Blog Nikon D1 Camera Review: Pros, Cons and Specifications

This blog post is a comprehensive review of the Nikon D1 Camera, highlighting its features, strengths, and weaknesses. We'll also get into its specifications and why it ranks well in the market.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Nikon D1 article cover photo

Key Features

Nov 27 2000


3 megapixels


Sensor TypeAPS-C

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Overview of the D1

Are you in the market for a great camera that shoots crisp and high-quality images? Then look no further than the Nikon D1 Camera. This camera is a beast in its own right, packing a punch in picture quality and versatility. In this review, we will explore the various aspects of the Nikon D1 Camera that make it stand out among other cameras in its category. We'll examine its features, specs, and what makes it a go-to choice for professional photographers. So grab a cup of coffee and let's dive in!

Nikon D1 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Nikon D1 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High image quality and resolution
Fast autofocus and continuous shooting
Robust and durable build
Versatile ISO range for low-light performance
Great color accuracy and dynamic range
Large LCD display for easy image review
Compatible with a wide range of Nikon lenses
Ideal for professional photographers


Large and heavy body may be difficult to handle for extended periods of time
Limited battery life compared to newer models
Expensive compared to newer camera options
Slow buffer clearing time for continuous shooting
Limited video capabilities compared to newer models
Small LCD display compared to newer models
Limited dynamic range compared to newer models
Some outdated features compared to newer models.

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Nikon D1

Weather sealed
Dimensions157 x 153 x 85mm

Weather Sealing

The Nikon D1 camera is equipped with environmental seals that make it resistant to weather, preventing water and dust from entering the camera. If you enjoy outdoor photography and need a camera that can handle extreme conditions, the D1 is an excellent choice.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (pentaprism)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution130k dots
Body typeLarge SLR

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 2.00" screen, with a display resolution of 130k dots. This makes the Nikon D1 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


D1 includes a optical (pentaprism) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of 96% and a magnification of 0.53x. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Nikon D1 has a 3MP sized CCD sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 3 pixels. Nikon D1 has a native ISO range of 200 - 1600 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Nov 27 2000


200 - 1600

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution2000 x 1312 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Nikon D1 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the D1 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: APS-C



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageCompact Flash (Type I or II)
Battery Life
Battery Model
Wireless Connectivity


The Nikon D1 supports Compact Flash (Type I or II) with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Nikon D1 uses the undefined model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Nikon D1 does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Nikon D1 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/16000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Nikon D1 includes phase detection autofocus (AF), with null number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Nikon D1?

The Nikon D1 features a CCD sensor

Is the Nikon D1 weather sealed?

Yes the D1 does have weather sealing.

When was the Nikon D1 announced?

The Nikon D1 was announced on Nov 27 2000

Does the Nikon D1 have in-body image stabilization?

No the D1 does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Nikon D1?

The D1 has a native ISO range of 200-1600, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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