Wednesday, November 17, 2021


I've got a 20-year-old DSLR out for the other other blog, and the first thing I'm reminded of is how spoiled we are for good batteries these days.

The D1X uses nickel-metal hydride battery packs, which not only slowly self-discharge over time, but also don't have near the energy density of newer lithium-ion batteries. In order to wring maximum life out of one of the big batteries, I turn off the automatic review function. Not chimping the pictures immediately after shooting gives an oddly film-like shooting experience, especially because if you're shooting uncompressed NEF (RAW) files, you get surprisingly few on a card, even a 512MB one. 

Sixty something lossless NEFs and you're changing cards. (And the D1X uses FAT16, so 2GB is as big as you go with this camera.)

The teeny-tiny 2" LCD monitor only has 130,000 pixels and uses a disproportionate amount of juice.

Fortunately replacement batteries are available, and you can still get 1GB compact flash cards, at least for now. Of course being a Nikon F-mount professional body, it will use pretty much any F-mount lens ever, except some of the very earliest manual focus ones and the very newest ones with electronically-controlled diaphragms. I've had an old 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 on it for a bit and it seems to be working okay.

The serial number indicates this is the 496th D1X built, so it's an honest twenty years old and still running strong. Eventually something electronic will take a dump and the camera will be uneconomically repairable, but until then I plan to enjoy it...