May 3, 2005

Nikon D2x Review By Thom Hogan

Editor’s Note: Photographer and author Thom Hogan has done an in-depth review of the new Nikon D2X. Known as a respected authority in photography-both film & digital, Mr. Hogan’s views and reviews carry substantial weight in the Nikon community. As a result, it’s notable that Mr. Hogan has both considerable praise for the camera (with some criticism) but also goes to considerable length to offer his opinion of the recent White Balance encryption issue as well as Nikon’s response. PSN encourages interested readers to read the entire review but we were struck by the following:

In a sidebar to the review, Mr. Hogan, referring to his recommendation of the Nikon D2X said:

No Recommendation*

* Nikon has arguably delivered the best camera ever made, but it has one flaw that I’ve been struggling to come to grips with and which keeps me from an outright recommendation as I’ve done with previous cameras. The problem? Encryption of white balance information. Essentially, some will find that flaw fatal (and thus should consider the Canon 1DsMarkII instead of a D2x), some will find it annoying, and some won’t have any problems with it. For a time I considered giving the D2x a “Not Recommended” rating, as this is a professional camera with a liability that could come back to haunt some pros, but I decided that would be hypocritical: I’m using the D2x as my primary camera, so how can I say “not recommended.” You’ll have to decide for yourself whether the encryption is an issue or not. To do that, read the last part of the Handling section of the review.

Read the entire review

2 Responses to “Nikon D2x Review By Thom Hogan”

  1. Skip Higgins Says:

    I’ve read Thom’s article and have traded emails with him in the past. I also own and very happily use the D2x in my work and I am more than pleased with this, the best of the cameras I’ve owned in my 40 years of photography.

    Whilst I agree there are issues concerning white balance and it’s encryption in the Nikon camp, the failure to mention that ALL major digital camera suppliers apply an “encrypted” sequence within their RAW format. These companies, Phase One, Sony, Foveon, and Canon among them, seem to have fallen under the radar on this point.

    Likewise the base reasons for Adobe’s, and Mr. Thomas Knoll’s, hue and cry over this issue … which is, at least in some aspects, motivated by desire for profit in Adobe’s own Photoshop and DNG software.

    ll apply some
    >> form of encryption to their RAW files. Dcraw decodes them all — you can

    Knoll of Adobe
    >> accused
    >> Nikon of encrypting the white balance data in the D2X and D2Hs cameras, thus
    >> preventing Adobe from fully supporting these cameras.
    >> I cracked this encryption on April 15, and updated dcraw.c and parse.c on
    >> April 17. So “dcraw -w” now works correctly with all Nikon cameras.
    >> >> easily find decryption code by searching for the ^ operator.

  2. Thom Hogan Says:

    There’s a lack of hard information on the encryption claims some make. As I understand it:

    * Canon only uses encryption on critical info to the demosaic on the Powershot models.
    * Adobe has permission from several manufacturers to decrypt .

    Beyond that, the Nikon trend is very clearly towards more and more obscuring of critical data, and at some point they cross a line and need to be called on it. The D2x crossed that line.

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