Conclusion - Pros
- High Quality, clean, detailed images
- Supreme build quality, unrivalled, all metal body, weatherproof seals
- The way it feels in your hand, "solid mass"
- All rubber foot plate
- Instant startup time
- Built around two of the best film SLR's around, the F5 and F100
- In-built portrait grip
- Ultra fast AF (especially when combined with AF-S lens)
- Excellent (if slightly conservative) matrix metering
- Good low light, long exposure performance
- Fastest (so far) burst mode, large buffer (21 images in JPEG mode)
- Extremely flexible controls, lots of options for the photographer
- Most controls can be locked (true pro feature)
- Wide range of custom functions
- Interchangeable focus screen
- Good, large (2") LCD, anti-reflective coated
- Firewire connectivity
- Good battery life
- CF Type II support (though some problems with 1GB Microdrive)
- RAW mode support (the "digital negative")
- Remote capture software for studio work
- Nikkor Lens compatibility
- All Nikon Digital SLR, built as such from the ground up
Conclusion - Cons
- JPEG/TIFF artifacts thanks to poor in-camera sharpening algorithm (must use Low sharpening to get the most out of JPEG/TIFF)
- Pattern noise at higher ISO's more difficult to remove than random noise
- Lacking lower sensitivity (ISO 100?)
- D1's colour set up still causes confusion (should be better documented)
- Nikon Capture lacks batch mode, shows poor vertical resolution
- Nikon Capture as an optional extra, it SHOULD be included with the camera
- Custom functions should be in menu system not as cryptic number combinations
- Unnecessary PLAY mode, should be entered by pressing the MONITOR button
- Unnecessary second LCD, should have been doubled onto top display or rear LCD
- Un-buffered Single Shot drive mode (having to wait between single frames)
- No review in Continuous drive mode (should at least show last image of burst)
- Battery charger could be neater (drop-in style charger)
- Requires optional AC adapter (battery charger cannot be used as power supply)
- Requires positive exposure compensation at higher ISO's
- Image browsing in playback should be controlled by the command wheel not arrow keys (too slow)
- No firmware updates yet
The D1 is everything the professional photographer could need and a whole lot more, build quality is second to none, image quality is excellent with a few funnies which, as long as you know, you can work around.
Cast your mind back to when the D1 was first released. Consider the market back then, as a professional the only digital's you would be considering would be the 2 megapixel, $12,000+ Kodak DCS series, Nikon hit the headlines with a 2.7 megapixel, all one brand, $5,000 professional SLR which offered features, build quality and a smaller size not previously seen in the pro market. An amazing feat.
Remember also that the D1 was the first digital SLR to shoot JPEG, extremely important to many professional photographers. Not long after Kodak released firmware which could convert the proprietary TIFF files to JPEG (but it's simply NOT the same). It's interesting to note just how many firmware updates their have been for the Kodak DCS cameras since Nikon released the D1 (Kodak trying to play catch-up?).
I can remember talking to someone from Kodak Professional back in early 1999 when the D1 was rumour, back then they really weren't worried with a particularly blasé attitude about their products and their continued success in the professional market. I wonder what they make of the D1 now.
Without doubt the D1 was the camera which changed the face of the digital SLR market, since then we've seen products and announcements from other manufacturers but still nothing to compete with the D1. Kodak have also slash the price of their pro cameras in an attempt to win back some of the lost ground.
The D1 is, at the time of writing this review, the digital tool for professional photographers, absolutely no doubt about it.
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more