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.
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.
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 full 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.
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 customise 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.
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.
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.