The Nikon D1
the first camera of a new dynasty


Nikon has presented to the PMA Las Vegas in February 99 a sample of its new Professional Digital SLR: the Nikon D1.
In fact, it is perhaps not only a simple announcement but also a major event in the world of the Photography and to be a major milestone in the supremacy of digital cameras on film cameras.

Nikon said that the launch of Nikon D1 is as important as that, in its time, the launch of Nikon F, thirty years ago.



The design of the same than the F100 to which it is had integrated the handle of the F5. The body of the machine is in magnesium as the F100 and Coolpix 950. The reference to these two cameras is elsewhere usual when one sees the D1 which merge the better of the two technologies.

It is interesting to note that Nikon has changed the form of its body and changed name. There will not be a Nikon E4.
The Nikon Series E2 (and E3) were the fruit of collaboration with Fuji. The DCS cameras were designed and manufactured by Kodak, based on Nikon or Canon bodies. Kodak announced elsewhere at the same PMA a new model, called
DCS 620 based on Nikon F5 body.

Technical view.

The Nikon D1 has a 2.74-megapixel CCD (2,012 x 1,324), what constitutes the current reference (July 99) for a unique CCD .

It has also four levels of sensitivity equal to 200, 400, 800 and 1 600 iso, the possibility to store images in several compressed modes (modes JPEG) or uncompressed (several modes TIFF),

It can reach 4,5 fps. during 21 consecutive views, and its "shutter" reaches 1/16000 sec.

The Nikon D1 has not an internal lentil to allow the utilization of Nikon lens in mount F as Nikon Series E2. The picture aspect ratio is 1,5 to 1 between CCD and 135 film.


It can be piloted by a PC microcomputer and has an IEEE1394 interface and a control screen to the back of the camera (2" inch and 120 000 pixels). It receives CompactFlash™ Card (Type I/II).

The rest of functions is that the same as F100 :
- 3D Color Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash
- Flash synch speed is 1/500s.
- extended possibilities with flash (Pre-Flash, Red-Eye Reduction ..) that have driven an evolution of the SB28 that becomes
- AF captor with five segments ...

Nikon has also showed two new lens. One is a Nikkor AF-S 17-35mm/2,8 D IF-ED, which is a standard (but expensive) lens for Nikon D1 and is equal to a zoom 25-52mm/2,8 for 135 film.

Price and availability.
The Nikon D1 will be on the market next October with an aggressive price of $5,580 or 3,600. Its main pretenders are Kodak DCS, DCS 520 (Canon-body based, also sold as Canon EOS D2000) with a 6 Million pixels CCD and DCS 620 (Nikon F5- body based), these two cameras are sell $15,000.

The Challengers and the Future:

To day, a lot of professionals are using digital cameras (often Kodak DCS). Nikon can't be dependant of either companies Kodak or Fuji (film makers with their own strategy) to be present on this fabulous market. It seems that now, Nikon is also strong enough to be its own master of its future in digital cameras for mass market and professionals.
The Nikon D1 is completely designed by Nikon (except its CDD). The Nikon D1 is perhaps the first Digital Nikon (what would explain its name). The Nikon D1 represents the first item of a new series of machine, We can think that Nikon starts with the professional model.

The questions that we may have are :

We have now just to wait impatiently these new bodies... or to be enough lucky to buy a Nikon D1

pierre j.

To consult specifications of Nikon D1

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Created July 10 1999, rewrited the August 1st 1999
v 2.3 © Pierre J.