Nikon D2H - What's New (Major features only)

DX Format 4.1 megapixel JFET sensor LBCAST - Nikon are clearly keeping this technology close to their chest, however it does appear to be closely associated to CMOS technology, the promises are high speed with low noise and low power consumption. Also worth noting that Nikon are clearly labeling this as a 'DX Format' sensor, that is 23.1 x 15.5 mm in size. 11-area Dynamic Auto Focus - Nikon's new Multi-CAM 2000 AF module provides nine cross-type sensors ( to -1 EV sensitivity) and two vertical outer sensors ( to 1 EV sensitivity). The areas now cover 75% of the frame horizontally and 44% vertically. The AF module supports Single Area AF, Dynamic AF with Focus Tracking and Lock-On, Closest Subject AF and the new Group Dynamic AF.
8 fps burst up to 40 JPEG shots - In the fastest 'Continuous High' shooting mode the D2H is no less than 60% faster than the D1H (5 fps) yet still maintains a huge buffer for 40 JPEG shots, not only a response to the EOS-1D's 8 fps but taking it to the next level with twice the buffer size. 37 ms shutter lag, 80 ms viewfinder blackout - Nikon has concentrated on reducing shutter lag (the lag between the moment you fully depress the shutter release and the time the shutter curtain opens), the D2H's quoted 37 ms shutter lag is the fastest of any digital SLR. The 80 ms viewfinder blackout is something you have to see to believe. Depress the shutter release and its literally no more than the blink of your eye before the image returns to the focusing screen. The viewfinder also has a full 100% frame coverage.
New automatic WB system - The D2H's new Automatic WB system uses a combination of a new external ambient WB sensor, the 1005 pixel metering CCD and data from the captured image to calculate the optimum white balance. This promises to be the most advanced automatic white balance system we have seen and I will certainly be very interested to evaluate its performance. Improved color reproduction - In addition to improved auto white balance the D2H has an improved color system which also includes support of three color space options (the same as the D100). These are:
• I: sRGB (Portraits & Natural Skin Tones)
• II: Adobe RGB (Wide Gamut)
• III: sRGB (Landscapes and Flora)
New EN-EL4 Lithium-Ion battery system - The D2H does away with the bulky NiMH battery packs of the past, instead it utilizes a 21.2 VAh Lithium-Ion pack which is about half the length of the old pack, is 24% lighter (just 180 g) and provides 47% more power. The pack also has a memory chip which allows the camera to provide the user with information such as the exact remaining charge (%), number of shots taken since last charge, if the battery needs calibrating (advanced 'refresh') and the overall battery life (five stages). The new battery has a removable clip-on cap which is attached before inserting into the body. Advanced battery information - As mentioned above the information stored in the pack's memory chip along with an accurate measure of the current capacity can be shown on the 'Battery Info' menu option. This menu provides detail about current battery life (in percentage terms and number of frames) as well as how old / used the battery is and if it has reached the end of its useful life.
New magnesium body & environmental protection - The D2H's new body while similar in appearance to the D1 is smaller and lighter with better environmental protection. The D2H is 90 g lighter and 4 mm shorter than the D1 and 345 g lighter and 8 mm shorter than the EOS-1D (with battery). It's worth noting that the ergonomics of the camera have also been improved with larger buttons and more logically placed controls. RAW+JPEG format - For the first time on a Nikon digital SLR you can now choose to write both a RAW (.NEF) and JPEG (.JPG) file for each frame taken. As you can see the Image quality menu provides a selection of RAW in combination with any JPEG quality.
Color coded, categorized custom functions - The custom function menu has now been split into five groups each of which is color coded and marked with an alpha character (a, b, c etc.). This makes for fast access to custom functions without scrolling through pages of settings. Optional WT-1 Wireless Transmitter (802.11b) - This is significant news, the ability for the D2H to transmit images directly back to a laptop or server is an important step forward for the implementation of this camera in a fast moving environment (such as sports events). The WT-1 unit connects to the camera via the USB 2.0 port and tripod screw, connectors on the camera base provide power from the camera's battery. The camera uses the WT-1 to send images back via FTP, they are written to the card first and sent in a selectable format (JPEG/RAW) to the designated FTP server.
2.5 inch 211,000 pixel LCD monitor - The D2H has an all new extra large 2.5 inch LCD monitor with a superb 211,000 pixel resolution. In use the monitor appeared bright and detailed, perfect for field use where photographers need to check images. The D2H also has a new one-button zoom mode for record review which allows you to quickly zoom in on the shot to check focus / sharpness. New viewfinder view with file format and white balance display - Nikon has expanded the amount of information provided in the viewfinder display, it now also includes the current white balance setting, ISO and image size / quality. This has to be the most comprehensive viewfinder display of any digital SLR.
Expanded top panel LCD display - The top panel LCD display has been stretched horizontally and now provides even more information than before about camera setup and current configuration. USB 2.0 - Gone is the Firewire connectivity of the D1H, now replaced by Hi-Speed USB 2.0 (480 Mb/s). I'm sure there will be just a few who will miss Firewire, it's a shame Nikon couldn't provide both.
Orientation sensor - The orientation sensor records the orientation (landscape, portrait left, portrait right) of the camera at the time of exposure by writing a flag into the EXIF header of the image (or RAW header). This allows the camera, Nikon View or Nikon Capture to display the image in the correct orientation. At this stage we aren't sure if this is recorded in the standard Orientation EXIF field. New i-TTL flash system - The D2H supports a new i-TTL protocol with the new Speedlight SB-800 which introduce new features such as FV-Lock (flash exposure lock), FP High-Speed Sync (flash X-sync up to 1/8000 sec) and the communication of flash color information which can affect image white balance depending on flash duration. i-TTL also provides for 'Advanced Wireless Lighting' for the control of up to 3 groups of remote flash units from one master SB-800.
Nikon Capture 4 - The latest release of Nikon Capture has three significant new improvements: Image Dust Off - this new feature allows you to use a 'white paper shot' to remove sensor dust from a batch of images. Digital DEE is a system from Applied Science Fiction which improves the tonal balance of the image by applying what is in effect 'digital fill flash' to darker areas of the image while maintaining detail. Distortion correction for the new 10.5 mm fisheye lens.