Much of this is relevant to the newer Nikon D2xs camera
The Nikon D2x DSLR Camera
I am now using the Nikon D2x, and what a camera it is! The available image quality from this camera is only half the story, a bird photographer's dream. 5fps at 12.4mp or 8fps at 6.8mp in high speed crop mode.
Although 12.8mp sounds a guarantee to great images, that's only a part of what the camera is about. In truth, for most purposes you'll never see much difference between 6mp and 12mp, though it does allow you to crop substantially and still have an image capable of a good print or publication at a sensible size (which is mighty handy in the bird photography world)
The Nikon D2x, unlike the big Pro Canon Dslr cameras, still uses the same sensor size as previous Nikons, so it does give this 12.4mp + the 1.5x crop factor that occurs when you attach a 35mm based lens.... great for telephoto photography, but not good news for landscape guys.
I've never owned a pro body camera before (even my Nikon F100 wasn't quite that calibre), the obvious difference is that they weigh a lot more and are built to stand up to the rigours of hard daily use... as well as being sealed well enough to withstand the elements.
AF speed is suitably faster as well as almost non-existant shutter-lag and the camera ready to take a photo almost the instant you switch it on. 'Responsiveness' is the keyword here, it's desirable in the world of amateur photography... but absolutely essential in most areas of professional photography. Frame rates of 8fps may seem over the top but the duration of a spectacular scene is often short, so it's often handy to cover your bases with as many shots as possible... it could be the difference between a £50 shot and something that will help secure your financial security for life.
All of this equally applies to Canon pro bodied dslr cameras, I'm just highlighting what pro dslr cameras are about.... it's not all about megapixels.
One thing that is amazing is the battery the Nikon D2x comes with, at 67% after two days of shooting and playing around (yep, you can check battery life to the % point)... god knows why i purchased a spare.
Useful Accessories for the Nikon D2x Bird - Nature Photographer
Wired Shutter Release;
Pretty much vital for those using very long telephoto lenses, notably when using mirror lock-up. As well as the obvious benefit to stability when using a release cable (providing you're not yanking the cord), I find the whole process of shooting in this way more relaxing... you do not have to have your nose pressed up against the camera and, personally, I tend to think clearer about the shot.
The Nikon MC-30 is a well built, able device and not too expensive. If you wish to save a bit more money, then the Adit version of the MC-30 are just as good. These Chinese versions are available on E-bay from various distributors around the world
The Nikon DK-17M Magnifying Eyepiece;
An amazing addition to a D2 series Nikon camera. This device replaces your current eyepiece and gives you a 1.2x view of the image, almost giving the sort of view we get with full frame digital or 35mm slr cameras. The View from this 1.2x magnification does not obstruct any of the camera data in the viewfinder.
For critical focusing, this eyepiece is fantastic... just remember to adjust the viewfinder diopter setting after attaching it (I had a few minutes of panic before realising this, although the instructions do make it clear.. if you read them!!)
The DK-17M is best used with a rubber eyecup, such as the DK-19 or the older DK-2. Although the DK-19 is the official eyecup for the D2x, the DK-2 is perfect for the job... some say it's a beeter fit on DK-17M than the DK-19.
Even if you do not purchase the DK-17M, buy a rubber eyecup, it makes prolonged viewing far easier as well as giving some added protection for the eyepiece from the elements and dirt.
The new Nikon D2xs DSLR Camera
The D2xs is the latest Nikon pro body camera. It is virtually identical to the D2x, the differences subtle and much of the iprovements can be added to the D2x with the version 2.0 firmware (which I have now installed).
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