Last update (03 January’12):
– Review by Geek
– Added User Manual
Nikon D3X is a 24.5-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24.0mm) CMOS sensor digital SLR camera features Nikon EXPEED image processing technologies, ISO 50-6400, Two Live View shooting modes, 5 fps at full FX-format resolution continuous shooting, 51-point AF system, 3D Color Matrix Metering II with Scene Recognition System, 100% viewfinder coverage, Rugged, durable and precise magnesium-alloy construction, Dual CF card slots with overflow, backup and copy options, Up to 4,400 images per battery charge, and 3-inch super-density 920,000-dot VGA LCD monitor. [Download Nikon D3x Brochure]
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Nikon D3x Reviews
Geek reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“As smitten as I am with the D3x, I think this is a great chance to point out that this is not a camera for everyone. Even if you could afford it, the D3x is a large camera that you don’t want to have to hold for 6 straight hours if you don’t have to…”
DCR reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“However, photographers whose work demands highly detailed images (or advanced amateurs with a hefty bank account) won’t be disappointed with the D3x’s image quality and highly sophisticated feature set.”
TrustedReviews reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“It pretty much goes without saying that the Nikon D3x is an incredibly good camera, with the kind of performance, rugged reliability, versatility and most importantly image quality demanded by the top professionals. It is big, heavy and quite breathtakingly expensive, but if you’re the sort of photographer who needs to have the very best then ask the picture agency you work for to buy you one. “
CameraLabs reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“we found a very slight amount of noise textures becoming visible in the D3x as soon as 400 ISO, although more obviously at 800 ISO and above…. In the meantime, if you’re not bothered about pro build or handling and just want the best image quality for the money, Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II is certainly very compelling right now.”
ImagingResource reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“The Nikon D3x produces the highest image quality of any camera we’ve tested to date. Its combination of resolution, color fidelity, and noise performance puts it at the very top of its class.”
Yuri Acrus compares the Nikon D3x to Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III and writes;
“I plan for my basic setup going forward to be: Hasselblad for studio and high-resolution stuff and Nikon for the rest. Because I know what lenses to use, never shoot much more then ISO 400 anyway and need to count on the focus system, the Nikon D3X is a dream come true.”
DCI reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“Overall, the D3x performed well in all our lab tests, though white balance and dynamic range were slightly lower than expected. It excelled on the resolution test, especially in terms of image sharpness.”
PhotographyBlog reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“for such a high end camera the D3x is surprisingly intuitive to use, controls feels just right, are clearly marked, reasonably sized and the camera responds instantly to each button press or rotation of command dial.”
KenRockwell reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“s the “X-Factor” worth $3,800? Not to me! With unlimited cash I’d get a D3X just because I could, but for most subjects, most situations and most photographers, the D3’s superior speed and sensitivity are far more important than adding more pixels.”
Shutterbug reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“Will D3 owners feel a need to upgrade? I don’t think so. With their different ISO and capture speed capabilities, the D3 and D3X are complementary and aimed at different kinds of shooters or different kinds of shooting environments. Maybe you will find that you need both cameras. Clearly any Nikon shooting pro who wants the maximum image quality will not only want a D3X but may actually need one to deliver the kind of image quality that demanding clients require.”
WDC reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“The D3x is a stunning camera that pushes the boundaries of DSLR performance to a new level. It isn’t perfect, though, in particular, the omission of any form of built-in dust control is a major disappointment.”
PDNGearGuide reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“Pros: The best all-around image quality yet in a studio-oriented digital SLR; fast overall speed from start-up to image capture; rugged, well-balanced camera build; reliable and speedy autofocus system even in low light; accurate exposure system. Cons: Very expensive; noise levels at ISO 3200 not quite as good as Canon 1Ds Mark III; no HD movie mode; shooting buffer is faster than the competition but takes at least 30 seconds to full clear; speeds drop to one frame per second in 14-bit RAW mode. “
LuminousLandscape reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“ISO 1600 noise is quite well controlled, subjectively comparable to other cameras in its class, such as the 1Ds MKIII and A900. Below is a comparison of the D3x, 1Ds MKIII and A900 from DxOMark. It shows that even at between ISO 2000 and 3000 the noise difference between these three cameras is less than 3db, which is visible, but below the point where it is significant. “
GoodGearGuide reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“At twice the megapixel count of the earlier D3, the Nikon D3x is suitable for immensely detailed landscape and nature photography. However, there are not enough additional features to justify a price almost twice that of the Nikon D3.”
Daveblackphotography.com reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
” D3X is not for everyone, but make close examination of your business. If this 24.5 megapixel camera can set you apart from your competitors by raising the quality bar higher than others are willing to go, then perhaps the D3X IS the camera for you. “
PhotoReview.au reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“Image noise was barely visible in long exposures up to ISO 3200. Beyond that point, some luminance noise was evident. However, had no visible effect on image colours and overall apparent sharpness…”
ByThom reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“the D3x produces excellent, best-of-class images, but that comes at a price that’s the highest of any existing DSLR. You’ll need really top notch lenses and technique to resolve that performance. Are you really ready for all that portends?”
PopPhoto reviews the Nikon D3x and writes;
“Is this excellent camera worth $8,000? We say yes. .. 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.”
Preview by AmateurPhotographer;
“lWe used for this test the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom. Both camera and lens are excellent. Detail, smoothness and colors are as good as it gets in this class.”
Preview by AmateurPhotographer;
“low-compression JPEGs taken at ISO 100 at standard settings in a studio environment look stunning… “
Preview by CNET.asia;
“For those who want to have the most up-to-date gadget, the Canon will seem like a more obvious choice, but only if you don’t require a weather-sealed body, slightly faster frame rate and more resolution which the Nikon provides. “
Preview by TrustedReviews;
“The viewfinder is very bright and clear – essential for studio work – and focusing in low-light was quick and accurate,… overall, it feels superbly solid and totally up to the job. “
Preview video by WhatDigitalCamera;
Preview by ePhotozine;
“I think the removal of the main dust reduction feature was a bad idea .. 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. “
Preview by TechRadar;
“ergonomically there’s nothing different that we could see between the D3 – a model which dates back to 2007 – and the D3X. .. If you are a photographer who is looking for these requirements, the Nikon D3X could well be for you.”
Nikon D3x Sample Photos
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ DCI
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ DCWatch
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ Fengniao
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ FotoActualidad
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
– Nikon D3x Sample Photos @ Nikon.jp
Nikon D3x User Manual (PDF)
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– Download Nikon D3x User Manual (PDF – 17.84 MB)
Nikon D3x Press Release
Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1 December 2008 – Nikon Europe today introduced its new top-of-the-range D-SLR, the D3X. Building on the reliability, handling and durability of the award-winning D3, the D3X offers an imaging sensor with far higher resolution than its counterpart, breaking new ground in imaging quality. The all-new 24.5MP CMOS sensor makes the new camera eminently suitable for the broadest range of shooting situations, both in the studio and on location, and will be especially appreciated by uncompromising photographers in nature photography, studio work and fashion.
“This is the camera that many professional photographers have been waiting for,” said Robert Cristina, Manager Professional Products and NPS at Nikon Europe. “Just as the D3 has become the professionals’ camera of choice in sports photography, the D3X’s extremely high imaging resolution will raise the bar for commercial, fashion and stock photography. The results speak for themselves: this is without doubt our highest-quality camera to date.”
The World is Your Studio
The D3X boasts a specially-developed FX-format CMOS image sensor with 12-channel readout, gapless micro lens array and on-chip noise reduction. It delivers class-leading levels of continuous shooting speed and noise management at higher sensitivities without sacrificing detail.
The D3X supports a broad ISO range from ISO 100-1600, extendable down to ISO 50 and up to 6400 equivalent with up to 5 fps continuous shooting at full resolution, or 7 fps in the 10MP DX-crop mode. The acclaimed Multi-CAM3500FX 51-point autofocus system enables extremely accurate single-point accuracy with outstanding dynamic tracking for fast moving subjects in low light.
The camera’s LiveView function offers a smooth workflow option, perfect for studio work or other situations where the use of the viewfinder is impractical. The camera also delivers a superb response rate, with a start-up of just 12 milliseconds and 40ms shutter lag. The Kevlar/carbon fibre composite shutter has been designed for intensive professional needs and tested to 300,000 cycles.
Images with the X factor
The D3X reaps the benefits of the very latest developments in sensor design and image processing technology. Designed to produce files suitable to meet the demands of tomorrow’s commercial and stock requirements, the camera produces 50MB 14-bit NEF (Raw) files. Using Capture NX2 software, NEF files can be processed into medium format terrain; 140MB (16-bit TIFF-RGB). Fine details are reproduced with incredible clarity, whilst shadows and highlights contain tonal gradation with minimal clipping for pictures with a unique look and feel.
The D3X shares the same ergonomics and handling as the D3, which have been designed to enable anyone to get to work quickly and efficiently. The bright, uncluttered viewfinder features 100% coverage and comprehensive illuminated displays, while the high-definition, 3-inch, 920,000-dot VGA TFT monitor enables outstanding playback quality for on-the-spot image assessment. The D3X’s magnesium body, which is sealed for moisture and dust resistance, also supports Nikon’s wireless system (the WT-4), HDMI output, offers a dual slot for CF cards and is compatible with the new GP-1 GPS unit
Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with 24.5 megapixels
The D3X employs a new Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with 24.5 effective megapixels covering an area of 35.9 x 24.0 mm to achieve truly amazing resolution. What’s more, we’ve optimized the pixel characteristics to provide a higher S/N ratio and wider dynamic range by securing a greater amount of light received by each pixel, thereby reducing lost highlights and shadows, and ensuring smoother tone reproduction with minimized noise.
Wide sensitivity range starting at ISO 100
At normal setting, the D3X offers a wide range of sensitivity — from ISO 100, suitable for stroboscopic setting in studio shoots, to ISO 1600. It realizes superior image quality with less noise at ISO 1600 as well as at low sensitivity settings. What’s more, the sensitivity range can be increased by two stops (up to ISO 6400 equivalent) and decreased by one stop (down to ISO 50 equivalent), offering an even greater diversity of shooting possibilities. Auto sensitivity control is also available.
New EXPEED-based image processing
A new image processing system, based on Nikon’s comprehensive EXPEED digital image processing and specially optimized for the D3X, provides superior image quality, faster processing speeds and lower power consumption. This advanced system achieves precise color reproduction for the broadest spectrum of hues, plus vivid saturation and smooth gradation, conveying colors as you see them, even with the slight changes in color tones you perceive. Furthermore, Nikon’s advanced noise processing function, which was designed to minimize noise occurrence, achieves this without interfering with other factors, including hue.
High-speed performance meets the most rigorous professional demands
Just like the D3, the D3X achieves a start-up time of 0.12 second and a shutter release time lag of 0.04 second*1*2. It delivers a continuous shooting speed of approx. 5 frames per second in FX format (36 x 24) or 5:4 (30 x 24), and 7 frames per second in DX format (24 x 16)*2*3. Also, the D3X is fully compatible with UDMA, the new-generation high-speed card that enables 35-Mbyte recording equivalent to the D3. The D3X is capable of recording approx. 7.1 MB (JPEG, image size L, NORMAL) of data captured in FX format at speeds of approx. 5 frames per second.
Realizing reliable auto control: Scene Recognition System
As with the D3, the D3X recognizes subjects and shooting scenes using a 1,005-pixel RGB sensor that precisely controls exposure by detecting not only the brightness but the colors of the subjects as well. The results are applied to control Autofocus, Auto Exposure, i-TTL Balanced Fill-flash and Auto White Balance, thereby achieving control of the highest.
AF system employing high-density 51-point AF
The Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module, originally incorporated in the D3, offers proven outstanding performance. All 51 focus points, including the 15 cross-type sensors located at the center, are effective in all AF NIKKOR lenses with a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or larger. 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. Moreover, in Scene Recognition System, subject identification and tracking information is applied to improve subject acquisition performance in Dynamic-area AF mode and focusing accuracy for human subjects in Auto-area AF mode.
Magnesium alloy is used for the exterior cover, chassis and mirror box to ensure light weight and rugged reliability. Strict O-ring sealing at critical connected parts effectively restricts dust and moisture.
The shutter unit, developed and manufactured by Nikon, employs a new material (carbon fiber/Kevlar® hybrid) for the shutter blades, guaranteeing excellent durability through 300,000-cycle release tests with the shutter actually loaded. Precision is also maintained with a shutter monitor.
High-resolution 3-inch LCD monitor with approx. 920k-dots (VGA), 170° wide-viewing angle and reinforced glass
The D3X incorporates a large, 3-inch LCD monitor with ultra-high resolution of approx. 920k-dots (VGA). Enlarged playback images also appear in extremely high resolution for easy focus confirmation. The wide viewing angle of 170° makes it easy to check composition in Live View shooting for both high and low angles.
Two Live View modes available
In Handheld mode, which allows the frame to be recomposed prior to actual shooting, ordinary TTL phase-difference AF using all 51 AF points is activated. Tripod mode is designed for precise focus with still subjects and tripod stabilization; It allows focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area. Optional software Camera Control Pro 2 enables monitor focus and control shutter release from a computer. And optical Wireless Transmitter WT-4 enables wireless remote camera control and image transfer.
Picture Control System
Picture Control System offers four kinds of Picture Controls: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, and Monochrome. Choose one and use as is, or adjust image creation factors (Sharpening, Contrast, Brightness, Saturation, and Hue). Optional Picture Controls (Portrait, Landscape, D2XMODE I, D2XMODE II and D2XMODE III) are available at the Nikon website for downloading and installation to your camera.
Active D-Lighting — reproducing brightness as you see it
In settings with strong contrast, Active D-Lighting, used in combination with 3D Matrix Metering II, determines an exposure by utilizing a gradation of highlights, detects lost shadows, then reproduces them after digital processing. Rather than simply expanding the dynamic range, Active D-Lighting prevents images from looking flat through localized tone control technology, and creates realistic contrast while compensating lost shadows and highlights. Choose from Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low or Off setting prior to shooting.
Electronic virtual horizon
An accelerator sensor incorporated in the body of the camera detects inclination and displays it in the LCD monitor. In Live View shooting, virtual horizon is displayed in the LCD above the monitor image. It can also be displayed in the top control panel and in the exposure indicator of the viewfinder.
UDMA-compatible memory card double slot
The CompactFlash (CF) card slots are UDMA-compatible for high-speed data transfer. With the double slot, you can choose from Continuous recording, Backup recording, and RAW + JPEG Separation recording (records the same image in RAW and JPEG on different cards). You can also copy the data from one card to another.
GPS Unit GP-1 (optional)
GPS records shooting information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and date of shooting. Coordinated with map information, you can create an original map using images.
* Lateral chromatic aberration reduction creates images with a clear periphery using original image processing technology to significantly reduce color aberrations
* Vignette Control effectively prevents reduction of light at the periphery
* Optical viewfinder achieves approx. 100%*4 frame coverage and 0.7x*5 magnification in FX format
* Three sensing areas: FX format (36 x 24), DX format (24 x 16), and 5:4 (30 x 24)
* Customizable function button
* Choice of black or white letters for shooting information display
* AF fine adjustment with professional standard of accuracy
* Compliant with HDMITM for high-definition image playback
* Lets you shoot up to approx. 4,400 frames on a single battery charge*6
*1: Based on CIPA Guidelines
*2: In 12-bit A/D conversion mode
*3: The maximum frame rate can be chosen using Custom setting d2 [Shooting speed]. The rate is tested under the following conditions: focus mode set to C, exposure mode set to S or M, shutter speed set to 1/250 sec. or faster, with other settings set to default. If VR is on when a VR lens is used, the indicated speed may not be attained. The maximum number of shots at the maximum frame rate is determined by the selected image size and quality. The frame rate slows when the memory buffer fills.
*4 Approx. 100% (vertical/horizontal) in FX format, approx. 97% (vertical/horizontal) in DX format, approx. 100% (vertical) and approx. 97% (horizontal) in 5:4
*5 With 50mm f/1.4 lens set at infinity, -1.0m-1
*6 Using EN-EL4a lithium-ion battery at Single-frame [S] mode; based on CIPA Standards