Nikon Unveils D2X, 12.4-Megapixel DSLR with Wi-Fi and GPS Support

Nikon today unveiled the D2X Professional series digital SLR with 12.4 megapixel DX CMOS processor. This new beast is what all pros have been waiting for, it will shoot at 5 fps at full 12.4 megapixels, but then can be adjusted down with FOV crop to 6.8 megapixels and capture at 8 fps.

As I was hoping for with the announcement of Nikon’s adoption of PTP/IP protocol, the D2X will include the new WT-2 wireless transmitter capable of supporting both 802.11b and g via wireless Capture Control software. One of the most amazing features I think is GPS support for location-based recording, included with the shooting-data, latitude, longitude and altitude can be transferred from a GPS device to the D2X via the optional MC-35 cable.

Also the Advanced 3D-Color Matrix Metering II is designed to prevent highlight portions from being washed out of an image, this happens a lot with DSLR, it will also enhance shadow portions.

See press release below.



NIKON ANNOUNCES HIGHLY ANTICIPATED D2X PROFESSIONAL DIGITAL SLR CAMERA


12.4-Megapixel D2X Offers Class-leading Combination of High Image Quality, High-Speed and High-Resolution in a Single Camera Body
All-New Wi-Fi Options Include Wireless Remote Camera Control and High Speed Crop Mode

MELVILLE, NY -– Nikon, the world leader in photography, today 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 optimized systems throughout the camera. Even with this tremendous 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 yet 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.

The D2X proves to be the only digital SLR camera truly equipped to meet the changing landscape of professional photography. Not only does it successfully combine high resolution, speed and quality, but it also introduces exclusive technologies that promise to expand the realm of digital photography. 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.

“Today’s working professional photographers have to be more versatile than ever, and with the introduction of the D2X Nikon now offers pro photographers the highest levels of quality, features and resolution to respond to their ever-changing needs,” said Jerry Grossman, vice president, marketing for Nikon inc. “While the 12.4 megapixel resolution of the D2X addresses a critical issue for photographers, other features such as improved color resolution, the high speed crop mode and affordability make the D2X the most versatile and powerful camera available for professionals.”

Unparalleled Image Quality

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 in delivering the ultimate image quality. The D2X employs Nikon’s new generation system LSI 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 optimized 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.

Unparalleled Speed

Professionals need their cameras to be as fast as they are. Therefore, similar to the blazing fast D2H, the D2X adopts a holistic 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 center 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.

Unparalleled Design and Ergonomics

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.

Unparalleled System Innovations

Nikon’s Total Imaging System is unrivaled in innovation and offers photographers the most cutting edge new technologies and features to incorporate in their workflow. Outlined below are groundbreaking technologies that enable photographers to achieve results not possible with any other system:

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.

DX Nikkor Lenses

Since the launch of the D1 in 1999, all Nikon digital SLR cameras, from consumer-class to professional models, have utilized Nikon DX Format sensors of consistent size. Optimized for this size sensor, DX Nikkor lenses are designed to achieve outstanding center-to-edge-to-corner performance, and offer photographers among the widest angle lenses available today for digital photography. These lenses include:
AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-70mm f/3.5-4.5 lens: 76º – 22º50′ angle-of-view
AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G IF-ED: 79º – 28º50′ angle-of-view
AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 12-24mm f/4G IF-ED: 99º – 61º angle-of-view
AF DX Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED: 180º angle-of-view

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 organization, 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).

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: Improvements in the precision of the analog processing portion of A/D conversion from the image sensor are key elements that make high image-quality 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 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.
· Continuous shooting at 5 fps at 12.4 megapixel
High Speed Cropped Image function for high speed 8fps shooting at 6.8 megapixels:
A continuous shooting rate of 8 frames per second is possible when the new High Speed Cropped Image mode is used. This records the center portion of the image sensor at 6.8 megapixel resolution. This function gives the photographer the advantage of boosting the continuous framing rate while narrowing the angle of view to 2X, thus providing even more 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 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 consecutive exposures. As exposure for each image can be adjusted to prevent over-exposure, the exposure for the final resulting image will be optimized. 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 and the loss of detail in shadow portions: Higher precision has been developed for Nikon’s acclaimed 3D-Color Matrix Metering II with the addition of more refined exposure evaluation algorithms and a larger database for difficult-to-meter scenes provides stunning exposures every time.
· A 2.5-inch LCD monitor, large enough to display various settings and information for easy recognition: D2X also incorporates a 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. 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 [B] 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 water-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 water-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 D2X supports i-TTL with 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 Nikon’s Creative Lighting System with high-precision flash photography using i-TTL Advanced Wireless Lighting control.
· In addition to DX Nikkor lenses, the D2X also supports more than 50 world class AF Nikkor lenses: In addition to our expanding line of DX Nikkor lenses designed specifically for Nikon digital SLR cameras, all of our conventional AF Nikkor lenses can also be mounted on the D2X.
· Support for the Wireless Transmitter WT-1A and the new IEEE802.11b/g compatible WT-2A for transferring image files directly from the D2X over a wireless LAN: In addition to the WT-1A, which expanded the possibilities in photography, the D2X also supports the new high-speed, IEE802.11b/g compatible Wireless Transmitter WT-2A with enhanced image transfer protocols and increased security. · When used with Nikon Capture 4 (version 4.2 or later), wireless camera control from a computer is also possible.
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.


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