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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:50 pm 
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You probably know by now that I bought a used D2H, recently. They go for around 400 euros here (compared to 640 for a new D90). The main point of this review is: is the D2H still competitive in today's market?

Image

Let me start out with some quick specs:

4 Megapixels
8 FPS burst rate
Pro-quality magnesium allow body
Built-in battery grip
1/8000th shutter speed
Ability to meter with non-cpu lenses
ISO range from 200-6400

So, let's analyze!

4 Megapixels

One might think that 4 megapixels truly cannot keep up with moder cameras, often boasting 12 or 24 megapixels. I, too, was under that impression, until I did the math: 4 megapixels essentially gives you enough resolution to print up to 60 cm at full res.

After a day of shooting with it, I was pleasantly surprised: not only was 4 megapixels more than adequate, it also upscaled quite well if I used a good lens! It also kept the RAW filesizes down, which is good since I only have a slow 1 GB CF card.

It also causes awkward silences when someone tells you your camera is awesome, and they ask how many megapixels it has, but that's another story).

8 FPS burst rate

Need I say more? It's like doing 4 FPS, but twice as fast! Prepare to see heads turning when you "unleash the beast".

mag-alloy body

It makes the camera heavy, large, and confident to hold. I'm pretty sure I can smash someones head in with it, so that's a plus if someone wants to steal it (I guess?). It's also a disadvantage: When carrying my D90, I sometimes sling it casually over my shoulder, it bumps into my hips/ribs, but all is wel. You can of course imagine the look on my face when that Kilo of Magnesium hit my bone. Ouch.

Built-in grip

I'm seeing it over and over again: the bigger your camera/lens, the more professional you look. I once dubbed my D90 + batterygrip the "wannabe D3", but it looks like the D2H just took over that name (maybe I'll name my D90 "plastic fantastic"). Seriously, that thing is HUGE, and heavy. Carry that, and people have absolutely NO doubt whatshowever about you being a professional photographer, which of course helps with my confidence when I'm shooting in public. It also gives interesting possibilities for social engineering, but that's something else.

1/8000th speed

This may sound like a small thing, but it definitely comes in handy. With my D90, I often found myself hitting the shutter speed roof on sunny days with fast lenses. Pictures becoming overexposed, having to adjust settings etc.. Now with the D2H, it automatically scales higher up to 1/8000th (which I hit regularly on sunny days at F/2.8 or less). Nice!

Metering with non-cpu lenses

Like it says, maybe I can score a cheap AI-S macro lens, or get one of those samyang fisheyes.

ISO range

Well, as Canon owners know all too well, ISO range does not matter one bit. Yes, that 450D can get 128.600 ISO or something, but I think we can all agree it looks terrible. Same story with the D2H. 1600 is in my opinion still acceptable, and 3200 can be used in a stretch, but 6400 truly is a step too far. Still, I'd rate the difference with the d90 at about 1-2/3 stops, which isn't too bad when you realize the 4 years difference.

so, that brings us to the conclusion. Is the D2H still relevant today?

The answer is yes, but it comes with a few snags. Don't expect to be snapping away at ISO 6400 and get clean images. ISO 1600 was already my max with the D90 (fast lenses) so I don't worry about it too much. The camera is also pretty heavy, so I wouldn't recommend it for a holiday (that's OK, I'll just remove the grip of my D90). It's also a VERY complicated machine, do NOT hand the camera to a friend/family member and expect a sharp picture (or any picture at all). :lol:

However, for sports, action, and events....this is what I'd bring. Can it replace my D90? Nope. Can it complement it? Perfectly! 8)

Here's some pictures from the first day:

Image

Image

Image

New shots:

Image

Image

Image

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Last edited by Citruspers on Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:27 pm 
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It was an amazing camera...but 4 megapixels are pretty useless for today's standards. I'm referring to the print options you have...

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 2:47 pm 
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My dearest Razvan, how often do you print larger than 60 CM? :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:30 pm 
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A very interesting view looking back seeing where we've come from.

On pixel count, while I have no fear of ever increasing numbers, there is still "good enough". 4MP can be more than good enough assuming you don't need to do hard cropping. On usable size indication, my monitor is a modern 24 inch (~60cm diagonal) 1080 HD so that's roughly 2MP. 4MP is about double that count.

If I stop slacking, I have been intending to write similar about the 5D mk1 compared to more modern cameras.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 3:31 pm 
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I'd be curious to read it Popo! :)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:37 pm 
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Great mini-review, thanks Citruspers


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:58 pm 
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"It also causes awkward silences when someone tells you your camera is awesome, and they ask how many megapixels it has, but that's another story"

LOL! If I were you I'd lie and say "its 67mp" or some other ridiculous number.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 5:02 pm 
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Haha that's very tempting, I might try it sometime :twisted:

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:00 pm 
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I would say if you don't shoot sports at a high level the camera is still good. Enjoy that's an awesome piece of kit!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:26 pm 
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Citruspers wrote:
My dearest Razvan, how often do you print larger than 60 CM? :lol:

that's the equivalent of a full-size print right?
at 300dpi it would be something like 20cm...so yeah,around 50cm I believe.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:17 pm 
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great review Marijin! i love shooting 4.1mb RAW file!!!! hhaaha easy to handle

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 12:27 pm 
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Thanks Daniel. I too love that, and I'm actually considering going jpeg, since I hardly have to change the whitebalance anymore :?

Some new shots added!

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:26 am 
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Nice review, some nice humour in there too. On the being asked about how many MP front: I think almost everyone who isn't 'into' photography outside of family snaps, will use that as their first, most important question [In their eyes] - If you said 4mp, their immediate reaction would be something like "HA! my tiny finepix has 10! I WIN!!" lol. Their next question is usually "What's the zoom on it? mine does 12x ..." :lol:

Best way to deal with those people is either do as Tomis suggests and give them a random big number to throw them off, or just explain to them "you wouldn't understand, tsk ... " [patronisingly] Maybe pat them on the head as you say it for effect.

Great image quality in those shots above, better than the images that come straight off my 10mp compact/bridge/I never know what to call it/camera. That produces very soft images that I always have to sharpen and clarify in LR or Cs4. [funny that some of us use programs worth much more than our cameras, I enjoy processing my images when i get back from shooting :) ]


Good stuff. I still think I'd not dip below 8mp personally, as I do tend to do a lot of post-cropping, where are you on that p.o.v?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:29 am 
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Haha I don't think people want to be lectured by a 18 year old wet-behind-the-ears, and then patted on the head for extra effect :lol:

As far as megapixels go: get it right in camera :lol:
Cropping is still possible but limits your printing possibilities. Still, you can check the full sizes on my deviantart, and see for yourself how bit it is, still (citruspers.deviantart.com/gallery/) (click the download button on the left of an image)

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:35 am 
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Ah, but getting it right in camera is tough for long exposure shots, for a n00b like me. There's always something in the background or to either side I just decide later at the pc shouldn't be in there. Mostly, I don't crop, unless there's an obvious annoyance, but I shall crop less and less as I go along, hopefully.

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