Nikon D3 Rumors

Below is a chronology of the rumors leading up to the official announcement.
The Nikon D3 has been rumored for some time now. You can see the history of the rumors in this post. Updates will appear at the bottom of this page by date until something official comes from Nikon.

POST 3/4/07: Now that Canon has had their fun, rumors abound that Nikon will unveil the new D3 tomorrow, March 5. Jim Seaholm gives the personal account of attending a sales rep seminar in LA on Friday, March 2:

Last night I attended a Nikon sales rep seminar in Los Angeles, where Nikon’s D3 was unveiled to an audience consisting of L.A. area Advanced Systems Dealers and myself.

Courtesy of my cousin, who is a salesperson at a major Los Angeles Nikon retailer, I was able to get credentials and attend the 45 minute meeting with him.

All camera cell phones were checked at the door, as we entered the meeting room. The LA sales rep revealed the D3 which was partially wrapped in black gaffers tape so as to disguise key elements of its appearance. For about 30 minutes, the sales rep talked to the assembled audience about Nikon’s latest offering which is to be unveiled on Monday, March 5th at PMA:

Full Frame (no 1.1 crap) – DX mode at 1.5x – High Speed Crop – VERY fast motor drive (can’t remember the number he quoted, but when he fired it, it sounded at least as fast as my F5 on CH. – 18.7 MP – MSRP $7999 – No H and X models anymore, just the one D3 – D2xs will continue to sell. – Dimensions and weight were mentioned, but I don’t remember the minutae. Suffice to say, the camera looked to be roughly the same size as the D2 series.

The camera was fitted with another new release: an undisguised 50mm 1.2G AF-S lens, which looked to be quite large and sturdy. Also mentioned but not present was a 24-120 2.8G AF-S. The rep said no new DX lenses were forthcoming in the near future.

So there you have it. End of rumors. We’ll all see it undisguised on Monday. So relax, its here.

Regards,

Jim

The original post was over at photo.net, but they removed the text. The 50mm f/1.2 and 24-120 f/2.8 look tasty too! I still consider this a rumor, but we’ll find out tomorrow. If it’s true, I imagine that some Nikon rep is in a little bit of trouble.

UPDATED: This rumor dispelled and more fuel to the fire – click here for more.

UPDATED 5/1/07: Read the History of the Nikon D3.

UPDATED 5/7/07: More rumors of an announcement “around fall” 2007.

UPDATED 5/13/07: More rumors – Summer announcement.

UPDATED 5/30/07: More rumors of a Summer/June Announcement.

UPDATED 6/8/07: Check out the awesome concept renditions of the Nikon D3x. Cnet has joined in the rumor mill, although I don’t really see anything new that we’ve not already reported here. Also, from the DPReview.com forums:

From a very good inside source. I will not elaborate or name the source.

Expect around August this year an upper end Nikon DSLR – probably with a FF sensor.

UPDATE 6/9/07: There has been a rumor explosion since Norm Olsen’s Nikon D3x Concept Rendition went up yesterday. However, all the posts (some from official news sources) are covering the same stuff that’s been on Photography Bay for a while, some of which is as old as early May. Unfortunately, there is nothing new to the rumor explosion that’s happened over the last 36 hours or so. I’d say this trend will continue for the next few days. As always, I’ll keep you posted if something new crops up on the rumor mill.

UPDATE 6/12/07: There’s a great post over at DPReview.com that shows a number of Nikon D3 fake photos. If you think you’ve seen a photo of the real Nikon D3 (including the one at the top of this post), you haven’t. Check out the growing collection of fakes now.

Additionally, Jeffrey Anderson reports on his discussion with a Nikon Rep regarding the announcement from Nikon of a full frame sensor in the next 40 days.

UPDATE 6/13/07: Check out the marginally more reliable rumors of a June 26 announcement for the Nikon D3. If this is legit, expect the rumor mill to really pick up over the next couple weeks.

UPDATE 6/15/07: Yet another DPReview.com forum poster, Robert Daniels, claims to have the official scoop on the Nikon D3:

My friend who is in the Technical services at MGM Studios contacted me today to say that Nikon Rep was in his offices this afternoon showing off the capabilities of the D3 or D3x. He told me in the past about the D2X prior to it coming out also. ALL YOU NAYSAYERS WILL BE EATING HUMBLE PIE ON THIS ONE!!!! (view the thread here)

Seems like more and more of these unofficially official reports are popping up. While that seems to insinuate that there’s something to these rumors, where are the leaked photos? I mean seriously . . . if there were really Nikon D3′s floating around in possession of Nikon Reps, wouldn’t someone have nabbed a cell phone shot at least?

UPDATE 6/16/07: User 2wheelsup over at Photo Takers Photography Community spoke to a Nikon rep a couple days ago and had this to say:

I asked him if Nikon planned on making any full frame sensors. His reply was “No. Not until we can come up with a costworth way to get light to every pixel placement”. he said something about other full frame digital sensors show the black edges in the corners because they cant get light to them. Which is why they use the 1.5 crop facotor so it essentially cuts it off.

Which begs the question, how much do Nikon reps really know? We’ll see.

6/25/07: Rumors continue to circulate. Thom Hogan has placed another lengthy post on DPReview.com regarding the announcement of the Nikon D3:

With virtually all of Nikon’s pro announcements, there has usually been about a two or three-week early warning due to the press event announcements that go out (kind of difficult to have a major roll-out without inviting the press, and you don’t do that at the last moment if you want 100% attendance of the key influencers). There’s also a longer lead early warning when Nikon Japan does the initial roll-out (in Japan) to the subsidiaries. It appears that the latter has occurred, which is fueling a lot of the speculation, but the former hasn’t, which means it would surprise me if there is an announcement planned in the next couple of weeks, though we’re probably now in the period where each subsidiary is working feverishly on getting roll-out and marketing programs ready. As Jerry Pournelle used to write: Real Soon Now. Read the rest of the post over at DPReview.com. . . .

The “local store/Nikon rep” intel rumors also continue to surface, such as this one from the DPReview.com forums on June 22:

i heard it myself today, from my local authorized nikon dealer, who reported to me that the official nikon sales rep told him that the d3 is coming, and “they’re not using the term ‘full-frame.’ they say it’s a 35mm-sized sensor.”

6/26/07: More rumors trickling in from the purported special NPS meeting in Japan. Get the important details here.

6/27/07: Thom Hogan continues to be a wealth of information with regard to the next Nikon (be it a D3 or whatever). In this forum post he discusses the potential for a modular system on the next Nikon pro body (conclusion? unlikely). Additionally, a couple of new photos of the purported Nikon D3x surfaced today in the DPReview.com forums today really stirred the pot.

7/4/07: There have been rumblings for some time now that the Nikon D3 will be announced in conjunction with Nikon’s 90th Anniversary at the end of July. Uncle Vader offers support for this notion from a purported reputable source:

A source with a proven track record today has contacted our newsdesk with news of what most of the Nikon addicts out there have been waiting for and thats news of the professional range new model nikon D3 range will be announced on the 25th July !

Notably, we should “be ready for 2 new jaw dropping features said to put Nikon way above anything its rivals [Canon] currently offer.” (source)

However, I’m sure if it doesn’t appear this month, someone will step in to vow its announcement for August.

7/17/07: Some speculation on what the rumored “revolutionary” feature of the Nikon D3 could be.

7/19/07: Check out this post for a wink and a nod from Nikon regarding the D3x. Additionally, there are some new rumblings about a Nikon D300 that could be in the mix this fall.

7/30/07: Well, since July 25th has now come and gone, we’ve got a new rumor of a August 15th announcement for the Nikon D3. (See Ken Beatty’s comment below on July 30 @ 9:19 a.m.) Ken, on his site, also predicted some Nikon lens releases for July 25th. We missed those . . . so, here’s hoping you’re right on the Nikon D3 rumor.

7/31/07: A rumored confirmation from a Nikon engineer surfaced yesterday.

8/1/07: More rumors of an August announcement – this time, August 25th is the date.

8/7/07: Rumors are really heating up for the August 23-25 time frame.

8/16/07: An ad for the Nikon D3 has surfaced.

8/17/07: More confirmation on August 24th time frame (. . .with the D300 to boot).

8/22/07: Some more rumored specs on the Nikon D3 (16MP) and D300 (12MP) along with rumors of 5 new pro-level AF-S lenses.

It looks like we may see the Nikon D3 and D300 tomorrow via a leak by Popular Science. Stay tuned for more.

New image of the Nikon D3?

[tags]nikon, d3, d3x, d3h, review, rumors, news, norm olsen, concept, announcement, price, availability[/tags]

Sigma’s 18-200 Stabilized Lens Finally Available

Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 OS

Ok, not just yet, but you can now pre-order it now through Amazon in Canon, Nikon and, of course Sigma mounts. This thing was announce at Photokina last fall. Finally, it looks like it will actually release (ship?) on May 10, 2007. Canon is the company that really needed this lens though. Nikon has the wonderful 18-200 VR already. I’ve even been contemplating picking up a D40 or D50 (I’m a Canon user) just so I could have the 18-200 VR to carry around on family vacations and outings. I’m looking forward to reading some reviews on this lens and I’ll be sure to pass along my thoughts if I end up picking one up. If it lives up to the hype, it looks like a real bargain in the $550 neighborhood.

Nikon D3 Reviews and Resource Page

Nikon D3

Finally, the Nikon D3 has been announced. This page will be ground zero for all the latest details on the Nikon D3 (e.g., reviews, sample images, availability, and more). For now, check out the preview below along with the official links from Nikon. Additionally, you can view the official press release here and check out all the press release images of the Nikon D3 in this slideshow.

You can order the Nikon D3 from Amazon and keep track of the Nikon D3′s availability on this page.


Reviews

Neocamera

The first impression from the D3 comes from its size and weight. At around 1.5kg (3 lbs) with battery, this is one of the heaviest DSLR. Its integrated vertical grip and large pentaprism make this camera one of the biggest. It feels built-like-a-tank.

Photo.net (by Shun Cheung)

For those who would like a DSLR optimized for sports, news, and wedding photography, the D3 is probably the top choice. Since the D3 can handle ISO 3200 easily and provides very acceptable 6400 results, it changes the approach to indoor and low-light photography.

Digital Camera Review

Unparalleled ISO performance, a 9 fps full resolution shooting rate, exceptional color and image quality, a superb monitor, robust construction, outstanding build quality and a full frame sensor offering wide angle and depth of field lens performance like a 35mm film camera are some of the attributes that makes Nikon’s latest pro model a must-have for serious Nikon shooters.

PhotographyBLOG

The Nikon D3 has got to be the top choice for anyone wanting high quality, rapid-fire image capture, or extremely low light photography without flash, who is not otherwise wedded to the Canon system. Press – sports and news – photographers are the ones who are going to get the most out of its capabilities, which stretch beyond those needed by the average photo hobbyist, and these professionals are also the ones most likely to be able to stomach that price tag without complaint.

Richard Costin

One thing that became very clear when first looking at a D3 RAW file is just how much you can push them exposure wise. The latitude available is astounding and I actually have to try to blow highlights in most situations when shooting raw.

Popular Photography

Even at ISO 200, the added light-gathering capability of the larger pixels on the D3′s full-frame sensor beats the D300. Shooting RAW takes advantage of its lower noise and 14-bits-per-color capture. And it gives you much more flexibility, especially when using the supplied Capture NX 1.3 software to convert NEF RAW to 16-bit TIFF files.

Luminous Landscape (Combined Essay on D3 and D300)

We now have a bit of a sea change happening. Nikon has flexed its considerable muscle and with the D3 produced a camera that sends a clear challenge to Canon’s nearly decade-long dominance of the digital arena. The D300, though in many ways simply a logical progression from the D200, is a much better camera than its predecessor, and along with its superior sensor offers the pro and advanced amateur a set of features and functionality that is unmatched at the moment in Canon’s line up.

Photo Business Forum (Comparison to Canon 1Ds Mark III)

For large commercial jobs, where I am thinking I want a higher native resolution, it’ll be the Canon I reach for. For low light situations, which are all too common, it will, without a doubt, be Nikon. In fact, with the noise issue out of the way, and most client deliverables needing to be down-rezzed anyway, I can see that the Nikon not only would be a better solution to speeding up my post-production process, but moreover, storing the RAW/DNG files will save me significant hard-drive space in my archives over the larger Canon files.

Ken Rockwell

Call me a sucker for beauty, as all photographers should be, but I think half of why I want a D3 isn’t logic or the photos I could make with it, but simply because it is so beautiful. It makes me want to have and to hold it.

Bjorn Rorslett

My conclusion is that you will get image quality from D3 to satisfy even the critical needs, for almost any application to which the 35 mm systems can be used.

Luminous Landscape’s first impressions

I NEVER shoot on auto exposure. In fact I don’t think I have even used autoexposure on the Contax or Canons more than once, but since Nikon handed me this camera set on Auto I just thought I would see what happens, and it was dead on perfect, almost to the point I couldn’t trick it unless I was in extreme 5 stop backlight. Set to Matrix metering it just completely surprised me how accurate it was. From time to time I would moved the little +/- dial from .3 to .7 but usually the meter was dead on, even in mixed lighting.

Cliff Mautner’s first impressions

My first impressions, as expected, were mind blowing. To be brief, I’m stunned at how responsive this camera is and I didn’t believe there was much room for improvement to the way the D2xs handled. I was clearly wrong. The Focus, feel of the shutter, focus point selection, enormous LCD, auto white balance, dynamic range, color rendition, and a few other things have all been written about and touted, but nothing prepared me for the incredible quality of the files out of camera. In addition, the high ISO performance, which was also talked about, is nothing short of revolutionary.

This camera literally changes the rules of photography and will simply allow me to capture things like never before.

Scott Kelby’s first impressions:

Q. Is the D3 really usable at very high ISO (6400 and more), as promised in the advertisements?
A. I didn’t actually try it at higher than 6400 ISO, but the test shots I took at 6400 ISO were absolutely usable. In fact, they were shockingly usable, and I think you’ll see working pros shooting at 6400 ISO with the D3. When you zoom in, you can definitely see noise, so it’s by no means “noise free,” but the amount of noise at 6400 ISO was dramatically less that I would have expected. In reality, I don’t know how often any of us will be shooting at 6400 ISO (but it’s nice to know that in a pinch; you can), but I can say with certainly that on the D3 I would shoot at 1200 ISO without hesitation.

DPReview has posted their hands-on preview of the Nikon D3:

Important headline improvements include high sensitivity support by default, up to ISO 6400 with 25600 available as a boost option, 14-bit A/D conversion, a new standard image processor, a new shutter, new auto focus sensor, focus tracking by color, nine frames per second continuous, dual compact flash support, DX lens support (albeit at lower resolution) and a 3.0″ 922,000 pixel LCD monitor (which it has to be said is lovely).

Moose Peterson has some hands-on time with the Nikon D3 along with some brilliant sample images:

What is amazing to me is the color retention of the new color engine and what you can’t see here, the beautifully crisp, sharp files the D3 produces. The files truly are a work of art. The new LCD while not the best at color & exposure rendition, it does show sharpness better than any other LCD I’ve used.

Here’s a 10 minute interview with Lindsay Silverman, Nikon’s Senior Technical Manager, about the new Nikon D3.

Check out some sample images from the Nikon D3 at ISO 3200.

Thom Hogan has some rather thorough First Impressions of the Nikon D3 and D300. He also has a great FAQ on the D3 and D300 to some of the questions that have been floating around the forums.

Check out Rob Galbraith’s initial impressions of the Nikon D3:

AF:

“We can say that in limited testing of a prototype body, the D3′s ability to hold and repeat focus on static subjects is impressive, but whether the Multi-CAM 3500 will be what helps Nikon replace a few white lenses on the sidelines is an open question”

High ISO:

“based on a look at ISO 1600 – ISO 25,600 frames produced by prototype D3 bodies, including a handful we shot ourselves, the camera looks like it will produce low light photos that are both massively cleaner and more usable than the D2Xs and in the same ballpark as Canon’s EOS-1D Mark III (which is the D3′s primary competition)……We’ll need to shoot with a production D3 under real-world conditions to find out whether it approaches, meets or exceeds the EOS-1D Mark III in high ISO image quality. But based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s safe to say that the D3 will produce photos of dramatically better quality than the D2Xs at ISO 1600 and up.”

LCD:
“A 3-inch (diagonal), 170 degree viewing angle rear LCD that is so crisp and clear you’ll never want to use another rear LCD to review your pictures again. Its 920,000-dot resolution makes it possible to judge critical focus when zoomed in to nearly full magnification. In fact, it’s like looking at a screen without pixels; they’re so small as to be invisible when looking at photos at even abnormally close viewing distances”

Shiny Video has a hands on video preview of the Nikon D3.

Imaging Resource has a report from the Tokyo press announcement with initial impressions of the Nikon D3 and D300.

Gizmodo has an initial hands on impression of the Nikon D3 and D300 with a ton of images of the new cameras.

I did have a bit of trouble navigating the D3′s controls despite the emphatically touted Italian design and had to ask for some help, but I wasn’t overly familiar with its predecessor, which could be why I had some trouble. The D300 has a simpler layout, so I had an easier time.

Official Nikon Pages

Nikon D3 “Special Site” from Nikon Global.

Nikon D3 Instruction Manual (.PDF).

Nikon D3 Digitutor Videos and more.

The Nikon D3 product page from Nikon Global.

Here is the Official Nikon D3 brochure/spec sheet (.PDF).

Nikon D3 Accessories

Nikon WT-4A Wireless Transmitter

Nikon Type E Focusing Screen w/ Gridlines

Nikon Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI Focusing Screen

Nikon SB-800 Speedlight

Nikon SB-600 Speedlight

Nikon D3 Magic Lantern Guide

Nikon D3 PhotoBert Cheat Sheet

Where to Buy

First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices. Additionally, purchasing your camera through these links helps support this site.

Preview

Major Features

New large image sensor developed by Nikon; 12.1 effective megapixels

The D3 employs an FX-format CMOS image sensor with a sensor area of 36.0 (H) x 23.9 (V) mm. It offers superior picture quality throughout a wide sensitivity range with such advantages as a large pixel size to ensure high S/N ratio and wide dynamic range, adoption of an element structure that improves light-utilization efficiency. In addition, high-speed 12-channel readout enables fast continuous shooting for 12.1-megapixel images at approximately 9 frames per second, as well as high-speed performance to ensure shooting in Liveview modes.

Wide sensitivity range

Sensitivity range is extremely wide, from ISO 200 to 6400 at normal setting. High picture quality without noise is realized not only at low sensitivity setting, but also at high settings such as ISO 6,400. Even in dark conditions in which satisfactory results were almost impossible to obtain before, high-quality pictures can be taken. Furthermore, sensitivity can be increased to HI 0.3, HI 0.5, HI 0.7, HI 1 (ISO 12,800 equivalent), HI 2 (ISO 25,600 equivalent), and decreased to Lo 1 (ISO 100 equivalent), Lo 0.7, Lo 0.5 and Lo 0.3. All these settings expand the shooting possibilities.

High-speed performance

Shutter release time lag is only 37 ms*, equivalent to the Nikon D2XS, which is generally regarded as a mechanical limit. Continuous shooting speed is approximately 9 frames per second with FX format (36 x 24) or 5:4 (30 x 24), approximately 11 frames per second with DX format (24 x 16). The Nikon D3 is also the first digital SLR compliant with next-generation high-speed card UDMA, that enables 35-Mbyte recording speed, approximately 4 times as fast as the Nikon D2XS. Approximately 6-megapixel JPEG-Large-Fine image data taken with the FX format can be recorded at a speed higher than 5 frames per second. Startup time is approximately 0.12 second, shorter than the D2XS by 0.08 second.

* 41 ms if based on the new CIPA guideline to be established around August 4, 2007.

EXPEED — Nikon’s image processing concept embodied

As Nikon’s new digital image-processing concept — featuring the core ideas of our image creation and processing — EXPEED incorporates the optimized knowhow and technologies we have accumulated throughout our long history while receiving users’ requirements. It realizes diversified functions to ensure high picture quality and high-speed image processing.

Picture Control System

Picture Control System is a new function to enable selection and adjustment to create pictures easily according to skills of users from novices to professionals. When settings are the same, even with different cameras, you can get the same picture tone. Picture Control System offers four fundamental setting options — Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome — enabling image parameters (sharpening, tone compensation, brightness, tone and saturation) to be easily adjusted and customized.

AF system employing high-density 51-point AF

Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module featuring 51 AF points is incorporated. 15 cross-type sensors located in the center provide subject detection capability with lens apertures as small as f/5.6. 51 AF points can be utilized in various focus area modes selected according to subject condition. In many aspects, the functions of AF points are linked with the Scene Recognition System to offer superior subject detection and focus tracking performance. A single AF point can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points. Dynamic AF mode enables appropriate focusing by detecting subjects with a zone containing many AF points located densely. In this mode, the number of AF areas, including user selected AF points and backup points, can be selected from either 9, 21 or 51. In addition, newly employed “3D tracking” mode shifts the focus point automatically to respond to the subject’s movements. Auto-area AF mode gives greater priority to the subject’s position in selecting AF points.

Scene Recognition System

By improving the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, which was first incorporated in the Nikon F5, information from the sensor can be utilized for auto exposure, auto white balance and autofocus. For example, 3D tracking in AF realized by using the Scene Recognition System tracks subject position, and automatically shifts AF points to be used according to the subject’s movement within the frame. This system also contributes to improved accuracy of auto exposure and auto white balance.

Three image areas available

With the Nikon D3, users can select one of the three image areas — FX format (36 x 24), DX format (24 x 16) or 5:4 (30 x 24).

When a DX NIKKOR lens is attached, DX format is automatically selected. With DX format or 5:4 format, an area not covered by the sensor is automatically masked in the viewfinder. High-definition, 3-inch VGA, TFT LCD monitor with wide-viewing angle Ultrahigh-definition [920,000-dot VGA (640 x 480)], 3-inch LCD monitor with tempered glass provides 170° viewing angle. Large monitor is quite effective when confirming focus with enlarged playback images. Wide-viewing angle enables easy recomposing of the frame in Handheld mode of Liveview.

Two Liveview modes available

Liveview function enables shooting while confirming subjects in the LCD monitor.

In Handheld mode, which allows recomposing of the frame prior to actual shooting, ordinary TTL phase-difference AF using all 51 AF points including 15 cross-type points is activated.

Tripod mode is designed for precise focus accuracy with still subjects and tripod stabilization. In this mode, focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area is possible. Remote view, focusing and shooting are also made possible on a PC (wired or wirelessly).

Optical finder with 100% frame coverage and 0.7x magnification in FX format

SLR-type viewfinder featuring eye-level pentaprism with high refraction index provides 100% frame coverage and 0.7x magnification. Large and bright viewfinder image ensures comfortable focusing, which is one of the advantages of the FX format.

Eyepoint is 18 mm (at –0.1 m-1), and diopter can be adjusted within the range from –3 to +1 m-1.

Superior durability

Magnesium alloy is used for exterior cover, chassis and mirror box to ensure both lightweight and ruggedness. Also, strict sealing with O-rings at various connected parts effectively resists dust and moisture.

Shutter unit developed and manufactured by Nikon employs shutter blades made of new materials (hybrid of carbon fiber and Kelver). Excellent durability is guaranteed with 300,000-cycle release tests with the shutter actually loaded. Precision is also maintained with shutter monitor.

CF card double slot

Two CF cards can be set, realizing consecutive recording, simultaneous recording, RAW + JPEG separate recording, and copying of data between two cards. Because two cards of the same kind can be used, users do not have to prepare different kinds of storage media.

Exclusive Wireless Transmitter WT-4 (optional)

The WT-4 supports wired LAN (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX) and wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b/g, 11a), and incorporates thumbnail mode as a new function.

It realizes wireless connection of cameras with a PC, enabling thumbnail display of images taken with up to five of them and downloading of images selected. Also, by using Camera Control Pro 2 (optional), wireless remote view/control shooting is made possible with the D3’s Liveview function.

Active D-Lighting

D-Lighting incorporated in the conventional digital SLRs enables editing after the image is taken. In addition to the D-Lighting, newly developed Active D-Lighting is employed in the Nikon D3.

Active D-Lighting lets users choose the intensity from among “High”, “Normal”, “Low” or “Unchanged” prior to shooting. The conventional method of simply expanding dynamic range is not employed in compensation. Instead, localized tone control technology is utilized to prevent images from looking flat with low contrast. As a result, “lost highlights” and “lost shadows” are well compensated while maintaining proper contrast.

Fine adjustment function for AF

If there is a slight difference in focusing point among lenses, users can finely adjust it.

Two methods are available. In specific adjustment, a certain level of compensation set for each registered lens is applied when the lens of the same type is attached. In uniform adjustment, the same level of compensation is applied regardless of the lens used. Up to 20 lenses can be registered.

Improved Function button feature

Besides the exclusive Function button, this feature can be assigned to the Preview button and AE/AF Lock button, giving photographers optimum operability in a flexible way.

HDMI output (High-Definition TV) supported

The Nikon D3 is compliant with HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) Ver. 1.3a which enables transfer of world-standard video and audio signals. Standard Type A connector is employed.

Info display

Various shooting information such as shutter speed, aperture is displayed in the LCD monitor. Color of characters can be selected according to lighting condition — black for light locations, white for dark locations. Auto switch mode can also be set.

Digital level incorporated

By utilizing a sensor incorporated in the body, the inclination of the camera is detected and displayed in the top control panel and viewfinder.

Image-management software ViewNX/Nikon Transfer included in the Software Suite CD-ROM

ViewNX is a viewer application to offer quick display of images, while Nikon Transfer provides simple transfer of taken images to a PC.

Designed by Giugiaro

“Ergonomic” is a new design theme that will be a standard of Nikon’s new-generation digital SLRs. This is applied to every detail including inclination of command dial and top control panel as well as comfortable holding and handling, e.g. shape of a grip. To support photographers’ concentration, curves of the pentaprism top, grip and side panels are directed to the center of lens’ optical axis, and the red, triangular motif has been redesigned to project a sharper image.

[tags]nikon, d3, d3x, d3h, review, rumors, news, norm olsen, concept, announcement, price, availability[/tags]

Old School Photography: A History Lesson

Pixel peeping driving you nuts?  Wondering whether you should splurge for the latest and great uber-megapixel camera?  What about dust spots?  Aaaahhhhhh!!!  It’s enough to drive you mad.

Let me invite you to take a trip back to the roots of photography – I’m talking really old school here.  So head on over to Neatorama for a journey back in time and check some ancient cameras, literally.

. . . That 8 megapixel camera in my bag doesn’t look so old anymore.

Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II Lens Reviews

The Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II lens is standard zoom lens with the same optical system, construction, and exterior as the EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 V USM. The difference is that it uses a DC motor instead of a USM to drive the AF. It was included as a kit lens with older entry level Canon SLRs back in their heyday and is generally regarded as having rather poor optical quality.


Reviews

The Digital Picture

The Canon EF 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 II Lens is very soft wide open – especially at 80mm. Stopping down at least 1 f-stop is required to get reasonable sharpness. Corners are soft at 28mm.

Fred Miranda Forums User Reviews

The Canon 28-80 may be a kit lens but it comfortably outperformed the Sigma zoom in my tripod-mounted test shots at all apertures within its limits at 28mm, 50mm and 70mm.

Where to Buy

First off, consider going to your local camera store (and I don’t necessarily mean Wolf Camera at the mall). By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.

[tags]Canon, EF, 28-80mm, f/3.5-5.6, II, lens, review[/tags]

No Canon 40D This Spring!

Have you been looking for the Canon 40D only to come across the real 40D at Amazon?
Every Canon fan and shopper is now well aware of the announcement of the Canon EOS 1D Mk III, which we all now want (affordability issues aside). However, in light of this announcement it also appears that we will be without a successor to the Canon 30D anytime soon (like the much rumored 40D). Mark Goldstein has posted his commentary on PhotographyBLOG.com noting that Canon has confirmed there are no further major release announcements for PMA.

He says:

Canon confirmed that these will be all the new products announced in the run-up to and during PMA, which starts on March 8th.

So all those rumours of the 40D and 1Ds Mark III cameras that you might have seen will continue to circulate for a while yet!

So, what happened with the infamous placeholder for the Canon 40D on the official Canon Hong Kong website? I think, perhaps, Canon has brought out one of the oldest tricks in the book for all of us bloggers and gear geeks. Canon pulled the old switcheroo on us. If that’s the case, it was a rather savvy move on Canon’s part by misdirecting our attention to something that really wasn’t going to happen and then surprising us with a remarkable new camera from a different line. Kudos to you Canon, you got us. Thanks for the great gear this year too!

Canon EOS-1D Mark III Announced

Looks like there is a new Canon EOS-1D Mark III and Rob Galbraith is hosting the official Canon whitepaper. Additionally, there’s a new 16-35 f/2.8 L lens and a 580EX II flash. Initially, the most salivating features of the new camera seem to be 10.1MP DIGIC III at 10fps! Oh, and how about a 3″ LCD display with LIVE view?
The key features pointed out by DPReview.com:

  • 10.1 Megapixel APS-H CMOS sensor
  • 10 fps continuous shooting for up to 110 frames
  • Dual “DIGIC III” processors
  • New auto focus system with 19 cross type sensors
  • EOS Integrated Cleaning System
  • ISO 3200 (expandable to H:6400)
  • 3.0” LCD with Live View mode
  • Wider, brighter viewfinder
  • Picture Style1 [Read more...]

PMA Buzz: Nikon Coolpix P5000

PRESS RELEASE:

MELVILLE, NY (February 19, 2007) – Nikon is pleased to introduce the COOLPIX P5000 to the Nikon COOLPIX Performance Series of digital cameras. The new COOLPIX P5000 offers advanced functions, ease of operation, and high image quality that is sure to satisfy photo and camera enthusiasts. Coolpix P5000The P5000 boasts 10 effective megapixels, a 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens, an optical viewfinder, and an incredible, bright high resolution 2.5-inch LCD monitor with anti-reflection coating. The P5000 incorporates a new advanced image processing engine, which optimizes low light performance and color reproduction, and Nikon’s optical VR image stabilization, which compensates for camera shake.

P5000 (top)“The COOLPIX P5000 was designed for the photographer who enjoys a high level of control, advanced imaging technologies and the ability to take creative control of their photography,” says Bill Giordano, General Manager Marketing, COOLPIX for Nikon Inc. “The P5000 will be compatible with system-expanding accessories that will allow photographers take their creativity and images to new heights.”

High performance and superior image quality are the hallmarks of the COOLPIX P5000. With 10 megapixels of resolution, photographers can capture the finest details in their images, as well as have the ability to crop creatively and produce beautiful large prints. The 3.5x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens provides compositional versatility when zooming in for tight close ups or zooming out to capture expansive landscapes.

The P5000 provides optical VR image stabilization, which helps compensate for camera shake to produce sharper images. P5000 (back)The VR stabilizes images displayed on the 2.5-inch LCD, which makes it easier to frame and capture images. Another advantage of the optical VR image stabilization is that it helps achieve smoother action in the movie shooting modes of the P5000 and when using the optional TC-3ED Tele converter with 378mm of telephoto performance.

The COOLPIX P5000 features a new advanced image processing engine with enhanced noise reduction and an improved signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio that preserves image quality even when shooting at high ISO settings. The P5000 extends the light sensitivity range to ISO 3200*, which makes it possible to capture fast moving subjects with outstanding clarity, even in lower light conditions.

COOLPIX P5000 users can take advantage of the new mode dial which provides quick access to a selection of 16 different scene-optimized modes, seven movie modes, Anti-Shake mode and High Sensitivity mode. A turn of the mode dial to Anti-Shake mode activates High ISO and Best Shot Selector (BSS) in addition to VR, which automatically sets the optimal ISO for steady results and will allow users to select and save the best image from up to ten sequential shots. In addition, the mode dial has the choice of Programmed Auto [P], Shutter-priority Auto [S], Aperture-priority Auto [A], and Manual [M] exposure modes for even greater camera control.

The COOLPIX P5000 features a new menu interface that makes navigating and selecting images simple, while providing easy access to advanced functions for enhancing and correcting images. This includes everything from the new image optimization settings, which offer a choice of four color filters for shooting with monochrome filter effects, to barrel distortion control, which can correct images when using a wide-angle converter and can display the corrected image on the LCD in real time.

The COOLPIX P5000 has three Nikon In-Camera Image Innovations to correct common photo problems. This system includes Face-priority AF**, which can automatically find and focus on a subject’s face, In-Camera Red-Eye Fix, which automatically corrects red-eye, and D-Lighting, an innovation that automatically creates a copy of the image with detail added where necessary, but with well-exposed areas left completely untouched. Because the P5000 has a 2.5-inch high resolution LCD monitor with anti-reflection coating, viewing the monitor is easy even in bright sunlight. The COOLPIX P5000 also features a new optical viewfinder for those photographers who prefer a classic composition aid.

The COOLPIX P5000 is compatible with add-on system components to extend the user’s creative possibilities, including the 24mm*** Wide-angle lens Converter (WC-E67) and the 378mm*** Telephoto Converter lens (TC-E3ED). P5000 (hotshoe)A built-in accessory shoe supports the use of Nikon’s advanced i-TTL flash control for external flashes, including the SB-400, SB-600, and SB-800 Speedlights.

The P5000 also comes with Nikon’s PictureProject software. Powerful yet user-friendly software makes transferring, organizing, editing and sharing photos easy. Furthermore, the P5000 has PictBridge support and is compatible with SDHC cards.

The COOLPIX P5000 will be available nationwide in March 2007. The P5000 has an MSRP of $399.95.

PMA Buzz: Nikon Coolpix S200 & S500

PRESS RELEEASE:

MELVILLE, NY (February 19, 2007) – Building on the success of the COOLPIX Style Series of digital cameras, Nikon is pleased to introduce the S200 and S500. Boasting 7.1 megapixels, a 3x Zoom-Nikkor glass lens, VR Image Stabilization technologies, and sleek metal bodies, these cameras exude high performance and exquisite design. Coolpix S200Both cameras feature a classic camera design as the lens extends from the camera’s body when the cameras are turned on; the S200 is constructed from brushed aluminum and the S500 from stainless steel.

Advanced performance is particularly pronounced in the S500. Among compact digital cameras, the COOLPIX S500 is fast; start up time is an amazing 0.6 seconds and shutter lag, in release priority mode, is just 0.005 seconds.

“With the S200 and S500, Nikon is further distinguishing itself as a leader in compact camera design and innovation,” says Bill Giordano, General Manager Marketing, COOLPIX for Nikon Inc. “These cameras pack style and performance into sleek, metal bodies, allowing even the most style-savvy consumer to enjoy the ease and quality of COOLPIX technology.”

In addition to the aforementioned features, the COOLPIX S200 and S500 feature several imaging innovations designed to encourage carefree shooting for the consumer. The S200 utilizes Electronic Vibration Reduction (e-VR) Image Stabilization, a feature that electronically overcomes camera shake for sharper results. Coolpix S500For greater vibration control, the S500 features Optical VR Image Stabilization, a feature that compensates for camera shake ensuring sharp images at shutter speeds up to three times slower than would normally be possible. Both the S200 and S500 have High ISO capabilities; the S200 up to 1000 and the S500 up to ISO 2000, ideal for capturing images in low-light situations. On the S200, the e-VR Image Stabilization feature is activated by utilizing the camera’s easy-to-use menu system. The S500 features a new Anti-Shake button, located on the top of the camera, which activates high ISO, VR and Best Shot Selector (BSS) at the same time to produce clearer results in low light or at telephoto zoom settings.

Coolpix S500 (back) For image sharing, the S200 and S500 have incredible, bright, high resolution 2.5 inch LCD monitors with an anti-reflective coating, easing the composition of photos, even in direct sunlight. These cameras also have a 16:9 aspect ratio option, making them perfect for sharing images via a high-definition television.

In order to simplify the picture taking process, Nikon has incorporated a new menu interface into the S200 and S500, employing illustrated help dialogs for easy navigation and mode selection. This menu also provides direct access to Nikon’s triad of Image Innovations; in-camera functions for enhancing or correcting images including:

• In-Camera Red-Eye Fix™: automatically detects and corrects red eye, a common problem that occurs in flash photography.

• Face-Priority AF*: automatically finds and focuses on a persons face within the frame, providing sharp focus to produce clear, crisp portraits wherever the subject is positioned in the frame.

• D-Lighting: in playback, the user selects and creates a copy of images with excessive backlight or insufficient flash illumination, adding light and detail where necessary.

On the S500, these features can be activated by pressing the One-Touch portrait button, located on the top of the camera, or selected in the scene modes in the S200.

Both the COOLPIX S200 and the COOLPIX S500 come bundled with Nikon’s exclusive PictureProject software. The PictureProject software is powerful and user-friendly and makes transferring, organizing, editing and sharing photos a snap. Both cameras are SDHC compatible and utilize the new ultra-compact EN-EL10 rechargeable Li-ion battery.

The COOLPIX S200 and the COOLPIX S500 will be available at photo-specialty stores nationwide in March 2007 at an MSRP of $249.95 and $299.95 respectively.