Guide to the Nikon D2x

Overview

Long the choice of dedicated professionals, the Nikon D2x has many features that make it a superb quality camera. With a sturdy body construction, 12 megapixel sensor and quick reaction time, this camera is well suited to use in many applications, from fashion to sports photography. The Nikon D2x was outclassed recently by Nikon's new D300 and D3; however, the durability and reliability of this unit still make it an ideal choice for professional photographers.

The Sensor

Significant advances were made with the D2x's sensor. Using a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor, 12.4 million active pixels are packed into an average sensor size. The arrangement of the pixels on the sensor improved upon the D2x's predecessor's sensor, which had good vertical pitch and less horizontal pitch. This sensor also has a built-in low-pass filter that reduces noise and artifact production in finished images. The sensor is still a 3:2 ratio sensor with a crop factor, which means that 35mm lenses used on this sensor still are cropped. This is one of the main reasons the D3 has superseded this camera; the full frame sensor is desirable.

Light Management

The Nikon D2x manages light in the manner of traditional SLR---through shutter speed, aperture control and ISO. The ISO, or light sensitivity of the sensor, on this unit has ISO settings of 100 to 800, with two "pushed" settings of 1600 and 3200 available. This makes it a versatile unit that can be used in a variety of lighting conditions. The "pushed" settings allow the photographer to choose whether to opt for in-camera noise reduction, a useful feature for post processing. Shutter speeds on the D2x range from 30 seconds to 1/8,000th, with flash synchronization being capped at 1/250th. Compared with the D1x, this is a slower maximum possible speed and is caused by the type of sensor used.

Metering, Flash and More

The light metering and autofocus properties of the D2x are improvements upon the D1x. The ability to alter controls gives the photographer easier access to these functions, allowing easier switching between metering and auto-focusing modes. This feature is particularly useful to professionals working in a fast-paced environment, such as sports or weddings. The flash sync speed of 1/250th is low, but this camera supports the superior i-TTL metering mode, which allows the camera and flash to communicate in order to select the appropriate flash burst, strength and flash head setting. However, with no on-camera flash, the photographer will have to use a separate flash head via the hot-shoe mount on the camera body. Above all, using the Nikon D2x is much like using the predecessor, the Nikon D1x. This camera is sturdy enough to be used by professionals and responsive enough to meet a demanding criteria.

About this Author

Gwen Wark is a freelance writer working from London, Dublin, and New York. She has been a published writer since 1998 with works appearing in both university and local publications. Her current writing projects include SEO, web copy, print and advertising features. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in history from Rutgers University.

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