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How-to's Camera Reviews

The basics about the Multi-CAM 2000 AF module

Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell)

Keywords: nikon, d2h, d2x, f6, fundamentals, camera, basics, guides, tips

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Back in the good old days of manual focusing cameras you had to turn the lens ring until the subject looked sharp. If you weren’t fast enough, well, there was always the next frame.

Nowadays, our cameras are getting smarter and smarter. So many things can be well accomplished by camera automation, including autofocus, that it is now easier than ever to get professional results.


Nikon D2H, D2Hs, F6 and D2X cameras


The Multi-CAM 2000 Autofocus (AF) sensor module in the Nikon D2H, D2Hs, F6, and Nikon D2x gives us a powerful tool for professional or advanced amateur use. But, it’s imperative that the user of these fine cameras take the time to learn about the four modes of operation in Multi-CAM 2000. It can seem complicated when reading the manual, but is not too difficult if you’ll spend a little time testing the various modes. Then you’ll understand the best settings for your own style of photography.

We’ll discuss Multi-CAM 2000 from the standpoint of the Nikon D2x, since this is considered Nikon’s top professional model digital camera. There are some slight variances in custom settings found in the other cameras using Multi-CAM 2000. But, these are only minor differences, so it should pose no problem using this article to understand Multi-CAM 2000 in cameras other than the Nikon D2x.

It may be a good idea to have your Nikon D2x manual in hand, as well as your camera. We’ll refer to both often in this article. Let’s proceed!




It’s a radically improved version of the famous Nikon Multi-CAM 1300 autofocus module found in the Nikon F5 35mm film SLR. Where the Multi-CAM 1300 was limited to only Single Area AF and Dynamic Area AF, the Multi-CAM 2000 adds two more modes and several more AF sensors. The new modes are Group Dynamic AF and Dynamic Area with Closest Subject Priority.

While the Multi-CAM 1300 had five AF sensors, the Multi-CAM 2000 gives us eleven.

And, the center nine of the eleven are cross-type sensors which work in either horizontal or vertical camera positions.

Why is it called Multi-CAM 2000? Well, like the older “1300” before it, the number 2000 represents the approximate number of CCD elements in the autofocus system. With so many elements it will autofocus in very low light levels, and at very high speeds. It’s a true world-class AF system, unmatched by any other camera brand.

(3 Votes )
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Originally written on May 17, 2006

Last updated on October 28, 2016


Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs) on March 10, 2015

One of the two c-founders, expert in several areas Awarded for his valuable Nikon product reviews at the Resources

Steve (and Thomas), thanks for your great feedback on this article, much appreciated. We are working hard on expanding the articles with new material and also to make it easier yet to access our older ones, such as this good article.

Steve McTeer (NRVVA) on March 10, 2015

This article has been a life-saver for I bought a D2X last year with no manual. I have to re-read it from time to time but it is great! Thanks so much to Nikonians for keeping such "old" material available. :)

Thomas A. Panfil (Renaissance Man) on October 4, 2014

This fine article has been around a while but It seems generally applicable to current Nikon DSLR cameras like the D4. It think it well worth studying. We could use a companion article on LiveView Focussing. One seemingly unavoidable irritant with the "Focus and Recompose" technique is that the recorded focus point is repositioned to a point other than that which was actually used once one recomposes. My compliments to DigitalDarrell. -- TAP

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