Nikon D2H Review
Top of camera controls (right)
On the top of the camera on the right side you will find the power switch, shutter release button, exposure mode dial and exposure compensation button. At the front and rear edges of this side of the camera, in line with the shutter release button are the two command dials (now with a soft rubber coating). On the right edge of the viewfinder chamber is the metering mode selector. Note that CSM f5 allows you to swap the function of the front and rear command dials. The function of controls described below are for a camera with default settings.
Buttons combined with a dial turn are held while the dial is turned, however you can choose to simply have to press the button once and release, this is achieved via CSM f6.
Powers the camera off immediately assuming there are no buffered images, if there are the camera will remain on until all images have been written to the Compact Flash card. This is a huge improvement over the D1H which would lose buffered images if you turned off the power.
Switches the camera on, this is as fast as we can time it, instant. There is simply no perceptible delay between turning the the dial and the first shot (you can even hold the shutter release and turn the power dial to test this).
Flick the power switch to this position to illuminate the control panels backlights (top and rear). The backlight stays on for the 'auto meter-off' time (CSM c3).
Buttons (combined with dial turn)
Main command dial (rear)
Sub command dial (front)
Programmed Auto (flexible)
+/- 5 EV
0.3, 0.5 or 1 EV steps (CSM b4)
|P|| Programmed Auto
In this mode the camera automatically selects aperture and shutter speed based on the current metered exposure value, exposure compensation and selected ISO sensitivity. The D2H's flexible program allows you to select one of a variety of identical exposures (but using different combinations of aperture and shutter speed) by turning the main command dial. Example:
Just like the D1 the only way to return back to the default exposure is to turn the dial in the opposite direction until the asterisk (*) suffix disappears from the exposure mode indicator, by turning the camera off, by performing a two button reset, changing exposure mode or changing exposure step CSM b3.
In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Turn the main command dial to select shutter speed (in 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV exposure steps depending on CSM b3). You can protect the shutter speed from accidental change by holding the L button and rotating the main command dial.
In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Turn the sub command dial to select aperture (in 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV exposure steps depending on CSM b3). You can protect the shutter speed from accidental change by holding the L button and rotating the main command dial. The exact range of apertures will depend on the lens used.
3D Color matrix metering uses a 1005 pixel CCD to calculate the best exposure for the frame. 3D color matrix metering is only available with G type or D type lenses where the range information is used in conjunction with metered light. Color matrix metering is available with other CPU lenses or when focal length and aperture are entered manually using the 'Non-CPU lens data' menu item.
The camera uses the entire frame for light measurement but assigns a greater weight to an area in the center of the frame (by default an 8 mm circle indicated on the viewfinder focus screen). The size of the circle used to define the "center" of the frame can be set by CSM b6.
The camera measures light only in a circle 3 mm in diameter. This is tied to the currently selected AF area point unless dynamic AF or a non-CPU lens is used when it defaults to the center of the frame.
Top of camera controls (left)
The top left side of the camera has the mode dial which allows you to select the camera's drive mode, single, two continuous speeds, self-timer or mirror up. This dial is locked from accidental change and can only be turned by holding the lock release pin to the top left of the dial. On the top of this dial are three buttons for bracketing mode, flash mode and command lock.
One frame is taken with one depression of the shutter release button. You can of course still 'pump' shots as quickly as you can re-press the shutter release. The D2H places all images into its huge 40 frame buffer before writing.
low speed shooting
Camera shoots continuously while the shutter release is depressed. In this mode the actual shooting rate can be set between 1 and 7 frames per second (through CSM d1), the default is 3 frames per second. Images are buffered as they are taken and written out to the Compact Flash card in the background. Current buffer space is indicated on the viewfinder LCD status bar as a number prefixed with a lower case 'r' (eg. r40). As soon as you have taken 40 shots (or the maximum set in CSM d2) you must re-press the shutter release to begin another 'burst'. *
high speed shooting
Camera shoots continuously while the shutter release is depressed. In this mode the camera shoots at its maximum 8 frames per second speed (assuming a shutter speed of 1/250 sec or faster). Images are buffered as they are taken and written out to the Compact Flash card in the background. Current buffer space is indicated on the viewfinder LCD status bar as a number prefixed with a lower case 'r' (eg. r40). As soon as you have taken 40 shots (or the maximum set in CSM d2) you must re-press the shutter release to begin another 'burst'. *
Camera takes a shot after a predefined delay. This can be set to 2, 5, 10, or 20 seconds via CSM c4.
Press the shutter release once to raise the mirror, again to take the shot. Personally I would have liked mirror up to provide the option for an automatic 'self-timer' style delay between the mirror raising and the shot being taken, this removes the possibility of transferring any additional vibration to the camera. It would have been nice to have a way to combine this with a self-timer.
Buttons (combined with dial turn)
The D2H provides three different types of bracketing; exposure bracketing, flash bracketing and white balance bracketing. WB bracketing mode can be selected through CSM e5, other bracketing settings are set by CSM e6, CSM e7 and CSM e8.
Main command dial (rear)
Sub command dial (front)
Bracketing number shots *
+3F (+2x, +x, 0)
-3F (-2x, -x, 0)
+2F (+x, 0)
-2F (-x, 0)
3F (3 frames +x to -x)
5F (5 frames +2x to +2x)
7F (7 frames +3x to +3x)
9F (9 frames +4x to +4x)
(Where x = bracketing increment)
Bracketing EV increment
|Flash sync mode
Front-curtain sync (normal)
Red-eye reduction with slow sync
(Only available in shutter-priority or manual exposure modes)
(Only available in aperture-priority or manual exposure modes)
* Example: Number of shots set to 5F, increment set to 0.7 EV and an exposure compensation of 0.0 EV the camera would take five frames with the following exposure difference: +1.3 EV, +0.7 EV, 0 EV, -0.7 EV, -1.3 EV.
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