Designed with sports photographers and photojournalists in mind, the Nikon D3 introduces an astounding list of brand new features and technologies that make it the most sophisticated and advanced Nikon digital SLR to date. In addition to the new FX- format CMOS sensor, the D3 incorporates Nikon’s new EXPEED Image Processing System that is central to the blazing speed and processing power needed for many of the D3’s new features.
The 12.1 effective megapixel D3 features Nikon’s new FX-format CMOS sensor, measuring 23.9 x 36mm, which is nearly identical to the size of 35mm film. With the fastest start-up time, shortest viewfinder blackout time, and shortest shutter lag of any digital SLR camera, as well as the capability to shoot up to nine frames per second at full FX-format resolution, the D3 is the world’s fastest digital SLR camera in its class.
The D3 is designed for professional use in demanding conditions. The exterior of the D3 is crafted of magnesium alloy and the camera’s shutter mechanism is tested to 300,000-cycle releases. The 3-inch LCD is strengthened with tempered glass and the D3’s comprehensive array of rubber gaskets and seals protect vulnerable entry points from dust and moisture.
Nikon D3 Digital SLR Highlights
New, 12.1 effective megapixel FX-format (23.9 x 36mm) sensor The D3’s new and original 12.1 effective megapixel FX-format CMOS image sensor features a series of technologies that enable it to deliver superior quality pictures throughout the camera’s exceptionally broad ISO range. In addition, the sensor’s high-speed 12-channel readout allows the camera to shoot 12.1-megapixel images at up to nine frames per second.
Wide sensitivity range The camera’s ISO sensitivity range is extremely broad, allowing photographers to shoot low-noise photographs in a variety of situations. The camera’s normal range is from ISO 200 to 6400, and this range can be extended using the camera’s built-in settings of Lo-1 and Hi-2 for the equivalent of ISO 100 and ISO 25,600, respectively.
High-speed performance The D3 is designed to deliver high-speed performance in virtually any situation. With a shutter release time lag of only 37 milliseconds, camera start-up time of 0.12 seconds, and continuous shooting speed of up to nine frames per second with full resolution 12.1 megapixel images, the D3 is the world’s fastest digital SLR camera in its class.* The D3 is also capable of shooting at up to 11 frames per second when using the camera’s DX- format mode, with 5.1-megapixel images. The Nikon D3 is also compliant with UDMA memory cards, enabling recording speeds of up to 35 megabytes per second.
* As of August, 2007; among cameras featuring an imaging sensor similar to the size of 35mm film.
New EXPEED Image Processing System The D3 features Nikon’s new EXPEED Image Processing System that is central to the speed and processing power of the camera. EXPEED delivers optimized performance for the camera and its features, and ensures high-image quality and high-speed image processing.
Versatile new Picture Control System Nikon’s new Picture Control System, featured in the D3, allows photographers to fine-tune and adjust fundamental rendering options for their pictures so they can define the exact tone, sharpening, brightness and saturation they prefer. They can then port these settings to any other Nikon camera featuring the Picture Control System, such as the recently introduced D300, so that even when shooting with different cameras, they can get consistent tones for all their pictures.
New 51-point auto focus system The D3 features Nikon’s Multi-CAM 3500FX auto focus sensor module, with 51 AF points, including 15 cross-type sensors that are located in the center of the frame. These cross-type sensors work with all Nikkor lenses, including those with apertures as small as f/5.6. The D3’s auto focus system is closely linked with the camera’s innovative Scene Recognition System to deliver greater accuracy in subject detection and focus tracking performance.
Revolutionary new Scene Recognition System Nikon’s D3 features a revolutionary new Scene Recognition System that greatly enhances the accuracy of auto exposure, auto white balance detection and auto focus in the camera. The Scene Recognition System uses the camera’s built-in, 1,005-pixel RGB metering sensor to recognize the subject or scene being photographed and detect any movement. This information helps optimize exposure and white balance settings for the recognized subject and also enables the camera to assign appropriate AF points based on any movement of the subject, ensuring highly precise auto focus tracking performance.
Super-density, 3-inch VGA, TFT LCD monitor with 920,000-dot resolution The D3 features a gorgeous, ultra high-definition 3-inch LCD monitor with 920,000-dot resolution. The monitor provides a 170-degree viewing angle and is very effective in confirming focus on pictures as well as framing a shot using the camera’s new LiveView modes.
LiveView shooting with two optimized modes Two new LiveView modes in the D3 enable photographers to compose their shot using the camera’s ultra-high resolution LCD monitor. The Tripod mode is designed for precise focus and accuracy when the camera is on a stable platform and the subject is not moving. In this mode, the camera focuses on the subject using focal-plane contrast and any point on the LCD screen can be selected as the focus point for the picture. The second mode, called Handheld mode, allows photographers to use the camera’s conventional TTL focusing system, with all 51 points and 15 cross-type points available. When using this mode, the camera activates focusing immediately when the shutter button is pressed, to ensure accurate focus.
Active D-Lighting Nikon’s D-Lighting feature in its digital SLR cameras has proved to be a popular way for photographers to quickly compensate for dark areas of a picture after it is taken, without adversely affecting its highlights. The D3 now features an Active D-Lighting mode that when enabled provides remarkable real-time highlight and shadow correction with optimized image contrast. Active D-Lighting produces broader tone reproduction in both shadows and highlights by controlling highlights and exposure compensation while applying localized tone control technology to achieve a more pleasing level of contrast across the entire image. And because the advantages of Active D-Lighting are applied as images are captured, image editing time can be shortened.
Reliable and durable The D3 is designed to perform reliably and consistently under the most demanding conditions. The exterior of the D3 is crafted of magnesium alloy, and numerous seals are used throughout the body to protect the camera against dust and moisture. The camera’s shutter employs blades made of a hybrid of carbon fiber and Kevlar and is tested to 300,000 cycles. The camera also features a Self Diagnostic Shutter Monitor that ensures the accuracy and precision of the shutter at all times.
Fine-tune adjustment for auto focus Photographers who need to make small adjustments to correct differences in focusing can do so using the D3’s built-in capability to adjust focus specific to a lens. The camera offers the option of either setting compensation for a specific lens so adjustment in focus is only enabled when that particular lens is used, or the camera can apply a uniform level of compensation for any lens used with the camera. Users can store settings for up to 20 different lenses if they prefer to fine-tune the camera’s focusing based on specific lenses.
Designed for ergonomics, by Giugiaro The D3 is built around the central theme of ergonomics and the camera’s exterior form is designed by world renowned Italian design house, Giugiaro. Every aspect of the D3 is fine-tuned to be ergonomic and help photographers seamlessly work with the camera. Its slightly inclined command dial, comfortable hand-grip, and curves on the pentaprism top, grip and side panels are all part of a new design theme.
Nikon D3 Digital Camera Gets Top Rating
I've been using the D3 for several months now. It is arguably the best camera Nikon has ever made.
Image quality is superb, and the balance between sensor resolution and noise control is near-perfect. Ergonomics are the best of any camera body I've used, quick and intuitive.
One company (DXO) has published test results for image quality among digital cameras and rated this camera very highly.
Autofocus is greatly improved, as is the on-camera flash control system. The SB 900 flash, by the way, is a world-class tool that can easily replace studio strobes in many applications.
Battery life is so good I sometimes forget to charge them up.
Overall, the Nikon D3 camera is pretty much a must-have for serious photographers - with the prices coming down, it just makes sense.
It's a Nikon...need I say more???
There is little I can say that will do this camera justice. Simply stated, it's the camera to end all cameras. Being a 20-year experienced amateur photo hound, there isn't anything I would change about this camera. What I like most is the max 1/8000th sec shutter speed and 6400+ ASA/ISO equivalent film speed. You can let the camera do everything....OR....YOU can do EVERYTHING....or anywhere in between. I've had this camera for about a month now, and I've already sold some of my work with it to Cycle Magazine. It's pricey, but if you want complete freedom to do what you want, this is the camera to have. Combine the selection of lenses with the available accessories, there is literally NOTHING you CAN'T do!!!
d-3 great-where it came from not so
The D-3 Nikon has been great. The thing I'm concerned about was the box had been opened, the camera seemed to have been used and strap was missing. Although Amazon was able to correct the problem of the strap quite quickly and the camera seems to be fine, we are talking about a $5000.00 camera, somebody should have checked....Thanks....Rob Mueller.