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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:08 pm 
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Interesting blog post: 12 years ago, on june 15th, 1999, Nikon officially announced the famous and remarkable Nikon D1 – which can be easily considered a breakthrough in the “total package” of a digital SLR at its time.

http://nikonandye.wordpress.com/TheNikonDFamily/

Jarle


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 20, 2011 7:46 pm 
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Coo - and the family photo is striking. By coincidence I'm writing a similar post specifically about the D1, because I bought one recently and I'm exploring this fantastic toy that I couldn't possibly have afforded back in 2000. Wikipedia's new headline image of the D1 is now my very camera, serial number 5022237, shot with a Canon 5D MkII:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nikon_D1

I was curious as to whether any famous photos were taken with it. I get the impression that there were lots of D1s at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but it was in the minority compared to film cameras and Kodak's DCS models, and in any case the 2000 Olympics seems to have faded from the memory. By the time of 9/11 and the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan the D1h and D1x had taken over. This series was shot with a D1h:
http://www.archive.worldpressphoto.org/search/layout/result/indeling/detailwpp/form/wpp/start/8/q/ishoofdafbeelding/true/trefwoord/year/2001

Don't worry about the chap in the pyjamas, he's actually still alive! In that photograph at least. Doesn't stay alive for long.

I'm sure other things happened between late 1999 and early 2001. There was an election in America, but it wasn't photogenic. On the other hand there are tonnes of stories of local newspapers moving over to Nikon D1s. And on a complete tangent I found this blog post by a Malaysian photojournalist who got to use a DCS 520, and elsewhere on his site there are some shots taken with a D1 and an E2 from back when they were new:
http://cyleow.blogspot.com/2010/01/venerable-dcs-520.html

He seems like a fascinating fellow. There's a shot of the Queen, taken with a DCS 520, which is something I never thought I'd see.

Still, I'm pleasantly surprised by the D1's metering; with my sole F-mount autofocus lens (a Tokina 20-35mm) the histogram is generally perfect, which is good because the camera has almost no ability to claw back blown highlights. It's doubly good because - as the reviews pointed out - the camera doesn't have a buffer in single shot mode, and doesn't have a histogram post-view in continuous shooting mode, so you can either spend ten seconds contemplating the histogram, or you can shoot and shoot and shoot but blind. Nonetheless I plan to take it off to London when the weather's cleared up; I was going to see if I could duplicate Digital Photography Review's sample shots, because I know the general location where they were taken.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 6:36 am 
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Hi, it may be interesting to read the interview with Mr. Kiyoshige Shibazaki, known as the developer of the Nikon D1. He is claiming in that interview (http://imaging.nikon.com/history/scenes/12/) that the D1 sensor has 10.8 Mp.!! I have the three D1's and love the D1H, as it is fast and has the best colours. For an A4-print the number of pixels is OK.
Regards,
Nico

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:52 am 
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nikonnl wrote:
He is claiming in that interview that the D1 sensor has 10.8 Mp.!!

This claim was heavily debated in various forums at the time, including here on NikonWeb.com: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=135&p=828

Here's another one (dpreview.com thread started by Thom Hogan): http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readf ... 387&page=1

No matter how you twist it, the D1 was marketed and sold as a 2.7 megapixel camera.

Jarle


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 21, 2011 5:11 pm 
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The original post suggests that the extra pixels were there for redundancy, in case one or more failed during inspection, and so I assume it was cheaper to have a design with lots of pixels than to throw away lots of defective sensors. I remember reading that one of the biggest reasons full-frame sensors are so expensive isn't so much because they use up more silicon - although that is a factor - it's because the extra size makes them more susceptible to manufacturing defects. E.g. whereas five spots spread randomly across a wafer of silicon might leave several APS-C sensors untouched, the same five spots might total an entire wafer of full-frame sensors. Oh, hang on:
http://www.naturescapes.net/092006/ej0906.htm

On a tangent, I've always wondered if the D1 caused a lot of professional photographers and newspapers to switch over from Canon film and digital bodies, and at what point they switched back. It must be expensive to switch from one system to another - especially en masse, in a case of a newspaper, with new flash units and lenses and so forth - but on the other hand for a good couple of years Nikon had a modern professional digital SLR and Canon didn't, at a time when a professional digital SLR was the thing to have. I surmise a lot of photographers stuck with Nikon, but on the other hand we are constantly told that Canon dominates the sports photography market; what did Canon photographers shoot with in late 1999, 2000, most of 2001? EOS 1n film cameras?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:09 am 
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Hi,

The original D1 had a Sony imaging chip where four adjacent sensor pixels were 'ganged' under a single CFA (Color Filter Array) filter. That was due to SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio) requirements.

Later, the 4:1 ganging was altered to 2:1 and that sensor was used in the D1X. The D1H benefitted from the improved SNR, but kept the 4:1 ganging. This 2:1 ganging was why the D1X had the oddball rectangular pixel arrangement, rather than the usual square.

There was a lot of wondering about that when the D1X came out, but this information was not well-known outside of Sony at the time. It wasn't until Nikon finally used a variation of this base sensor design with 1:1 pixel useage (Nikon D80) that we learned all of this.

Personally, I still like the D1H the best of the lot that used this imager. One of these days, I ought to pick up another one. It would slot into my kit nicely between the Kodak 760c and 720x units. ;)

Later!

Stan

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:18 pm 
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Is it possible, Stan, that the built-in software wasn't capable to manage the huge amount of sensor/pixel data? And what about the power consumption. The Nikon engineer stated that the latter was a great problem. I have a regular D1X and an upgraded D1X; the latter cannot be used with a fresh standard EN-4 battery, unless you like to change them every 50 shots. I have some grey-market batteries which last longer. I like the D1H the most as he has more features, a better colour and the images are not to large (in Mb). NEF images can be managed in older Nikon View versions etc. D2/D3-series, D200 etc. NEF's can't be managed in Nikon View 6.x.x.
Concerning the use of Canon or Nikon by sports journalists I have seen (over the last ten years) that though Canon was a bit late with its pro-digi-SLR, it had a wide range of IS-lenses, when Nikon had none (VR).
Regards,
Nico

www.nicovandijk.net/nikond1.htm

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 4:24 pm 
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nikonnl wrote:
Concerning the use of Canon or Nikon by sports journalists I have seen (over the last ten years) that though Canon was a bit late with its pro-digi-SLR, it had a wide range of IS-lenses, when Nikon had none (VR).
http://www.nicovandijk.net/nikond1.htm


I get the impression that the EOS system in general had superior autofocus to the Nikon F4-era Nikon autofocus system, or at least it focused long telephoto lenses faster. Albeit that the EOS launch range appeared to have only one long fast telephoto lens, a 300mm f/2.8. But I'm curious as to what professional photographers with an investment in the EOS system, sports shooters in particular, used in the gap between the launch of the Nikon D1, in mid-1999, and the launch of the Canon 1D, in November 2001. The D30 seems to have been popular with photojournalists, but I know from personal experience that the autofocus system was slow and basic and it would have been a challenge at an athletic meeting.

You know, I just Googled for QUOTE nikon d1 "until the 1d" UNQUOTE and by incredible coincidence the top result was this forum thread by Stan Disbrow, from February 2004(!):
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read. ... ge=7525448

The impression I get - I keep using that phrase, but it's true - is that a lot of photographers switched from Canon EOS 1n film bodies to Nikon D1 digital bodies, and then to the Canon 1D once it became available. The photographers who remained with the Nikon D1, and perhaps the D1h, then became increasingly frustrated at the long wait for the D2, and gradually trickled to the Canon camp; and when the reviews of the D2 were good-but-not-great, they had a pang of confusion before switching to the 1D MkII. And that newspapers did broadly the same. And a core of photographers stuck with the D1 / D1h because it worked just as well as it had and no doubt continued to sell pictures and earn money.

On a tangent, this chap has some shots he took with a D1, including one that ended up as a two-page spread in ESPN Magazine, which is clearly impossible for a 2.7mp camera ;-) :
http://markjrebilas.com/blog/?p=7631

I mean, perhaps photographers continued to use Canon film bodies but... eww. Film.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 11:30 pm 
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nikonnl wrote:
Is it possible, Stan, that the built-in software wasn't capable to manage the huge amount of sensor/pixel data?


Hi,

Well, that would have also been an issue. The main problem was needing greater light sensitivity with lower noise. Ganging fixed that, and it *also* fixed the data processing issue at the same time.

Handy, that!

later!

Stan

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