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Nikon launches the D3

Guide price: D3 body only £3399.99.
* full list pricing, including lens, accessories and bundles will be available in September

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Nikon U.K. 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 (36.0x23.9mm) 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 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 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 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 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 1005-pixel RGB metering sensor that has been modified to distinguish subjects' shape and position for improved auto exposure and Autofocus accuracy.

Advanced Autofocus

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 D3 and 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 D3 is combined with outstanding frame rate options. At 9 fps, the 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 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 D3 also gets to work quickly; startup time is just 0.12 seconds and mirror black out is only 74ms.

Shutter Unit

The 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.

Picture Control

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 customize 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 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 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 D3 and D300. Unlike other live view technologies, autofocus in possible in all Nikon Live View modes.

Flexible Image Storage

The 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 is 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 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.

Wireless Networking

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 D3 and 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 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 has taken every effort to ensure that the claims and specifications are accurate at time of writing; they remain subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

D3 Specifications

Type of Camera

Single-lens reflex digital camera

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)

Image area

L

M

S

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

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

File System

Compliant with DCF 2.0, DPOF and Exif 2.21

Storage System

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

Storage Media

CompactFlash (Type I/II, compliant with UDMA); Microdrives

Release Modes

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".

White Balance

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

Liveview

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

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

Playback Function

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

Video Output

NTSC or PAL; simultaneous playback from both the video output and on the LCD monitor available

HDMI Output

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

Interface

Hi-speed USB

Lens Mount

Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contacts

Compatible Lenses*1

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

Picture Angle

Equivalent to angle produced by lens focal length (1.5 times when DX format is selected)

Viewfinder

SLR-type with fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-3 to +1 m-1)

Eyepoint

18 mm (-1.0 m-1)

Focusing Screen

Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI screen

Viewfinder Frame Coverage

Approx. 100% (vertical/horizontal)

Viewfinder Magnification

Approx. 0.7x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)

Reflex Mirror

Quick-return type

Lens Aperture

Instant-return type, with depth-of-field preview button

Autofocus

  • 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]

Lens Servo

Autofocus: Single-servo AF (S); continuous-servo AF (C); focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status, 2) Manual focus (M) with electronic rangefinder

Focus Point

Single AF point can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points

AF-Area Mode

1) Single-point AF, 2) Dynamic AF [number of AF areas: 9, 21, 51, 51 (3D-tracking)], 3) Automatic-area AF

Focus Lock

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)

Metering Range

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

Exposure Modes

1) Programmed Auto (P) with flexible program, 2) Shutter-Priority Auto (S), 3) Aperture-Priority Auto (A), 4) Manual (M)

Exposure Compensation

±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV

Exposure Lock

Exposure locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button

Exposure Bracketing

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

Shutter

Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter; 1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; Bulb

Sync Contact

X = 1/250 s; flash synchronization at up to 1/250 s

Flash Control

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

Accessory Shoe

Standard ISO 518 hot-shoe contact with safety lock

Sync Terminal

ISO 519 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

Self-timer

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)

10-pin Terminal

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

Supported Languages

Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish

Power Source

One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EL4, Quick Charger MH-22,

AC Adapter EH-6 (optional)

Tripod Socket

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.)

Weight

Approx. 1,240 g (2.7 lb.) without battery, memory card, body cap or accessory shoe cover

Operating Environment

Temperature: 0-40°C/32-104°F, Humidity: under 85% (no condensation)

Supplied Accessories*

Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a, Quick Charger MH-22, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-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

*Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area

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

CompactFlash is a registered trademark of SanDisk Corporation. Products and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. August 2007

©2007 NIKON CORPORATION

Posted on: Thursday 23 August 2007

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