Nikon D3 : Compare Prices and Read Reviews

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Nikon D3 Review

Finally, the long wait is over, the Nikon D3 is here with a full frame sensor and a 12 megapixels resolution. A digital SLR camera that achieved a refreshing dimension in imaging. The noise is ultimately low at extreme ISO sensitivities yet it still keeps the pro-level control and physique design that is assumed from Nikon's line of cameras. Worth the buzz, shooting speed can manage the pressures of sport subjects with quite toughness and excellent image quality that are irresistible to sport photographers.

The Nikon D3's physical design looks almost the same as with its predecessor, the D2X. The handgrip is amazingly carved, rearly bending going to the top and with a prorogated corrugation just on the inside so that your fingers have something to hold on to like giving at first glance that you are clasping a rod.

Its body is made up of magnesium alloy which is plastered on the camera against the wrath of mother nature. The body also comes with an in-camera vertical clasp. Weighing around 3.2 pounds, the Nikon D3 camera is heavy and take note that lens is still excluded. This makes your arms suffer first time however, after getting acquainted with it, you will realize that heavy cameras are far better when it comes to stability during shooting. If you happen to take images vertically most of the time, you may find the vertical grip very fine. However, Nikon incorporated a copy of scroll wheels on the front and back portion as well as an AF-on button. Thanks, to the availability of custom functions, you will get used to it if its okay with you to tweak or tinker the menus and customize the settings of the Nikon D3.

The buttons and dials on the D3's firm physique helps alter all the main controls on the camera. Meaning, it is not really necessary to go through all the hassle of setting the menus while capturing images. To avoid accidentally turning or pressing there is some type of a locking process on the buttons and controls of the camera. There are a variety of controls that are customizable according to your needs. For example you can alter the course of the two main wheels that functions for the aperture and shutter speed. You can also do the same thing with the Exposure compensation EV display however, on this situation, the exposure compensation defaults so that good exposure compensation goes to the left and the bad goes to the opposite. This is logical if you based it on the truth that if shutter speeds are slow, it will give you positive exposure compensation but then again, it depends on what you think is the best.

Regarding the LCD screen, the one next to the shutter, several up to date settings are there. On the other hand, settings like ISO sensitivity and white balance are on the lesser sized LCD just below the bigger one. This two screens are located at the rear portion of the Nikon D3. All essential information are shown on the huge brilliant viewfinder and is best used for manual focus. If compared to other cheaper dSLR models, the D3's viewfinder is much better since it does not seem to provide quite an effect like you're looking on a tunnel.

Again, the Nikon D3 finally has the full-frame sensor called the FX format. This is in contradiction to the DX format that delivers 1.5x depth of field. The D3 can immediately accomodate the tinier circle of illumination into the sensor and the image is crop to 5 mp if you prefer to position a DX lens on this camera. Take note that the lenses are marked indifferently. Imperatively, Nikon patronizers can still take advantage of their DX lenses on the D3 even though it is capable of a full-frame sensor called the FX format.

For framing the subjects on the screen, the Nikon D3 delivers a couple of live view modes for use while using the hand and for tripod use. When focusing or taking an image, there is a hefty interruption. This is because the D3 has to toss the mirror to give the live feed, then another toss on the mirror to focus. Then another last toss while shooting an image.

There is also a major development on the LCD monitor. It is 3 inched in size and is capable of 920, 000 dots and a wide angle up to 170 degrees. This development has made one of the pleasant screens on the dSLR type. Image playback is also very satisfactory however, LCD playback is not that reliable if you want to see the image quality. It is best to consult the histogram for exposure analysis and it is better to view images using a mechanically altered monitor.

The camera takes 0.1 second from powering it on to its first shot using JPEG. Between JPEGS and RAW images, the camera is rated 0.3 second. Shutter lag is excellent because the Nikon D3 times 0.3 second for bright situations while 0.6 second in darkish situations. Noise is manageable up to ISO 1, 600. However, becomes bothersome quite a little starting ISO 3,200 and 6,400. The Nikon D3 also has the settings Hi1/12,800 and Hi2/25,600. Noise in Hi1 is apparent but it is situation-based and small prints are useable. There are coarseness about the sides for Hi2 yet it is still considerably useable taking note that this is like using ISO 25, 600. The camera can take 37 frames in 3.3 seconds for continuous shooting and at full resolution, the D3 averages to 8.6 frames per second. Nikon says that the D3 can take 11 frames per second using DX crop mode.

In general, the Nikon D3's image results are amazing slightly owing to its 14bit analog to digital conversion. Fine image details are plenty particularly if the camera is using low ISOs and same with contrast. This camera is much better as compared with other models when it comes to notable noise profile that can take images that seemed impossible especially in super poorly lit situations. The Nikon D3 can capture quick moving subjects.

Nikon D3 Sample Image 1

Nikon D3 Sample Image 2


-12.1 megapixels resolution
-ISO sensitiveness from 200 up to 6400
-Optical - Fixed eye-level pentaprism viewfinder
-TFT active matrix - 3 in - Color LCD display -TTL contrast and phase detection


-full frame sensor already a feature
-low noise even using high ISO's
-fast shooting performance


-heavy and bulky
-resolution moves slowly compared with other dSLR models
-DX lenses can still be used but at the cost of plenty of pixels


Bottom line is, if you want flexibility and a fast shooting camera with a full frame 12 megapixel sensor, you do not need to look further. Nikon D3 can offer performance that can capture elusive images that is impossible to take.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Prices last updated on: Mon, 24 Jan 2022 18:30:59 PST

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