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Nikon D2X

Performance Report: I want it
By Joan T. Sherwood
Nikond2x Ten days with a Nikon D2X is not enough. In fact, it's a cruel tease. I did not want to give my loaner back to Nikon. Ellis Vener, who files the complete Pro Review for the June issue of Professional Photographer, feels the same way.
Sometimes I describe software as deep, meaning there's a lot to discover and probably dozens of features you'll never get around to using. The Nikon D2X as a digital SLR is similarly deep. With all of its features, I didn't get close to exploring everything. But there were many aspects that truly impressed me, with either sheer technical improvement or plain practical sense.

Size and heft.

For a smallish person like myself, size matters. The Nikon D2X magnesium alloy body weighs 2.4 pounds without the battery, and at 6.2x5.9x3.4 inches, fits well in my hands. Even with the WT-2A wireless transmitter attached, it didn't feel too clunky.

Responsiveness.

Except for a few instances in extremely difficult focusing conditions, I never had to wait for the camera to shoot. True, if I'm shooting action, I shoot short bursts at what I want. I don't lean on the shutter button and let it chatter away, although once I forgot to lock the vertical grip shutter button and did exactly that. I was using the camera to control my Speedlights via the Advanced Wireless System, and those around me were amazed at how quickly the Speedlights recycled and keep firing, shot after shot.

Long battery life.

I never had to worry about being low on juice. And even if I did, the camera has a marvelous feature in the menu called Battery Info that tells you the remaining percentage of battery power, how many times the shutter has been released since the last battery charge, whether or not the battery could use recalibration, and a rating of the battery's age, which helps you know when it's time to replace it, before it reaches the failure-prone stage of its dotage.

High-speed Crop.

I had no idea how much I would love this feature until I tried it out. Cropping the image to a smaller frame boosts the capture speed to 8 frames per second. The size is relative to the JPEG mode in which you're shooting.
Large: 4,288x2,848 down to 3,216x2136
Medium: 3,216x2,136 down to 2,400x1,600
Small: 2,144x1,424 down to 1,600x1,064

With High-speed Crop enabled, the viewfinder displays a frame to show your new capture area. It was a great feature for shooting speeding dogs at play in a big back yard with a 17-55mm lens. In effect, I used the crop mode like an extra zoom, eliminating a swath of unwanted background and focusing in on the action.

See the full performance report with example images.

Download the Nikon D2X review from Professional Photographer.