Conclusion - Pros
- Class leading resolution
- Class leading colour reproduction
- Smooth, clean, noise free images
- No more JPEG artifacts
- Selectable colorspace (sRGB / Adobe RGB) - superb
- New and very easy to use menu system - full text custom functions
- New ISO 125 and flexible range of sensitivities (down to 1/3 stop steps), sensitivity now displayed on rear control panel LCD
- High ISO noise is now 'film grain like' rather than pattern - good news
- Monitor button PLAY mode is now just as functional as the dedicated PLAY mode
- Magnify in playback
- Continuous shooting now provides a review of each frame shot
- Programmable FUNC button
- 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, very fast operation speed
- Built around two of the best film SLR's around, the F5 and F100
- Inbuilt portrait grip
- Ultra fast AF (especially when combined with AF-S lens)
- Excellent (if slightly conservative) matrix metering
- Good low light, long exposure performance
- Extremely flexible controls, lots of options for the photographer
- Most controls can be locked (true pro feature)
- Huge range of custom functions
- Interchangeable focus screen
- Good, large (2") LCD, anti-reflective coated
- Firewire (IEEE 1394) connectivity
- GPS connectivity and data storage
- Good battery life
- CF Type II support - now officially supports 512 MB and 1 GB Microdrives
- RAW mode support (the "digital negative") - now adds a compressed mode
- Remote capture software for studio work
- Nikkor Lens compatibility
- Nikon Capture 2 has lots of great improvements, now includes batch mode and is cheaper than before (though really should be bundled with the camera)
- All Nikon Digital SLR, built as such from the ground up
Conclusion - Cons
- JPEG/TIFF files are not tagged with colorspace in a standard way
- Moiré occasionally visible
- Vertical resolution same as D1
- Semitransparent LCD cover should have been totally transparent
- When camera is powered off only the image currently been written is saved, any other buffered images (say from a continuous burst) are lost
- Nikon Capture as an optional extra, it SHOULD be included with the camera
- Battery charger could be neater (drop-in style charger)
- Requires optional AC adapter (battery charger cannot be used as power supply)
- Image browsing in playback should be controlled by the command wheel not arrow keys
- Still no sensible way to clean the CCD (blowers just don't work and the manual says no to swabs)
- Still has that 1.5x focal length multiplier
If you go and read the conclusions page from my D1 review it's almost spooky to see how many of my negative points Nikon have put right on the D1x. That's good news, it means that not only do they recognize problems ahead of time but they also listen to the owners and users.
You know how version 2 of anything is always better? Well the D1x takes the strengths of the D1, throws away the weaknesses and builds a whole raft of new functionality, features and usability. And check out the price, you can order a D1x today for approximately the same price as the D1 was when it was launched.
I'm quite comfortable applauding Nikon and giving the D1x the crown of the best digital SLR on the market (at the time of writing this review). When you see the camera as a whole, it's excellent build quality, super rugged body and you add amazing resolution, superb colour reproduction, low noise at higher ISO's, fast operational speed, support for Microdrive you begin to realize that the D1x is going to be a very tough act for ANYONE to follow.
I'm sure we're going to see quite a few 6 megapixel digital SLR's over the next 12 months, but they're going to have to be VERY good to beat the D1x. It's enough to make the film SLR guys jealous...
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.
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