Some months back there was a lot sale of 4 Nikon D2H SLRs on eBay. The seller was a warehouse store based out of Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. They were described as former journalism cameras and the batteries were dead. The seller did not know if they worked or not. No battery charger with the lot. One in the lot looked in reasonable condition and all were dusty. The paint on the other three looked like they were used in wartime journalism!
The Nikon D2H is the fourth out of Nikon’s line of professional digital SLRs, after the D1, D1H, D1X. It was introduced by Nikon in 2003 with an off-the-shelf price of $5,000. Intended for professional use, the D-series are made for heavy duty use and weather resistance. They all have tough magnesium alloy frames and thick rubberized coverings.
The D2H uses Nikon’s own digital sensor with a 4.1-megapixel resolution. This was more resolution than the D1 and D1H but less than the D1X. 4.1-megapixel is low by today’s standards but for an amateur like me, this is more than enough resolution. This lower resolution is optimised at that time for sports and action shooting and is capable of capturing 8 frames per second (fps) for up to 40 frames. The D2X, while identical in appearance to the D2H, had more resolution (12.2-megapixels) and is optimised for more detailed photos.
Knowing that these were journalism cameras and they are beat up meant that they have had heavy use over the years. However, I have great faith in Nikon pro-level cameras. They have been used by journalists and professional photographers all over the world, have been abused, dropped into raging rivers, knocked around in weightless space, dropped from heights and they still kept taking photos. They have even saved lives of photo-journalists.
After the cameras’ arrival and charging up the batteries with my own MH-21 battery charger, 3 of the of the D2H’s worked as they should but the fourth was completely dead.
One of the cameras had a sticker with the words “Intelligencer” on it. Curious as to what newspaper this was, I searched the internet for newspapers around Willow Grove. The Intelligencer is a daily newspaper published in Doylestown, Pennsylvania (12 miles from Willow Grove). These D2H’s have had a good working life and I guess the newspaper felt it was time to retire them. Also I guess the photo-journalists now prefer to use today’s newer full-frame D4’s and D5’s.
Digital cameras are like laptops, once a new model comes out with better specs (higher mega-pixel count, larger buffer, faster frame-rate), the price of the older model goes down really quickly. After cleaning and retouching the paint on the working D2H’s, I must say that I am very pleased with my $35 D2H’s!