Nikon D3

Last update (22 January’12):
– Review & Sample Photos @ ImagingResource

The Nikon D3 (announced 23.08.07) features a 12.1 effective megapixels FX-format CMOS image sensor with 36.0 (H) x 23.9 (V) mm image size, Sensitivity range ISO 200 to 6400 at normal setting for exceptionally high-quality images; can be set to ISO-equivalent 25,600, Continuous shooting at up to 9 frames-per-second, Scene Recognition System, 2 LiveView Shooting Modes, and a High-definition (920,000 dots), 170˚ viewing angle, 3-inch VGA LCD monitor with tempered glass. The camera will be available in November 2007 at around US$5000. (Nikon D3 Brochure)

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Check Availability

Nikon D3 Reviews

ImagingResource reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“The Nikon D3 isn’t just the flagship of the Nikon digital SLR line. It’s state of the art… Add the excellent Nikkor glass that keeps rolling out of the Nikon factories, and you’re looking at one sweet photographic system. The Nikon D3 is a five-star Dave’s Pick, and one hot digital SLR camera.”
Rating: N/A

NeoCamera reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“no camera is perfect for all types of photography, but the D3 with its combination of high-ISO, fast burst rate, advanced autofocus is as close as it gets for action photography. For other types of photography, it performs among the top as well.”
Rating: ★★★★½

CNET reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“The bottom line: Nikon’s flagship dSLR packs a full-frame 12-megapixel sensor and is a highly versatile imaging powerhouse that lets photographers create images previously impossible to capture..”
Rating: ★★★★½

ByThom reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“Certainly true for everyone up to ISO 1600. Where you’ll start to object is going to be somewhere north of there. Personally, the best ISO 3200 camera I’ve seen, bar none, and usable at 6400 with care.”
Rating: ★★★★★

CEN reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“This camera looks big, feels big, and produces big images of outstanding color and detail. I should emphasize that – the color this camera captures is very accurate and even the finest of details are clearly visible with high quality optics. What that equates to is picking up more of the textures to things.”
Rating: N/A reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“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.”
Rating: N/A

DigitalCameraReview reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“..the D3 is simply a state of the art, high-performance pro camera, and few of us who’ve been fortunate enough to get our hands on one would argue that it isn’t worth every penny of that lofty price tag. ”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBlog reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“Overall the Nikon D3 is capable of delivering some exceptional imagery, whether shooting day or night, single shot or continuous bursts, JPEG, TIFF or RAW – and images that jump out from the screen like they do are going to serve jobbing photographers well in the business of impressing busy picture editors.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Pocket-Lint reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“This is the first DSLR I have ever considered awarding a ten out of ten to in almost 17-years of camera testing and that is high praise indeed. However, the few minor niggles there are meant it did not get the top marks in the end. “
Rating: ★★★★½

WDH reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“Overall, the D3 is an extremely well-specified camera with fantastic performance across the board – in the AF system, the speed, and the superb image quality that can be achieved, even at high ISOs. In short, the D3 is as good as it gets right now and as such achieves our highest ever score. “
Rating: ★★★★½

ThinkCamera reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
” The 12-24 performs extremely well and you could use it at 18mm and beyond in FX mode without appreciable vignetting; wider than that and you need to switch to DX mode. This gives the images look great, far better than you might expect from five million pixels.”
Rating: ★★★★½

KenRockwell reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
” The D3 did a perfectly fine job, even if the color of the lighting didn’t cooperate…ISO 12,500 can be grainy, and ISO 25,600 is downright loaded with red dots, but still usable when you need it. ”
Rating: N/A

PopPhoto reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“Our lab tests confirmed our initial reaction to the D3’s impressive fixed eye-level pentaprism viewfinder. Bright and clear, it provides a field of view that covers 100 percent of the captured scene, earning an Excellent rating. Data is easy to read, with no visible vignetting or light falloff across the image area,”
Rating: N/A

OutbackPhoto reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“The Nikon D3 is a very solid and extremely responsive camera, Image quality is excellent, The D3 seems to deliver at high ISO (of course we need now to get more experience with real world photos), The LCD is very good (like with the D300), We like the dual CF card slots”
Rating: N/A

Luminous-Landscape compares the Nikon D3 to Canon’s 1 series and writes;
“For its part the full-frame Nikon D3 is a direct challenge to Canon’s 1 Series, which has dominated the pro marketplace now for more than half a decade. The 1D MKIII is right in the D3’s bore sight, and the D3 matches it or surpasses it in IQ, sensitivity, and resolution.”

Naturfotograf reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
“Skin tones and rendition should comply with stern requirements. The resolution on its own is more than high enough to show every flaw of the model’s make-up and skin irregularities. However, the file sizes may not suffice for making extreme enlargements”

Luminous-Landscape has tested the Nikon D3 and writes;
“The D3 images captured on 13 Dec 07 weren’t the most dynamic music photos I’ve taken to date. I’m even willing to concede that the images themselves are perhaps less interesting than the lessons I’ve learned with this new photographic tool. However, it’s only with a commitment to unpaid practice that I can confidentially integrate the Nikon D3 into my professional photography.” reviews the Nikon D3 and writes;
” Image noise was barely visible in test shots taken at ISO settings up to 2000. Beyond that point, where noise appears, it looked more like film grain than electronic interference and had no visible effect on image sharpness. Colours and sharpness were retained, right up to ISO 25,600. The graph below plots the results from our Imatest resolution tests in line widths per pixel height against the ISO settings used for the test shots.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Luminous-Landscape has compared the Nikon D3 VS Nikon D300 VS Canon 1Ds MKIII and writes;
“Canon has enjoyed a deserved reputation for high image quality, especially at high ISO. But now with the D3 Nikon has upped the ante, producing a camera that appears to offer lower noise than Canon (at least against the flagship 1Ds MKIII), and higher available speeds as well.”

CNETasia has a preview of Nikon D3;
“In terms of speed or image-capturing performance, the D3 is probably the fastest camera we’ve ever had the chance to use. It’s able to capture up to nine frames per second (fps) in FX (full frame) mode and 11fps in DX (1.5 crop) mode. This happens to better Canon’s sports-oriented 1D Mark III by 1fps, albeit at a different resolution.”

LuminousLandscape has a preview of Nikon D3;
“The noise of the D3 at high iso is about 2 to 3 stops better than the previous D2x. Not like the Canon 1Ds2 where it’s somewhat noise free but softer. It seems the Nikon looks a little sharper, but when noise does show (and it takes about ISO 2,000 before it really appears) it is more film-like that most digital files I have shot.”

e-Photographia has a preview of Nikon D3;
“Nikon D3 is a reporter’s camera with everything a reporter needs, in other words, speed and low noise. It does lack the utmost in fine detail compared to Canon 1Ds Mark III…”

Scott Kelby has written a Q&A on Nikon D3;
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….”

Short Video Preview of Nikon D3 by ShinyMedia;

Nikon D3 Samples

Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ DigitalCameraReview
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ Pocket-Lint
Nikon D3 VS D300 VS D200 VS Canon 5D Sample Photos @ KenRockwell
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ Outbackphoto
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ Naturfotograf
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ RobGalbraith
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ Nikon USA
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ Nikon Global
– Nikon D3 Sample Photos: ISO 6400 (70% crop) & ISO 25600 (70% crop)
– Nikon D3 Sample Photos: 1 (100% crop) & 2 (100% crop)
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ fengniao
Nikon D3 Sample Photos @ Xitek

Nikon D3 User Manuals (PDF)

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– Download Nikon D3 User Manual (PDF – 17.3 MB)


Nikon D300 and Nikon D3 at IFA 2007

Nikon D3 video tour (in Japanese)

Nikon D3 Press Release

Nikon UK is pleased to announce the revolutionary Nikon D3 professional Digital SLR that defines a new benchmark in professional photography.

“Nikon has eclipsed the competition with the 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 D3 will enable photographers to capture images under conditions previously thought impossible.”

The D3, the result of years of development and feedback from professional photographers, combines many innovative Nikon technologies. These include an exclusive 12.1 effective megapixel FX format (36.0×23.9mm) 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

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3 Responses to “Nikon D3”

  1. Brandon says:

    WOW! The D3 sample image taken @ ISO 25600 looks amazing! Imagine what high iso images will look like in 5-10 years time.

    Bye2 flash…

  2. JAIME T. HERBERT says:



  3. Sunil Singh says:

    Great camera. It feels like a natural extension of my eye.

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