MELVILLE, NY, MARCH 5, 2007 – Nikon Inc. (www.nikondigital.com) today introduced the new 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor lens – a new compact telephoto zoom Nikkor lens that offers Nikon’s exclusive Vibration Reduction technology in a high-powered 3.6x zoom lens. [Read more…]
MELVILLE, NY, MARCH 5, 2007 – Nikon today introduced the new D40x digital SLR camera that is designed to allow users take spectacular photographs with very high-resolution at the touch of a button. The D40x maintains the same compact size, portability and ease-of-use as its already successful sister camera, the D40, and adds features like higher 10.2 megapixel resolution, faster continuous shooting capability and wider ISO sensitivity. Digital SLR cameras are the tool of choice among the majority of professional photographers but some people have found them to be complex or bulky. With the D40x, consumers don’t have to sacrifice the quality of their pictures anymore. The D40x inherits many advanced technologies from Nikon’s professional models, but was designed specifically to make taking outstanding pictures easy and fun for everyone.“The D40 has become a runaway success for Nikon because it effectively addresses so many of the concerns shared by those who take pictures to preserve family memories and for all-around fun. The D40 and the new D40x eliminate common annoyances such as shutter lag and inaccurate viewfinders, while answering our customers’ needs for superb image quality, fast handling, compactness and, most important of all, simplicity. Now with the D40x, anyone has the choice of higher resolution so they can do even more with their pictures,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR System Products at Nikon Inc. “Whether people want to make poster-sized prints or make special enlargements from a smaller (cropped) area of a picture, the D40x can produce images that have superb clarity, outstanding detail and vibrant colors. Even regular 4×6 inch prints, and pictures reduced in size for e-mailing, are visibly better when captured with a more capable camera”.
The Nikon D40x is able to capture special moments instantly, virtually eliminating the frustrations of shutter delay typically associated with point-and-shoot digital cameras. The D40x powers-up in a near-instant 0.18 second and can shoot up to 3 pictures per second, non-stop for up to 100 shots. With such great speed, you’ll never need to wait for the camera to get ready for the next shot. The camera reacts instantly when the shutter button is pressed ensuring you never miss a special moment. The images are immediately recorded to the camera’s SD memory card.
The D40x’s 10.2-effective megapixel CCD imaging sensor is complimented by Nikon’s exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II and an improved Nikon Image Processing Engine that together ensure breathtaking picture quality with analyzed exposure, refined details and natural, accurately rendered colors.
The increased image sensor capacity of the D40x isn’t its only advantage. In addition to shooting three consecutive shots per second (versus 2.5 pictures per second with the D40), the D40x also features design efficiencies that allows up to 520** images per charge) and wider ISO sensitivity of 100-1600, plus HI-1 (200-1600 plus HI-1 for the D40).
The back of the D40x is dominated by a refreshingly large and bright 2.5-inch color LCD screen that displays everything from menu options, pictures in playback mode and Nikon’s new visually-intuitive information display system that presents camera and shooting information in a user-friendly, graphically represented way. The camera also features a built-in help menu that can be accessed at the touch of a button and new Assist Images that help you select appropriate settings for many camera features by displaying a sample image typical of that setting.
The D40x’s automated, scene-optimized Digital Vari-Program modes allow users to capture nearly any type of scene without needing to understand the fine points of photography or fumble with camera settings. The D40x includes eight preset modes, including a new Flash Off mode that shuts off the camera’s flash and boosts its ISO so users can easily take pictures in places where flash photography is not allowed, inappropriate or when they prefer the look of naturally lit pictures. As users gain experience with the camera, the D40x offers advanced controls such as Aperture-priority and Shutter-priority modes that offer greater creative control over the look and feel of their pictures.
The D40x’s new Retouch menu offers exclusive in-camera image editing features that add to the D40x’s “fun factor” by providing greater creativity without the need for a computer. Included in the Retouch menu is Nikon’s D-Lighting, which brightens dark pictures and Red-eye correction that automatically detects and corrects red eye – a common condition that occurs in flash photography. Image Trim allows for creative cropping of an image and creates smaller files for easy e-mailing. Other creative features include Image Overlay, Small Picture, Monochrome (Black-and-white, Sepia, and Cyanotype) and Filter Effects (Skylight, Warm filter, Color balance).
The D40x comes packaged with the new 3X 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens that assures superb picture sharpness and optimum contrast, along with the versatility to capture everything from candid portraits to wide-angle landscapes. The D40x is also compatible with all of Nikon’s AF-S and AF-I Nikkor lenses***, including the remarkably versatile 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6G ED-IF AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens and the new 55-200mm f/4-5.6G IF-ED AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor lens.
For flash photography of subjects at greater distances, the light and ultra-compact SB-400 Speedlight proves to be a perfect companion to the D40x, providing a simple solution for adding more power and bounce flash capability. Keeping with the D40x’s remarkable ease of use the, SB-400 Speedlight is as simple as sliding it on, turning it on and shooting.
The D40x will be available throughout the United States beginning April 2007 for an estimated selling price of $729.95* for body only or $799.95*, packaged with the 3X zoom 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens. For more information, please visit www.nikondigital.com.
Nikon, At the Heart of the Image™. Nikon Inc. is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Inc. distributes the Nikon Total Imaging System of consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, Nikkor optics, Speedlights and System Accessories; Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras; COOLSCAN® digital film scanners; 35mm film SLR cameras; Nikon software products and Nikon sports and recreational optics. At the heart of every Nikon camera is Nikon’s In-camera Innovations, making it easy for anyone to take amazing digital pictures. Through the Nikon Spirit Initiative™, the company plays an active role in supporting aspiring and advanced photographers through a variety of philanthropic organizations, educational programs, events and workshops. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers to the web’s most comprehensive photo learning and sharing communities.
* Estimated selling prices listed are only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.
** CIPA standards, with Built-in Flash used for 50% of the shots
*** Autofocus is supported only with AF-S and AF-I CPU lenses, which are equipped with built-in motors.
Nikon has officially announced the release of their new 10MP follow-up to the 4 month old D40, which is 6MP. Talk about short product cycles! It’s $799 (US) retail with the 18-55 DX lens. You can already pre-order a D40x at Amazon.
The tech specs are here for your review. Note the 3 frames per second, 1/200s flash sync and continued limitation of autofocus with AI-S and AF-S lenses. If you want to browse the brochure, it’s here (.pdf).
DPReview has a detailed hands-on review of the D40x. You can find several different shots of the D40x from various angles and showing off the body features in the product gallery. Ken Rockwell has a nice preview too and points out why you should buy the D40 over the D40x or just jump up to the D80 instead.
In addition to the D40x, Nikon has also announced a new lens: the Nikon AF-S DX VR 55-200mm IF-ED lens. That’s right, another VR lens to choose from. Nikon is making quite a stable of VR lenses now. What’s most impressive to me though is that the retail price is $250! Don’t believe me? Read the press release.
I’m really wondering about the Nikon D3 now.
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.
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.
7/30/07: 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]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Check out Rob Galbraith’s initial impressions of the Nikon D3:
“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”
“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.”
“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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
Strobist has a great post on speedlighting a college gym. It’s got some great sample shots that show just what a proper flash setup can mean for shooting in a gym. There’s also a nice Q&A follow-up with some not-so high-tech diagrams (sorry guys, couldn’t resist), but still some quality info clarifying issues raised in the previous post.