Nikon D3 Press Release

Monday, August 20th, 2007 (Tokyo) — Nikon Corp. of Japan this morning unveiled their newest digital SLR targeted toward professionals, the Nikon D3. But while Nikon maintains that the D3 is a groundbreaking development in the world of digital imaging, photographers and analysts alike seem to be scratching their heads.

“It’s a brick, a frickin’ brick,” said an obviously agitated Tommy Hogan, professional photographer.

“Yes, it’s a brick,” admitted Nikon President, CEO and COO Michio Kariya. “However, research showed us that we were rapidly losing market share in the professional realm to Canon. Here at Nikon, we’re not so prideful that we refuse to admit when we’re wrong. If photographers want a camera like Canon offers, we’ll build a camera like Canon offers. In this case, the brick was the closest we could come to achieving the ergonomics found in Canon’s 5D.”

Jerry Yamamoto, Nikon’s Chief Designer, had a different take. “Today, it seems that more and more of our customers are using their gear to photograph brick walls. Nikon cameras have always been about transcending the equipment—the camera becoming part of your environment. It’s easier to think artistically when you aren’t using a tool that seems out of place. The brick design of the D3 is part of a move toward better fusion with the photographer’s surroundings.”

But the brick design isn’t the only feature of the D3 that has left potential customers scratching their heads. The D3 will be Nikon’s first digital SLR that prevents the user from changing lenses. “I don’t get it,” Nikon enthusiast Rory Bjornlett said. “How is that supposed to be a ‘feature’?” Kariya had the answer.

“By shipping the D3 with the lens welded to the body, we’ve eliminated the sensor dust problem. In fact, we guarantee that you will never get dust on the sensor for the life of the camera. And now, you can order exactly the camera you want. Your D3 can be customized with a wide assortment of Nikon and even third-party lenses. Just tell us what you want, and we’ll weld it to the camera and ship it to your door within a couple of weeks.”

When asked for clarification about third-party lens options, Kariya pointed out that companies like Sigma and Tokina fill niches that Nikon doesn’t have the time to bother with. “A few of our more demanding customers have been asking for a fast AF-S prime in the 30-35mm focal range. But this doesn’t fit into our long-term plans. There are still three or four more consumer zooms in the 18-70mm focal range that we need to get to market before we can worry about a prime lens that only a few professionals and enthusiasts will ever use. Since Sigma offers such a lens now, we’ve decided to go ahead and offer it as a customization option for D3 customers. Maybe that will shut them up. This is off the record, right?”

Photographer and writer Rockwell Kenneth, an attendee at Nikon Corporation’s D3 media event, was distressed to learn that all D3 lenses will only allow for manual focusing. “Getting rid of autofocus seems like a serious step backward. I can understand the less-is-more mentality, but this? Looks like I’m going to have to stock up on more D40s and 18-200 VRs. It’s all you really need, anyway.”

Nikon designer Jack Kogaku explained Nikon’s reasoning behind removing autofocus. “We’re trying to build a camera that can compete with the competition, and it’s tough. We had our work cut out for us. Our moment of epiphany came when we received a shipment of Canon EOS 1D Mark IIIs. We quickly realized that manually focusing the D3 was just as fast as autofocusing the Mark III, and about 277% more accurate. Out with the old and in with the new, ya’ know? Manual focus is the new black!”

Other improvements include better digital noise performance. “We’ve heard the complaints about the noise of Nikon cameras versus their Canon counterparts for a couple of years now,” Kogaku said. “We’ve done our very best with the D40, D80, and D200 to provide better noise performance, and while I feel we succeeded, the public apparently disagrees. For this reason, we’ve completely removed the mirror from the D3. No mirror slap means no noise whatsoever. If you thought the D40 or D80 had low noise, wait ’til you hear this! The silence is deafening.”

The removal of the mirror from the D3 means that users must frame the image using one of the two holes in the brick on either side of the lens. This design move by Nikon has also ignited debate over whether the D3 is an SLR at all.

“That’s not an SLR, it’s a rangefinder,” insisted one indignant media correspondent who had flown in from the United States. But a source within Nikon who asked not to be named due to his corporate espionage activities on behalf of Leica disagreed passionately: “If that’s a rangefinder, then my name isn’t Wolfhausen!”

Missing from the announcement was Nikon’s rumored full-frame digital SLR. “Foo-frame? What dat?” asked Nikon spokesman George Takiyama when the rumor was brought up. Several reporters tried to explain the term to Takiyama, at which point he said, “No Engleesh. Speaky Japanese.” When a Japanese reporter pressed the issue in Takiyama’s native language, he responded in English, “Oh, you never need do dat! No foo-frame ’cause no need foo-frame! We defy laws of pheesics. Canon no can do, so dey need foo-frame.”

The D3 comes equipped with a convenient carry handle and hundreds of lens customization options. The camera will begin shipping next week, though widespread availability isn’t expected until the end of next year. The estimated retail price of a D3 with a welded, manual focus Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 is $4995.

Filed by Jonathan P.

________________

Oh, wow! I’m dying here. Thanks for the great laugh Jonathan! You can see his forum post over at DPReview.com!

[tags]nikon, d3, d3x, d3h, brick, rumors, news, press release, spoof[/tags]

Nikon D3 and D300 – August 24th

Via Nikon Watch:

Spoke to my regular principal Nikon dealer in London today. I was told that I need to call back on the afternoon of Thursday 24th when they’ll have the details *of the two new cameras*.

[tags]nikon, d3, d300, rumor, release, news, august 24th[/tags]

Nikon D3 Ad . . .

This is the latest floating around the web on the Nikon D3:

Yesterday, a Web site forum for a foreign netizens inadvertently disclosed the new Nikon digital SLR top D3 series of posters pictures.The posters on the backs of the camera clearly marked : the high-precision 51 points autofocus system! The nine per second shooting speed! Up to 920,000 pixels, covering a total area of 3.0-inch low-temperature polysilicon LCD screen!

Online leaked a new generation of digital SLR Nikon products posters

   So it appears that Nikon is about to release a new product worth looking forward to.

(via Google Translation & original dpnet)

Can anyone help with a better translation? You can follow the latest Nikon D3 rumors here.

[tags]nikon, d3, d3x, d3h, rumors, news[/tags]

Nikon D3 and D300 – Imminent Release Pending?

Several forum posters are alleging the release of the Nikon D3 and D300 is imminent.

Just spoke with a relation of mine at one of Europe’s major Nikon distributors and D300 is coming very soon (she mentioned end of this month) with the specifications as already mentioned in Chasseur d’Images, 12Mp & D2X AF system.

Out of respect for my source I can’t mention any names or more specifications.

Read more . . .

Late August is now pretty busy – Pentax European press conference, 23rd; Canon Autumn Collection launch London, 21st; Nikon London launch, 24th. All announced, press contacted, RSVPs done etc.

Read more . . .

I just got a Nikon Free prize draw competition leaflet, to be drawn on 31st October for which the prize is your “ultimate Nikon Digital SLR camera” a “D2Xs or equivalent”.

Equivalent?

Read more . . .

World Athletics Championships begin on the 25th August… in Nikon’s home country… with Nikon as an offical sponsor. My understanding is that Nikon have a history of launching high profile products at major sporting events, instead of at photographic exhibitions.

Read more . . .

The UK press conference scheduled for Friday August 24th is the day before the IAAF

Read more . . .

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, the DPReview.com forums is a major source of the rumors that we see. Part of the reason is because the forums are so active. You can view the Nikon threads page here.

You can keep track of all the juice on the Nikon D3 on this page and the D300 on this page.
[tags]nikon, d300, d3, d3x, d3h, dslr, release, news, announcement, rumor[/tags]

Canon 40D, Nikon D3 and Nikon D300 Rumors version 3.0

Here’s some 4th-hand information that was originally in spanish:

“From the same Spanish reliable source (Rafa Irusta Blog site: En busca de la Luz) that did revealed the specs of the 400D and the MkIII before get the official announcement (and match them !!), here are the specs:

*No weather sealing*
1.6x – 10 MP Self cleaning sensor
3 inch LCD with LiveView
Formats JPG, RAW and sRAW
ISO 100 to 1600 in steps of 1/3
Shooting speed 6.25 fps
Buffer 75 JPG or 17 RAW

DIGIC3
Launch date: August 23rd””

Join in on the rumor mill with the usual suspects on DPReview.com.

Chasseur d’Images says readers will be reading about the Nikon D300 and Canon 40D side-by-side in September. (via -you guessed it- DPReview.com forums)

Is Canon really scheduled to make press releases on August 20th?

More word of a Nikon D3 release SOON:

This isn’t official but I’m pretty certain there’s a fair bit of truth in this: Today my husband spoke to his relative who works for Nikon and they’ve apparently been sent information regarding a new camera (Nikon D3 – somewhere in the range of 18-22 mega-pixels) & new lenses all of which will be announced on 25th August. I’m not certain if he mentioned a full-frame sensor or if it’s going to be a 1.1 crop (my attention span on the phone is pretty bad!) Whatever the case, I hope they stick to this date for the announcement & don’t put it off for too much longer…

Maybe I should plan for some vacation time from the factory – there’s gonna be a lot of blogging to do this month if these rumors are legit.

Come on Canon and Nikon . . . I’m running out of creative names for these posts.

[tags]canon, eos, 40d, nikon, d3, d3x, d3h, d300, dslr, rumor, release, announcement, august, features, digic, 3, iii[/tags]

Nikon and Canon Reps Galore

As the summer goes on, it seems that more and more people have talked to a Nikon or Canon “rep” or perhaps someone else that they “know” in either company. Based on these conversations, several individuals around the web have “confirmed” that the next big thing from both manufacturers is coming . . . soon.

For instance, just yesterday in the Nikon forums over on flickr, spincycle gave his first-hand account of an encounter with a Nikon engineer:

in a conversation with a Nikon engineer at an event one week ago, I was told that there would be a new pro-level DSLR released ‘within a month or two’.

I asked him “D3?” “yes.”
I asked him “full frame?” “yes.”

Then he said: “in a couple months, Canon won’t even know what it them.”

Yes, it’s hearsay….but given the persistent info from the consistently reliable “jeff_c” on DPReview and the comments from this guy last week, I’d say that we’re about to see at least one pro camera with crop, full frame with crop mode or full frame, probably upward of 16-20mp, and a huge modular viewfinder.

I did NOT get the impression that we’d see a D3H right away, or that dramatically new sensor tech would be involved, although that may well be wrong.

Likewise, Seaside Photographer recently got the lowdown on the Canon 40D from a Canon rep:

I spoke to the Canon rep, when he was visiting my local camera shop, the other day… he told me that the 40D is due to come out in the next month, using the same sensor as the XTi and the Mark III… and the price of the 30D will be dropping $200.00 … I’m seriously considering the 40D…. more fps and other advantages..

Do people really get this info from “reps”? Do reps really “know” what’s going on? Anybody else out there seen or heard from a rep that has the scoop? Let us know; comment below.

You can find the latest and greatest on the Nikon D3 here and the Canon 40D here.

[tags]canon, 40d, eos, nikon, d3, d3h, d3x, dslr, camera, digital, news, rumors, announcement, release, price[/tags]

New Sigma HSM lenses for Nikon (17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro HSM and 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Macro HSM)

New HSM lenses for Nikon (17-70mm f2.8-4.5 DC Macro HSM and 18-50mm f2.8 EX DC Macro HSM)

HSM has now been added to the Nikon mount 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO HSM and 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO HSM, allowing autofocus with all Nikon DSLR cameras (inculding the D40 and D40x).

Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of the new 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO HSM for Nikon and 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO HSM for Nikon.

Large aperture standard zoom lens designed specially for digital SLR cameras.

17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC MACRO HSM for Nikon

The HSM system has been incorporated into this large aperture standard zoom lens for digital SLR cameras. This lens is capable of autofocusing with all Nikon DSLR cameras (including the D40 and D40x) and has a minimum focusing distance of 20cm (7.9”) and maximum magnification of 1:2.3 enabling close-up photography. A Special Low Dispersion (SLD) lens and Aspherical lens allows a compact construction and high optical performance.

Large aperture zoom lens designed specially for use with digital SLR cameras with a minimum focusing distance of 20cm (7.9”).

_______________________________________

18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO HSM for Nikon

The HSM systme has been incorporated into this large aperture standard zoom 18-50mm F2.8 EX DC MACRO. This lens is capable of autofocusing with all Nikon DSLR cameras ( inculding the D40 and D40x). Aspherical lens, SLD lens and ELD (Extraordinary Low Dispersion) provide high picture quality throughout the entire zoom range. Super Multi Layer Coating reduces flare and ghosting. High image quality is assured throughout the entire zoom range.
Layer Coating and lens power layout provide high picture quality throughout the entire zoom range.

[tags]nikon, dslr, sigma, hsm, lens, 17-70, 18-50, af, autofocus, f/2.8, news[/tags]

Sigma 18-50mm and 55-200mm HSM Lenses for Nikon DSLRs

PRESS RELEASE:

Sigma Corporation is pleased to announce the launch of new HSM lenses for Nikon. The Incorporation of the HSM enables these lenses to autofocus with all Nikon DSLR cameras (including the D40 and D40x)

18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC HSM for Nikon

18-50mm f3.5-5.6 DC HSM

The HSM is incorporated into the compact standard zoom lens 18-50mm F3.5-5.6 DC giving this lens the capability to auto focus with all Nikon DSLR cameras(including the D40 and D40x). An aspherical lens and Super Multi Layer Coatings are used to achieve excellent lens performance and High image quality throughout the entire zoom range.

*Vignetting will occur if the lens is used with digital cameras with image sensors larger than APS-C size or 35mm SLR cameras.
SPECIFICATIONS
*Lens Construction:8 Elements 8 Groups *Angle of View:76.5-31.7 degrees *Number of Diagram Blades:7 Blades *Minimum Aperture (W):F22 *Minimum Focusing Distance:25cm (9.8″) *Maximum Magnification:1:3.5 *Filter Size:58mm *Lens Hood:Bayonet Type *Dimensions:69.6mm(2.7″) x 60mm(2.4″) *Weight:250g (8.8 oz) *Barcode No.0085126-551551

55-200mm F4-5.6 DC HSM for Nikon

55-200mm F4-5.6 DC HSM

This compact and lightweight telephoto zoom lens 55-200mm F4-5.6 DC incorporates the HSM system, making it capable of autofocusing with all Nikon DSLR cameras(including the D40 and D40x). This compact telephoto zoom lens is suitable for field work. Super Multi Layer Coating and lens power layout provide high picture quality throughout the entire zoom range.

*Vignetting will occur if the lens is used with digital cameras with image sensors larger than APS-C size or 35mm SLR cameras.
THE SPECIFICATIONS
*Lens Construction:12 Elements 9 Groups *Angle of View:28.9-8.1 degrees *Number of Diagram Blades:8 Blades *Minimum Aperture (W):F22 *Minimum Focusing Distance:110cm (43.3″) *Maximum Magnification:1:4.5 *Filter Size:55mm *Lens Hood:Bayonet Type *Dimensions:71mm(2.8″) x 84.6mm(3.3″) *Weight:310g (10.9 oz) *Barcode No.0085126-685553

[tags]nikon, dslr, d40, d40x, sigma, hsm, af, autofocus[/tags]

Nikon D300 Reviews and Resource Page

Finally, the Nikon D300 has been announced. This page will be ground zero for all the latest details on the Nikon D300 (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.

The Nikon D300 is available on Amazon.com, as well as other vendors mentioned later in this post. There are 3 different options available:

News

2/14/08: Nikon has released a firmware update for the D300. The new Version 1.02 adresses “[a]n issue that, in rare cases, caused vertical bands (lines) to appear in images captured at shutter speeds slower than 8s has been resolved.” You can download the firmware update via the following pages:

D300 Firmware update 1.02 – Windows

D300 Firmware update 1.02 – Macintosh

Reviews

Beyond Megapixels

This is an excellent camera. It was easy enough to pick up and go with, it was sturdy and worked with my existing lens collection so that’s a huge plus, I loved how the photo information and the amount of photo information provided with graphs.

Photoxels

You get superb handling, exceptional performance, a large, bright and clear optical viewfinder, a body sealed against dust and mositure, and excellent image quality with low noise and preserved detail up to ISO 800. Noise that is present at higher ISOs is Luminance noise and gives pictures a film-like grain appearance.

Steve’s Digicams

Nikon’s new D300 further raises the bar in the enthusiasts dSLR category. Offering a wealth of features, plenty of customization options, 12.3 megapixels of resolution, upgraded 51-point Autofocus System, a fast frame rate (when using a recommend 266x CF card) and excellent image quality, this model represents Nikon’s best effort so far in this market niche.

Digital Camera Info

The autofocus system is straight off the pro Nikon D3 and is amazing. It has 51 points and is the fastest we’ve seen. The Nikon D300 is well suited for sports shooting with its 6 to 8 fps Burst mode (depending on whether the battery grip is attached), and quick predictive autofocus tracking.

Let’s Go Digital

The new Nikon D300 is a beautiful work-horse and meets the requirements of the professional photographer. It is an ideal camera for those who find the D3 too big or just too expensive, but don’t want to make concessions regarding the quality. It is a superb DSLR camera and it won’t surprise me if people will start swapping brands and find their way to Nikon.

DP Review

There’s simply no better semi-professional digital SLR on the market.

Thom Hogan

Here’s a surprise (at least it was to me): the D300 has more dynamic range than the D200 and D2xs. Measurably more. Whereas most of the previous Nikon DSLRs all were in the 7 to 7.5 stop range of usable dynamic range, I’ll put the D300 squarely in the 8 stop usable range, perhaps even a bit more than that, especially if you’re shooting NEF (Imatest reports a full stop difference between a raw file converted in Lightroom and an in-camera JPEG, all else equal).

Shutterbug

This is a camera that you can program to deliver just the color (and contrast, etc.) you want for every subject and scene. Like most cameras you can choose some presets that reflect the opinion of the maker as to what constitutes Vivid, Standard, etc. And like other cameras you can insert your take on things by going into the Menu and creating nuances of sharpness, saturation, brightness, contrast, and even hue variations for the presets. But the D300 takes it all a bit further.

Trusted Reviews

It has class-leading build quality and ergonomic design, a mind-boggling array of features and options, blistering performance and superb image quality. In terms of what it has to offer the D300 is unquestionably one of the four or five best cameras currently on the market.

Pocket-Lint

Noise, even at higher ISO is pretty much non-existent up to ISO 2000, beyond here noise is in there but it’s very subtle and even at the boosted ISO 4000 and 6400 settings it’s very clean indeed, in fact the best noise (or lack of noise) performance I’ve seen in a DSLR. Quite simply it is superb.

Photo.net

The D300 is a strong successor to the D200. The D300 maintains all of the D200’s advantages as an excellent general-purpose, prosumer DSLR and improves on several key areas. For about $3000 less, the D300 offers Nikon’s current best AF module, which is also featured in their top professional model, the D3. With the Multi-CAM 3500 and the ability to capture 8 fps, the D300 also replaces the D2H and D2X as Nikon’s top DX-sensor DSLR suitable for action and sports photography.

Cnet

Visibly better photo quality and slightly improved performance make the Nikon D300 a significant upgrade over the D200 and an excellent all-around choice.

Imaging Resource

My favorite part about taking pictures with the Nikon D300 is knowing that with just a quick check of the settings and careful attention to composition, I’m going to get a great shot. If you’ve done your homework, this fine camera will deliver just what you’re looking for, and can prove it to you with its fine LCD screen right there on the spot. It’ll even surprise you with more than you thought possible.

Popular Photography

A major factor in the D300′s stellar image quality is the new Sony-made 12.3MP (effective) CMOS sensor that captures RAW data with up to 14 bits of color per red, green, and blue channels. Most other DSLRs in this class only provide 12 bits per channel. This gives the D300 an advantage in reproducing fine color gradations, shadow details, and wider dynamic range. But it also increases the file size of images recorded in the 14-bit mode (selectable over normal 12-bit RAW).

PhotographyBLOG

But overall, unless you are a professional photographer needing massive file sizes or even swifter image capture, the Nikon D300 could well be all the DSLR you’ll ever need.

PopPhoto Camera of the Year

If this is all beginning to sound like a pro-level camera, you’re right. Except the $1,800 body-only street price doesn’t support that assumption. Under-$2K is still advanced-amateur territory. By any bang-for-the-buck standard, this is one heck of a deal.

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.

Photography BLOG (Antarctica Field Test)

It is -20°C and the Nikon D300 is totally oblivious to the forces of nature. The camera also withstands the damp caused by the snow flurries without problem. Even though I have brought along several batteries, one battery is enough for an entire day’s photography in the cold. Incredible! The autofocus does its job more than satisfactorily; penguins might not walk very fast but even with the limitations caused by the contrast in the landscape the camera tracks its subject unerringly. Also, the flying albatrosses and Cape Doves are followed perfectly in the viewfinder.

Popular Photography

A major factor in the D300′s stellar image quality is the new Sony-made 12.3MP (effective) CMOS sensor that captures RAW data with up to 14 bits of color per red, green, and blue channels. Most other DSLRs in this class only provide 12 bits per channel. This gives the D300 an advantage in reproducing fine color gradations, shadow details, and wider dynamic range. But it also increases the file size of images recorded in the 14-bit mode (selectable over normal 12-bit RAW).

Camera Labs

So it’s a case of weighing up the D300’s features against its higher price. The D300 is undoubtedly a great camera to use, but are its features worth 40-50% more than the Canon EOS 40D or Sony A700? Only you can decide, but don’t go for the D300 over these models expecting significantly better image quality. The extra cash is buying you superior build, handling and features.

Andreas Manessinger (Multi-part User Report)

To my eyes, the look of the D300 images is very natural, and “Active D-Lighting” is probably the biggest contributing factor. The human eye has a much larger contrast range than any camera’s sensor, and shots made in bright sunlight frequently suffer. Mind, this is no magic, but it works reasonably well, can be switched off after the fact if need be, and it gives me images that simply look “right” to me.

DPReview.com has a hands-on preview of the D300. They’ve got some very interesting videos of the live view function in action:

Nikon’s live view implementation on the D300 is one of the most usable and comprehensive to date, the high resolution screen and addition of contrast detect auto focus, in addition to the now typical mirror down / mirror up passive auto focus system, mean that are more situations where live view becomes useful.

Some sample images at ISO 6400.

Check out a slideshow of the press release photos here.

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

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

Check out the Nikon D300 “Special Site” from Nikon Global.

The Nikon D300 product page via Nikon Global.

Here is the Official Nikon D300 brochure/spec sheet (.PDF).

D300 sample images from Nikon.

Where to Buy

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.

Preview of Major Features

New DX-format CMOS image sensor with 12.3 effective megapixels

The D300 features a new 12.3 effective megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor. It not only produces fine details with sharp resolution, but also provides a broad light sensitivity range of ISO 200 to ISO 3200, (plus LO 1 for IS0 100 equivalent and HI 1 for IS0 6400 equivalent settings; Auto ISO control is also available). The CMOS sensor’s integrated A/D converter features the ability to select between 12-bit and 14-bit conversion, making it possible to shoot using high-quality 14-bit NEF (RAW) format. All internal processing is handled in full 16-bit color, color, benefiting from a fine balance between performance with outstanding speed that defies this level of precision and natural-looking images that benefit from faithful color and tone reproduction. Lateral chromatic aberration is also reduced.

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.

* For details, see “Nikon’s original digital image-processing concept EXPEED” on our News Release in Aug. 2007.

High-speed continuous shooting

The D300 is capable of shooting at a rapid 6 fps*1, and as fast as 8 fps*2 when using the Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10, in continuous bursts of up to 100 shots*3 at full 12.3 megapixel resolution. The Nikon D300 is also the first digital SLR to support next-generation high-speed card UDMA, which enables high speed recording.

*1 When using one EN-EL3e battery installed in the camera

*2 When using batteries other than Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e

*3 NORMAL – LARGE image setting, using a SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash 1GB card

Immediate response

Near-instant power-up within 0.13 seconds, a shutter release time lag of a mere 0.045 seconds*, and viewfinder blackout time of approximately 0.1 seconds contribute to optimized all-around performance that lets photographers respond to any sudden shutter opportunities.

* When shooting in JPEG, TIFF, or 12-bit NEF (RAW) formats

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.

AF system employing high-density 51-point AF

Multi-CAM 3500DX 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.

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.

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).

Large, bright viewfinder that achieves 100% frame coverage

TThe D300′s new eye-level pentaprism viewfinder aids composition and adds assurance to focus operations by providing full 100% frame coverage and large 0.94x magnification, as well as an eyepoint of 19.5 mm (at -1.0 m-1) and built-in diopter adjustment range of -2 to +1 m-1.

Durability that will go the distance

Testing to 150,000 cycles stands as firm testament to the durability of the new shutter unit for the D300. Its magnesium alloy chassis combines light weight with solid durability, while the body features an enhanced sealing system that helps protect against moisture and dust.

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 D300.

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.

Self-cleaning Sensor Unit for efficient dust reduction

The D300 is the first Nikon D-SLR camera to employ a Self-cleaning Sensor Unit. Four different resonance frequencies vibrate the optical low pass filter in front of the image sensor to shake particles free and reduce the presence of dust.

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 D300’s Liveview function.

Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 (optional)

The optional new Multi-Power Battery Pack MB-D10 supports 3 types of batteries and features sequential power supply with auto-switching to the battery installed inside the camera body. When attached, it also enables high-speed continuous shooting at a rate of 8 fps*1 for up to 100 consecutive shots*2.

*1 When using batteries other than the Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL3e

*2 NORMAL – LARGE image setting, using a SanDisk Extreme IV CompactFlash 1GB card

Other Features

  • The large top control panel (46 x 20.8 mm) features an improved interface with lettering that can be switched to best match shooting conditions
  • HDMI Output supports HDTV display
  • Supports GPS devices via optional GPS Adapter Cord MC-35
  • Retouch Menu provides handy access to Filter Effects, Trimming, Red-eye correction, Image overlay and other in-camera editing functions
  • Software Suite CD-ROM included