Nikon D3x Features Sony-Manufactured Sensor

Nikon has been dodging a direct answer to the question of sensor origins of its D3x since the camera was announced.  Nikon has finally admitted that Sony manufactured the sensor; however, Nikon points out that it designed the sensor.  Here’s Nikon’s own words:

The Nikon D3X’s 24.5-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24.0mm) CMOS sensor was developed expressly for the D3X in accordance with Nikon’s stringent engineering requirements and performance standards, with final production executed by Sony. Featuring refined low-noise characteristics, 12 and 14 bit output, Live View capability and more, the D3X’s unique sensor design was carefully blueprinted to perform in perfect concert with proprietary Nikon technologies including EXPEED Image Processing and the Scene Recognition System. Meticulous efforts allowed the sensor to become one of the many essential components and technologies which contribute to the D3X’s superior image fidelity.

[via Rob Galbraith]

So, is Nikon saying that this sensor is a different one than the one found in the Sony A900?

Stay tuned to Photography Bay’s Nikon D3x Reviews and Resources for the latest news and reviews.



  1. Roderick says

    It’s the same sensor as in the A900…or if you prefer, the A900 has the same sensor as the D3x…

    Whatever buy an A900 or a 5DMkII, then take all that cash you saved and buy some lenses…

  2. jacob says

    I don,t understand the big fuzz about it if the sensor is made by Sony or not. In the first place the sensor is just a part of the whole “Nikon sensor system” that produces the photo. Second: you can bet on it that Nikon made sure that Sony is not allowed to use the sensor it self or the designed futures in the sensor, for there own camara,s.

  3. HuiBuh says

    In my eyes the “big fuzz” is about the fact that Sony and Nikon are selling (competitively) dSLR’s. This is like an engine of Mercedes would be used in a BMW.

    The problem is that Nikon is a relatively small company, compared to Sony. And the fear of many might be that Sony could buy Nikon one day.

  4. Peter says

    Maybe they can defuse all this sensor fuss, by using a Kodak or Dalsa sensor. As silly as it sounds it might bring the D3x some “cache” – using the same sensor line as Hasselblad and the the Leica S-series(and likely the upcoming R10).

    Otherwise, I agree with the guy above – get an A900 or 5DmkII and buy some lenses with the cash saved on the body…(hard to imagine the D3x is worth the extra coin over the other two – particularly given the retread sensor…ya, bite me..)

  5. John Fletcher says

    None of you get it. Nikon has no manufacturing capability for sensors. They subcontract that capability. It happens that they contracted with Sony to make the sensors. They are not the same. If you check the specs, there are differences in the exact pixel count.

    The Sony sensor and the Nikon sensor are two, totally different pieces of hardware and Sony DOES NOT put them in the A900. I think some of you here need to grow up and stop with all the non-sensical buzz. It sounds to me like a bunch of Canon guys trying to slam Nikon.

  6. says

    You don’t get it either. The pixel count of output from the two cameras IS the same. They are two related pieces of hardware and share a lot of tech. The end result is very different, and there is not even a vague resemblance between the A900 and D3x output quality.

    The sensor in my estimation is VERY similar. But there’s more to a camera than a sensor. Processing off chip is very different, and it’s a place that Nikon happens to shine.

    The engine in a 1998 Honda CR-V and a Honda S2000 share quite a bit. The block and specs on most of the parts are the same. But again, there’s more to it than that. One engine puts out 130hp and the other puts out 240hp. No one pays $35k for a CR-V, and for good reason. The D3x is a high performance piece of gear. Eventually we’ll probably get that awesome “engine” in a lower trim model. Nothing stopping Nikon from doing it today, except they want to make their money back from the R&D for that sensor. That’s frustrating to the consumer who knows that there’s no technical reason that it can’t be done, but Nikon is a business. Nothing more, nothing less.

    I respect Nikon for using the best sensor they had the resources to, and in this case it sets the standard right now. Kudo, Nikon.

    There is some logic to the argument of “buy what you need today”. If you need 20+mp, it’s very expensive to do within the Nikon system today. People getting started may be attracted by the A900. And that’s sad, because the Nikon system has a lot to offer over Sony/Minolta, and this is not obvious to a beginner.