Nikon D1X vs D2X
The Nikon D1X and the Nikon D2X are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2001 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D1X has a resolution of 5.9 megapixels, whereas the D2X provides 12.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D2X? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The physical size and weight of the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D2X are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Nikon D2X is somewhat smaller (1 percent) than the Nikon D1X. However, the D2X is markedly heavier (14 percent) than the D1X. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Nikon Lens Catalog.
Concerning battery life, the D1X gets 1200 shots out of its EN-4 battery, while the D2X can take 3800 images on a single charge of its EN-EL4a power pack. As can be seen in the images above, both cameras have a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.
|Nikon D1X||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||1200||Y||Feb 2001||5,999|
|Nikon D2X||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Sep 2004||4,999|
|Nikon D4||160 mm||157 mm||91 mm||1340 g||2600||Y||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Nikon D300S||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||938 g||950||Y||Jul 2009||1,799|
|Nikon D3||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1300 g||4300||Y||Aug 2007||4,999|
|Nikon D300||147 mm||114 mm||74 mm||925 g||1000||Y||Aug 2007||1,799|
|Nikon D2Xs||158 mm||150 mm||86 mm||1252 g||3800||Y||Jun 2006||4,699|
|Nikon D200||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Nikon D100||144 mm||116 mm||81 mm||780 g||370||n||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Nikon D1H||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||1200||Y||Feb 2001||4,499|
|Nikon D1||157 mm||153 mm||85 mm||1100 g||..||Y||Jun 1999||5,499|
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The D2X was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 17 percent) than the D1X, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the D2X is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.5. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
With 12.2MP, the D2X offers a higher resolution than the D1X (5.9MP), but the D2X has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.52μm versus 7.92μm for the D1X). Yet, the D2X is a much more recent model (by 3 years and 7 months) than the D1X, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units.
The resolution advantage of the Nikon D2X implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the D2X for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 21.4 x 14.2 inches or 54.5 x 36.2 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 17.2 x 11.4 inches or 43.6 x 28.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 14.3 x 9.5 inches or 36.3 x 24.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D1X are 15 x 9.8 inches or 38.2 x 24.9 cm for good quality, 12 x 7.8 inches or 30.6 x 19.9 cm for very good quality, and 10 x 6.5 inches or 25.5 x 16.6 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D1X has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 800, which can be extended to ISO 125-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Nikon D2X are ISO 100 to ISO 800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-3200.
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Nikon D4||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/30p||24.7||13.1||2965||89|
|Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|Nikon D3||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||none||23.5||12.2||2290||81|
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D1X and the D2X are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The viewfinder in the D2X offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the D1X (96%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the D2X has a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.53x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D1X and Nikon D2X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D1X and the D2X write their files to Compact Flash cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Nikon D1X and Nikon D2X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.
Both the D1X and the D2X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D1X was replaced by the Nikon D2X, while the D2X was followed by the Nikon D2Xs. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon website.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D2X? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Nikon D1X:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/16000s vs 1/8000s) to freeze action.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 152g or 12 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2001).
Arguments in favor of the Nikon D2X:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 5.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 43%.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 96%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.57x vs 0.53x).
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (2.5" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (235k vs 120k dots).
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3800 versus 1200) out of a single battery charge.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (17 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 7 months of technical progress since the D1X launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the D2X is the clear winner of the contest (9 : 3 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D1X and the Nikon D2X place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D1X and the D2X in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|Nikon D1X||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2001||5,999|
|Nikon D2X||..||+ +||..||o||..||Sep 2004||4,999|
|Nikon D4||..||..||4.5/5||..||4.5/5||Jan 2012||5,999|
|Nikon D3S||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Nikon D300S||+ +||82/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2009||1,799|
|Nikon D3||..||+ +||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||4,999|
|Nikon D300||+ +||+ +||5/5||o||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,799|
|Nikon D2Xs||..||..||..||o||..||Jun 2006||4,699|
|Nikon D200||+ +||+ +||o||5/5||..||Nov 2005||1,699|
|Nikon D100||..||+ +||o||o||..||Feb 2002||1,999|
|Nikon D1H||..||+ +||..||o||..||Feb 2001||4,499|
|Nikon D1||..||+ +||..||..||..||Jun 1999||5,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon SX410 vs Nikon D2X
- Fujifilm X-A2 vs Nikon D1X
- Fujifilm X-A3 vs Nikon D1X
- Leica M Typ 240 vs Nikon D2X
- Leica M10-P vs Nikon D2X
- Leica V-LUX Typ 114 vs Nikon D1X
- Nikon D100 vs Nikon D1X
- Nikon D1X vs Olympus E-620
- Nikon D1X vs Panasonic GH4
- Nikon D2X vs Nikon D40X
- Nikon D2X vs Olympus E-1
- Nikon D2X vs Panasonic S1H
Specifications: Nikon D1X vs Nikon D2X
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon D1X||Nikon D2X|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Nikon F mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2001||September 2004|
|Launch Price||USD 5,999||USD 4,999|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D2X|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.7 x 15.6 mm||23.7 x 15.7 mm|
|Sensor Area||369.72 mm2||372.09 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.4 mm||28.4 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||5.9 Megapixels||12.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3008 x 1960 pixels||4288 x 2848 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||7.92 μm||5.52 μm|
|Pixel Density||1.59 MP/cm2||3.28 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 800 ISO||100 - 800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||125 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 3,200 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||59|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||22.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.9|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||476|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D2X|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||96%||100%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||2.0inch||2.5inch|
|LCD Resolution||120k dots||235k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D2X|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||5 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||CF cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D2X|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||Firewire||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Body Specs||Nikon D1X||Nikon D2X|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1200 shots per charge||3800 shots per charge|
157 x 153 x 85 mm
(6.2 x 6.0 x 3.3 in)
158 x 150 x 86 mm
(6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
|Camera Weight||1100 g (38.8 oz)||1252 g (44.2 oz)|
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