Nikon D3X Announced

Nikon has officially announced the Nikon D3X, a 24.5 megapixel DSLR.  Nikon is now upped the ante for Canon, which just launched its 21.1 megapixel 5D Mark II.  Canon’s flagship DSLR also sports a “mere” 21.1 megapixels and is now playing third fiddle to the Nikon D3X and the Sony A900.  Oh yeah, the D3X will run you about $8,000.

Full details on the D3X can be found in the press release below. Expect more news, reviews and other info on the Nikon D3X in the coming days.  Stay tuned to Photography Bay’s Nikon D3X Reviews and Resources for the latest.

Press Release


With Extreme 24.5-Megapixel Resolution, Processed Image Files Exceeding 138 MB, Five Frame-per-Second Burst Speed and Nikon Core Technologies, the D3X Ushers in a New Level of Image Quality

MELVILLE, N.Y. (Nov. 30, 2008) – Nikon Inc. today announced the D3X, an FX-format digital SLR featuring extreme 24.5-megapixel resolution and superb low-noise capabilities, which provides professional photographers with commercial-quality image performance in a familiar and extraordinarily versatile D-SLR form factor. In conjunction with the groundbreaking Nikon FX-format D3, the D3X tops off a collection of flagship level, rugged, professional caliber digital single lens reflex cameras engineered to excel in all types of professional photographic disciplines from photojournalism and sideline sports, to commercial in-studio applications.

The foundation of the enhanced performance of the D3X is its FX-format, 24.5-megapixel (6048 x 4032) CMOS sensor providing commercial, high fashion, fine art and landscape photographers with the extreme resolution, dynamic range, color depth, detail and sharpness that clients demand. Whether creating catalogs, magazine covers, billboards or gallery prints, the large 5.49-micron pixel size and high signal to noise ratio produces vibrant images with breathtaking image fidelity while reducing lost highlights and shadows, and ensuring smoother tone reproduction with minimized noise. With full resolution shooting speeds of up to five frames-per-second (fps), and 14-bit files, that when processed are approximately 138 MB, the D3X offers today’s photographic artists an extreme level of performance and versatility ready for demanding assignments in the studio or on location.

“In 2007, the 12.1-megapixel FX-format D3 delivered groundbreaking digital SLR image quality, coupled with incomparable high ISO, low noise performance and high-speed handling. In doing so, the D3 broke photographic barriers, enabling photographers to work in ways never before possible,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc. “Now, the new 24.5-megapixel FX-format D3X D-SLR provides the extreme resolution and high dynamic range capabilities needed to meet the extraordinary needs of photographic disciplines such as high fashion, commercial advertising and fine art. The D3X delivers this remarkable capability while fitting seamlessly within the Nikon system, taking full advantage of Nikon’s world-renowned collection of NIKKOR lenses and Speedlights.”

Image Quality Takes Center Stage

To re-emphasize the importance of image quality above all else, the D3X delivers an incredible level of digital SLR performance to provide photographers with extremely high resolution, exceptional dynamic range, phenomenal total gradation and outstanding color reproduction. Image files can be recorded as TIFF, JPEG or NEF (RAW) formats in either 12- or 14-bit compressed or uncompressed formats, and recorded to UDMA compatible CompactFlash™ cards for optimum speed. Photographers can save image files directly to the dual card slots as overflow, backup, or as separate file formats to different cards. Building on the D3X’s flexibility, users have the creative option to shoot in the 5:4 crop mode with 20.4-megapixel resolution, the ideal format for creating 8 x 10-inch portraits. While using DX-format lenses, faster continuous shooting of up to seven frames per second can be achieved at a resolution of 10.5 megapixels.

The exceptionally low noise of the D3X is essential to any professional commercial application, and it provides photographers with an ISO range of 100 to 1600, expandable to 50 (Lo-1) and 6400 (Hi-2). The ultra smooth tones and lack of grain at ISO 1600 as well as at low sensitivity settings result in smooth, natural skin tones and exacting detail that, before the D3X, required larger and far costlier studio-bound camera systems.

Advanced Technologies, Meticulously Executed

In a commercial setting or on location, imaging professionals need high performance in both speed and processing. The Nikon D3X can shoot at up to five fps at full resolution or up to seven fps in DX crop mode, allowing photographers to catch the split-second difference in a model’s expression or capture all of the action in a sequence. Just like the D3, the D3X achieves a start-up time of a mere 0.12 seconds and a shutter release time lag of 0.04 seconds.

The D3X’s speed, as well as high levels of performance, leverages Nikon core technologies including a newly enhanced EXPEED™ Image Processing System, specially designed for the D3X to provide superior image quality, faster processing speeds and lower power consumption. This advanced system is able to achieve extremely precise color reproduction for a broad spectrum of hues, in addition to vivid saturation and smooth gradation. What’s more, Nikon’s advanced noise processing function is engineered to minimize noise at all sensitivities and operate seamlessly without interfering with other image color parameters.

The D3X also features Nikon’s exclusive Scene Recognition System, which continuously analyzes information from the 1,005-pixel RGB light sensor, to further refine auto exposure, auto white balance and autofocus calculations. This results in flattering portraits and awe-inspiring landscapes that portray accurate color and fine details. Nikon’s exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II helps ensure accurate exposures, even in the most challenging lighting conditions. Instantly evaluating each scene before capture, input data from the system’s sensor is automatically referenced against an internal database of more than 30,000 images derived from actual photographs to calculate correct exposure values. Active D-Lighting, used in combination with 3D Matrix Metering II, helps to determines proper exposure, and creates realistic contrast while compensating for lost shadows and highlights. Prior to shooting, users can choose from Extra High, High, Normal, Low or Off settings, as well as an Auto mode.

Additionally, the D3X features Nikon’s exclusive Multi-CAM 3500FX focus module, with 51 AF points, 15 cross type sensors and 36 horizontal sensors that easily track and lock onto moving subjects, delivering the same fast and accurate AF performance that helped make the D3 immediately successful. Users can select any of the AF points, making it easy to consistently attain accurate focus right on a subject’s eyes, frame after frame. Additionally, three AF-area modes – Single point, Dynamic-area AF and Auto-area AF – are available to maximize the use of the 51 focus points by selecting the most suitable one to match subject conditions. AF is also available in one of two Live View modes optimized for the studio, including a phase detection handheld mode and a tripod mode. This feature allows the user to zoom in up to 27x on the LCD screen to ensure critical focus. While in Live View, the graphic indication of a virtual horizon is also available, making it easier than ever to confirm camera orientation.

To further ensure each photographer’s ability to balance their personal style, Nikon’s Picture Control System enables users to adjust their images to pre-set parameters such as Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome that apply tweaks to image sharpening, tone compensation, brightness, overall tone and saturation. Photographers have creative control over these image parameters with the use of up to nine available customizable presets.

Synchronizing Both Form and Function

Engineered for real-world functionality, the D3X retains a rugged shell with moisture, dust and shock resistance that has become a hallmark of flagship Nikon D-SLRs, while preserving the usability and ergonomics that allow the camera to remain an extension of the photographer’s vision. Attention to detail goes so far as to include a self-diagnostic shutter system that is tested to exceed 300,000 cycles for maximum durability and longevity. The camera’s body also maintains the resilient magnesium alloy construction and form factor of the D3, promoting consistent Nikon system synergy.

A bright and accurate viewfinder offers 100 percent coverage with 0.7x magnification. The body also houses Nikon’s acclaimed 3.0-inch super density LCD screen, now relied upon by so many photographers. The high-resolution 920,000-dot screen is viewable at wide angles up to 170 degrees, and will allow photographers to quickly zoom in to confirm critical focus. Users can also output the video signal to an external display via HDMI to allow client viewing. Thanks to incredibly efficient internal circuitry, the D3X can capture up to 4400* shots per single charge of the camera’s Lithium ion battery.

System Strength Withstands the Test of Time

The D3X is fully compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) to give photographers a mobile lighting solution that is easy to manage. To further enhance mobility, the D3X is compatible with Nikon’s GP-1 GPS receiver to gather information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and date of shooting. Photographers can easily shoot tethered via USB, or use the WT-4a wireless transmitter to send images wirelessly when speed and mobility are essential. D3X users will also enjoy the system strength of more than 50 genuine NIKKOR lenses that provide outstanding sharpness and high resolution across a broad range of focal lengths.

Price and Availability

The Nikon D3X will be available at Nikon Authorized Professional Dealers starting December 2008, and will be available for an estimated selling price of $7999.95.**

* Based on CIPA Standards
** Estimated selling price listed is only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.



  1. says


    “Canon’s flagship DSLR also sports a “mere” 21.1 megapixels”

    Yep, ’cause I don’t know how many times I’ve said to myself “Oh, if I just had another 3.4mp”

    There goes another terrabyte…

  2. says

    Comparing the 3000$CA Canon to the 8000$US Nikon in favor of the later (specially concerning a difference of 3.5mp) is a tiny bit obtuse, don’t you think?

  3. says

    @Zablit – Actually the comparison was to Canon’s flagship, the 1Ds Mark III . . . along with a little bit of facetiousness. Obviously, not everyone got it.

  4. Roderick says

    Huh, it looks like a half-bred retread of some older Nikon and Sony products…
    Not good.
    Nikon has succumbed to the forces of evil and have joined the dark side.
    They would have been wiser to make a camera of 18mp. At this level of resolution, they likely could have maintained most of the D3’s speed/ISO virtues while combining it with more than ample resolution.
    Yes buyer’s you too have been deceived and coddled into believing you need 24mp…when really just a bottle of Extenze would have been good to cure your insecurity.
    It’s all so wonderful to read the reviews of these uber pixelated pieces of crap…”oh look, if you shoot above ISO 400 it’s just too noisy”…ya great, go figure…these dinks just dump this cheap tacky crap on the blind…
    Nikon would be better advised to start making doormats so Canon can walk all over them.
    God it all makes me sick…
    Wunder what’s going on with Mamiya and their DL28 camera? Not a bad deal when looking at Nikon’s latest retread. Hmm, maybe Leica will wake up to realize they’ve overpriced their S2 camera, which when it finally comes out will be obsolete anyways…
    It’s all just a big techno-jerk-off…just like when CD’s came out…they’re so great…now everyone is buying turntables again…

    Only the rightly guided ones will know not to throw out their film gear just yet. The rest of you will burn like smelly cowpies for your shortsighted-ness.

    Huh, I feel moderately better now…I’m sure the smug look on my butt-ugly face will be wiped away when I hear the camera mfr’s have all taken their place at the government trough behind the banker’s and auto-maker’s…the end is near. Repent now and return to film.

  5. Peter says

    It’s $8K, I think I’ll save $5k on the body and buy a Canon 5DMkIII and put the extra $$ for some glass.

    This thing looks like it intended to compete with the Canon 1DsMkIII, which we can all easily assume is well down the road to being replaced as this comes out…

  6. Peter says

    Different cameras for different uses!?!?
    Geezus…next you’ll be telling us we need a different one because it’s Tuesday…hook, line and sinker.

  7. says

    Haha, I wish I needed a new camera because it was tuesday!! Honestly, I was very adamant about how I was wishing for the same thing Peter; I too wanted the 18mp’s, and high ISO capabilities, but I knew it wasn’t really going to happen, because they needed a camera for the studio guys, how many of us shooting in controlled lighting situations are actually going to be shooting over 50 or 100 ISO?

    I’m trying to look on the bright side and not complain, we didn’t get the camera some of us wanted and there not going to make it because we, the few, want it.

    I can tell you that a lot of the, at times, unwarranted want for mega mega-pixel’s in camera’s is driven by the client; they believe more is better, and they want you to shoot more, so either you loose the client or you shoot bigger, not necessarily better camera’s. Nikon is trying to get back back all the shooter’s it lost to Canon, the only way there going to be able to do that is by making it bigger. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been looked at like I’m crazy because I shoot Nikon digital cameras.

    I’m not saying that I agree with it, I don’t, but it’s a consumer driven market guys, you either follow the trends or you get off at the next stop. Nikon isn’t Canon, they don’t have the money to build it all.

    And I was just joking with you Roderick, rants are great! ;)

  8. Roderick says

    I’ve taken my medication, it’s all OK now…all warm and fuzzy, nice nice nice…LOL

    Nobody listens to us!! Not even Eric will jump in here and say we’re a bunch of dorks and that we really should be out somewhere taking pics with our “Tuesday cameras”!! That is of course – if you’re not in Europe or farther east…in which case, you really ought to be using your “Wednesday camera”.

    None of it matters, I think Leica has foreshadowed the future with their S-line of gear, which when combined with the existence of the likes of Olympus and their micro 4/3rds, spells the possible demise of all these old formats. The barriers that have existed will disappear and be replaced by a new one – brand name. We’ll just buy a brand that we like and can afford without regard to what format it may or may not be. Each brand will be it’s OWN format. It’s coming slowly, even the medium-format guys who have been espousing open-format products aren’t getting any traction. Ultimately, there will be as many formats as there are manufacturers.

    There, another rant…please feel free to rant back – maybe we can get Photo Bay a bad rep….one that rivals dpreview…