Nikon 12.4 Mpx Digital SLR has Wi-Fi options
By Mike Hanlon
January 20, 2004
Nikon has announced the new D2X professional digital SLR camera. Designed as a truly versatile workhorse camera for many professional disciplines, the D2X blends for the first time the high levels of resolution commercial clients demand with superb image quality, color consistency and class-leading speed.
The D2X delivers high image quality using brand new innovations that produce ultra sharp images with very fine gradations and smooth color transitions across the color range -- all while maintaining impeccable color accuracy, even when shooting under rapidly changing light.
High resolution is achieved by an all-new 12.4 million pixel DX Format CMOS image sensor and a new image processing engine that works seamlessly with optimised systems throughout the camera.
Despite the high resolution, the D2X can comfortably shoot full resolution images at 5 frames per second (up to 21 consecutive JPEGS and 15 NEFs). When the situation demands even faster frame rates, the D2X has a unique 6.8 megapixel 'High Speed Cropped Image' mode that boosts the shooting rate to 8 frames per second, up to 35 consecutive JPEGs or 26 NEF images, by cropping the number of pixels used on the sensor to create the image.
Options such as the newly introduced WT-2A Wi-Fi transmitter achieves full wireless remote camera control and transmission, while the revolutionary i-TTL Speedlight technology included in the D2X ensures radical new possibilities in creative lighting.
With an all new, high performance 12.4 megapixel DX Format CMOS sensor, the D2X delivers the high resolution and sharp detail needed for professional results.
However, a high resolution sensor is only part of the equation Nikon has used in delivering image quality. The D2X employs Nikon's new LSI system that greatly improves the precision of processing during the analog/digital conversion. After digital conversion, a new processing method has been added to increase image-processing precision in the ASIC for smoother display of tones from highlight portions to shadow portions of the image. With optimised distribution of analog and digital white balance gain, the new engine produces smoother gradations with consistent and smooth transitions, all with exceptionally pure color rendition.
In addition to two new Adobe RGB color modes that further expand professional color space options with the new engine, the D2X also supports the sYCC color profile found in many of the latest printers. With sYCC support, photographers can produces JPEG files with a gamut wider than sRGB and fully exploit the output capabilities of their latest color printers.
An improved metering system in the D2X, called 3D-Color Matrix Metering II, allows Nikon's acclaimed 1,005-pixel RGB Exposure/Color Matrix Metering Sensor to better determine the position and size of shadow or highlight areas and achieve optimum exposure for each shot.
Professionals need their cameras to be as fast as they are. Therefore, similar to the blazing fast D2H, the D2X adopts an wholistic approach to speed. The camera is ready to shoot the instant it is turned on and has an almost imperceptible 37ms shutter lag time, an astounding achievement at this resolution level.
Using a new high-speed 4-channel output method, and improved speed of transferring image data from the image sensor to a memory card, the D2X is capable of shooting 5 frames per second at full 12.4 megapixel resolution for up to 21 JPEGs or 15 NEFs.
The camera's unique High Speed Cropped Image mode allows photographers to achieve an even higher continuous shooting rate of 8 frames per second by using a dual area sensor that records only 6.8 million pixels in the centre of the sensor. While photographers are satisfied with 5 frames per second for most applications, this new mode gives them the duality of having the option to shoot at faster framing rates for specific situations, within one camera body.
The D2X also boasts Nikon's acclaimed Mutli-CAM2000 high-speed AF system that features eleven autofocus sensors of which nine are cross type and placed in the rule of thirds layout.
The D2X is consistent with the D2H in terms of body design, ergonomics and interface. The camera's large controls and buttons are positioned for intuitive control that frees the photographer to concentrate on the composition.
Regardless of the camera's orientation, operation remains consistently comfortable and with virtually the same access to primary controls. The D2X features an improved energy efficient design that when combined with its unrivaled lithium-ion battery system, delivers extended longevity and high energy capacity capable of approx. 2,000 shots per charge, with accurate real-time system status displays.
A new 2.5-inch, 235,000 pixel high resolution LCD monitor features an all-digital interface for clear, flicker-free display of preview images and logically organized Shooting, Playback, Set-up and Custom Settings menus. On-demand information includes an improved histogram and new RGB Histogram displays, as well as a chronological 'History Menu' that lists recently accessed settings.
New Wireless Transmitter WT-2A
Nikon's Wireless Transmitter WT-1A for the D2H opened new roads in digital SLR photography by making it possible to transmit images directly from the camera over a wireless LAN.
Now, the new Wireless Transmitter WT-2A will open the floodgates of creativity for photographers by allowing them to not only transmit images over a Wi-Fi network, but also allow wireless remote control of the D2X over a Wi-Fi network from a computer running Capture 4.2 software.
Photographers can set the D2X in places that may be inaccessible or unsuitable for photographers, and wirelessly adjust settings, trigger the camera, and instantly retrieve the images over a LAN.
The applications of this technology are promising and limitless. The new IEEE802.11b/g compatible Wireless Transmitter WT-2A also provides faster image transmission with improved security and compatibility with the latest protocols.
i-TTL Speedlight Technology
First debuted with Nikon's D2H digital SLR camera, Nikon's i-TTL speedlight technology is arguably the most robust and advanced speedlight system in the world, and holds limitless possibilities for all kinds of photographers using creative lighting. i-TTL technology in the D2X allows photographers to wirelessly control in full TTL, up to 3 groups of Speedlights, with any number of individual speedlights in each group.
Photographers can relinquish all cords and cables or the need to ever calculate flash and distance ratios, because the i-TTL systems is capable of making all exposure calculations in real time, wirelessly, during the exposure to deliver a perfect flash exposure in any situation.
Photographers can even maintain full control of each group of speedlights from a master, on-camera Speedlight, by dialing up or down flash exposure values for each group. This technology can potentially distill an entire portrait lighting system into a small set of multiple SB800 and SB600 Speedlights.
Nikon PictureProject and Capture 4.2 Software
The D2X will be bundled with Nikon's PictureProject software, an intuitive software application that provides image transfer, image organisation, simple image editing (NEF plug-in included), and print layout functions. The D2X is also compatible with Nikon Capture 4.2 software (optional), that features improved functions as well as Nikon Capture Camera Control that can now be used to control the camera from a computer over a USB connection or a wireless LAN (requires WT-2A).