Nikon D2H Review
In this test we are pushing the camera near to its limits to examine the type of noise produced at high sensitivities and whether the noise is random or has any noticeable pattern to it. Pattern noise is far more objectionable than random noise because the human eye tends to pick it out more easily.
During our test of the Canon EOS-1D we noted horizontal pattern noise combined with two different 'sides' to the image, this an effect of the camera's two readout buffers (one on the left of the sensor, one on the right). While not visible in all shots it may be noticeable in any high ISO image with a dark background.
We decided to look at this potential issue with the D2H, the images below were taken deliberately underexposed by two stops (-2.0 EV) they were then loaded into Photoshop and level adjusted to be four times brighter (equiv. of +2.0 EV). This was done to make any background noise more visible. These adjusted images were then resized and are shown below. The original unchanged images are linked to these images.
My overall feeling is that there is some faint horizontal banding in pushed high ISO images from the D2H but that this wouldn't be visible in 90% of everyday shots. Additionally the noise pattern is more grainy than the EOS-1D and so looks more like film grain.
ISO 800 (pushed to ISO 3200 equiv.)
As you can see at ISO 800 (pushed to ISO 3200 equiv.) the D2H does appear to exhibit some horizontal banding pattern although it is not as strong as the EOS-1D and does appear to be more 'grainy'. Vertical banding isn't noticeable here, but certainly is on the EOS-1D image.
|Nikon D2H @ ISO 800, levels adjusted to 4x brighter (ISO 3200 equiv.)|
|Canon EOS-1D @ ISO 800, levels adjusted to 4x brighter (ISO 3200 equiv.)|
ISO 1600 (pushed to ISO 6400 equiv.)
At ISO 1600 (pushed to ISO 6400 equiv.) a couple of faint vertical bands do begin to appear but again the actual pattern isn't as noticeable as on the EOS-1D.
|Nikon D2H @ ISO 1600, levels adjusted to 4x brighter (ISO 6400 equiv.)|
|Canon EOS-1D @ ISO 1600, levels adjusted to 4x brighter (ISO 6400 equiv.)|
I had high hopes for the D2H's automatic white balance, the new external white balance sensor does take a rather prominent position on the front of the camera and Nikon's literature about the camera talks a lot about the fact that the camera uses three difference data sources to calculate white balance (the external sensor, the metering CCD and the imaging sensor). So I was obviously disappointed to see that although the camera appears to be getting close to the correct balance (it's in the ballpark) it still exhibits a pink cast in incandescent light and a yellowish or green cast in fluorescent light. I had expected better.
Settings: Sharpening: Auto, Tone: Normal, sRGB (I), ISO 200, 50 mm F1.4 D, Medium / Fine JPEG
|Outdoors, Auto||Outdoors, Cloudy (or Sunny)||Outdoors, Manual|
|Incandescent, Auto||Incandescent, Incandescent||Incandescent, Manual|
|Fluorescent, Auto||Fluorescent, Fluorescent||Fluorescent, Manual|
White Balance Fine Tuning
The D2H provides the ability to fine tune each of its preset white balance settings by an arbitrary value -3 to +3. As you can see from the samples below -3 produces a warmer white balance (less blue), +3 produces a cooler white balance (less red).
Settings: Sharpening: Auto, Tone: Normal, sRGB (I), ISO 200, 50 mm F1.4 D, Medium / Fine JPEG
|Incandescent -3||Incandescent +0||Incandescent +3|
For this test we used Nikon's SB-50DX Speedlight, unfortunately we didn't have the newer SB-800 to test at this stage. With the Speedlight set to 'D-TTL auto flash' we got good results with direct flash shots and some slight underexposure bouncing the flash off the ceiling (this could of course be fixed with a little flash exposure compensation).
Settings: Sharpening: Auto, Tone: Normal, sRGB (I), ISO 200, 28-70 mm F2.8 @ 50 mm, SB-50DX Speedlight
|SB-50DX direct - good results||SB-50DX bounced - slightly underexposed|
|Color patches - even illumination, well metered, accurate white balance, good color response|
The D2H has an optional dark frame subtraction noise reduction feature for long exposures. The shots below are fairly typical long exposure night shots, 15 and 30 seconds. Close examination of the images with noise reduction off shows no hot pixels at all and very low noise characteristics, enabling noise reduction appears to improve contrast slightly but beyond that doesn't appear to be required at these shutter speeds. I have deliberately brightened the 100% crops below (by adjusting their gamma) to emphasize the fact that noise even in virtually black sky is non existent.
Settings: Sharpening: Auto, Tone: Auto, sRGB (I), ISO 200, 17-35 mm F2.8 D, Large / Fine JPEG
|Noise Reduction off||Noise Reduction on|
|ISO 200, 15 sec, F11 (two 100% crops are gamma adjusted)|
|ISO 200, 30 sec, F16 (two 100% crops are gamma adjusted)|
|Madrid subway by MAGMATCICO62|
from Your City - Public Transport
|Incandescent Bulb by Kukla|
from Illuminate- Macro only
|Curiousity by PERCY2|
from Macro - Your Best Macro Ever
|Hoar Frosted Trees by sabishiT3T|
There's never been a better time to shop for a new camera, but the number of options available can be overwhelming. In this series of buying guides we've provided customized recommendations for several use cases, from shooting landscapes to buying a first camera for a student photographer.
Shopping for a camera with a set budget? No problem! We've rounded up our favorite cameras, broken them into price brackets and picked the best of the bunch.
Looking for a lightweight compact camera that's easy to bring with you anywhere? Or maybe you're smartphone-shopping and want the one that takes the best picture. And what if you want to shoot from above? In these buyers guides we have recommendations for the best compact cameras, smartphones and drones.
Despite reports to the contrary, analysis of DPReview images by our friend Jim Kasson confirms a disappointing fact: Sony a7R III is still a Star Eater. But there may be some improvements.
As the saying goes: A photo is worth a thousand words. And if you're sending that photo through Facebook Messenger, your thousand words now look twice as nice after today's update to 4K resolution.
Get to know the new Leica CL in short order by giving our 90 second 'First look' video a watch.
Leica has just released the CL, the forth in its series of APS-C L-mount cameras. Despite sharing a name with a camera released in the mid-70s, the new CL is a thoroughly modern ILC, with a 24MP sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder.
The Leica CL is a 24MP rangefinder-style mirrorless camera, which sits alongside the TL2 in the company's APS-C lineup. We've been using one for a few days – check out our gallery of images.
While it shares a name with one of Leica's most popular and affordable cameras of the 1970s, the new CL is separated from its namesake by more than just years. We've been using one for a few days - click through for a detailed first-impressions report.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and the #4 ranking goes to the Leica M10.
Sigma is discounting 13 different high-performance 'Art' series lenses from today until November 30th. The company is calling it an 'unprecedented' sale.
See DJI's 'AeroScope' drone-tracking technology in action. This is the system that DJI says can help law enforcement and airport (among others) track and identify rogue drones.
iPhone X owners can already accessorize their new phone with high-quality smartphone photography lenses courtesy of Moment's new lineup.
Considering buying Sigma's exciting new 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens for crop-sensor E-Mount and M43? Check out these official full-res samples first!
Vimeo has just added support for 8K HDR 10-bit content, making it possible to show up to 75% of the colors the human eye can perceive vs the usual 35%. Take THAT YouTube.
The holidays are coming, but your gear isn't cutting it? It's time to treat yourself!
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017, and sitting pretty at #5 is the Fujifilm X-T20.
See some of the most iconic black-and-white photographs throughout history brought to life by a community of colorization enthusiasts and professional retouchers in the new book Retrographic.
Shopping for a photographer? Whether you are one yourself or not, chances are you could use some ideas. From stocking stuffers on up, we've got some photography gift suggestions for every budget.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. Drum roll please... the #6 spot belongs to none other than the Sigma 85mm F1.4 DH HSM Art.
Read the story behind this gorgeous wedding photo captured at Trolltunga in Norway by husband and wife duo Priscila Valentina Photography. The 14 hour hike in the rain that preceded this shot was TOTALLY worth it.
Go behind the scenes with filmmaker Nick Arcivos, who recently created a beautiful cinematic short film in Paris using only the iPhone X, a couple of gimbals, and a few lights. The results are very impressive.
A Bay Area startup offering a pay-by-the-photo camera service cleverly addresses the pain points photographers experience when they pick up their first DSLR. But can it survive the smartphone?
It's been a big year for software innovations, dual cameras and huge displays. Take a look at our picks for the top smartphone cameras and why we think they stand out.
We're counting down our top 10 most popular sample galleries of 2017. At the #7 spot is the ready-for-any-weather Olympus Tough TG-5.
By combining his skills as a time-lapse filmmaker and an engineer, Julian Tryba created this out-of-this-world creative 'layer-lapse' of New York City that alternates between night and day in time with the music.
Canon Japan's new lineup of novelty camera-themed gifts was just revealed online, including a lens mug and lens thermos, two retro camera-themed USB drives, and a picnic mat.
The Profoto A1 most certainly isn’t for everyone [...] But for those who are used to using the Profoto systems, and want something that pairs seamlessly with the strobes you already have, there is no better companion.
Fujifilm has asked a US district court to clear it of any wrongdoing, after allegedly being threatened with trademark litigation by Polaroid.
While a couple of our reviewers are out testing the Sony a7R III in Arizona, back in Seattle we slapped the camera in front of our studio scene to get a close look at its image quality. See how it stacks up against the competition.