Smooth, Noise Free colours and gradients

Get up close with a D1x image and the first thing you notice are smooth clean and noise free areas of flat colour or gradients. Gone are the flat area artifacts which we saw in D1 JPEG's the D1x manages to reproduce flat areas in a very clean, smooth manner. The D1's sharpening algorithm also manages to pull out detail between areas of colour without producing artifacts such as black / white halos.

ISO 125, 1/250s, F7.6 (28-105mm F3.5-F4.5)
2,475 KB
ISO 140, 1/125s, F5.0 (17-35mm F2.8)
2,363 KB

Straight from the camera colour (or color)

Nikon knew from the outset that they had to provide users with better, easier colour than the D1. They have done so by producing to selectable calibrated colour output options (sRGB and Adobe RGB). This now means that we now know what colorspace the camera is shooting (recording) in and can be sure of accurate colour every time. sRGB creates images which will look good straight away on nearly every computer monitor, especially suited to web publishing. Adobe RGB provides a much wider colour gamut and is ideally suited to professionals working for print media publications.

The D1x's colour straight from the camera is nothing short of stunning. First of all the white balance system is seldom fooled, and when it is you always have the option to choose one of the pre-programmed balances, fine tune that or take a manual preset. Next comes the colour itself, bright and vivid, accurate yet not oversaturated (except maybe for the occasional red flower shot in the sRGB colorspace - the camera has simply run outside this colorspace's gamut, so shoot in Adobe RGB). Colour was is so good you simply take it for granted, no more digging through hue / saturation correction, no more pre-programmed Photoshop actions to 'fix' the colour. The D1x's colour, straight out of the camera is simply the best I've ever seen.

All of the samples below were shot or have been resaved in to the sRGB colorspace.

ISO 200, 1/60s, F3.8 (17-35mm F2.8)
1,185 KB (NEF re-saved as JPEG)
ISO 200, 1/100, F4.8 (17-35mm F2.8)
2,959 KB

ISO 125, 1/320s, F8.5 (28-105mm F3.5-F4.5)
2,342 KB
ISO 125, 1/200s, F7.1 (17-35mm F2.8)
2,924 KB

Detail and resolution

There were more than a couple of 'oohs', 'hmmms' and 'ahhhs' when Nikon started to explain their rectangular pixel layout CCD, and plenty of questions too. But I'm happy to reassure those who were worried about diagonal line artifacts or obvious rectangular pixel effects there are none, the D1x delivers amazing resolution and detail in all its shots. Choose the medium size (2000 x 1312 - D1 dimensions) and you're getting the equivalent of a red/green or blue/green pixel pair per output pixel, this results in very sharp and super-clean images (even at high sensitivity).

ISO 125, 1/500s, F8 (28-105mm F3.5-F4.5)
2,367 KB
ISO 125, 1/320s, F8.5 (28-105mm F3.5-F4.5)
2,637 KB

Night photography

The samples below show that the D1x is more than capable of pulling off some really stunning night photography. It is worth noting however that stuck-pixel noise does seem to be higher than it was on the D1. The advantage I suppose is that because of the large size of D1x images when reduced in size these white speckles would disappear.

ISO 200, 2.5 sec, F5.6 (28-105mm F3.5-F4.5)
2,762 KB
ISO 200, 15 sec, F5.6 (28-105mm F3.5-F4.5)
2,824 KB

ISO 125, 4 sec, F5.6 (28-105mm F3.5-F4.5)
2,329 KB
ISO 125, 2 sec, F6.3 (28-105mm F3.5-F4.5)
2,567 KB