The D2X's viewfinder is bright and clear with no distortion, obviously the DX (1.5x) crop means that the actual focusing screen area is slightly smaller than we'd find on a full frame digital SLR but good magnification means it still manages to fill your eye view. The viewfinder has a dioptre adjustment and internal viewfinder curtain, the later of which is engaged by turning the small left-hand lever clockwise. This curtain is used to remove the possibility of light entering the imaging chamber through the viewfinder.

One nice touch is that you can not remove the eyepiece from the camera (screw fit) without having the shutter curtain closed, this helps to avoid the eyepiece coming off accidentally. The focus screen indicates the D2X's eleven AF areas, the center nine of which are sensitive to both vertical and horizontal detail, the outer only to vertical detail. In addition the frame which intersects the outer AF areas indicates the area of the view captured in the D2X's special high- speed crop mode (6.8 megapixels, 2.0x crop).

In the example below the red AF area is that which has locked onto the subject. The vertical display bar which runs down the right hand edge of the frame provides information about the digital settings such as white balance, image size / quality and ISO. Below the focusing screen is a more traditional display which provides photographic type information. You can customize the information displayed on the rear control panel and viewfinder display via CSM d5.

1 Focus indicator 14 Battery status
2 Metering mode 15 FV lock
3 Bracketing indicator 16 Sync
4 Auto exposure lock 17 Aperture stop
5 High-speed crop indicator 18 Electronic analog exposure display / compen.
6 Shutter speed lock 19 Flash ready
7 Shutter speed 20 Voice memo status
8 Aperture lock 21 White balance bracketing
9 Aperture (f-number / stop) 22 White balance
10 Exposure mode 23 Image size
11 Exposure compensation 24 Image quality
12 Frame count / remaining / buffer space / EV 25 ISO / Auto-ISO
13 'K' indicates a multiplier of 1000 for frames 26 Sensitivity (ISO)

Diagram reproduced with permission from the Nikon D2X manual.

Battery, Compartment and Charger

The D2X uses Nikon's excellent compact, lightweight and powerful EN-EL4 Lithium-Ion battery which provides 1900 mAh at 11.1 V (21.1 Wh). The battery also contains a memory chip which is used to track battery usage, charges and overall performance. As you can see from the third image below the battery compartment door clips onto the battery body, if you have just one battery that's where it will stay, however carrying multiple batteries is now more convenient because they have an easier to store shape (with the door unclipped).

The new MH-21 Quick Charger has a 'docking style' design, simply slide the battery on and it will begin charging (a full charge from flat should take around 1.5 hours). A column of four LED lights indicate either the current battery charge (0, 50, 80 or 100%) or calibration progress (a full calibration taking 6 hours).

Battery information available on the camera:

  • Top control panel has a five segment battery life indicator
  • Camera Menu: Set Up -> Battery Info provides:
    • Battery meter (as a percentage)
    • Picture meter (estimated frames on current power)
    • Calibration (required / not required)
    • Charging Life (a scale from 0 to 4 indicating if the battery has come to the end of its useful life)

It's accurate to say that this combination of battery / charger (used on the D2H/D2Hs and D2X) is currently the best in the business, providing accurate clear information about the status of available power as well as fast charging and relatively compact size and weight (by professional digital SLR standards).

Compact Flash Compartment

The D2X's Compact Flash compartment is set in the rear of the hand grip. To open the compartment door you must first lift a spring loaded flap and then press a release button, the compartment door then springs open to reveal a large eject button for removing the card. The D2X takes Compact Flash Type I or II and supports FAT32 (for cards over 4 GB). One nice thing about the design and location of the door is that you can close it by simply picking up the camera (placing your palm against the grip). The door is lined with a rubber grommet which seals the compartment when closed and gives a nice damped feeling to the door close.


All of cameras connectors are located on the left side of the body (from the rear). On the front of the camera are the Flash PC Sync and remote terminals, these are normally protected by screw on caps which were removed for the photograph below. On the left side of the body are the A/V out, DC-IN and USB 2.0 connectors, all covered by solid rubber doors. Note that the circular moldings on the inside of the compartment door are for storing the flash sync and remote terminal caps. The D2X also supports GPS units which conform to version 2.01 of the NMEA0183 protocol, these can be connected to the remote terminal using the optional MC-35 GPS adapter cord. When connected GPS data is recorded in the header of the image taken.