“Nikon has eclipsed the competition with the Nikon D3, a cutting edge camera that will change how professional photographers take pictures,” said Robert Cristina, Brand Manager, Nikon Professional Products, Europe. “The incredible speed, resolution and flexibility of the Nikon D3 will enable photographers to capture images under conditions previously thought impossible.”
The Nikon D3, the result of years of development and feedback from professional photographers, combines many innovative Nikon technologies. These include an exclusive 12.1 effective Mp FX format (36.0x23.9mm) image sensor with 12-channel read out, a blazing-fast 9 fps frame rate, expandable ISO settings from 200-6400, a completely new 51-Point autofocus system, a 3-inch VGA LCD screen with Live View and a cutting-edge image processing system.
FX Format Image Sensor
The Nikon D3 FX format CMOS imaging sensor was designed from the ground up to offer exceptional light transmission properties, so photographers can acquire outstanding image quality even in low light conditions. With a high signal to noise ratio, a pixel pitch 15% larger than competitive cameras, gapless surface micro-lenses and advanced on-chip noise reduction means high-quality images under very low light levels are now possible. The sensor enables an ISO settings range from 200-6400, expandable up to the equivalent of 25,600 or down to 100.
Expeed Image Processing System
The Expeed image processing system is at the heart of the Nikon D3’s ability to capture and process massive amounts of data at high definition. The Expeed system includes both hardware and years of Nikon image processing experience. The Nikon D3 Expeed system features 14-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion with 16-bit image processing, both of which contribute to delivering results with Nikon’s signature look and feel of rich accurate colours, smooth skin gradations and exceptional detail.
Scene Recognition System
The Nikon D3 features a radical new approach to calculating exposures and white balance with intelligent support for Autofocus tracking performance as well. At the heart of the Scene Recognition System is Nikon’s renowned 1005px RGB metering sensor that has been modified to distinguish subjects’ shape and position for improved auto exposure and Autofocus accuracy.
Building on years of development through both the analogue and digital SLR era, Nikon has once again raised the bar for optical Autofocus systems. The Nikon D3 and Nikon D300 feature a completely new 51-Point autofocus system designed to acquire and track subjects’ movement more accurately.
The result of intensive studies into how professional sports and news photographers use autofocus, the Multi-CAM3500 AF module features the most AF points ever developed for a SLR camera. The inspired coupling of the AF module with Nikon’s easy-to-use 8-direction multi selector button makes selecting instant individual AF points simple and fast. As one would expect the AF system can be completely customised for every possible shooting condition.
Scorching Speed, Intuitive Response
The image quality of the Nikon D3 is combined with outstanding frame rate options. At 9 fps, the Nikon D3 is the world’s fastest FX format D-SLR1, with an even faster 11fps2 consecutive shooting possible in DX crop mode. A second crop mode is also premiered in the Nikon D3, with 5:4 (30mm x 24mm) aspect ratio. Shutter release time lag is an imperceptible 41 milliseconds (CIPA standard), while the image sensor’s integrated high-speed 12-channel readout contributes both to burst speed and Live View performance. The Nikon D3 also gets to work quickly; startup time is just 0.12 seconds and mirror black out is only 74ms.
The Nikon D3 incorporates an all-new Nikon manufactured shutter unit tested to over 300,000 cycles. The shutter blades are constructed from a durable composite KevlarTM and carbon fibre material to deliver unmatched durability and accuracy even in the most demanding of conditions.
Nikon’s new Picture Control system, developed with the help of extensive feedback from photographers, offers improved productivity for JPEG shooters. Picture Control lets users of all levels manage and customise the appearance of their images in camera. This on-board processing saves significant post processing time. With a variety of default settings, photographers can also customize and share settings. Nikon anticipates photographic communities might develop their own Picture Control settings for specific subjects and conditions. Picture Control replaces the existing Colour Mode settings of current Nikon cameras.
High Contrast Subjects, Low Risk
The Active D-Lighting feature of the Nikon D3 adds to its JPEG capabilities. Prior to shooting under high contrast conditions, users can apply a pre-set curve that processes images with improved shadow and highlight details, without affecting overall contrast.
Designed for definition
Everything about the Nikon D3 is high definition. From the HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) port for output to the latest HD displays to the 3-inch VGA LCD screen with 170-degree viewing angle, images can be played back at very high levels of detail. The new VGA screen also comes into its own when using the new Live View function premiered in the Nikon D3 and Nikon D300. Unlike other live view technologies, autofocus in possible in all Nikon Live View modes.
Flexible Image Storage
The Nikon D3 is the world’s first D-SLR to offer dual CompactFlash card slots for outstanding storage flexibility. A photographer can shoot images to each card one after the other, or simultaneously, as back up. When shooting combined NEF and JPEG files, the NEF image can be written to one card and the JPEG version to the other. Image files can also be selected and copied from one card to the other after shooting.
One Tough Customer
Long the choice of professionals, Nikon SLRs are renowned for withstanding the most challenging conditions. From freezing temperatures of the arctic to the humidity of the rainforest, Nikon’s keep working long after other cameras have ceased to operate, and the Nikon D3 is built to continue this tradition. Magnesium alloy is used for the exterior cover, chassis and mirror box, while the seams and buttons of the camera body are sealed against the affects of dust and moisture.
Nikon pioneered wireless image transmission. Now, with the new Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-43, the era of the multi camera network has arrived. Not only can one transmit (‘push’) images to servers and remotely control the camera from afar, the WT-4 also enables remote browsing of the camera’s image thumbnails as well.
In a wireless environment, networks of up to 5 Nikon D3 and Nikon D300 cameras can be established. At a sports event, for example, photo editors could browse all thumbnails on each camera simultaneously, selecting (‘pulling’) the images they need, while the photographers continue shooting.
Five New Nikkor Lenses
Five new Nikkor lenses are also launched today. They include a ground-breaking extreme wide-angle zoom lens, the AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED and a slim line standard zoom, the AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED. Nikon has also launched three all-new super telephoto lenses with VR (Vibration Reduction), the AF-S 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, AF-S 500mm f/4G ED VR and AF-S 600mm f/4G ED VR .
The Nikon D3 body measures 159.5 (W) ×157 (H) ×87 (D) mm and weighs 1,390 grams including battery. It will be available in Europe from November 2007.
1.As of August 2007.
2.Autofocus tracking disabled.
3.WT-4 versions vary according to regional/national radio frequency regulations
Nikon D3 Specifications
Type of Camera
Single-lens reflex digital camera
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
||3,184 x 2,120
||2,128 x 1,416
|5:4 (30 x 24)
||3,552 x 2,832
||2,656 x 2,120
||1,776 x 1,416
|DX format (24 x 16)
||2,784 x 1,848
||2,080 x 1,384
||1,392 x 920
ISO200 to 6,400 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV; sensitivity decreases approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 (ISO100 equivalent) EV below ISO200, 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
Compliant with DCF 2.0, DPOF and Exif 2.21
Compressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW, Lossless compressed): approx. 60-80%
Compressed 12/14-bit NEF (RAW, Compressed): approx. 45-60%
JPEG: JPEG-baseline-compliant; can be selected from Size priority and Optimal quality
CompactFlash (Type I/II, compliant with UDMA); Microdrives
1) Single-frame [S] mode, 2) Continuous low-speed [CL] mode: 1-9 frames per second*, 3) Continuous high-speed [CH] mode: 9 fps (9-11 fps with DX format)*, 4) Liveview [LV] mode, 5) Self-timer  mode, 6) Mirror-up [Mup] mode
*With Continuous-servo AF, S or M exposure mode, shutter speed 1/250 s or faster; other settings are set at “Default”.
Auto (TTL white balance with main image sensor and 1,005-pixel RGB sensor);
Seven manual modes can be preset with fine-tuning; color temperature setting; white balance bracketing: 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3
Handheld mode: TLL phase-difference AF with 51 focus areas (15 cross-type sensors)
Tripod mode: focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area
3in., approx. 920,000-dot (VGA), 170-degree wide-viewing-angle, 100% frame coverage, low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
1) Full frame, 2) Thumbnail (4 or 9 segments), 3) Zoom, 4) Slide show, 5) Histogram indication,
6) Shooting data, 7) Highlight point display, 8) Auto image rotation
NTSC or PAL; simultaneous playback from both the video output and on the LCD monitor available
Supports HDMI version 1.3a; Type A connector is provided as HDMI output terminal; simultaneous playback from both the HDMI output terminal and on the LCD monitor not available
Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contacts
1) Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported
2) DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/5:4 (30x24) image size
3) AF Nikkor other than type G or D*2: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
5) Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value display supported if user provides lens data
*1. IX Nikkor lenses cannot be used
*2. Excluding lenses for F3AF
Equivalent to angle produced by lens focal length (1.5 times when DX format is selected)
SLR-type with fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-3 to +1 m-1)
18 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI screen
Viewfinder Frame Coverage
Approx. 100% (vertical/horizontal)
Approx. 0.7x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
Instant-return type, with depth-of-field preview button
TTL phase detection, 51 focus points (15 cross-sensors) by Nikon Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus module; Detection: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 at 20°C/68°F); AF fine adjustment possible
Focal-plane contrast [in Liveview (Tripod) mode]
Autofocus: Single-servo AF (S); continuous-servo AF (C); focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status, 2) Manual focus (M) with electronic rangefinder
Single AF point can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points
1) Single-point AF, 2) Dynamic AF [number of AF areas: 9, 21, 51, 51 (3D-tracking)], 3 Automatic–area AF
Focus can be locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button or by pressing shutter-release button halfway (single-point AF in AF-S)
Exposure Metering System
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)
1) 0 to 20 EV (Matrix or center-weighted metering), 2) 2 to 20 EV (Spot metering) (ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens, at 20°C/68°F)
Exposure Meter Coupling
Combined CPU and AI
1)Programmed Auto (P) with flexible program, 2) Shutter-Priority Auto (S), 3) Aperture-Priority Auto (A), 4) Manual (M)
±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Exposure locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
Exposure and/or flash bracketing (2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV)
Picture Control System
Four setting options: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome; each option can be adjusted
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter; 1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; Bulb
X = 1/250 s; flash synchronization at up to 1/250 s
1) TTL flash control with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL fill-flash available with SB-800, 600 or 400
2) Auto aperture (AA): Available with SB-800 and CPU lens
3) Non-TTL auto (A): Available with SB-800, 28, 27 or 22s
4) Range-priority manual (GN): Available with SB-800
Flash Sync Modes
1) Front-curtain sync (normal), 2) Slow sync, 3) Rear-curtain sync, 4) Red-eye reduction, 5) Red-eye reduction with slow sync
Standard ISO518 hot-shoe contact with safety lock
ISO519 standard terminal
Creative Lighting System
With Speedlights such as SB-800, SB-600, SB-R200, supports Advanced Wireless Lighting, Auto FP High-Speed Sync, Flash Color Information Communication, modeling flash and FV lock
Electronically controlled timer with duration of 2, 3, 10 or 20 s
Depth-of-field Preview Button
When CPU lens is attached, lens aperture can be stopped down to value selected by user (A and M modes) or value selected by camera (P and S modes)
1) GPS: NMEA 0183 (Ver. 2.01 and 3.01) interface standard supported with 9-pin D-sub cable and GPS Cable MC-35 (optional)
2) Remote control: via 10-pin terminal
Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EL4, Quick Charger MH-22,
AC Adapter EH-6 (optional)
1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 159.5 x 157 x 87.5 mm (6.3 x 6.2 x 3.4 in.)
Approx. 1,240 g (2.7 lb.) without battery, memory card, body cap or accessory shoe cover
Temperature: 0-40°C/32-104°F, Humidity: under 85% (no condensation)
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a, Quick Charger MH-22, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-Nikon D3, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cap BS-2, Eyepiece DK-17, Battery Chamber Cover BL-4, USB Cable Clip, Software Suite CD-ROM
Main Optional Accessories
Wireless Transmitter WT-4, Magnifying Eyepiece DK-17M, AC Adapter EH-6, Capture NX Software, Camera Control Pro 2 Software, Image Authentication Software