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Nikon D2H vs D2X

The Nikon D2H and the Nikon D2X are two professional cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2003 and September 2004. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The D2H has a resolution of 4 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.

Headline Specifications
Nikon D2H versus Nikon D2X
Nikon D2H Nikon D2X
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
4 MP, APS-C Sensor 12.2 MP, APS-C Sensor
no Video no Video
ISO 200-1,600 (200 - 6,400) ISO 100-800 (100 - 3,200)
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.5 LCD, 211k dots 2.5 LCD, 235k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)
8 shutter flaps per second 5 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
2900 shots per battery charge3800 shots per battery charge
158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1070 g 158 x 150 x 86 mm, 1252 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon D2H 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.

Body comparison

The physical size and weight of the Nikon D2H and the Nikon D2X are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Nikon D2H vs Nikon D2X
Compare D2H versus D2X top
Comparison D2H or D2X rear

In this particular case, the Nikon D2H and the Nikon D2X have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the D2X is markedly heavier (17 percent) than the D2H. 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.

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.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D2H 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1070 g 2900 Y Jul 2003 3,499i
 
Nikon D2X 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Sep 2004 4,999i
 
Nikon D850 146 mm 124 mm 79 mm 1005 g 1840 Y Jul 2017 3,299 i
 
Nikon D810 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 980 g 1200 Y Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Nikon D800 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 1000 g 900 Y Feb 2012 2,999i
 
Nikon D800E 146 mm 123 mm 82 mm 1000 g 900 Y Feb 2012 3,299i
 
Nikon D3S 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1240 g 4200 Y Oct 2009 5,199i
 
Nikon D300S 147 mm 115 mm 81 mm 938 g 950 Y Jul 2009 1,799i
 
Nikon D700 147 mm 123 mm 77 mm 1074 g 1000 Y Jul 2008 2,999i
 
Nikon D3 160 mm 157 mm 88 mm 1300 g 4300 Y Aug 2007 4,999i
 
Nikon D300 147 mm 114 mm 74 mm 925 g 1000 Y Aug 2007 1,799i
 
Nikon D2Xs 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D200 147 mm 113 mm 74 mm 920 g 400 Y Nov 2005 1,699i
 
Nikon D1H 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 4,499i
 
Nikon D1X 157 mm 153 mm 85 mm 1100 g 1200 Y Feb 2001 5,999i
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.

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The D2H was launched at a markedly lower price (by 30 percent) than the D2X, which puts it into a different market segment. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Sensor comparison

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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 3 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.

Nikon D2H and Nikon D2X sensor measures

With 12.2MP, the D2X offers a higher resolution than the D2H (4MP), but the D2X has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.52μm versus 9.50μm for the D2H). Yet, the D2X is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 1 month) than the D2H, and its sensor might 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 D2H are 12.3 x 8.2 inches or 31.3 x 20.7 cm for good quality, 9.9 x 6.5 inches or 25 x 16.6 cm for very good quality, and 8.2 x 5.4 inches or 20.9 x 13.8 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Nikon D2H has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 200-6400. 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.

D2H versus D2X MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the D2X offers substantially better image quality than the D2H (overall score 19 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.2 bits higher color depth, 0.9 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.4 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Nikon D2H APS-C 4.0 2464 1632none18.910.035240
 
Nikon D2X APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.110.947659
 
Nikon D850 Full Frame 45.4 8256 55044K/30p26.414.82660100
 
Nikon D810 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/60p25.714.8285397
 
Nikon D800 Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.314.4285395
 
Nikon D800E Full Frame 36.2 7360 49121080/30p25.614.3297996
 
Nikon D3S Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832720/24p23.512.0325382
 
Nikon D300S APS-C 12.2 4288 2848720/24p22.512.278770
 
Nikon D700 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2230380
 
Nikon D3 Full Frame 12.1 4256 2832none23.512.2229081
 
Nikon D300 APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.112.067967
 
Nikon D2Xs APS-C 12.2 4288 2848none22.210.948959
 
Nikon D200 APS-C 10.0 3872 2592none22.311.558364
 
Nikon D1H APS-C 2.6 2000 1312none........
 
Nikon D1X APS-C 5.9 3008 1960none........
Neither the D2H nor the D2X offer Live View, so that they cannot project the live image that the sensor receives onto the rear screen. Moreover, both cameras are still-image focused and cannot record videos.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The D2H 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 viewfinders of both cameras offer the same field of view (100%), as well as the same magnification (0.57x). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D2H and Nikon D2X along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Nikon D2Hoptical Y 2.5 211 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 n n
 
Nikon D2Xoptical Y 2.5 235 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D850optical Y 3.2 2359 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0 n n
 
Nikon D810optical Y 3.2 1229 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D800optical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n
 
Nikon D800Eoptical Y 3.2 921 fixed n 1/8000s 4.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3Soptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D300Soptical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 1/8000s 7.0 Y n
 
Nikon D700optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 8.0 Y n
 
Nikon D3optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 11.0 n n
 
Nikon D300optical Y 3.0 922 fixed n 1/8000s 6.0 Y n
 
Nikon D2Xsoptical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D200optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 Y n
 
Nikon D1Hoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 5.0 n n
 
Nikon D1Xoptical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 1/16000s 3.0 n n

Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the D2H and the D2X write their files to Compact Flash cards.

Connectivity comparison

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 D2H and Nikon D2X and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Nikon D2HY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D2XY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D850YstereomonoYYmini3.0YYY
 
Nikon D810YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--
 
Nikon D800YmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D800EYmonomonoYYmini3.0---
 
Nikon D3SYstereo---mini2.0---
 
Nikon D300SYstereomonoY-mini2.0---
 
Nikon D700Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D3Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D300Y----mini2.0---
 
Nikon D2XsY-----2.0---
 
Nikon D200Y-----2.0---
 
Nikon D1HY-----FW---
 
Nikon D1XY-----FW---

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

Both the D2H and the D2X have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The D2H was replaced by the Nikon D2Hs, 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.

Review summary

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon D2H and the Nikon D2X? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.


Arguments in favor of the Nikon D2H:

  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 182g or 15 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (30 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in July 2003).


Advantages of the Nikon D2X:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (12.2 vs 4MP), which boosts linear resolution by 74%.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (19 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.9 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.4 stops ISO advantage).
  • More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (235k vs 211k dots).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (3800 versus 2900) out of a single battery charge.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 1 month) more recently.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D2X is the clear winner of the contest (8 : 4 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.

D2H 04:08 D2X

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon D2H 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the D2H or the D2X perform in practice. 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.

Expert reviews

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. 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.

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Nikon D2H..+ +..o.. Jul 2003 3,499i
 
Nikon D2X..+ +..o.. Sep 2004 4,999i
 
Nikon D850+ +89/1004.5/55/55/5 Jul 2017 3,299 i
 
Nikon D810..86/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Jun 2014 3,299i
 
Nikon D800+ +82/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2012 2,999i
 
Nikon D800E..84/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2012 3,299i
 
Nikon D3S..89/1004.5/55/55/5 Oct 2009 5,199i
 
Nikon D300S+ +82/1004/55/54.5/5 Jul 2009 1,799i
 
Nikon D70089/100+ +4.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2008 2,999i
 
Nikon D3..+ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 4,999i
 
Nikon D300+ ++ +5/5o4.5/5 Aug 2007 1,799i
 
Nikon D2Xs......o.. Jun 2006 4,699i
 
Nikon D200+ ++ +o5/5.. Nov 2005 1,699i
 
Nikon D1H..+ +..o.. Feb 2001 4,499i
 
Nikon D1X..+ +..o.. Feb 2001 5,999i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Nikon D2H:
Check Ebay offers
Nikon D2X:
Check Ebay offers

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

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    Specifications: Nikon D2H 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Nikon D2H Nikon D2X
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Nikon F mount lenses Nikon F mount lenses
    Launch Date July 2003 September 2004
    Launch Price USD 3,499 USD 4,999
    Sensor Specs Nikon D2H Nikon D2X
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format APS-C Sensor APS-C Sensor
    Sensor Size 23.3 x 15.5 mm 23.7 x 15.7 mm
    Sensor Area 361.15 mm2 372.09 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 28 mm 28.4 mm
    Crop Factor 1.5x 1.5x
    Sensor Resolution 4 Megapixels 12.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 2464 x 1632 pixels 4288 x 2848 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 9.50 μm 5.52 μm
    Pixel Density 1.11 MP/cm2 3.28 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability no Video no Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 1,600 ISO 100 - 800 ISO
    ISO Boost 200 - 6,400 ISO 100 - 3,200 ISO
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 40 59
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 18.9 22.1
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 10.0 10.9
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 352 476
    Screen Specs Nikon D2H Nikon D2X
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.57x 0.57x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    Rear LCD Size 2.5inch 2.5inch
    LCD Resolution 211k dots 235k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Fixed screen
    Shooting Specs Nikon D2H Nikon D2X
    Focus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Continuous Shooting 8 shutter flaps/s 5 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy150 000 actuations150 000 actuations
    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 D2H Nikon D2X
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 2.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI no HDMI
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs Nikon D2H Nikon D2X
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type EN-EL4 EN-EL4a
    Battery Life (CIPA)2900 shots per charge3800 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    158 x 150 x 86 mm
    (6.2 x 5.9 x 3.4 in)
    Camera Weight 1070 g (37.7 oz) 1252 g (44.2 oz)

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