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Factsheet                      D3  pictures

In our view a replacement for D2H not D2X. A D3X is expected.
This is a nice special purpose camera but the D300 is more suitable for most people.


12.1 FX or 5 DX  CMOS

List Price

£3,400 Body, Feb 08




 Lower on this page.
Nikon specification

Instruction Manual


D3 Color Brochure [PDF, 468KB]
40p Brochure (4.49MB)
D3 Manual [PDF, 17MB]

D3 Digitutor


Thinkcamera D3

ephotozine D3

Photography Blog D3

D3 review at ProPhotoHome

D3 review by Andy Rouse

D3 first impressions at CameraLabs

Nikon D3, Next Best Thing to Light in a Box by David Cardinal

D3 review by Bjorn Rorslett

D3 Review Diary by Outback Photo

D3 review by Susan Stripling

D3 review at PopPhoto

D3 versus D300 by Ken Rockwell

D3 review at Rangefinder

D3 review by Richard Costin (PDF)

D3 review by Jonathan Ryan

D3 "preview" review at PPMag

D3 review by Lars Stroels

D3 review at DigitalCameraReview

D3 review by Shun Cheung for Photo.net

D3 review by John Rettie (PDF)

D3 review at DPReview

D3 review at WhatDigitalCamera

D3 review at PhotoReview

D3 review at CNET Asia

D3 user reviews at PhotographyREVIEW.com

See also:-
DP Review
Luminous Landscape
Moose Peterson

Imaging Resource
Scott Kelby
C|NET Australia
Susan Stripling
Bjørn Rørslett
Professional Photographer
All Things Photography

Test Runs

Dave Black - On the Road

D3 field testing by Brad Hill

The Mob Goes Wild - D3 usage by Darren Henderson 

D3 from ISO 200 to 25600

High ISO D3 vs D300/D2x/D200

Nikon USA D3 samples

D3/D300 Q&A by Thom Hogan


D3 or D300?

vs Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III

Nikon's Latest DSLRs (D3 & D300), and a Biased Evaluation of The Differences Between the Nikon and Canon Brands by the Luminous Landscape

Nikon D3 Review and Test - D3 vs Canon’s MK III by Dave Deluria

PopPhoto Lab Report: Nikon D3 takes noise award

Comparison Elements Between Nikon D3/D300 And Canon 40D For Faint Light Applications at Astroturf.org

Main features (from Nikon)

  • Nikon's original FX-format CMOS image sensor with 36.0 (H) x 23.9 (V) mm image size; 12.1 effective megapixels
  • Compatible with three image-sensor formats – FX format (36 x 24), 5:4 (30 x 24) and DX format (24 x 16)
  • Sensitivity range ISO 200 to 6400 at normal setting for exceptionally high-quality images; can be set to ISO-equivalent 25,600
  • Incorporates Nikon's original EXPEED digital image processing concept
  • Nikon's original Scene Recognition system, utilizing the 1,005-pixel RGB sensor, greatly improves autofocus, auto exposure and auto white balance performance
  • New 51-point autofocus system features 15 cross-type sensors that maximize the potential of lenses with apertures as small as f/5.6
  • High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 9 frames per second [FX format (36 x 24)/5:4 (30 x 24)]/approx. 11 fps [DX format (24 x 16)] *1
  • Newly employed Picture Control System enables creation of desired picture with preferred tones
  • Accurate focal-plane contrast AF*2 available with built-in Liveview mode
  • Wireless Transmitter WT-4*3 (optional) 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
  • CF card double slot accepts two CF cards
  • Quick response with approx. 0.12 sec. startup time and 37 ms Shutter-release time lag
  • Viewfinder with approx. 100% frame coverage and approx. 0.7x magnification in FX format
  • High-definition (920,000 dots), 170˚ viewing angle, 3-inch VGA LCD monitor with tempered glass
  • Active D-Lighting optimizes tone reproduction in both shadows and highlights

    *1 With Continuous-servo AF, S or M exposure mode, shutter speed 1/250 sec. or faster; other settings are set at "Default".
    *2 When Tripod mode is selected.
    *3 Specifications differ depending on country or area.

Down side (our note)
its a very nice camera but;

  • When DX lens are used its only 5MP
  • FX format looses 1.5x multiplier, resulting in more expensive and larger lenses and less depth of field
  • No self cleaning on sensor as found on D300, D60
  • No built in flash/commander
  • D3X expected, so is likely to drop in price/value.
  • Quite a bulky, heavy camera
  • D300 is a better buy for most people (possibly not specialist sports and press)

Specifications (from Nikon)

Effective pixels 12.1 million
Image sensor CMOS sensor, 36.0 x 23.9 mm; total pixels: 12.87 million; Nikon FX format
Image size (pixels) FX format (36 x 24): 4,256 x 2,832 [L], 3,184 x 2,120 [M], 2,128 x 1,416 [S]
5:4 (30 x 24): 3,552 x 2,832 [L], 2,656 x 2,120 [M], 1,776 x 1,416 [S]
DX format (24 x 16): 2,784 x 1,848 [L], 2,080 x 1,384 [M], 1,392 x 920 [S]
Sensitivity ISO 200 to 6,400 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV; sensitivity decreases approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 (ISO 100 equivalent) EV below ISO 200, and increases approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1 (ISO 12,800 equivalent), or 2 (ISO 25,600 equivalent) EV over ISO 6,400
Storage media CompactFlash (Type I/II, compliant with UDMA); Microdrives
LCD monitor 3-in., approx. 920,000-dot (VGA), 170-degree wide-viewing-angle, 100% frame coverage, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Exposure metering TTL full-aperture exposure metering using 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering II (other CPU lenses); Color Matrix Metering (non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data)
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8-, 15- or 20-mm circle in center of frame, or weighting based on average of entire frame
3) Spot: Meters 4-mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
Exposure modes 1) Programmed Auto (P) with flexible program,
2) Shutter-Priority Auto (S),
3) Aperture-Priority Auto (A),
4) Manual (M)
Interface Hi-speed USB
Power sources One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EL4, Quick Charger MH-22, AC Adapter EH-6 (optional)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 159.5 x 157 x 87.5 mm (6.3 x 6.2 x 3.4 in.)
Weight Approx. 1,240 g (2.7 lb.) without battery, memory card, body cap or accessory shoe cover


By: Keith Park Section: Reference Section Key:
Page Ref: factsheet_d3 Topic: Reference Last Updated: 07/2009

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