The Nikon P50 is an 8.1 megapixel entry-level point & shoot camera. It is targeted toward new camera users and is priced accordingly at about $150-160 street. It features a 2.4″ LCD, a 3.6x optical zoom lens (28-102mm @ 35mm equivalent). [Read more…]
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:
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. (Read the whole review.)
For the latest news and reviews, check out the Photography Bay’s Nikon D300 page.
The Nikon P5100 is the top-of-the-line COOLPIX point & shoot camera in Nikon’s lineup. It features 12.1 megapixels, a 3.5x zoom (35-123mm), a hotshoe for Nikon Speedlights and the EXPEED digital image processor. Further, the P5100 has the ability to shoot images at ISO 3200 with image files sizes at 5 megapixels. The P5100 also features Nikon’s lens-based VR (Vibration Reduction). The street price of this point & shoot digicam is about $300. [Read more…]
Nikon announced the new 10.2 megapixel Nikon D60 on January 29, 2008. Rather than creating an entirely new DSLR that’s a true “step up” from the Nikon D40x, Nikon settled on the solid 10.2 megapixel sensor that has made the D40x such a great camera and “upgraded” the rest of the camera to include next generation features like built-in sensor cleaning, built-in filter effects, Active D-Lighting (featured in the Nikon D3/D300) and 3D Color Matrix Metering II (also from the D3/D300). For more info, check out the reviews, resources and other info below.
Stay tuned to this page for the latest reviews, news and other resources for the Nikon D60.
Photography Bay Resources
Nikon D60 Reviews
What’s nice about the D60 is that Nikon didn’t change things about the D40 that worked. The same solid construction is here. The economy of design and outstanding ergonomics are still here, too.
Like the D40x before it, the Nikon D60 is a real gem. Consumers should want one, intermediate photographers should want one, and pros would do well to carry one too. The Nikon D60 is one of the finest “family” cameras on the market, easily upholding the standards of its predecessors, which is a tall order.
Imaging performance shines when it comes to noise, and the responsiveness while shooting is exceptional for a camera in this class. However, the D60 also lagged in several equally important areas, including white balance and dynamic range.
With an Excellent rating on JPEGs from ISO 100 to 1600, the D60’s image quality tested slightly better than the D40x’s. That’s impressive, since the D40x also had Excellent image quality up to ISO 1600.
Those looking to make a first class entry level DSLR purchase need only know that the Nikon D60 is an excellent choice – it’s small, light, affordable, easy to use and has enough solid and fun features to get any enthusiast going. Although current Nikon D40x users will probably not feel the need to upgrade, taken on its own merit, Nikon D60 is up there with the best entry level DSLR, if not the best.
The new Nikon D60 is quite impressive for an entry-level dSLR, offering superb performance, great image quality, and multiple exposure options. The 3fps continuous drive mode (or 3.5fps in our testing), Sensor Cleaning system and onboard HELP Menu are distinct improvements for this soon to be popular camera.
We think that image quality is key and here we like what we see. Once we got over the missing AEB feature :-) we started to like the D60 a lot. For us the natural sharpness of this camera can produce counts more than any missing feature.
Despite modest improvements in performance and a couple of new features, Nikon’s D60 fails to impress and costs more than some competing models.
There’s a few nice new features, and bundling the new ‘VR’ (stabilized) version of the kit lens is a smart move that makes the whole package a lot more appealing, but it’s fair to say that the D60 is a subtle upgrade rather than a wholescale reinvention of Nikon’s entry-level best-seller.
It’s very easy to use, handles well and produces great looking – if slightly over-saturated – images in its fully automatic modes. As such it’s an ideal model for first-time DSLR buyers who are perhaps upgrading from a point and shoot.
Ultimately the new Nikon D60 remains an intuitive camera that clearly meets the main needs of its target audience, whilst still retaining enough complexity to allow your photography to grow and improve in the future.
Pictures from the D60 impress, with a lovely smooth tonality and crisp punchy colours. Contrast is generally good, while the Active D-Lighting quickly takes care of those that need a little help to achieve their best. Exposures are generally good, though occasionally the camera underexposes by a quarter to half a stop, especially if there’s a lot of brightness in the image such as a bright sky.
The new EXPEED processor has worked a treat on the lower ISO ratings with super smooth results on ISO100 and 200. A very very faint sharpening begins to appear on ISO400 but only at full size enlargement. Their is still plenty of detail in the petals even at ISO800, even though the noise has started to show.
Apart from quality, price will also play a big role in your decision as to which camera to buy. In my opinion the Nikon D60 is absolutely a recommendable camera. The facts prove it; convincing image quality, a great deal of user’s ease and an excellent price/quality ratio. I think it makes the D60 a highly attractive combination.
Because handling and ergonomics are so good and the camera is very simple to use – left on Auto, it is as simple to use as point and shoot compact – it’s sure to appeal to those wanting that bit more from their hobby than mere snaps. And it will offer a helping hand to those trading up from, say a compact camera.
From our quick hands on with the Nikon D60, we have no doubt that this camera will deliver as promised and bring a whole new legion of fans. We are especially impressed with the AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 VR lens that comes bundled with the Nikon D60 kit package, delivering excellent sharpness and colour detail overall for a lens in this price range.
D60 adds active d-lighting that helps maximize dynamic range by adjusting exposure to retain highlights then boosting shadows. It also adds a digital rangefinder that indicates subject distance when manually focusing lenses. A stop-motion mode lets the camera clump individual frames together as an animation – the first time we’ve seen this feature on a DSLR.
Nikon D60 Videos
Where to Buy
With 10.2 megapixels and remarkable compactness, the D60 offers incredible picture quality, extensive built-in dust reduction technologies and a comprehensive set of creative options.
TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the D60, one of the smallest Nikon digital SLRs ever. The D60 makes it fun and easy to take breathtaking pictures while also offering plenty of features for those who want to deepen their interest in creative shooting.
With a split-second shutter response, the D60 captures pictures that cameras with longer time lags miss. Ease of use and creative options both come standard with the D60, whose exclusive Nikon technologies help deliver high-quality pictures with vibrant color and stunning, edge-to-edge detail. Such superior results are achieved through a high-resolution image sensor utilizing 10.2 megapixels, world-famous NIKKOR lenses delivering razor-sharp pictures, and many cutting-edge Nikon features to further enhance your picture-taking experience. Nikon’s advanced 3D Color Matrix Metering II ensures consistently balanced exposures for images with natural color and contrast, while Nikon’s new digital image processing concept, EXPEED, makes it possible to deliver smoother tones and more accurate colors. Nikon’s fast, quiet and precise autofocus system adds significantly to the performance of the D60, capturing exact moments with astounding clarity.
Such clarity is reinforced by Nikon’s dust reduction countermeasures. To avoid picture-degrading dust particles accumulating near the imaging sensor, the D60 comes equipped with the innovative Image Sensor Cleaning function and Nikon’s exclusive Airflow Control System. These functions both reduce dust accumulation to give you even better picture quality.
In addition to new dust reduction features, the D60 offers a variety of ways to experience more fun and creativity when taking pictures. Users can easily capture dynamic images in different shooting situations with a simple turn of the mode dial. The Retouch Menu offers even more creative excitement, letting you change your pictures into even more striking images – all fast, all simple and all without the need for a computer.
Compact and comfortable, the D60 has so much to offer: amazing picture quality, simple operation, an Integrated Dust Reduction System for clearer pictures and an extensive selection of creative features. The result: fun, fantastic and inspired pictures. The world of stunning photography is just a step away, with the Nikon D60.
Nikon D60 Feature Highlights
Superior image quality and resolution
The D60’s image sensor utilizes 10.2 megapixels to produce superb, high-quality images with incredible resolution, allowing you to make large prints, even if you only use part of an image. And thanks to EXPEED, Nikon’s unique digital image processing concept, your pictures will contain fine detail and smooth, natural tonal reproduction.
Integrated Dust Reduction System
The Airflow Control System used in the D60 leads air within the mirror box towards small ducts near the base, directing dust away from the image sensor. The Image Sensor Cleaning function also reduces dust accumulation near the sensor using specifically determined vibrations, which activate automatically or whenever the user chooses. This team of dust reduction countermeasures lets the user switch lenses confidently, taking advantage of the extensive lineup of NIKKOR interchangeable optics while worrying less about the effects of dust in the camera.
Active D-Lighting for smoother gradation
The D60’s new Active D-Lighting feature can adjust the look of the final image while you shoot. This automatic process works in the highlight and shadow areas, compensating for difficult lighting conditions and producing optimized exposures with rich, smooth detail.
Intuitive, simple operation within a compact body
The D60 is not just compact; its shape is ergonomically designed to fit in your hand naturally and comfortably. The body design is inherited from the highly regarded Nikon D40 series. The bright and clear viewfinder ensures precise composition, while the large, 2.5-in. LCD monitor displays an easy-to-use menu system with a wide viewing angle so that anyone can navigate the settings and view images with ease. The new Eye Sensor function turns off the LCD monitor when the viewfinder is used. When the user moves away from the viewfinder, the LCD monitor turns on again automatically.
The D60’s Retouch Menu offers many exclusive in-camera editing features to choose from. Use the Filter Effects option to intensify a color (Red/Green/Blue) of your choice, or try the Cross Screen feature to produce star-like lines radiating from brightly lit objects in the image. In-camera NEF (RAW) processing is also available. RAW format images are “developed” within the camera after shooting, allowing you to control specific aspects of your pictures, such as image quality, image size and white balance. With the new Stop-motion feature, a stop-motion animation (the consecutive playback of still images) can be created from a sequence of images (in JPEG format). Also included is a convenient Quick Retouch option, which enhances contrast and saturation, to improve images without using a computer. The D60’s extensive Retouch Menu increases the fun and creative freedom of using a digital SLR.
Nikon D60 Other Features
- Fast, 0.19-second power-up to respond to every photographic opportunity
- Split-second shutter response eliminates the annoyance of shooting lag
- Fast continuous shooting mode enables up to 100 JPEG images (FINE L-size or smaller) at 3 frames* per second
- Fastest frame rates achieved by choosing manual focus, rotating the mode dial to S or M and selecting a shutter speed of 1/250 s. or faster, using defaults for all other settings
- Advanced three-point AF system offers fast, efficient and precise autofocus
- Nikon 3D Color Matrix Metering II for ideal exposures in almost any lighting situation
- Bright and clear viewfinder with 0.8x magnification for precise composition
- Long-life rechargeable lithium-ion battery that allows up to 500 images* with the AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR on a single charge (*CIPA standards)
- Digital Vari-Programs that adjust camera settings automatically for scene-specific pictures – selections include Auto, Auto (Flash Off), Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close Up, and Night Portrait
- Manual control over shutter speed and aperture: P (Programmed Auto), S (Shutter-priority Auto), A (Aperture-priority Auto) and M (Manual)
- Built-in flash with Nikon’s dependable i-TTL flash control, supporting Auto flash, Red-eye reduction, Slow sync, Rear curtain sync and Flash exposure compensation
- Simultaneous recording of NEF (RAW) and JPEG basic data of the same image
- Camera setting menus can be customized to suit individual preferences
- Imprint date function prints the date of capture directly on the picture
- Electronic rangefinder display indicates the deviation from the in-focus point when using manual focus mode
- Fully compatible with AF-S and AF-I NIKKOR lenses, that are equipped with an autofocus motor (Autofocus supported. Also compatible with most F-mount NIKKOR lenses when using manual focus mode)
- Supports the Nikon Creative Lighting System when using the SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-R200 or the Wireless Close-Up Speedlight system R1C1. Offers accurate exposures via i-TTL flash
- Optional Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 for easy remote shutter release
- Included Nikon ViewNX software lets you share, organize and edit pictures with ease
Nikon D60 Specifications
Type Single-lens reflex digital camera
Lens mount Nikon F mount (with AF contacts)
Effective picture angle Approx. 1.5 x lens focal length (Nikon DX format)
Effective pixels 10.2 million
Image sensor 23.6 x 15.8 mm CCD sensor
Total pixels 10.75 million
Dust Reduction System Image Sensor Cleaning System, Airflow Control System, Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX software required)
Image size (pixels) 3,872 x 2,592 [L], 2,896 x 1,944 [M], 1,936 x 1,296 [S]
- NEF (RAW): 12-bit compressed
- JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic (approx. 1:16) compression
- NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Media SD memory cards, SDHC compliant
File system DCF (Design Rule for Camera File System) 2.0, DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), Exif 2.21 (Exchangeable Image File Format for Digital Still Cameras), PictBridge
Text input Up to 36 characters of alphanumeric text input available
Date imprint Date, Date and time, Date Counter, or none (selectable)
Viewfinder Eye-level penta-Dach mirror single-lens reflex viewfinder
Frame coverage Approx. 95 % horizontal and 95 % vertical
Magnification Approx. 0.8 x (50 mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
Eyepoint 18 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Diopter adjustment -1.7 to +0.5 m-1
Focusing screen Type B BriteView Clear Matte screen Mark V
Reflex mirror Quick return
Lens aperture Instant-return, electronically controlled
- AF-S and AF-I NIKKOR: All functions supported
- Type G or D AF NIKKOR not equipped with an autofocus motor: All functions supported except autofocus
- Non-Type G or D AF NIKKOR not equipped with an autofocus motor: All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II and autofocus
- IX-NIKKOR and AF-NIKKOR for F3AF: Not supported
- Type D PC NIKKOR: All functions supported except some shooting modes
- AI-P NIKKOR: All functions supported except 3D color matrix metering II
- Non-CPU: Autofocus not supported. Can be used in exposure mode M, but exposure meter does not function
- Lens with maximum aperture of f/5.6 or faster: Electronic rangefinder can be used
Shutter type Electronically-controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed 1/4,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3 EV; Bulb, Time (optional Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 required)
Flash sync speed X=1/200 s; synchronizes with shutter at 1/200 s or slower
Release mode Single frame, Continuous, Self-timer, Remote control (optional Wireless Remote Control ML-L3 required)
Frame advance rate Up to 3 fps (by selecting manual focus mode, rotating the mode dial to S or M, selecting a shutter speed of 1/250 s or faster, and using defaults for all other settings).
Self-timer Can be selected from 2, 5, 10 and 20 s duration
Metering TTL exposure metering using 420-segment RGB sensor
- Matrix: 3D color matrix metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses)
- Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-mm circle in center of frame
- Spot: Meters 3.5-mm circle (about 2.5 % of frame) centered on selected focus point (on center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
- Range (ISO 100, f/1.4 lens, 20°C/68°F) • Matrix or center-weighted metering: 0 – 20 EV
- Spot metering: 2 – 20 EV
Exposure meter coupling Combined CPU
Exposure modes Digital Vari-program (Auto, Auto [flash off], Portrait, Landscape, Child, Sports, Close up, Night portrait), Programmed auto (P) with flexible program, Shutter-priority auto (S), Aperture-priority auto (A), Manual (M)
Exposure compensation -5 to +5 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Exposure lock Luminosity locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index) ISO 100 – 1,600 in steps of 1 EV. Can also be set to approx. 1 EV (ISO 3200 equivalent) above ISO 1600
Active D-Lighting Can be selected from on (auto) or off
Autofocus Nikon Multi-CAM 530 autofocus sensor module with TTL phase detection, 3 focus points and AF-assist illuminator (range approx. 0.5-3 m/1 ft. 8 in.-9 ft. 10 in.)
Detection range -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
- Autofocus: Single-servo AF (S), Continuous-servo AF (C), Auto-servo AF (A), Predictive focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status in single- and continuous-servo AF
- Manual focus: Electronic rangefinder can be used
Focus point Selectable from three focus points
AF-area mode Single-point AF, dynamic-area AF, Closest subject AF
Focus lock Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
- Guide number of 12/39 (m/ft, ISO 100, 20°C/68°F) or 13/43 in manual mode (m/ft, ISO 100, 20°C/68°F)
- Auto, Portrait, Child, Close up, Night portrait modes: Auto flash with auto pop-up
- P, S, A, M: manual pop-up with button release
- TTL for digital SLR using 420-segment RGB sensor: i-TTL balanced fill-flash (with metering other than spot) and standard i-TTL flash (with spot metering) are available with built-in flash, SB-800, SB-600, or SB-400, and CPU lenses.
- Auto aperture: Available with SB-800 and CPU lenses.
- Non-TTL auto: Supported flash units include SB-800, SB-28, SB-27, SB-22S, SB-80DX, and SB-28DX
- Range-priority manual: Available with SB-800
Flash modes Front curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync.
Flash compensation -3 to +1 EV in increments of 1/3 EV
Flash-ready indicator Lights when built-in flash or Speedlight such as SB-800, SB-600, SB-400 is fully charged, blinks after flash is fired at full output
Accessory shoe Standard ISO 518 hot-shoe contact with safety lock
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)
- Flash Color Information Communication supported with built-in flash and CLS-compatible Speedlight
- Advanced Wireless Lighting supported with SB-800, or SU-800 as commander
Sync terminal Hot Shoe Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 (Optional)
White balance 8 modes (when Auto is selected, TTL white-balance with main image sensor and 420-segment RGB sensor is available), fine-tuning possible
Monitor 2.5-in., approx. 230k-dot, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD, brightness adjustment and with automatic defeat via Eye Sensor
Playback Full frame and thumbnail (four or nine images) playback with playback zoom, stop-motion movies created with the D60, slide show, histogram display, highlights, and auto image rotation
USB interface Hi-Speed USB
Data transfer protocol: MTP, PTP
Video output Can be selected from NTSC and PAL
Supported languages Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Battery One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9
AC adapter AC Adapter EH-5a (optional, used with optional Power Connector EP-5)
Tripod socket 1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 126 x 94 x 64 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.5 in.)
Weight Approx. 495 g (1 lb. 1 oz.) without battery, memory card or body cap
Temperature 0-40°C (32-104°F)
Humidity Less than 85% (non condensing)
Supplied accessories (may differ by country or area) Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL9, Quick Charger MH-23, USB Cable UC-E4, Rubber Eyecup DK-20, Camera Strap AN-DC1, Body Cap BF-1A, Eyepiece Cap DK-5, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-1, Software Suite CD-ROM
Optional Accessories Wireless Remote Control ML-L3, Capture NX, Camera Control Pro 2, AC Adcapter Connector EP-5, AC Adapter EH-5a, Video Cable EG-D100, Semi-Soft Case CF-DC1, Speedlight SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, R1C1
The Nikon D3X was announced on Monday, December 1, 2008. At 24.5 megapixels, the Nikon D3X is geared toward maximum resolution, which is something many Nikon pros have been asking for. The D3X compliments Nikon’s current 12 megapixel D3, which has become a photojournalism and sports workhorse since its release in Fall 2007.
Nikon D3X Availability
Nikon D3X Key Features
- 24.5 megapixel 35.9×24mm sensor
- 16-bit EXPEED engine
- 5fps at full-resolution
- 7fps at DX crop mode (viva DX!)
- Dual Compact Flash slots (at 35MB/s)
- MultiCAM 3500 autofocus w/51 points
- 3″ LCD (922000 dots, 170 degrees)
- Live View
- Battery EN-EL4a (like D3)
- 12ms startup
- 41ms shutter release lag
Nikon D3X Reviews
In comparison with the D3, viewing images from that and the D3x side by side, the former’s images are noticeably smoother and as we mentioned at that time of our initial review, more film-like while the D3x’s do reveal more clearly defined detail – particularly on close ups – when viewed at 100%.
Especially for pros and enthusiasts who are already invested in the Nikon system, and can afford the eight grand, this is one smart big-ticket purchase.
As I’ve written above, the D3x is probably the best DSLR in terms of image quality so far. But the problem is value. There simply isn’t US$5700 worth of value in a D3x over a D700.
Moose Peterson (first impressions)
Final images from the D3x…freakin stunning!!!! D3x is for everyone…NOT freakin even! Does Moose love it? Final file, hell yeah!
Like the Sony Alpha 900, the incredibly high resolution of the D3x delivers files of an extraordinary quality, both in and out of the studio, between ISO 100-400.
Joe McNally (brief hands-on)
My standard for detail has always been Kodachrome 25, and the D3 zoomed past that pretty handily, and now this thing gives you a file that is like frikkin’ Stargate.
For Nikon users, they have finally got a pro DSLR body that could offer them high resolution beyond the measly 12.1 megapixels ceiling that had to live with before without having to consider going medium format.
I have already had the rare opportunity to shoot with a pre-production sample D3x with final firmware, and although the raw files remain inaccessible, low-compression JPEGs taken at ISO 100 at standard settings in a studio environment look stunning.
From the time I had with the D3x, I was blown away. The image quality is excellent and being able to crop really close in on the rear monitor and still see detail in the eyes and hair of the model was great.
The viewfinder is very bright and clear – essential for studio work – and focusing in low-light was quick and accurate, although on occasion it did get a little confused in gloomy, low-contrast scenes – hardly unusual for any DSLR, professional or not. However, overall, it feels superbly solid and totally up to the job.
Even though the camera was a pre-production model I was extremely impressed with both the camera and lens. As you will see with the images I have posted the clarity, sharpness, dynamic range is exceptional.
Nikon D3X Sample Images
Full Res Samples via Flickr:
Nikon D3X Press Release
NIKON UNVEILS A DIGITAL MASTERPIECE: THE D3X DIGITAL SLR
With Extreme 24.5-Megapixel Resolution, Processed Image Files Exceeding 138 MB, Five Frame-per-Second Burst Speed and Nikon Core Technologies, the D3X Ushers in a New Level of Image Quality
MELVILLE, N.Y. (Nov. 30, 2008) – Nikon Inc. today announced the D3X, an FX-format digital SLR featuring extreme 24.5-megapixel resolution and superb low-noise capabilities, which provides professional photographers with commercial-quality image performance in a familiar and extraordinarily versatile D-SLR form factor. In conjunction with the groundbreaking Nikon FX-format D3, the D3X tops off a collection of flagship level, rugged, professional caliber digital single lens reflex cameras engineered to excel in all types of professional photographic disciplines from photojournalism and sideline sports, to commercial in-studio applications.
The foundation of the enhanced performance of the D3X is its FX-format, 24.5-megapixel (6048 x 4032) CMOS sensor providing commercial, high fashion, fine art and landscape photographers with the extreme resolution, dynamic range, color depth, detail and sharpness that clients demand. Whether creating catalogs, magazine covers, billboards or gallery prints, the large 5.49-micron pixel size and high signal to noise ratio produces vibrant images with breathtaking image fidelity while reducing lost highlights and shadows, and ensuring smoother tone reproduction with minimized noise. With full resolution shooting speeds of up to five frames-per-second (fps), and 14-bit files, that when processed are approximately 138 MB, the D3X offers today’s photographic artists an extreme level of performance and versatility ready for demanding assignments in the studio or on location.
“In 2007, the 12.1-megapixel FX-format D3 delivered groundbreaking digital SLR image quality, coupled with incomparable high ISO, low noise performance and high-speed handling. In doing so, the D3 broke photographic barriers, enabling photographers to work in ways never before possible,” said Edward Fasano, general manager for Marketing, SLR Systems Products at Nikon Inc. “Now, the new 24.5-megapixel FX-format D3X D-SLR provides the extreme resolution and high dynamic range capabilities needed to meet the extraordinary needs of photographic disciplines such as high fashion, commercial advertising and fine art. The D3X delivers this remarkable capability while fitting seamlessly within the Nikon system, taking full advantage of Nikon’s world-renowned collection of NIKKOR lenses and Speedlights.”
Image Quality Takes Center Stage
To re-emphasize the importance of image quality above all else, the D3X delivers an incredible level of digital SLR performance to provide photographers with extremely high resolution, exceptional dynamic range, phenomenal total gradation and outstanding color reproduction. Image files can be recorded as TIFF, JPEG or NEF (RAW) formats in either 12- or 14-bit compressed or uncompressed formats, and recorded to UDMA compatible CompactFlash™ cards for optimum speed. Photographers can save image files directly to the dual card slots as overflow, backup, or as separate file formats to different cards. Building on the D3X’s flexibility, users have the creative option to shoot in the 5:4 crop mode with 20.4-megapixel resolution, the ideal format for creating 8 x 10-inch portraits. While using DX-format lenses, faster continuous shooting of up to seven frames per second can be achieved at a resolution of 10.5 megapixels.
The exceptionally low noise of the D3X is essential to any professional commercial application, and it provides photographers with an ISO range of 100 to 1600, expandable to 50 (Lo-1) and 6400 (Hi-2). The ultra smooth tones and lack of grain at ISO 1600 as well as at low sensitivity settings result in smooth, natural skin tones and exacting detail that, before the D3X, required larger and far costlier studio-bound camera systems.
Advanced Technologies, Meticulously Executed
In a commercial setting or on location, imaging professionals need high performance in both speed and processing. The Nikon D3X can shoot at up to five fps at full resolution or up to seven fps in DX crop mode, allowing photographers to catch the split-second difference in a model’s expression or capture all of the action in a sequence. Just like the D3, the D3X achieves a start-up time of a mere 0.12 seconds and a shutter release time lag of 0.04 seconds.
The D3X’s speed, as well as high levels of performance, leverages Nikon core technologies including a newly enhanced EXPEED™ Image Processing System, specially designed for the D3X to provide superior image quality, faster processing speeds and lower power consumption. This advanced system is able to achieve extremely precise color reproduction for a broad spectrum of hues, in addition to vivid saturation and smooth gradation. What’s more, Nikon’s advanced noise processing function is engineered to minimize noise at all sensitivities and operate seamlessly without interfering with other image color parameters.
The D3X also features Nikon’s exclusive Scene Recognition System, which continuously analyzes information from the 1,005-pixel RGB light sensor, to further refine auto exposure, auto white balance and autofocus calculations. This results in flattering portraits and awe-inspiring landscapes that portray accurate color and fine details. Nikon’s exclusive 3D Color Matrix Metering II helps ensure accurate exposures, even in the most challenging lighting conditions. Instantly evaluating each scene before capture, input data from the system’s sensor is automatically referenced against an internal database of more than 30,000 images derived from actual photographs to calculate correct exposure values. Active D-Lighting, used in combination with 3D Matrix Metering II, helps to determines proper exposure, and creates realistic contrast while compensating for lost shadows and highlights. Prior to shooting, users can choose from Extra High, High, Normal, Low or Off settings, as well as an Auto mode.
Additionally, the D3X features Nikon’s exclusive Multi-CAM 3500FX focus module, with 51 AF points, 15 cross type sensors and 36 horizontal sensors that easily track and lock onto moving subjects, delivering the same fast and accurate AF performance that helped make the D3 immediately successful. Users can select any of the AF points, making it easy to consistently attain accurate focus right on a subject’s eyes, frame after frame. Additionally, three AF-area modes – Single point, Dynamic-area AF and Auto-area AF – are available to maximize the use of the 51 focus points by selecting the most suitable one to match subject conditions. AF is also available in one of two Live View modes optimized for the studio, including a phase detection handheld mode and a tripod mode. This feature allows the user to zoom in up to 27x on the LCD screen to ensure critical focus. While in Live View, the graphic indication of a virtual horizon is also available, making it easier than ever to confirm camera orientation.
To further ensure each photographer’s ability to balance their personal style, Nikon’s Picture Control System enables users to adjust their images to pre-set parameters such as Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome that apply tweaks to image sharpening, tone compensation, brightness, overall tone and saturation. Photographers have creative control over these image parameters with the use of up to nine available customizable presets.
Synchronizing Both Form and Function
Engineered for real-world functionality, the D3X retains a rugged shell with moisture, dust and shock resistance that has become a hallmark of flagship Nikon D-SLRs, while preserving the usability and ergonomics that allow the camera to remain an extension of the photographer’s vision. Attention to detail goes so far as to include a self-diagnostic shutter system that is tested to exceed 300,000 cycles for maximum durability and longevity. The camera’s body also maintains the resilient magnesium alloy construction and form factor of the D3, promoting consistent Nikon system synergy.
A bright and accurate viewfinder offers 100 percent coverage with 0.7x magnification. The body also houses Nikon’s acclaimed 3.0-inch super density LCD screen, now relied upon by so many photographers. The high-resolution 920,000-dot screen is viewable at wide angles up to 170 degrees, and will allow photographers to quickly zoom in to confirm critical focus. Users can also output the video signal to an external display via HDMI to allow client viewing. Thanks to incredibly efficient internal circuitry, the D3X can capture up to 4400* shots per single charge of the camera’s Lithium ion battery.
System Strength Withstands the Test of Time
The D3X is fully compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS) to give photographers a mobile lighting solution that is easy to manage. To further enhance mobility, the D3X is compatible with Nikon’s GP-1 GPS receiver to gather information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and date of shooting. Photographers can easily shoot tethered via USB, or use the WT-4a wireless transmitter to send images wirelessly when speed and mobility are essential. D3X users will also enjoy the system strength of more than 50 genuine NIKKOR lenses that provide outstanding sharpness and high resolution across a broad range of focal lengths.
Price and Availability
The Nikon D3X will be available at Nikon Authorized Professional Dealers starting December 2008, and will be available for an estimated selling price of $7999.95.**
* Based on CIPA Standards
** Estimated selling price listed is only an estimate. Actual prices are set by dealers and are subject to change at any time.
The NASA order specifically comprises of 76 D2XS digital SLR cameras, 39 NIKKOR Lenses (in two types), 64 Speedlight flashes, batteries and other accessories which will support both flight and training requirements. Except a change to NASA-specified lubricants, the D2XS models to be used for EVA are almost identical to those commercially available on the market. The D2XS models will undergo stringent NASA testing before they are qualified to be manifested for a particular mission. (read more of Nikon’s press release)
Maybe the Nikon D3 isn’t coming anytime soon after all? At $4300, the Nikon D2Xs isn’t exactly cheap (well over $300,000 for 76 of’em). Maybe NASA just didn’t want a D3? Your thoughts?
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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s simply no better semi-professional digital SLR on the market.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Visibly better photo quality and slightly improved performance make the Nikon D300 a significant upgrade over the D200 and an excellent all-around choice.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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
- 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
The Nikon D40x is the 10 megapixel sibling of the 6 megapixel Nikon D40. The D40x offers a wider ISO range of 100-3200 and is available as a kit and as a body only. The D40x was replaced by the D60, which was announced in January 2008, just prior to PMA. The D60 offers minor updates overall; however, the most significant upgrade for the Nikon D60 is the inclusion of a kit lens that features Nikon Vibration Reduction (VR) technology.
The D40x will make a great entry-level digital SLR for beginners or a compact second body for photographers who want a backup. It’s well-built, sturdy, and performs well for such an inexpensive camera. Standout features of the D40x are the image quality and high resolution, high-ISO performance, Nikon’s D-Lighting in-camera image processing, and the built-in Help system.
The Nikon D40x is essentially a 10 megapixel version of the slightly older 6 megapixel D40, and thankfully the increase in resolution hasn’t negatively affected the overall image quality. Indeed, I couldn’t see any noticeable difference in terms of noise between ISO settings on the D40x and the same settings on the D40, which means that the D40x delivers a bigger image without the usual trade-offs of unwanted image artifacts.
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]nikon, d40x, review, test, deal, cheap, kit[/tags]