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A first look at Nikon D2H image quality - Continued

All D2H photos on this page originated as uncompressed NEF files. They have been processed for publication here using a release version of Nikon Capture 4. All EOS-1D photos on this page originated as RAW .TIF files. They have been converted for use here by Canon File Viewer Utility 1.3.1.

Full-resolution photos for downloading have been saved as JPEGs using the Save for Web function of Photoshop CS, at a quality level of 95-98 with optimized enabled and the appropriate ICC profile embedded. Complete shooting/processing information can be found in the Caption field of full-resolution photos. Full-resolution photos have not been sharpened.

Reduced resolution photos have been converted to sRGB for viewing in your web browser.

Note: These photos are for personal viewing and printing only. They may not be republished in any form without the permission of the copyright holder; this includes the posting of photos downloaded from this page onto another server. If you would like to use any of the photos here, please contact us directly.

Nikon D2H compared to the Canon EOS-1D

Warning! If you don't have the opportunity to use strobes when shooting indoor sports (we rarely do), then you might not want to look at the ISO 200 photos from either the D2H or the EOS-1D. Both cameras do such a fine job when given lots of good light that you might find it hard to dial either the Nikon or Canon digital SLR back up to ISO 1600 to shoot available.

We've taken care to shoot all of these photos so that you can compare what the cameras are capable of, with minimal interference from shooting technique or processing mismatches. There are two things to be aware of, however, that influence the visual appearance of the photos below:

  • Though the D2H and EOS-1D are both 4MP cameras, the physical size of the sensor is different, with the 1D's CCD sensor being somewhat larger than the LBCAST sensor in the D2H. The sensor size disparity means that the angle of view for a given focal length is different for the two cameras. We opted to shoot the goalie comparison with a 300mm f/2.8 on the D2H and 400mm f/2.8 on the 1D, so that the framing would be similar. This means you'll want to ignore depth of field differences, since they'll be mostly a result of the difference in focal length, as opposed to a trait of the cameras themselves. The football comparison is shot with a 300mm f/2.8 on both cameras, allowing you to see the differences in framing (in the full-resolution versions) each cameras' sensor size brings about.

  • The D2H photos show a lot less colour zip in the available light photos than those from the EOS-1D. This is partly a result of an apparent bug in Nikon Capture 4 that prevented the processing of the D2H files with Tone Compensation set to Normal, which in this situation would not only be optimal but also a better match for the 1D's Standard tone curve. With any of the higher ISO hockey pics recorded with a Preset WB, changing Tone Compensation from Auto to Normal caused a bizarre saturation overload. As a result, we retreated back to Auto Tone Compensation, which for these photos is somewhat too flat (Auto has been really impressive otherwise). The flatness shows in the lack of colour oomph in particular, though we doubt even a Tone Compensation change would allow the D2H to keep pace with the 1D's red saturation all the way to 3200.

Nikon D2H, ISO 200, Strobe (Full-Res)

Canon EOS-1D, ISO 200, Strobe (Full-Res)

Nikon D2H, ISO 800 (Full-Res)

Canon EOS-1D, ISO 800 (Full-Res)

Nikon D2H, ISO 1600 (Full-Res)

Canon EOS-1D, ISO 1600 (Full-Res)

Nikon D2H, ISO 3200 (Full-Res)

Canon EOS-1D, ISO 3200 (Full-Res)

Nikon D2H, ISO 6400 (Full-Res)


Nikon D2H, ISO 800 (Full-Res)

Canon EOS-1D, ISO 800 (Full-Res)

Nikon D2H, ISO 1600 (Full-Res)

Canon EOS-1D, ISO 1600 (Full-Res)

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