The Nikon D3 has been developed from the results of years of research and feedback from professional photographers, and is an amalgamation of a complete range of innovative Nikon technologies. Our Expert Reviewer Andy Rouse put the D3 through its paces in many different situations, each time finding it more than up to the task. "The D3 has amazing ISO performance, produces images with a beautiful ...
The Nikon D3 has been developed from the results of years of research and feedback from professional photographers, and is an amalgamation of a complete range of innovative Nikon technologies. Our Expert Reviewer Andy Rouse put the D3 through its paces in many different situations, each time finding it more than up to the task. "The D3 has amazing ISO performance, produces images with a beautiful dynamic range and has the best AF system seen in a Nikon DSLR so far. Is the Nikon D3 worth upgrading to from a previous Nikon DSLR? Absolutely 100%."
Features of the Nikon D3
- Vibrant 12.1 effective megapixel FX format
- Blazing-fast 9fps frame rate (extended to 11fps in DX crop mode)
- Standard ISO range from 200-6400 (plus high/low of ISO 100/25,600)
- Renovated 51-point autofocus system
- 3” VGA LCD screen with Live View
- Cutting edge EXPEED image processor
For details on how to register your product online please click here. Alternatively you can complete the in-box warranty slip or telephone 0800 408 5060 (Nikon UK).
Nikon D3 – FX Format Image Sensor
Designed from the ground up, the D3 FX Format CMOS imaging sensor features amazing light transmission properties, equipping photographers with the ability to create fantastic images even in low light. The camera has a high signal to noise ratio, a pixel pitch 15% larger than competitive cameras, gapless surface micro-lenses and advanced on-chip noise reduction, thus producing high quality images come rain or shine.
Nikon D3 – EXPEED Image Processing System
Central to the D3’s ability to capture and process a great deal of data in high definition is the EXPEED image processing system, which features 14-bit analogue-to-digital A/D conversion with 16-bit image processing, both of which play an important part in delivering the results Nikon users have come to expect from their cameras.
Nikon D3 – Scene Recognition and Autofocus
The D3 offers Nikon’s acclaimed 1005-pixel RGB metering sensor, improved to now recognise the shape and position of subjects for better auto exposure and autofocus accuracy. Following years of development, Nikon has again excelled, producing a 51-point autofocus which acquires and tracks subjects' movements with even more precision.
Extensive research into how autofocus is used by professional sports and news photographers resulted in the Multi-CAM3500 AF module, featuring the most AF points ever developed for a SLR camera. Nikon united the AF module with their simple 8-direction multi-selector button, for quick selection of individual AF points.
Andy tested the autofocus of the D3 by photographing his dogs, running flat out in low light. "This was an extreme test and although I won’t say that every shot was completely in focus – there is no way they could be with the low light and the forward speed of the hounds – enough were razor sharp to warrant this a complete success… and at ISO 1400."
Nikon D3 – Instinctive response
Featuring 9fps, the D3 is the fastest full format DSLR in the market, with 11fps possible in DX crop mode. A second crop mode can also be found on the camera, offering a 5:4 aspect ratio. A CIPA standard shutter release time lag of a mere 41 milliseconds improves both burst speed, Live View performance, and the mirror black out is only 74ms. The shutter unit of the D3 DSLR has been tested over 300,000 cycles and with blades made from Kevlar and carbon fibre material, it is not surprising that they are unrivalled in endurance and precision no matter the conditions.
Nikon D3 – Picture Control
Users of all standards will be able to manage and customise the appearance of their images via the Nikon D3 on-board Picture Control, which offers improved productivity for JPEG shooters. Picture Control saves a considerable amount of post-processing time and through a range of default settings, users can also customise and share settings. Nikon created Picture Control for the D3 with the intention that photographic communities may develop their own Picture Control settings for specific subjects and conditions. Picture Control replaces the Colour Mode settings that existed on previous Nikon models.
The D3 also features an Active D-Lighting option, which adds to the JPEG capabilities of the camera. When shooting in high-contrast conditions, photographers can apply a pre-set curve that processes images with improved shadow and highlight details, without affecting overall contrast.
Nikon D3 – Designed for Definition
The Nikon D3 caters for High Definition from start to finish. From the HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) port for output to the latest HD displays to the 3" VGA LCD screen with 170° viewing angle, images can be played back at increasingly high levels of detail.
Andy Rouse agrees. "The screen is the largest on any Nikon DSLR so far and has a beautiful colour balance that really looks like what I am seeing with my eyes."
The Nikon D3 also features autofocus in Live View, something not always possible with other Live View technologies.
"Of course, the bottom line of most DSLRs comes down to quality," continues Andy, "the quality of the NEFs has been absolutely great, and that is coming from someone who demands the ultimate in quality. Trust me, the Nikon D3 is sharp."
Nikon were pioneers of wireless image transmission, and with the Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-4 (purchase separately), the multi camera network era is here. The D3 can be remotely controlled from afar and images can be transmitted or 'pushed' to servers. The WT-4 also enables remote browsing of the camera's image thumbnails.
Wireless networking enables up to 5 D3 and D300 cameras to be established. This is useful at a sporting event for example, when photo editors could browse all thumbnails on each of the cameras simultaneously, 'pulling' the images they like while the photographers continue shooting.
Nikon D3 – Flexible Image Storage
The Nikon D3 is the world’s first DSLR to offer dual CompactFlash card slots for outstanding storage flexibility. Images can be shot to each card one after another, or simultaneously, as back up. When shooting combined NEF (RAW) and JPEG files, the NEF image can be written to one card while the JPEG version is written to the other. After shooting, images can also be copied from one card to another. Andy Rouse says, "Give them a medal. Two CF cards can now be used side by side, which means I can load the camera with 2 x 8GB cards. Awesome."
Nikon D3 – One Tough Customer
Back to top
Nikon digital SLRs have been a long-standing top choice of professionals, due to their durability and consistent high performance – Nikon DSLRs are renowned for withstanding the most challenging conditions. Nikon’s reputation precedes it, their cameras are expected to keep working where other brands may falter, in the arctic or on the equator. The D3 is no exception to this rule. Built from a magnesium alloy exterior with chassis and mirror box, the D3 body is sturdy and long-wearing, while the seams and buttons of the camera body are sealed against the effects of dust and moisture.