The pre-PMA announcements are coming out at full force with the show only a week away. Today’s big announcement comes from Nikon; The Nikon D2Hs for professional sports photographers. The new D2Hs is an upgrade from the older D2H model in areas such as FPS buffer (from 25 RAW to 40), better auto white balancing, 3D matrix metering II, faster subject autofocus acquisition and tracking algorithms, and a few more minor internal processing upgrades. The D2H has always been a great camera for indoor and outdoor sports due to its silky smooth high ISO noise.
The question that is on every Nikon fan; why still 4.1 megapixels? I can understand trying to keep the frame rate high, but still, I am sure that most sports shooters could have stayed with around 30 RAW buffer with a higher resolution sensor.
The did increase some digits with the D2Hs; the price. The new camera goes for $3499.95 which is $1500 more than the previous model. Why such a huge increase in price? I could have seen them pricing it around $500-$800 more than the previous model but the $1500 kind of bothers me. I hope this doesn’t mean that we won’t see an answer to the Canon 20D, like the highly speculated Nikon D200.
The Nikon D2Hs should be available in March 2005 for a MSRP of $3499.99.
See press release below.
NIKON’S NEW D2Hs™ PROFESSIONAL DIGITAL SLR CAMERA OFFERS
ENHANCED PERFORMANCE, IMAGE QUALITY AND FEATURES
Nikon , the world leader in photography, today introduced the new D2Hs™ professional digital SLR camera that incorporates several new enhancements and features. Designed for photojournalists and sports/action photographers, D2Hs integrates the best technologies from its predecessors with an array of exclusive new innovations that deliver the speed, response and handling required for action photography.
The range of new features and enhancements in the D2Hs are based on extensive research and feedback from professional photographers around the world. An all-new image processing engine in the camera produces images with higher quality, finer gradations and lower noise, while a newly refined exposure metering system improves on Nikon’s hallmark 3D Color Matrix technology. The D2Hs Auto White Balance and auto focusing systems have been fine tuned to deliver precise, accurate results and an enhanced buffer now offers continuous shooting at 8 frames per second for up to 50 consecutive shots (JPEG, FINE).
“During the development of Nikon’s recently announced D2X professional digital SLR camera, the company created several new technologies and innovations that delivered breakthrough performance in that camera. These new innovations have been integrated into the D2Hs to offer photojournalists and sports photographers a camera at par with Nikon’s flagship D2X camera, with comparable performance, features and seamless workflow,” said Steve Heiner, general manager for Digital SLR and Professional Products at Nikon. “Photographers will appreciate the seamless design, transition and workflow between the D2X and the new D2Hs, allowing them to quickly switch between the two best-of-breed camera bodies, as dictated by the situation they need to photograph.”
In addition to Nikon’s exclusive 4.1 megapixel DX format JFET image sensor LBCAST (Lateral Buried Charge Accumulator and Sensing Transistor array), the D2Hs features the following new technologies and enhancements:
* Advanced new image processing engine produces high quality images
The new image processing engine adopts advances from the D2X to further improve overall image quality in the D2Hs, producing images with finer gradations, lower noise and consistent, smooth transitions.
* High-speed continuous shooting at 8 fps for up to 50 consecutive shots
The speed achieved by the LBCAST sensor and the camera’s image processing allows the D2Hs to shoot continuously at 8 frames per second for up to 50 consecutive JPEG or 40 RAW (NEF) shots.
* 3D-Color Matrix Metering II
Refinements to Nikon’s hallmark 3D Color Matrix exposure metering system in the D2Hs result in optimal exposure calculations from the data supplied by the 1,005-pixel RGB Exposure/Color Matrix Metering Sensor, even when shooting under challenging conditions.
* Precise white balance
The D2Hs uses refined Auto White Balance (AWB) and Auto Tone Control (ATC) systems to deliver precise white balance settings when shooting in tricky or mixed lighting situations.
* Faster, higher precision 11-area AF system
Refinements to the camera’s AF and lens drive algorithms further improve focus precision, subject acquisition, and subject tracking. The high precision and speed of the D2Hs’ AF system also contributes to achieving high-speed continuous shooting.
* High-speed wireless data transfer and camera control
The D2Hs is compatible with the Wireless Transmitter WT-1/1A as well as the new Wireless Transmitter WT-2/2A, which supports both IEEE 802.11g (for faster transfer speeds) as well as IEEE 802.11b networks. The WT-2/2A also strengthens wireless security options and supports a wider variety of network protocols, including the new PTP/IP protocol that realizes wireless Capture Control from a computer running Nikon Capture 4 (Ver. 4.2.1 or later).
* sYCC color space support
Added support for sYCC color space produces JPEG files that can fully exploit the output capabilities of the latest color printers and use a gamut wider than sRGB to achieve optimum print quality.
* GPS connectivity expands applications
The latitude, longitude, altitude and UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) at which a shot is taken can be recorded from a GPS unit to the image’s metadata. GPS units that comply with the NMEA 0183 (ver.2.01) interface standard can be connected using the optional GPS cable (MC-35).
* High-resolution 2.5” LCD
A new large 2.5-inch LCD monitor with a higher resolution of 232,000 pixels adds an all-digital interface for clear, flicker-free display of images and information. Displays include preview images at up to 15x magnification, an improved histogram display, and new selectable RGB histogram displays, making exposure confirmation quick, easy and accurate for each of the red, green and blue color channels. Other useful displays include the World Time function and the chronological Recent Settings list.
The D2Hs comes with PictureProject, an easy-to-use software application for managing, editing and sharing image files. The D2Hs is also compatible with Nikon’s optional Nikon Capture 4（Ver.4.2.1）software package that delivers a unique, powerful and expandable environment for full control over RAW(NEF) files. Nikon Capture 4’s Remote Camera Control function can control most shooting settings and trigger the camera’s shutter release remotely, either connected via the USB 2.0 Hi-Speed interface, or using the optional Wireless Transmitter WT-2/2A. (PTP/IP wireless camera control requires Windows XP or Mac OS X.)
As part of Nikon’s Total Imaging System, the D2Hs is compatible with Nikon’s growing family of digital-exclusive DX Nikkor lenses as well as the lineup of high-quality Nikkor AF lenses. When used with the SB-800 or SB-600 Speedlights, the D2Hs maximizes the potential of Nikon’s Creative Lighting System with high precision flash performance, including i-TTL flash control and support for Nikon’s Advanced Wireless Lighting system.
The D2Hs will be available in March 2005 for an MSRP of $3499.95.