's taken this long to come out with a review, I did have a loan D1 at the beginning of this year, however my move from Singapore back to the UK interrupted the work on this review. I'm publishing this review to help complete the range of digital SLR reviews (also Canon EOS-D30, Fujifilm S1 Pro, Kodak DCS 520, 620 & 620x).

2.74 megapixel CCD

The D1 features a 2.74 megapixel 23.7 mm x 16.7 mm CCD which outputs 2.62 million pixels (2000 x 1312). This sensor is slightly larger than than that used in Canon's new D30, although still smaller than APS or 35mm film. This means that, like other digital SLR's the D1 features a focal length multiplier of 1.5x, thus a 28 mm lens on a D1 has an equiv. focal length of 42 mm

Sensor / Camera Effective pixels
Effective ** resolution Imager size (mm) Pixel (unit) size
Sony 1/1.8" CCD *
3.12 2,048 x 1,536 5.52 x 4.14 3.45
Nikon D1 CCD 2.62 2,000 x 1,312 23.6 x 15.5 11.8
Canon EOS-D30 CMOS 3.11 2,160 x 1,440 22.7 x 15.1 10.5
APS negative (C type) n/a n/a 30.2 x 16.7 n/a
35mm negative n/a n/a 35.0 x 23.3 n/a

* As used in Nikon Coolpix 990, Sony DSC-S70, Olympus C-3030Z etc.
** Effective meaning pixels used to produce final image