Hue Adjustment is set to 0, as I prefer to do this adjustment in Photoshop.
After processing the raw files using the Adobe Raw Converter, I edit, color
corre ct, and sharpen in Adobe Photoshop.
The D2X is one of the only pro digital cameras that can perform
multiple exposures. Here is an example of nine exposures, moving
slightly upward for each exposure.
I finished off my D2X test at Niagara Falls, Ontario, where I was conducting
a two-day seminar. It was cold and damp with quite a bit of vertical mist coming
off of the falls. The camera and DX lens got drenched. The body was sealed against
the wetness and performed flawlessly. I wiped the lens off immediately after
shooting in order to minimize any problems.
On balance, I feel great about the D2X. Its response is instantaneous, autofocus
was responsive and silent, and quick candids using Program (P) mode were excellent.
However, there are a few things that I'd like to see improved or added.
Nature photographers really like slow shutter speeds to blend moving water or
to capture long exposures of wind and moving clouds without adding a neutral
density filter. For those who prefer glass filters, a neutral density filter
and another color correction can cause vignetting on wide angle lenses. One
more ISO rating to ISO 50 (ISO 25 would be nice, also) would give us more long
There was a lot of wind and blowing sand. Aside from taking
obvious precautions, like holding the lens facing downward and
changing lenses as quickly as possible, blowing sand did not
penetrate the body or otherwise cause any problems. (Right)
Reds are notoriously difficult to render using digital. This
fresh red poppy image was made to see how the D2X handled it.
Normally, I would add a little saturation to an image in the
processing stage. In this case, I just left it alone and it
A general problem with digital cameras is their noisy performance at very
high ISOs. Although the D2X's performance is noiseless up to ISO 400,
it begins to get a bit noisy and the color starts getting blocked up at ISO
800 and higher. In cases where I need very fast speed, like photographing in
a recording studio in dim light, I'll need to continue using film (T-MAX
3200 pushed to 6400).
The longest exposure time available is 30 seconds, which is fine for the vast
majority of images, but the F5's longest exposure time is 30 minutes.
I would really like to see a longer exposure time on the D2X. As of now, one
needs to go to the Bulb setting and do some math for exposures that run into
This first image shows how the camera reacts to blackness and
brightly lit falls at 10:30pm. The blacks are very black and
there are only a few minor borderline bright areas, one of which
I cover (or merge) with the silhouetted hillside.
Aside from the very specific issues mentioned earlier, the D2X meets all of
my needs as a nature/outdoor photographer and the industry's standards
for image quality and file size. I had used Fuji's Velvia ISO 50 for my
entire career up to this point. We have all learned that modern digital photography
involves as much software expertise as it does photographic expertise in bringing
an image to fruition. But, with a professional digital camera like the D2X and
some Photoshop knowledge, image quality equals and can even surpass 35mm film
So, it appears that my days of using 35mm film are on the wane. However, I still
use film for my panoramic work and for extreme low-light situations. But as
an expressive tool, I find the D2X quite remarkable. For example, it can perform
multiple exposures, a feature missing from many other professional-level digital
cameras. The D2X has a fun menu selection called "layers" in which
the photographer can merge two different images in camera, combining them to
make a single image. It's kinda like a double exposure, but it's
a bit different in that you can pick any two images that are on the flash card
and combine them in camera, regardless when the images were shot. I really don't
use it a lot, but if you have some spare time, it's fun to see what one
can come up with.
This next image was shot the following morning. I wanted to
see how the camera would react to bright, colorful mist and
how it would render a blue sky. Many digital cameras render
the sky on the cyan side. The sky in this image and the mist
was exactly how they appeared! (Right) This image was hard to
resist. I planned to go back on a clear morning and fortunately
we had several. I wanted to see how the D2X handled all of the
color, bright highlights, and dark areas. There was very little
Photoshop work done on this to slightly brighten the dark foreground
For example, say one wants to do the classic shot of photographing a cityscape
and taking a second exposure of the moon and sandwiching the two images. The
D2X allows the photographer to merge both, in camera! No more guesswork.
As a studio tool, it will serve the photographer very well and will be a viable
camera for many years to come. And, as a tool to be used outside in various
weather conditions, the D2X has already proven that it will bear up under the
rigors of professional nature and outdoor photography.
I noticed this great city reflection right next to where I was
parked. There was still a mist swirling around the car, so I
got as close to the car as I could and, using a Singh Ray three-stop
Grad ND, I was able to capture this nice graphic of Niagara
Sensor: High-resolution 12.4 effective megapixel CMOS DX Sensor
with fast four-channel output for 4288x2848-pixel images
Exposure Control: Programmed Auto with Flexible Program [P],
Shutter-Priority Auto [S], Aperture-Priority Auto [A], Manual [M]; exposure
compensated in 5.0 EV range in 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV steps; autoexposure bracketing
Top Shutter Speed: 1/8000 sec
Continuous Shooting Mode: Five frames per second continuous
shooting at full resolution, for 21 JPEG or 15 NEF images
Wireless Capability: WT-2A Wi-Fi transmitter (optional) wireless
connectivity using 802.11g technology is possible through this accessory with
full remote camera control using new Nikon Capture 4.2 software
Metering: Improved 3D Color Matrix Metering II; Center-Weighted
Metering (75 percent of the meter's sensitivity concentrated on the 8mm
diameter circle) given to 6, 10, or 13mm diameter circle in center of frame,
or weighting based on average of entire frame; Spot Metering (3mm diameter circle,
approx. 2 percent of entire frame); metering position can be linked to the focus
area when using Nikkor lenses with built-in CPU
Autofocus: Multi-CAM2000 autofocus module provides 11-area
AF system with group dynamic AF, close-subject priority dynamic AF, close subject
in a group priority dynamic AF, and Lock-On
Memory Buffer: 17 Uncompressed NEF (raw) and 22 Fine JPEGs
Flash: Nikon Creative Lighting System support for Nikon Speedlight
SB-800, SB-600 for full i-TTL flash control with Nikon Advanced Wireless Lighting,
color control, FP High-Speed Sync, modeling flash, and more
Suggested Street Price: $4999.95
For more information, contact Nikon Inc., 1300 Walt Whitman Rd., Melville, NY
11747; (800) 526-4566, (631) 547-4200; www.nikonusa.com.
Tony Sweet is a professional nature/stock photographer, author, lecturer, and
workshop instructor. Visit his website at: http://tonysweet.com.