PRODUCT SPOTLIGHTNikon's D1x
From Capture Through Output,
This Camera Delights
TEXT AND IMAGES © HELENE DeLILLO
The new D1X from Nikon is a digital camera truly designed with the professional photographer in mind. While on vacation with my husband in Paris, France, and Hamburg, Germany, we took the D1X along. We're glad we did. When we were in Paris, I was impressed with the quality of capture, especially in the shadows (dark areas of the image). If you take a look at the evening photograph of the Eiffel Tower, you'll notice there is a lot of detail in the image. While we were in Hamburg, Germany, I shot the D1X at Briese Studios—a beautiful daylight studio with the best lighting equipment and facilities for controlling natural and artificial light.
Nikon definitely improved the color and the quality of images produced by this version of the D1X. The camera was designed to be digital from the ground up, so the buttons and controls work really well. In short, I found it easy to learn, easy to control, and easy to change exposure. Some cameras will take you through so many drop-down menus just to change the settings. Not the D1X, which is easy to navigate and lets you change settings while you are shooting.
The LCD display is also well-designed for checking the image curves while you're capturing. I have shot with many digital cameras and what I found interesting about working with the D1X is that once I had set up and checked curves, I wasn't always looking at the LCD to see the images. You have the ability to turn it off, so it doesn't eat your batteries.
© Helene DeLillo
Software & Storage
The camera ships with software that serves different purposes. The first is NikonView, which allows you to preview images and download them to your hard drive. This software can also be used to shoot directly via Firewire to your computer. It works very similarly to the digital camera back systems, so photographers who have tested these kinds of digital cameras will have no problems working with the D1X.
Secondly, the camera ships with a single-user version of Canto Cumulus, which you use to manage your images in a database. Cumulus is a great product many of our clients have been using for years to manage their image databases. Lastly, Photoshop enthusiasts can install a plug-in, which reads your captures directly into Photoshop's 16-bit mode.
The new image and color management software is a good fit for the target market of this camera. One of the features I really like is the ability to shoot in the RAW capture mode. When you capture in the raw format, you can acquire the NEF file (Nikon's proprietary raw format) through the Nikon Photoshop Plug-in in 16 bit. Working in this mode is really good for highlight and shadow detail control. One of the other features the camera has is the ability to assign different color spaces. The two spaces available are RGB and Adobe RGB.
The D1X is a Dual Megapixel Camera, which means the chip has 5.47 million pixels. Nikon increased the amount of pixels vertically on their chip so there would be more resolution. Each pixel is 5.9 microns across and 12 microns high. The image buffer is larger so you can shoot fast: 3 FPS for up to 9 frames. The ISO settings are 125 to 800. We were very happy with the high ISO captures.
The D1X's design is similar to other Nikon digital products in that it uses CompactFlash media to store images. CompactFlash is quite durable and considering how portable the D1x is, it's a perfect match for the camera. I personally recommend carrying a few extra cards with you along with one extra battery. The battery life was very good on the camera and you can also use a power adapter while you're in the studio. However, I always prefer being wireless!
We really enjoyed shooting with the D1x. The quality of the output is impressive, especially considering the price point of the camera. The D1X works with Nikkor lenses and the quality and sharpness were immediately noticeable. If you're interested in the Nikon D1X, I recommend you go to your local pro camera dealer and get a demo!
What Does Helene like about the D1X?
• Better color this go-round
• Really fast
• Great quality in the files
• Good detail in challenging materials and lighting
• 16-bit import to Adobe Photoshop
• 3D matrix metering
• Adaptive TTL white balance control © Helene DeLillo
Makeup by Dorina Nitz
Model: Nadia @ Mega, Germany Statue at Eiffel Tower
© Helene DeLillo © Helene DeLillo
Makeup by Dorina Nitz
Model: Leisel @ Model Team, Germany
Helene DeLillo is a digital imaging artist and photographer based in Tribeca, New York. Her photographs have appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly, and Time Digital, as well as on the covers of Digital Camera and Studio Photography & Design magazines. Her company, Dancing Icon Inc., works with many high-profile clients, including some of the most demanding in the beauty, fashion, and entertainment industries. Dancing Icon Inc. was recently hired by Sotheby's to design their Digital Photography Studios, where they photographed and uploaded 14,000 images in six weeks. More information at http://aspn.apple.com/storeis/delillo/. Helene can be reached in her studio at 212-334-6705 or helene@dancingIcon.com