Nikon D1 full review

If you’ve never had the opportunity to use a camera like the Nikon D1, let me tell you – it produces the highest quality pictures I have seen from a digital camera. However, only professional photographers are likely to be able to justify the expense – with the lens and flash, the price approaches £6,000. Why does a 2.7-megapixel camera cost so much? Because, it isn’t like the average CCD (charge couple device). In most two-megapixels cameras, the CCD that picks up light information is tiny. The D1’s CCD is 23.7-x-15.6mm – almost double the normal size, meaning that each pixel on the CCD is bigger. On other peripherals, such as printers, bigger pixel size means poorer quality. In cameras though, it’s a good thing. It means more light is gathered by each pixel, radically reducing the visual noise that’s a feature of most digital cameras. There was no noise in any of the pictures I took with the D1. The only thing that looks different from a normal SLR camera is its LCD screen – which is hidden under a plastic cap. Like its analogue cousins, the D1 is capable of amazing results using a wealth of automatic features. These include 3D colour-matrix metering, tone compensation and white balance. Also, programmed shutter priority and aperture priority mean automatic-precise exposure. The most impressive automatic feature is the lens, which uses a Silent Wave Motor to quickly and perfectly adjust the focus. Images can be stored using a selection of compression methods, or, for purists, it can record raw data for processing later. Uncompressed data can be as much as 7MB per image, so a 64MB CompactFlash card is provided. The card can be used with a bundled PC card adaptor. Or, if you are lucky enough to have one of the new FireWire-equipped PowerBooks, there’s a FireWire port. This means that transferring big files is instantaneous. With some additional Nikon software, you can record the images directly to the desktop via FireWire. This makes a huge difference. No more pre-shoot Polaroid test shots, no more swapping film backs, and, most importantly, no more film developing and scanning. This can save a studio thousands of pounds, and hours of work. It’s studio and newspaper photographers that this camera will to appeal to. It offers real advantages over traditional film cameras. A quick tot-up of monthly outgoings is bound to show that the D1 will pay for itself – and quickly. The continuous-shot mode enables 4.5 pictures per second to be taken. Quick processing makes it possible to shoot up to 21 pictures at a time. When pausing, the camera continues processing the images – and it gives a running total of how many more can be shot in one go. Pictures are instantly available to picture editors
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