Night exposures

The D1H performs very well for very long night exposures and even at high ISO sensitivities there is very little visible noise as you can see in the samples below. Any 'hot pixel' noise (where there actually is any) appears as relatively mild white dots.

ISO 200, 15 secs, F5.0
ISO 400, 8 secs, F4.5
ISO 800, 5 secs, F4.5
ISO 200, 30 sec, F6.3

Low Light Focus

In a new addition to our reviews we'll now be measuring the minimum amount of light under which the camera can still focus. The focus target is our lens distortion test chart (shown here on the right), camera is positioned exactly 2 m (6.6 ft) away.

Light levels are gradually dropped until the camera can no longer focus. This is carried out at both wide angle and telephoto zoom positions (as more light reaches the focusing systems with a larger aperture).

This test target is the optimum type of subject for most AF systems (as it has a vertical line at its center), you should consider the results below the best you could expect to achieve.

Lens Aperture Lowest light focus
AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D IF-ED F2.8 1.1 EV (5.4 lux, 0.5 foot-candle)

Light intensity (Lux) = 2.5 x 2^EV (@ ISO 100), 10.76391 Lux = 1 foot-candle (fc)

Overall Image Quality

The original D1 was (and still is) a fantastic digital SLR. It was probably the single biggest step forward for digital SLRs and brought a quality digital SLR within the budgets of many serious amateurs and freelance photographers. The D1 wasn't without its faults however, the confusion over colour space, the banding noise patterns.

Nikon, with the D1x/D1H have refined the excellent D1 and resolved many of the issues (and all of the major ones). We can now select from sRGB and Adobe RGB, both cameras exhibit very low noise even at high ISO sensitivities, both cameras now have the new extended menu system with full text / icon based custom functions.

The D1H is capable of producing beautiful 'silky smooth' gradients and flat areas as well still being sharp in the details. There's virtually no noise in ISO 200 images, you'd be VERY hard pressed to find noise at this sensitivity, even at ISO 400 it's amazingly clean. Colour is of course first class and I found it best to shoot exclusively in Adobe RGB and convert to sRGB later (if publishing on the web).

Great colour and pin-sharp details.
ISO 200, F7.1, 1/1000 sec, Adobe RGB *
Great colour (this green really was this vivid).
ISO 200, F7.1, 1/750 sec, Adobe RGB *
Smooth, clean shadows with sharp detail.
ISO 200, F9.0, 1/350 sec, sRGB
Remarkably low noise even at high sensitivities.
ISO 640, F4.8, 1/90 sec, sRGB

* To appreciate the real colour of these images you must download them, open them in a colour space aware application (such as Adobe Photoshop) and 'assign the profile' Adobe RGB.

For more samples: