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Steve's Digicams

Nikon D1

Review posted 2/14/00
updated 8/31/00

Click to see a 360-degree QTVR view of the Nikon D1
Click on the D1 for a 360-degree QTVR view

(The Nikon D1 is now discontinued. Nikon has released the faster D1H and the higher resolution D1X SLRs.)

Now this is my idea of how a digital camera should be made. Not only does this camera look like a Nikon professional 35mm SLR, but it handles and operates like one too. From the exclusive 3D color matrix metering and multi-zone autofocus modes to its ability to capture images at a blazing 4.5 frames per second.

The Nikon D1 captures 2000x1312-pixel, 12-bit images using a 2.74 megapixel CCD (23.7 x 15.6mm) imager. Thanks to state of the art electronics and firmware it is able to process finished, high-quality JPEG images in the camera very quickly. For the purists it also has the ability to store RAW image data for later acquisition by the Nikon Capture Software. Image quality and dynamic range of color is assured through the use of a Lithium Niobate low pass filter mounted over the imager which delivers film-like pictures.

Here's all of the Nikon D1 specifications

Nikon D1

This camera was designed to be used by today's pros who need features and reliability found only in the more expensive cameras. It has a top shutter speed of 1/16000 second, adjustable ISO sensitivity from 200 to 1600 plus two custom setting selections of ISO 3200 and 6400. Full auto-TTL flash operation including 3D color matrix metering is available when using the new Nikon SB-28DX flash unit. Let's not forget the CompactFlash Type II storage and IEEE1394 FireWire connectivity.

The D1 is roughly the same size, weight and balance of the Nikon professional 35mm SLR models. The light-weight design is due to a magnesium metal chassis that has been engineered for reliability with extremely high resistance to penetration by moisture and dust and rugged enough for the day to day use (beating?) of photo journalists.

Nikon D1

Hiding behind that cover on the back is a high quality 2-inch, color TFT LCD with 114,0000-pixel resolution. It allows for instant, in-field review of captured images with all the camera and exposure data plus optional histogram and/or highlighting. You can quickly go through stored images using the thumbnail option common to most digicams.

Click to see ALL of the D1's playback screens
Click to see ALL four of the playback screens

Nikon D1

Here is Nikon's new 28-70mm F2.8 AF-S lens, it is sharp as a tack and fast, fast, fast!  Using this and the SB-28DX will make you wonder how you ever managed to take a decent flash picture before you had them. I've never seen such flawless, bounce and fill flash as well as head-on flash, it is simply amazing!

Click to see a 360-degree VR view
Click to see a 360-degree VR view

The dedicated flash hot shoe is for Nikon's new SB-28DX speedlight. The SB-28DX features 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash (with D-type AF Nikkor lenses) and was designed specifically for the D1. And believe me, it's the only flash you want to use on it.

The SB-28DX also offers Auto Aperture flash capability and top flash sync speeds up to 1/500 second. Five flash modes: Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync), Red-Eye Reduction, Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync, Slow Sync and Rear-Curtain Sync

Want to take a 360-degree QuickTime VR tour around the SB-28DX Speedlight? If yes, then just click here!

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Page Two

Nikon D1 Specifications

Type of Camera Lens-interchangeable SLR-type digital camera
CCD 23.7 x 15.6mm RGB CCD; 2.74 million total pixels;
2.66-million effective pixels (2,012 x 1,324 array);
captures 12-bit full-colour image
Image Size 2,000 x 1,312 pixels
Sensitivity ISO equivalency 200, 400, 800, 1,600
Storage System: Digitally stored;
JPEG Baseline (approx. 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 compressed),
uncompressed (12-bit Raw*, 8-bit YCbCr-TIFF*,
8-bit RGB-TIFF), monochrome mode
* Optional software is needed to reproduce images;
“Nikon Capture” for Raw/YCbCr-TIFF images,
“Nikon View DX” for YCbCr-TIFF images
Media: CompactFlashTM (CF) Card (Type I/II)
Modes and No. of frames (With EC-64CF 64MB CF Card):
Raw (uncompressed Raw) — approx. 16
Hi (uncompressed YCbCr-TIFF) — approx. 12
Hi (uncompressed RGB-TIFF) — approx. 7
Fine (approx. 1/4 compressed) — approx. 48
Normal (approx. 1/8 compressed) — approx. 97
Basic (approx. 1/16 compressed) — approx. 195
Shooting Modes 1) Single frame shooting (S) mode: advances one frame for each shutter release; capture preview mode available
2) Continuous shooting (C) mode: approx. 4.5 frames per sec. (up to 21 consecutive shots)
3) Self-timer (Sf) mode: time duration can be set
4) Playback (Pb) mode: playback, menu setting
5) PC (Pc) mode: data transfer via personal computer
White Balance 1) Auto (TTL control with 1,005-pixel CCD)
2) Manual (6 settings with 7-step fine tuning)
3) Preset
LCD Monitor 2-in., 120,000-dot, low temp. polysilicon TFT LCD; backlight/brightness adjustment available
Playback Menu 1) Protect setting, 2) Hide setting, 3) NTSC/PAL switching,
4) Indication directory switching
Playback Function 1) 1 frame, 2) Thumbnail (9 segments), 3) Slide show,
4) Histogram indication and highlight point display
Delete Function 1) Card format, 2) All frames delete, 3) Selected frames delete
Video Output NTSC or PAL (switchable)
Interface IEEE1394
Exposure Mode 1) [P] Programmed Auto (Flexible Programme possible)
2) [S] Shutter-Priority Auto
3) [A] Aperture-Priority Auto
4) [M] Manual; shutter speed/aperture adjustable in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
Usable Lenses 1) D-type AF Nikkor: All functions possible
2) D-type Manual-Focus Nikkor: All functions except autofocus possible
3) AF Nikkor other than D-type: All functions except 3D Colour Matrix Metering and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 possible,
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions except 3D Colour Matrix Metering, 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 and autofocus possible
5) Non-CPU: Usable in [A] or [M] mode, Centre-Weighted or Spot Metering;
Electronic Rangefinder usable with lens with maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster
Note: When Non-CPU lenses are used, [A] mode is selected automatically for [P] or [S] mode, also Centre-Weighted Metering is selected for 3D Colour Matrix Metering.
Picture Angle Approx. 1.5x focal length in 35mm [135] format equivalent
Viewfinder Optical-type fixed-eye level pentaprism;
built-in dioptre adjustment (-3 to +1 DP);
eyepiece shutter provided
Eyepoint 22mm (at -1.0 DP)
Focusing Screen B-type BriteView clear Matte screen III;
interchangeable with optional E-type screen with grid for F100
Viewfinder Frame Coverage Approx. 96%
Viewfinder Magnification Approx. 0.8x with 50mm lens set to infinity and -1.0 DP
Viewfinder Information Focus indications, shutter speed, aperture,
exposure mode, metering system, shutter speed lock, aperture lock, AE lock, electronic analogue display, frame counter, ready-light, five sets of focus brackets (area)
Reflex Mirror Automatic, instant-return type
Lens Aperture Instant-return type, with depth-of-field preview button
Autofocus TTL phase detection, Nikon Multi-CAM1300 autofocus module;
Detection range: EV -1 to EV 19 (ISO 100 equivalent, at normal temperature)
Lens Servo 1) Single Servo AF (S)
2) Continuous Servo AF (C)
3) Manual focus (M)
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject’s status in (S) or (C) AF
Focus Area One of five focus areas can be selected
AF Area Mode 1) Single Area AF
2) Dynamic AF (Dynamic AF Mode with Closest Subject Priority is available)
Focus Lock Focus is locked by pressing AF-L button or lightly pressing shutter release button in (S) AF
Exposure Metering System TTL full-aperture exposure metering system;
1) 3D Colour Matrix Metering with 1,005-pixel CCD
2) Centre-Weighted Metering (75% of the meter’s sensitivity concentrated on the 8mm dia. circle)
3) Spot Metering (4mm dia. circle, approx. 2% of entire frame)
Exposure Metering Range 1) 3D Colour Matrix Metering: EV 0-20
2) Centre-Weighted Metering: EV 0-20
3) Spot Metering: EV 2-20 (at normal temperature, ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)
Exposure Meter Coupling CPU and AI combined
Exposure Compensation Exposure compensated in ±5 EV range in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps; the mark appears in viewfinder information and top LCD panel
Auto Exposure Lock Detected exposure value locked by pressing AF-L button
Auto Exposure Bracketing Number of shots: two or three
Compensation steps: 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 steps
Shutter Charge-coupled electronic and mechanical shutters
Shutter Speeds 30 to 1/16,000 sec. and Bulb
Sync Contact X-contact only; flash synchronisation up to 1/500 sec.
Flash Control 1) Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash controlled by five-segment TTL Multi Sensor:
• 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for D1 when used with SB-28DX and D-type Nikkor lens
• Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash when used with SB-28DX and AF Nikkor other than D-type, AI-P Nikkor lens
2) AA (Auto Aperture)-type Flash available when used with SB-28DX and lens with built-in CPU
3) Non-TTL Auto Flash with a Speedlight such as SB-28DX, 28, 27, 22s, etc.
Flash Sync Mode 1) Front-Curtain Sync (normal sync)
2) Red-Eye Reduction
3) Red-Eye Reduction with Slow Sync
4) Slow Sync
5) Rear-Curtain Sync
Ready-light Lights up when flash fully charged with Speedlight SB-28DX, 28, 27, 22s; blinks (3 sec. after flash) for full output warning
Accessory Shoe Standard ISO-type hot-shoe contact; safety lock provided
Sync Terminal Standard JIS terminal, lock screw provided
Self-timer Electronically controlled; timer duration: 2-20 sec.
Depth-of-field Preview Button Stop-down lens aperture** by pressing depth-of-field preview button
** Selected aperture on [A] or [M] mode; controlled aperture on [P] or [S] mode
LCD Panel Information Top LCD panel: Exposure value (shutter speed/aperture), exposure mode, exposure compensation, exposure compensation value, aperture/shutter speed lock, flash sync mode, focus area, exposure bracketing information, electronic analogue display, battery power, CF Card confirmation, number of shots taken, number of shots remaining, frame number at playback battery power for built-in clock, date/time
Rear LCD panel: Number of shots remaining, sensitivity, white balance mode, image quality mode, monochrome mode, CF Card status, LCD monitor status, Custom function
Remote Control Via 10-pin remote terminal, IEEE1394 interface
Power Requirements Ni-MH Battery Pack EN-4 (7.2V DC),
Quick Charger MH-16/15;
AC Adaptor EH-4 (100-240V AC)
Tripod Socket 1/4 in. (JIS)
Custom Settings
#0 Custom settings: Specify the two setting combinations of A and B
#1 Capture preview mode: Set to show captured image on LCD Monitor before sending image data to CF Card
#2 EV steps for exposure control
#3 Bracketing order
#4 Autofocus activation
#5 Anti-Vibration mode: Set to prevent effects of camera shake
#6 Focus area selection
#7 AE lock
#8 Mirror-Up: Set to clean the CCD
#9 Dynamic AF mode in (S) AF
#10 Dynamic AF mode in (C) AF
#11 Auto Exposure/Flash Exposure Bracketing
#12 Command Dial functions
#13 Exposure compensation settings
#14 Centre-Weighted Metering area: Change 8mm dia. circle to 6, 10, 13mm or average metering
#15 Time delay for auto meter-switch-off
#16 Self-timer duration
#17 LCD illumination
#18 Auto power off of LCD Monitor: 20 sec., 1, 5 or 10 min.
#19 Aperture setting during zooming
#20 Shutter release indication via self-timer LED
#21 AE-L/AF-L button
#22 Aperture selection: Change via Sub-Command Dial to lens’ aperture ring
#23 Edge enhancer: 1) Default, 2) Low, 3) High, 4) Non
#24 Tone compensation: 1) Auto, 2) Normal, 3) Contrast -,
4) Contrast +, 5) Custom (with “Nikon Capture” Control Software)
#25 Shooting speed in (C) mode: 4.5, 3, 2, 1 or 0.5 fps
#26 Maximum number of consecutive shots in (C) mode: Choose from 1 to 21 shots
#27 LCD monitor setting: 1) Default, 2) Histogram, 3) Highlight point,
4) Highlight point with Histogram
#28 Save Raw images
#29 Auto File Numbering mode
#30 Select shooting mode when disconnected from personal computer in (Pc) mode: (s) mode or (C) mode
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 157 x 153 x 85mm (6.2 x 6.1 x 3.4 in.)
Weight (without battery) Approx. 1.1kg (2.5 lbs.)
Standard Accessories*** Neck Strap, Video Cable
Optional Accessories Ni-MH Battery Pack EN-4, Quick Charger MH-16, AC Adaptor EH-4, CompactFlash™ Cards, Speedlight SB-28DX, IEEE1394 Cable SC-D1, Antifog Finder Eyepiece DK-15, “Nikon View DX” Browser Software, “Nikon Capture” Control Software
*** Standard accessories may differ in each country or area.

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