Nikon D2X Professional SLR

nikon d2x digital SLR camera

Nikon has announced a new professional digital SLR camera: the Nikon D2X.

The Nikon D2X has a 12.4 megapixel sensor and captures up to 5 frames a second (or 8 frames per second at 6.8 megapixels).

One really interesting feature is that the Nikon D2X supports a 802.11b/g Wi-Fi wireless transmitter/remote control.

Another unusual feature of the Nikon D2X is a secure interface between the camera and a conpact flash card using encryption keys and/or passwords (only works with some planned Lexar CF cards).

More details and the press release below.

(full specs from Nikon)

Nikon D2X — The high-end professional digital SLR camera delivers 12.4 effective megapixels for high-precision, high-speed performance.

Tokyo — Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of a professional digital SLR camera that delivers high-precision, high-speed performance with a Nikon DX-format image sensor: the Nikon D2X.

The launch of the D1 series in 1999 began with the D1 digital SLR camera, followed by the D1X, a professional model with increased pixel-count and then D1H, offering high-speed shooting. In 2003, Nikon released the D2H with innovative functions and operations, as well as a new lightweight and easy-to-handle body. Since that time, there has been a demand for a digital SLR camera that provides the high performance of the D2H with an even higher pixel-count.

Since the launch of the D1 in 1999, all Nikon digital SLR cameras, from consumer-class to professional models, have utilized Nikon DX-format image sensors of the same size. Following in the footsteps of the D2H, the D2X provides the same performance and design innovations combined with a Nikon DX-format image sensor that delivers a higher pixel-count. Improved image quality made possible by the higher pixel-count of the D2X is achieved by incorporating a new CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor with an effective pixel-count of 12.4 megapixels.

Added to this, shooting speed in continuous shooting mode has been increased by using a 4-channel output method with the improvement of the speed of transferring image data from the image sensor to a memory card. This improvement allows the D2X to capture 12.4 megapixel JPEG images or RAW image at a rate of 5 frames per second in continuous shooting mode.

Continuous shooting at a rate of up to 8 frames per second is possible by using a High-Speed Crop function that crops the center of an image at 6.8 megapixel resolution.

In addition to the new dual-area image sensor, all image-processing functions have been either newly developed or refined. Tone characteristics have been improved with both analog and digital processing for optimum color distribution. Moreover, the enhanced accuracy of digital processing in the ASIC provides smoother shading in gradual color changes, important for subjects, like a blue sky with very subtle tone changes within the blue range.

The D2X also supports the sYCC color profile found in many of the latest printers. This means that the wider range of colors can be reproduced for printing JPEG data than the conventional color profile. Professional photographers will also appreciate the ability to select Adobe RGB in any of the three color modes. With its broader range of colors, the Adobe RGB profile is ideal for every stage of the professional photographer’s workflow and compliments the Nikon Electronic Format file.

The combination of image-processing technologies and 3D-Color Matrix Metering II improved with new algorithms found in the D2X makes it possible to capture beautiful 12.4-megapixel images that will fulfill photographers’ needs for larger files that are rich in detail, color and smooth tone range.

Functions such as the R (red), G (green) and B (blue) channel-specific histogram display, the World Time function and the ability to create multiple exposures composed of 2-10 images are just a few examples of the manageability and convenience provided with the D2X. Of course, those capabilities inherited from its predecessor, the D2H, remain instant, including excellent high-speed shooting performance, rapid start-up, a release time lag of just 37ms, and the 11-area autofocus system, all of which enable the user to concentrate on shooting without being distracted by time-consuming process of obtaining the most suitable settings for the best possible result.

As part of Nikon’s Total Imaging System, the D2X is compatible with Nikon’s digital-exclusive DX Nikkor lenses as well as Nikon’s 35mm/digital compatible AF Nikkor System. When used with the SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlights, the D2X also maximizes the potential of Nikon’s Creative Lighting System with high precision flash performance including i-TTL flash control and support for Nikon’s Advanced Wireless Lighting system.

Nikon’s Wireless Transmitter WT-1 opened new roads in digital SLR photography by making it possible to transmit images directly from the camera over a wireless LAN. In addition to the WT-1, the new IEEE802.11b/g compatible Wireless Transmitter WT-2 provides faster image transmission with improved security and compatibility with the latest protocols, and has newly added capability for wireless LAN remote control of the D2X used with Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2 (optional) software in a computer.

Nikon has also developed a new cable, the MC-35, which enables connection of the camera to a GPS device for including information such as latitude, longitude and altitude at the time of capture with shooting data.

Bundled with the D2X is PictureProject, an easy-to-use software application. The D2X is also compatible with Nikon’s own photo-finishing application Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2 (optional), a convenient tool for professional photographers. Nikon Capture 4 version 4.2 has been enhanced with faster processing, improvements to image processing functions, as well as several new functions.

The design of the camera’s ergonomic styling is adopted from one created by famed industrial designer Giorgetto Giugiaro exclusively for a new generation of Nikon camera.

Major features

New image sensor with 12.4 effective megapixels
The new CMOS image sensor provides both high image quality and high-speed performance. Despite the extremely high resolution achieved with 12.4 effective megapixels, image data is recorded at very high speed using a 4-channel output method.

New image processing algorithm produces high-quality images
The D2X provides Nikon photographers with an advanced opportunity to produce today’s highly demanded very large image files. But, more pixels is not the sole feature that makes those images high in quality; there are many other technologies that are necessary to achieve the high performance photographers need, and Nikon’s newest developments are what make it possible. It is 12.4 megapixels plus Nikon’s newest image-processing technologies that deliver the Total Image Quality that is possible from 12.4 megapixel images. Improvements in the precision of the analog processing portion of A/D conversion from the image sensor are key elements that make high performance possible. 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.

Support for the reproduction of colors in the sYCC range, and support for the broader range of colors in the Adobe RGB profile
Output of JPEG data in the broader range of colors provided by the sYCC color profile found in many of the latest printers is possible so that high image quality can be maintained even with printing from a home printer.
The Adobe RGB profile provides a broader range of colors than does the sRGB profile, making it a more suitable choice for professional photographers. The D2X has been optimized for post-processing of images with the ability to select Adobe RGB from either Mode I or Mode III in camera.

Continuous shooting at 5 fps at 12.4 megapixel, 8 fps at 6.8 megapixel
With high resolution 12.4 megapixel performance, you might expect a slow moving camera; not with D2X. Within all of its high performance is picture taking speed up to 5 frames per second at 12.4 megapixel resolution, and an astounding 8 frames per second at 6.8 megapixels; no other camera provides the versatile performance with such speed as D2X. Fast image processing is possible with implementation of a high-capacity buffer that allows for continuous shooting of RAW images at a rate of 5 frames per second for a total of 15 images.

High-Speed Crop function
A continuous shooting rate of 8 frames per second is possible when a new High-Speed Crop function that records the center portion of the image shot at 6.8 megapixel resolution is in operation.
This function gives the photographer the advantage of narrowing the angle of view, thus providing even better in-camera performance and versatility – especially when using a zoom-telephoto or telephoto Nikkor lenses.

Faster read/write speed for the memory card and a USB 2.0 interface for faster image transfer
Read/write time of the memory card has been reduced and a USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface has been adopted for faster transfer of images from the camera. These improvements mean that the user will not notice a decrease in the rate at which operations requiring reading from or writing to the memory card or image transfer are performed despite the significant increase in image resolution.

Creative in-camera effects, Image Overlay and Multiple Exposure
The new Multiple Exposure function creates a single image from up to 10 exposure. As exposure for each image can be adjusted to prevent over-exposure, exposure for the final multiple-exposure image will be optimum.
The Image Overlay function merges selected RAW (NEF) files already stored on the CF card to create a new image file within the camera.

Advanced 3D-Color Matrix Metering II to prevent highlight portions from being washed out
Higher precision has been developed for Nikon’s acclaimed 3D-Color Matrix Metering II with the addition of more sample images and a new algorithm that diminishes incidents of washed-out highlights.

The 2.5-inch LCD monitor large enough to display various settings and information for easy recognition
D2X also incorporates the large 2.5 inch 235,000 pixel high resolution LCD monitor display for clearer viewing and larger type fonts also improve access to color coded menus. A Recent Settings lets the photographer go back and quickly set a particular often used setting from among the last 8 that have been selected from D2X’s menu system.
RGB Histogram for images can be easily viewed in the large LCD monitor. It is also possible to display channel-specific ([R] red, [G] green or [G] blue) histograms for immediate and detailed image verification.

Functions such as World Time, automatic rotation of images captured in portrait (tall) orientation
The World Time function has been added for the convenience of professional photographers who are active globally.
The auto image-rotation function made popular with the D70 automatically rotates images captured in portrait (tall) orientation so that they are displayed in the same portrait orientation in the rear LCD monitor during playback which is especially useful when the D2X is set to Slide Show mode and images are displayed on a monitor or conventional TV screen. Images captured in portrait (tall) orientation are also automatically rotated for correct display in PictureProject and Nikon Capture 4.

GPS support for the recording of location information with shooting data
Location information such as latitude, longitude and altitude can be transferred from a GPS device and recorded with the shooting data for an image. Nikon has developed the new MC-35 cable (optional) for connection to NMEA0183-compatible GPS devices.

Excellent response with the same quick power up and 37ms release time lag as the D2H
With rapid power up and short release time lag, the same high-speed performance as that found with the D2H allows the photographer to concentrate on capturing the decisive moment.

A body designed with emphasis on ease of operation, durability and high performance level of waterdrop & dust-resistance
The D2X body design, while similar to that of the D2H, has been optimized for easy operation with emphasis on the convenient placement of camera buttons. The durability and waterdrop/dust-resistance of the D2X, however, doesn’t end with the body. Internal mechanisms such as the shutter unit and mirror balancer have also been designed for the maximum durability required of professional cameras.

The same level of precision found with the D2H with the same 11-area AF system, ambient light sensor and 1,005-pixel RGB sensor adopted
The Nikon Multi-CAM2000 11-area AF sensor, the ambient light sensor that improves white-balance precision, and the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor that improves exposure have all been adopted with the D2X.

The D2X supports mounting of the SB-800 and SB-600 Speedlights for Nikon’s Creative Lighting System compatibility
When used in combination with the SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlights, the D2X supports the Nikon’s Creative Lighting System with high-precision flash photography using i-TTL flash control, unlimited creativity using Advanced Wireless Lighting, and functions such as FV Lock and Auto FP High-Speed Sync. With Speedlights such as the SB-80DX and SB-50DX mounted, the D2X also supports D-TTL flash control.

In addition to DX Nikkor lenses, the D2X also supports more than 50 various AF Nikkor lenses
In addition to our expanding line of DX Nikkor lenses designed specifically for Nikon digital SLR cameras, many of our conventional AF Nikkor film-camera lenses can also be mounted on the D2X.

Support for the Wireless Transmitter WT-1/1A and the new IEEE802.11b/g compatible WT-2/2A for transferring image files directly from the D2X over a wireless LAN
In addition to the WT-1/1A (compatible with FTP), which expanded the possibilities in photography, the D2X also supports the new high-speed, IEEE802.11b/g compatible Wireless Transmitter WT-2/2A with enhanced image transfer protocols and increased security. The WT-2/2A supports new protocol PTP/IP additionally. When used with Nikon Capture 4 (version 4.2 or later), wireless camera control from a computer is also possible.

Increased enjoyment of digital images is possible with an upgraded version of Nikon’s PictureProject software, designed for use with D2X
PictureProject is an intuitive software application that provides image transfer, image organization, simple image editing (NEF plug-in included), and print layout functions.

Support for Nikon Capture 4 (version 4.2), a software application with a variety of tools to assist the professional photographer
With improved functions, Nikon Capture 4 has become a must for the professional photographer. To correspond with the release of the D2X, Nikon Capture 4 has been upgraded to version 4.2 offering further improvements in image processing speed and functions, as well as new technologies that make Nikon Capture 4 easier to use. In addition, Nikon Capture – Camera Control can now be used to control the camera from a computer over a USB connection or a wireless LAN (requires Wireless Transmitter WT-2/2A).

Creating secure interface with a memory card
D2X marks a world first by supporting a new function of secure interface between the user’s CompactFlash card and digital camera. Once configured, the stored content on the card can only be accessed by designated D2X camera with the matching encryption keys or via password access on a PC, providing the highest level of security for photographers who document confidential or classified information. This new function can be available only when D2X works with Lexar’s specific memory cards to be developed together with D2X.