Features Nikon's first full-frame image sensor.
Nikon has added a new flagship to its line of digital SLRs with the 12.1-Mpxl D3. Featuring Nikon's first full-frame ('FX') image sensor-a CMOS sensor measuring 24 x 36 mm-the D3 is specifically targeted at users that require speed: wedding photographers, photojournalists, sports photographers, and the like.
The camera also features Nikon's new Expeed image-processing system, designed for fast startup times, short viewfinder blackout times, and minimal shutter lag. The camera offers a shutter-release lag time of 37 ms and a start-up time of approximately 0.12 sec; it's capable of capturing up to nine fps when used with conventional AF-Nikkor lenses and up to 64 consecutive frames in JPEG, normal compression (for raw files, the D3 can shoot up to approximately 20 consecutive frames). When used with DX Nikkor lenses, the D3 automatically switches to DX-format, using a cropped portion of the sensor to generate 5.1-Mxpl resolution images.
The D3 features:
* An ISO range of 200 to 6400. By setting the camera to its built-in options of Lo-1 or Hi-2, the ISO range can be expanded to the equivalent of ISO 100 or ISO 25,600 respectively.
* A new 51-point auto-focus module, a 3-D Focus Tracking feature, and two new LiveView shooting modes (Tripod and Handheld) to confirm subjects and composition on the camera's 3-in. LCD monitor.
* A Scene Recognition System, which recognizes colors and light patterns to help the camera determine the subject and type of scene being photographed prior to capture.
* A new Active D-Lighting mode to provide real-time highlight and shadow correction with optimized image contrast.
* A Virtual Horizon digital level sensor that indicates the camera’s alignment relative to the true horizon on the rear LCD screen or in the viewfinder.
* A Picture Control System with four setting options-Standard, Neutral, Vivid, and Monochrome-that can be modified for customization of image parameters.
* Two CompactFlash card slots that can be used for consecutive recording (overflow), simultaneous recording (backup), separating recording of raw and JPEG files, or copying pictures between the two cards. Images can be displayed directly from the camera to a high-definition monitor using the camera’s HDMI port.
Price: $5000 (body only).
Nikon has also introduced new AF-S Nikkor lenses designed for use with Nikon's FX as well as its DX digital SLRs. The AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED is a fast 14-mm ultra-wide angle zoom lens and the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED is a versatile lens ideal for a wide range of applications and lighting conditions. Both feature large-diameter precision glass molding elements to reduce coma and other types of aberration. Prices: 14-24mm, $1800; 24-70mm, $1700.