The D1's viewfinder bears more than a passing resemblance to that on the F5, about the only difference being that the D1's viewfinder can't be removed. Otherwise it is very, very similar, made from the same strong magnesium alloy as the rest of the body with a round rubber eyepiece, eyeglass wearers can set a dioptre adjustment by a dial on the right side, on the back there's a lever for the eyepiece shutter, a cover which comes down inside the viewfinder for use in long exposures (to stop stray light from entering through the viewfinder). Note also that the metering system selector is on the side of the viewfinder (detailed later).

The view through the eyepiece is clear enough, the frame view feels very slightly cropped compared to a film SLR (although not as much as on Kodak DCS digital SLR's). Manual focusing using the ground glass focusing screen (which can be changed) was easy enough and there's plenty of information repeated on the status bar in the viewfinder.

with the D1 the focus area brackets glow red when selecting a focus point or triggering autofocus (half-pressing the shutter release for example). I particularly like this feature, found in many high-end film SLR's it's a useful visual reminder of just which focus area you have selected.

Note to Nikon R&D: Next time can we have a display of the currently selected ISO sensitivity? I (stupidly, I admit) did occasionally select an inappropriate sensitivity only later wishing I'd had some visual cue in the viewfinder.

Battery Compartment

The battery compartment on the D1 takes up about three quarters of the base of the camera, the compartment door is incorporated into the battery, with a flush fittingmetal catch holding the whole battery and door into place, removing the battery is a simple case of flipping and turning the catch then sliding the battery out. The EN-4 battery for the D1 is rated as 7.2V 2000 mAh (14.4 Wh), by far one of the most powerful rechargeable battery we've seen in any digital camera / SLR.

Battery Charger

Charging the D1's battery is a case of plugging it into the supplied charger (MH-16). I was a little surprised that Nikon didn't go for the docking style charger, especially for a professional product. One other disappointment was that you can't use the charger as an AC adapter, that's an optional extra (and a requirement if you wish to clean the CCD in the manner described in the manual).

Using this charger a full charge takes around 90 minutes (though we often experienced quicker charges). It is noted that the MH-15 battery charger (for the F100) can be used to charge D1 batteries, and it has the bonus of two connectors.

CompactFlash Compartment

The D1's CompactFlash compartment is in the rear of the hand grip, to open it you need to lift a small flap (slip your thumb under it) and press a release button, the spring loaded door will then pop open revealing the CompactFlash slot.

It's worth noting the rubber grommet around the seal of the compartment door, offering further dust and water resistance. There's plenty of space inside to eject and remove the card, the door itself is cunningly designed so you can pop a new card in, put your hand on the grip which will close the door and flip over the eject lever in one movement.

I've heard a suggestion from users that they feel there should be a custom function to stop the camera from shooting when there's no card inserted, sounds like a good idea.


Firewire (IEEE1394) port for image transfer and camera control Video out and DC-IN (for use with Nikon proprietary AC adapter)
Remote control and Sync flash terminals.  

The D1 is well endowed with connectors, if any criticism were due it would be that they are not all concentrated in one place, although their location is logical enough when you consider using the D1 tethered or with accessory equipment.