Excerpt: Nikon has always been a major force in the digital SLR market, but in the last year or so, it has seen its popularity increase and the gap between it and rival Canon shrink. The 12.1-megapixel D3 is its latest flagship model and the first to boast an FX-format sensor, which is the same size as a 35mm film frame. How good is it?
Summary: There’s a lot of debate over which is better, the Nikon D3 or the Canon 1D Mk III. The Nikon does seem to have much in its favour, not least the price. While the D3 has arguably a rather conservative resolution by comparison, its performance shows that it isn’t all about the pixel count, and makes a strong case for fewer, but bigger pixels.
Conclusion: If you’re serious about photography and about having the best kit, the Nikon D3 demands your attention. It’s sophisticated, yet remains fairly straightforward to operate, so the only major decision you have is on whether to commit to this big an investment.
Pros: As it should do, image quality tops the list of the D3’s good points. There’s exceptional detail and resolution, as well as a superb dynamic range. The camera is incredibly fast, with instant power-up and very little shutter lag. The combination of a bright viewfinder and high-resolution 3in LCD also helps you take more professional shots.
Cons: The Nikon D3 requires a significant investment, its £2,772.11 price tag highlighting that this is for serious users. That aside, there’s not much even a pro could fault this camera on.
Conclusion: When we first saw the D3 before it was officially launched I'll admit there were some raised eyebrows, and the first question was 'is this a replacement for the D2Hs, the D2X, both or neither?'. The truth of course is that it's not that simple, and Nikon's long-awaited first foray into the world of the full frame sensor is essentially in a class of its own. For one thing it is, without a doubt, built for speed - in every sense of the word.
Pros: Class-leading high ISO performance and incredibly versatile ISO 100-12,800 sensitivity range, Very good resolution and detail without looking over-processed, Better balanced noise reduction than most; more chroma NR, less luminance NR (film-like grain), Incredibly fast (instant power-up, short shutter lag and short viewfinder black-out), Superb continuous shooting capabilities buffering and card writing, Compatible with DX lenses with auto crop mode (only 5.1MP, howev...
Cons: No timed mirror lock-up function (could be automatic with self-timer), Focus points somewhat concentrated in the center of the frame, Metering struggles to keep up if you shoot at the very fastest continuous rate (i.e. in manual focus mode at 9fps or 11fps in DX mode)., Slightly washed-out flash exposures at short distances (tested with SB-600), No in-camera dust removal system
Summary: The Nikon D3 has got to be the top choice for anyone wanting high quality, rapid-fire image capture, or extremely low light photography without flash, who is not otherwise wedded to the Canon system. Press – sports and news – photographers are the ones who are going to get the most out of its capabilities, which stretch beyond those needed by the average photo hobbyist, and these professionals are also the ones most likely to be able to stomach that price tag without...
Summary: The D3 is an awesome piece of kit that has no doubt sent a lot of other camera manufacturers running back to their drawing boards.
Pros: Excellent advanced autofocus system, Live view in two modes, Great Rear Screen, Rugged build quality, Exceptional High ISO performance, Lens presets, Ergonomic continuity, Battery continuity, Great low light performance
Cons: Loss of true ISO 100, Needs high speed cards to get the best from it ( 266x or better)
Summary: Nikon's top-of-the-range professional DSLR with an outstanding variety of shooting options and pictorial controls.Unveiled at the end of August, along with the D300 'pro-sumer' model, Nikon's D3 is targeted at press photographers and is the first Nikon DSLR with a full-frame image sensor. Photographers can select from three image areas: FX format (36 x 24mm), DX format (24 x 16 mm) and 5:4 (30 x 24mm), with automatic detection when DX format lenses are used.