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Nikon D2X

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Nikon today has announced the highly anticipated D2X digital SLR, and despite the spurious rumours and predictions that have been flying around the web over the last few months, the final specification can now be confirmed.

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Heir to the D1X’s throne, the D2X now sports an impressive 12.4megapixel CMOS sensor, some 7megapixels more than its predecessor. This can also be utilised in two modes: one for rapid shooting and the other for maximum resolution.

The high-speed option is achieved by cleverly using a 6.8megapixel centrally cropped area of the CMOS sensor, thus allowing a continuous shooting rate of 8fps, rather than 5fps at full sensor resolution. The offshoot of this (and some may say advantage) is the fact that the focal length multiplier is increased from the default 1.5x to 2x, effectively doubling the magnification of your lens.

Handling speed is boosted by a new 4-channel output method depicted below, as well as reduced CompactFlash read/write times, offering a 5fps burst of 21 JPEGs (or 15 NEFs) at 12.4megapixels. Furthermore, and just like Nikon's speedy D2H, the start-up time is pretty much instant, with a shutter lag of just 37ms. A USB 2.0 interface should make transferring files pretty nifty too.

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In terms of sensor size it's interesting to note that the D2X's CMOS image sensor is smaller in size (23.7 x 15.7mm) to the 8.2megapixel sensor in Canon's 1D Mark II (28.7 x 19.1mm). This indicates that the 12.4 million pixel elements are tightly packed which can lead to noisy pictures. Is this why the sensitivity is only fully calibrated up to ISO 800 we wonder? Of course, we shall reserve judgement until we get our hands on the D2X.

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The LCD screen shares the same 2.5inch size as the D2H's, but sees a boost in resolution to 235,000 pixels from the D2H's 211,000. And, if you’re concerned about the status of the EN-EL4 lithium-ion battery, the LCD can display the remaining charge percentage, the number of shots taken since the last charge, the calibration status, and of course the battery life. Expect somewhere in the region of 2,000 shots per charge.

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Further features such as support for the sYCC colour profile found in many of the latest printers, an RGB channel-specific histogram, a World Time function for those on the go, the ability to create multiple exposures composed of 2-10 images, and an optional IEEE 802.11b/g Wireless Transmitter should keep the pros occupied.

Overall the D2X draws heavily upon the acclaimed D2H so you can expect excellent build quality and handling. Shipping begins January 2005.

Here are a few more specs:

Full Image:
{L} 4,288 x 2,848-pixel
{M} 3,216 x 2,136-pixel
{S} 2,144 x 1,424-pixel

High Speed Cropped Image:
{L} 3,216 x 2,136-pixel
{M} 2,400 x 1,600-pixel
{S} 1,600 x 1,064-pixel

Focus Area
Selectable from 11 focus areas (High Speed Cropped: 9 focus area)

TTL full-aperture exposure metering system:
3D-Color Matrix Metering II
Centre-Weighted Metering
Spot Metering

Focus Lock
Focus is locked by pressing AE/AF Lock button or lightly pressing shutter release button in {S} AF.

Exposure Compensation
Exposure compensated in ±5.0 EV range in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps

Auto Exposure Lock
Detected exposure value locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button

Auto Exposure Bracketing
Number of shots: 2 to 9 frames Compensation steps: 1/3, 1/2, 2/3, or 1EV steps

Shutter
30 to 1/8,000 second and bulb

Sync Contact
X-contact only: flash synchronization up to 1/250 second

Self-timer
Timer duration: 2, 5, 10, and 20 seconds

Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 157.5 x 149.5 x 85.5mm

Weight (without battery)
Approx. 1,070g

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