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Nikon D1X

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24 40844 Dec 25, 2013
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92% of reviewers $2,739.29
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Sensor: 23.7 x 15.6mm 5.3 Megapixel CCD
Max resolution: 4,024 x 1,324 pixels
Super high-speed image processing
3 frames per second for up to 9 consecutive shots
Storage media: CompactFlash Type I and II
Flash sync speed to 1/500 sec


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Registered: Dec 25, 2013
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 0
Review Date: Dec 25, 2013 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very cheap to buy now, film like images straight out the camera, not the harsh, CGI look that modern digital can deliver. Takes almost all old AI Nikkors
Heavy, mot great past ISO 800, it's not a modern camera.

Okay it's 2013 and this thing is a dinosaur, but for the price it can be got now there's little to complain about if you want to have some fun

I love the look of the images just as they come out - a film-like look that, for me, is 'better' than the harshness of modern dSLRs. I don't actually want to be able to count the pores in someone's face or every blade of grass. We don't see that way with our eyes. I'd imagine that when they made the D1X they were trying to get a film look, film being the standard. It was only later that digital began to compare itself to itself

Of course if you're going to crop hard you will need that resolution but if you mostly compose in camera, and you should, then you're ok. And if you mostly print, if you print at all, to no larger than A3 you'll be ok too. Yes if someone goes up to the A3 print and stares at it from an inch away they will see low rez. But if you go up to an oil painting that close you will see the brushstrokes. Viewed normally, all is fine.

Personally I use old AI manual focus Nikkors in ap priority and this semi auto is excellent. Saves some time but leaves me in control. And I love the fact the focus is exactly where I want it and stays there with no need to do anything else.

As they are so cheap, why not get one and in a funny kind of way rediscover photography again? I drag the monster along wherever I can, along with my modern kit, it can produce some surprising and quite unique images

Dec 25, 2013
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Registered: Feb 15, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1003
Review Date: Feb 4, 2010 Recommend? no | Price paid: $400.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Bought for $400. It worked really well, and I really liked the images.
The shutter shattered/exploded in just 3 months of use.

I really liked the camera, but after getting two of them, and both have had their shutter die on me within 3 to 4 months, I don't recommend this camera to anyone anymore. It's an older camera, and if anyone sells it with the cliche remark about "low shutter" count, they're lying. It's been used, or they wouldn't have spent 5k on it (originally).

Get the newer bodies, for about the same price right now, and better ISO performance.

Feb 4, 2010
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Registered: Mar 17, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 5186
Review Date: Oct 24, 2009 Recommend? | Price paid: $4,999.00

Pros: big, bright viewfinder, intuitive menu system, 1/500 x sync, max speed 1/16000, self correceting shutter, amazing control of noise & grain at higher ISOs, buffer upgraded D1x's give about 14 raws before it chokes,
batteries are nicads (yuck) same battery issue as all other D1 series, exposure on LCD using custom image parameters can be deceiving, zoom on image is a simple 10x, rubber can lose it's grip as all other D1 series. WB in incandescent lighting is terrible, tend to underexpose indoors.

I wanted to take another opportunity to resubmit a more thorough run with this fabulous machine.

A few pros:

Noise is very film like, speed, like all the other D1 series, insane. I found it drives the shaft style lenses super fast, accurately. Raw format, in the old days you needed nikon capture, we all know there's a ton of solutions to this. Nice thing about the D1x is the way the CCD records the image, you can easily interpolate to 10mpx, and the images still look great. The images to me, overall remind me of slide film. B/W out of camera in jpeg or tiff mode look like plus-x, tri-x.

A few cons:

Batteries... carry spares, auto white balance, as usual-no good, AI lens compatibilty, although not the greatest is OK, some lenses are still not fully compatible, but that's a non-issue. Blown highlights, WB indoor is bad, tend to underexpose by default under tungsten light. Firewire port as all other D1 series, in a bad place, actually, was surprised they didn't go with 4-pin firewire port, much more sturdy. AC power also in the wrong place. Gotta clean the CCD, you need the AH-4 ac adapter... These cameras are the best workhorses for pros, weddings, pjournalism, street shooting, it all comes with a price, and the pleasure of having the images up on your walls for all to see.

D1x's these days go for $300+, paid about 5 G's back in 01' if you scout for one, expect to be high mileage, but still mechanically sound. They don't have odometers, but some shutters will fail on you, it can happen. Look for firmware v. 5.01, means it has a buffer upgrade.

Oct 24, 2009
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Don Olson
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Registered: Sep 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 484
Review Date: Jan 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Build:No rubber problems Body solid and everything is to hand and fingers. Raw is excellent. I've only shot a couple of JPG but they look ok too. Startup is fast. Focus is fast with my glass and accurate.
Battery life is not as good as the more modern types but a bit over blown IMO. I get BatteryBarn Bats and they serve very well.

I just gave it a 10. It does what it should when it should do it. No muss or fuss. I just flat like the IQ and colors overall. Very pleasing to my eyes. Don't bother chimping too much. The LCD images will depress you but when you open them up they look great. It does have a tendency to underexpose but that is easily compensated for.

It may not be a speed demon but I use it for sports and it does well for me. It fits and feels well in my hands and glass balances nicely and the heft keeps things stable and smooth.

All in all its still a wonderful body and at the price you just can't beat it. I got a this one last July 07 for a bit over $600 with a couple of batteries, charger, AC adapter and all the boxes. It had exceptionally little usage and except for a very little dust looked and checked out like brand new. I bought 3 B/B batteries @ 39ea. and haven't had any issues really.

Jan 1, 2008
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Buy and Sell: On

Registered: Sep 4, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 4191
Review Date: Oct 24, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $650.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Very solid piece of hardware. Raw files are fantastic. Excellent tonal range.
Every aspect of this camera is a little slow by today's standards. I mentioned the camera being solid, but the little doors/covers suck. Tendency to underexpose. Auto white balance indoors is a joke, get used to setting custom. Not very many AF points make it a little tough for motorsports, but you would have bought a 1D is you were a budget minded sports photog right? Tracks most moving subjects well though. Poor battery life. ISO 800 is pretty yucky, stick with 400 max.

I bought this from an FM'er, she took amazing care of it. If you are reading this, you probably know most of the pro's and con's. Basically, I really like mine. I have owned a Nikon D80, and a Canon 30D for reference. I currently own a D1x, and a D1.

Something you may not know, there are 4k lines of horizontal resolution, so upscaling to a 10mp image requires only half the typical interpolation. Nikon Capture 4 makes upscaling easy, and is also a pretty decent starting point for editing RAW files. I cannot tell the difference in quality between interpolating the D1x files and my "old" Nikon D80 files with a 20x30 print.

I bought 4 knock off batteries, the poor battery life doesn't really effect me anymore. That was worth every penny(70 on eBay).

To summarize: Buy spare batteries, shoot RAW, use custom white balance indoors, ignore its speed, and enjoy the heck out of it. It is still a very capable camera.

If you are trying to decide whether or not to pay the extra money for a D1x, or a D1...the D1x is the only way to fly. The menu on the D1 makes the D1x worth the extra money alone. Okay, if you find one for 200, and that's all you got...go for it. Otherwise, the D1x is waaaay easier to use.

I marked this a perfect 10. Obviously it is not better than a D2x, but for the money, you simply can't go wrong.

Oct 24, 2007
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Registered: Oct 15, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 4801
Review Date: Sep 28, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,000.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Professional body. Excellent ergonomics. Nice files.
Battery life. Leather cover not very durable.

The D1X by all standards is now old technology. It is a professional body with the excellent ergonomics of other Nikon cameras, well build to take the punishment of professionals and yields excellent files. The leather cover has a tendency to peel off requiring replacement.
Battery life is poor due to the old technology. Lithium batteries would have been ideal but they did not seem to be available then. I recommend for long trips to carry spares.
The camera shines when shooting RAW. Mine has a tendency to underexpose by 1/3 stop with AF lenses and even more than that, up to 1 stop, with manual focus lenses. I calibrated the meter and that is exactly the way it came from the factory.
The files, shooting RAW, are of acceptable size and excellent to make enlargements. It is heavy and well built so expect to be kind of tired at the end of the day in the field.
I do not sharpen in camera, I only use RAW and I set WB to sunny + 1 correcting with Nikon Capture when necessary.
Flash photography with the SB-28DX is a hit and miss business although my results are better going AUTO flash.
I have beautiful enlargements from this camera and I do not hesitate in recommending it taking into consideration what I have said.
In spite of its age many photographers still enjoy using this camera.

Sep 28, 2007
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Chris Friedl
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Registered: Oct 24, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 90
Review Date: Aug 3, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality: This thing is built to last. Control layout, print quality, compatibility with MF lenses.
Battery life, small LCD, white balance issues

For an older camera body these days, this model still performs well. THe build quality is impressive. I have had this body on hikes, climbs, rafting, and boating trips and it has never let me down. It has been banged around, subjected to temperatures from 115 down to -20 and it performs like a champ. Before buying this body from a member here on the forum i was considering the Fuji S3, D80, D200 and even a few offerings from canon. I am glad i decided on the D1x.

For being a small MP body compared to the new stuff out there, it still generates great large prints and can even be used as a 10MP unit with the right software. As a convert from the Canon system, I found the controls on this (and most nikon bodies) to be well laid out ergonomically and very easy to use. I like that it feels to me to be more like a film camera layout with the turret on the left side of the body and all. Canons feel to me to be laid out more like a consumer grade point and shoot. I have found the images of the D1x to be very sharp, the AF is accurate if a bit slow compared to modern offerings, and the metering is spot on 99% of the time.

The problems i have had with this body are battery life and white balance. The battery lasts me maybee 400 frames with smaller ultrasonic lenses and about half that with my big old 80-200. The white balance usually remains set at "cloudy -3" which works for most of my landscape work, but the auto WB is a joke. Shoot RAW and this wont be a problem. Proper charging and battery care will help greatly.

I would highly recommend this camera for any work not requiring billboard size enlargements or super high frame rate. Keep a few spare batteries and get used to judging white balance and this camera will never leave your hands.

Aug 3, 2007
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James Markus
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Registered: Jul 19, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 4733
Review Date: Sep 12, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,250.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: This review is very over-due. I have owned my D1X over 3.5 years now. I literally wore out the shutter 6 months ago...roughly 350,000 frames. But it's as good as new since Nikon replaced the shutter, and spiffed it up quite dramatically (no buffer upgrade). I still use it as my main camera...even though I own a D2X as well. Many times I just don't need the extra resolution of the newer camera, plus I am determined to continue to use it. I have been outdoors in below zero temps, and on freshly paved tar in over 115 degree temps...and the D1X has never failed to work. Reminds me of my F3HP's - both of which had over 750,000 shots, and both of which still worked when I sold them. A real workhorse! Great colors and contrast. More forgiving sensor with today's newer lenses...lenses that look a bit soft on my D2X are sharp on the D1X
Better batteries would be nice...like the Lithum Ion ones on the D2X...loud shutter. Quite noisy at ISO's of 400 and above - if you are even slightly off on exposure. If you nail the exposure...you can get good images from 400-800. The CF door loses it's rubber easily - not a big deal, but I'm trying to think of things to put in this con section.

Sep 12, 2006
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Registered: Apr 13, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 3199
Review Date: Sep 9, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,300.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build quality, overall feel, RAW file sizes are not as big as others so you don't need to spend a fourtune on large cards, image quality
Short battery life, even with buffer upgrade is slow in writing to card, I wish it had higher ISO settings, LCD cover looks like it was made by Tupperware, mint condition bodies becomming harder to get

I love this camera. My prvious DSLR's were D70 and D70S bodies. Out of 5 D70 bodies I was only somewhat happy with one of them. Very different story with the D1X.

The image quality is great. Skin tones, sharpness, and pattern recognition is outstanding. Unlike the D70s that would produce Moire when capturing silk or polyester clothing, I have not seen this problem with the D1X. Noise in low light is still somewhat visible, but not as much as with the D70 series.

Build quality is tough. I have shot several weddings with it and it stands up to the task of shooting several hundred shots per day. Short battery is a problem, but I usually carry several back up batteries and a charger just in case. Also, aftermarket battery from Battery Barn lasts longer than the original Nikon battery. The release latch on the aftermarket battery is cheap and breaks easily, but I removed the latches from my bad Nikon batteries and placed them on the aftermarket batteries. Works great now.

The lack of high ISO is a problem for low light photography. Luckily I have fast lenses to compensate for this problem. I also wish that I could zoom in and move around images on the rear LCD. This would really come in handy when verifying accurate focusing. The LCD cover is a white plastic that looks like it was made by Tupperware and stands out in a somewhat distracting/goofy way, but it does protect the screen.

I have the D1X with buffer upgrade. It still is somewhat slow when writing to a card after shooting several sequence shots, even 3 or 4 shots. I have the bad habit of turning the camera off after shooting several sequence shots in an effort to lengthen the battery life, but it takes a while to write to the card before you are able to shut down.

I like the fact that the RAW files are not as huge as the D2X or D200 and not as small as the D2H or old D1. I shoot weddings in RAW and this does make a difference when downloading and post prossessing 700+ shots per day.

Overall, I love this camera and would buy several more as back ups. Problem is that there are not too many out there in mint condition anymore.

Sep 9, 2006
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Registered: Jan 8, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 7719
Review Date: Feb 7, 2006 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,275.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: built like a tank, great quality images, film like quality pictures
battery life, high ispo noise but that is why the D2X is out

I got this used but it looked brand new and worked as new. i got one heck of a deal. only 900 shutter clicks on it. I took 100 pics with it at all different ISO's and they all looked awesome. Even at iso 3200, it was still ok. A bit of noise at high iso's, but that is expected and the D2x takes care of it. This camera has a film like look to it in the pictures and I love that. Out of camera, these pictures are near perfect. I am going to buy a second or 3rd for my wedding work.

If you get a chance to use it or buy one, get it. It is an awesome camera for pro's. Any amature who is a Point and shoot person will not like this camera because you have to do all the work. But if you are an experianced photographer, then you will love this camera and will love the image syou get out of it.

Feb 7, 2006
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Registered: Dec 13, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 326
Review Date: Aug 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,350.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Excellent build quality, great viewfinder coming from a D70, wonderful image quality, nice to be able to use my older Nikkors again.
Rubber grips. Need a line on a good glue.

I purchased a mint condition body a few months ago for under 1500.00. The D1x has been a solid performer and has not let me down.

Aug 24, 2005
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Registered: Nov 1, 2003
Location: United States
Posts: 301
Review Date: Aug 24, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $1,295.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Well built, huge buffer with upgrade, nice feel in my large hand.
Nothing to whine about.

My 17-55, 70-180micro, and 300mm f4 feel at home on this body. The output size and 3fps are fine for my needs. I was lucky enough to find a like new body with very few shutter activations for a very good price.

Aug 24, 2005
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Registered: Mar 22, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 1041
Review Date: Mar 14, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Build, functionality, low learning curve coming from an F5 & D100, great image quality
battery life :(

I'd give it a 9.5/10, just loosing 0.5 for the battery life, I have 3 and need to buy several more.

Fantastic camera, makes me think less about a D2x.

So cheap now and well worth getting your hands on a PRO body.

Wonderful Smile

Mar 14, 2005
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Registered: Mar 4, 2005
Location: Finland
Posts: 99
Review Date: Mar 11, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Magnesium alloy body, resistant to penetration by water drops, excellent image quality, excellent build quality and ergonomic design, and built-in vertical grip.
Rubber grip

I switched from Nikon D70 and purchased an used D1X. Excellent professional level DSLR.

Mar 11, 2005
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Registered: Sep 12, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 2008
Review Date: Jan 13, 2005 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,000.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Awesome , great to shoot and excellent Results. Very Low learnng curve. and Sold as a rock.
Needs auto orientation of Pictures

Jan 13, 2005
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[ X ]

Registered: Jan 23, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 1177
Review Date: Feb 20, 2004 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $3,400.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Nice camera, yes. I like the pictures it takes.
Built like a tank? If I hear this one more time, I'll puke. The rubber comes off this camera, repeatedly. Is that built like a tank? I've had my Nikon cameras in the shop twice as much as my Canon stuff. Go figure. I had a D1X with a 60mm micro attached fall 1.5 feet from a nighstand onto a floor. The focusing screen popped out and some other stuff came loose inside. Built like a tank? Pulease stop with these cliches. By comparison, I practically threw a D100 six feet down onto concrete, and it escaped with one tiny nick out of it. The D1X is NOT built like a tank. The outer covers of my arsenal of tanks do not regularly need repair.

Feb 20, 2004
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Nikon D1X

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
24 40844 Dec 25, 2013
Recommended By Average Price
92% of reviewers $2,739.29
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating

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