Friday, 28 January 2005

D2x_picNikon has announced that their cool new D2X digital SLR camera will be available on February 25th, and that it will sell for a "suggested" street price of $4999.00. Hook up a GPS device to record location data. Transmit data via WiFi. Remote control the camera. Instant-on and fast shutter response time of 37ms - great improvements for low-lag operation. Flash sync at 1/250th of a second. Awesome metering. Fast continuous shooting. All nice stuff.

But there's one thing that will keep me from even considering buying this camera. And it's not the price.

It's this bit of info, gleaned from the fine print in the spec sheet:

    • Approx. 1.5x focal length in 35mm [135] format equivalent

Argh, no! I have to say, I was pretty darned surprised to find this hidden in the back of the specs list, especially since they are marketing the D2X as being capable of "5fps continuous shooting mode full size or 8fps in a 6.8MP cropped mode." Turns out the "cropped mode" means a 2x multiplier over 35mm equivalent, as opposed to non-cropped mode, which has a 1.5x multiplier.

Very sneaky. Very sucky.

At 12.4 megapixels and $5000, someone tell me why in the world camera manufacturers can't put a chip in the thing that will make it act like a real 35mm camera from the field-of-view/coverage perspective. I'd take lower effective resolution (say 8 megapixels or so?) and no multiplier at this point.

Believe it or not, to someone who was a film photographer for several years, this actually matters to me. Nothing aggravates me more about digital SLR cameras than an image that has a telephoto-style crop and a short-lens depth of field. I hate that. I have a D70 that does that. Don't get me wrong, for $1000 I like the D70 just fine. It's a consumer-grade camera, and sure I'd like it a heck of a lot more if it had a chip that would use the lens the way it was built to be used. But this camera is more than the D70 can dream of being.

So, if I am going to pay five times the cost for a better camera, put in a full-sized chip that uses the full field the lens was built to cover. Seriously.

Hey Nikon - Just so you know, I was actually ready to seriously consider spending $5000 on your new camera - but now I guess I'll just wait. Again.

Add/Read: Comments [7]
Geek Out | Photography | Tech
Friday, 28 January 2005 21:36:08 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
wow that is suck. seriously you'd think a 12MP sensor would just have to be that big. It at least should be. Maybe nikon will figure it out eventualy.
Sunday, 30 January 2005 14:05:56 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
I'm not sure I understand what your complaint is. I shot ALOT of film back in the day (FE2 & F4). If it has a multiplier, then isn't it just like using a longer lens? So I put a 105 on this body and it's like using a 157 on an F4. Once you get used to the difference, who cares? Everyone wants longer and faster lenses anyway (at least for news, which I did).
Unless it is altering the DOF or angle of view for an equivelent 35mm lens, I don't see a problem. Is there some other aspect of this I'm missing?
Sunday, 30 January 2005 14:14:13 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Peter - my point was that your equivalent 157mm lens has the depth of field characteristics of a 105mm lens.

I also shot thousands and thousands of rolls of film (news as well, plus lots of sports). Several FM2s, F3s and F4s. I agree, longer and faster is better, but I woudl prefer to be able to shoot the same lens and get the same results on a film camera as on a digital body.

On the other end of the spectrm, wide angle lenses lose a lot of their useful effect when you have a 1.5x multiplier. My 24mm lens just doesn't cut it anymore for what I used to use it for.

On the telephoto end, I'd like a 450mm lens to have the 35mm frame size depth of field and compression characteristics. With the multiplier, a 300mm lens is equivalent of a 450mm lens. But you get the 300mm depth of field characteristics. Not what I want.

If I want longer, faster lenses, I'd prefer to go buy them (and yes, I am aware of the cost argument, that's a reasonable point, but my opinion still stands).
Monday, 31 January 2005 17:48:02 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Greg - OK now I understand. That is a real PITA.
Tuesday, 01 February 2005 14:51:30 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
The EOS 1Ds Mark II is full frame (but it's a Canon -- yuck :-).

Seriously, though, I don't think most observers thought that the D2X would be FF, nor do I think Nikon is being sneaky here. If a DSLR is FF, it will be in big, bold print at the top of the ad. If not, you can just assume it's a smaller sensor.

Maybe the D3X...
Thursday, 26 May 2005 12:51:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
Who really needs a full frame sensor,its a thing of the past! 24x36mm was originally a movie format in the early part of the last century.Oskar Barnack used this film in his minature camera which spawned the 35mm format.The only drawback to the smaller sensor is with wide angle lenses,
which is easily overcome with a 12-24mm or 11-18mm lens from numerous manufacturers.On the telephoto front my 500mm f4 is a 750mm f4,a great bonus and with the D2X in high speed mode my 300mm f2.8 becomes a 600mm
f 2.8.Imagine what that would cost[and weigh]if it were available,suddenly the D2X looks quite a bargain!
Monday, 13 June 2005 13:01:55 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
A lot of us feel the image sensor size is perfect the way it is. Personally, I don't want a 35mm sized sensor. With Nikon's sensor you are using the sweet spot of the lens, not emphasizing the edge flaws as Canon full 35mm frame digital shooters are finding out. Here you are using the best of the lens. The sensor size is not a flaw, it is a benefit to a great many shooters. And with super wide angle lenses available, what on earth are you losing? Head to head with the 16 MP Canon 35mm sized sensor, the D2x competes very well, even surpassing the Canon in some areas. Check out the major test reports. If you haven't used the D2x, you really shouldn't over opinions on it. I am using it and find it stunning.

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