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Nikon D3

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37 68365 Jun 28, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $4,984.20
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.81
9.00
9.7
d3

Specifications:
A Nikon-original 12.1-megapixel FX-format (23.9 x 36mm) CMOS sensor, in concert with Nikon's exclusive digital image processing system, delivers breathtakingly rich image quality, while also reducing noise to unprecedented levels with even higher ISOs

Continuous shooting at up to 9 frames per second at full FX resolution and up to 11fps inthe DX Crop mode, offers uncompromised shooting speeds for fast-action and sports photography

Extreme Low-noise ISO range with Advanced Noise Reduction enables photographers to confidently select from 200-6400 ISO with an expanded range that includes Lo-1 (100 ISO)Hi-1 (12,800 ISO) and Hi-2 (25,600 ISO)

The 3.0-inch super density 920,000-dot VGA color monitor with 170-degree wide-angle viewing and tempered-glass protection makes it possible for even more critical image review

Fast, accurate 51-point autofocus with 3D Focus Tracking and three Dynamic AF modes deliver exacting autofocus precision at blazing speeds

Two LiveView shooting modes, Hand-held or Tripod, are perfect when shooting in a studio, remote situations or from challenging angles

Nikon's exclusive Scene Recognition System (SRS), with an improved 1,005-Pixel 3DColor Matrix Metering II, provides even more intelligent auto exposure capabilities, along with smarter auto white balance detection and faster, more accurate AF performance

Nikon's Self-diagnostic shutter system, tested to 300,000 cycles, is a clear indication of advanced engineering and durable construction

New Picture Control settings give photographers dramatically advanced color control with 4 preset options: Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome, as well as 9 customizable settings


 


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Paul Ong
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Registered: Jan 15, 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 112
Review Date: Jul 6, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fantastic high ISO performance, along with great built and LCD.
Cons:
Bit heavy.

I got this body because I do performance photography with available lighting. The photos at ISO 3200 are outstanding, better than anything I have ever experienced. When needed, ISO 6400 can make passable photos. As far I I know, there is nothing close to it for low-light photography.

Jul 6, 2008
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gavin
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Registered: Jun 7, 2003
Location: Canada
Posts: 468
Review Date: Jun 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Low ISO performance. Speed. Build. DX format. New 24-70 and 14-24 lenses.
Cons:
I wish it have the D2x 2Xcrop.

It is simply the best DSLR I've ever used.
I do this for a living and after useing a D3 (I have 2) I am going to sell my 9 D2's and replace them with D3's, it is the camera Nikon had to make.
Spooky fast focusing and FPS 9 and 11 is differant modes.
Great colour straigh out of the camera and sensible custom image quality options.
Also love the differant in camera crop options.
My photogs will love this new tool in the coming ski season.
Gav


Jun 26, 2008
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The_Scroop
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Registered: Mar 14, 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 31
Review Date: May 4, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent low light performance with useable images at ISO 6400; Best LCD screen on a PRO DSLR; FF Sensor; Dual CF card slots; worth the cost
Cons:
None, although I still think PRO DSLR's should have a build in flash for times when bringing a SB-800 is impractical

The low light performance was my main reason for buying. I can shoot ISO 6400 and still produce useable and great images. ISO 3200 is what I use most and it's fantastic.

The LCD screen is awesome. Much better than any other DSLR screen I have seen. And still much better than the ones on the 1dsmk3 and 1dmk3.

The FF sensor is great. Nikon got it right on their first turn.

Dual CF card slots are only found on this camera and Nikon are geniuses for incorporating it. For wedding photographers and professionals, losing images due to an accidental delete or card failure is the worst possible senario. Being able to RAID 2 CF cards prevents the problem of card failure occurring. I currently have 2x 16gb cards in my D3 which provides me more room than I need. When shooting for myself, I can make SLOT 1 overflow into SLOT 2, which gives me a total of 32gb of storage in the camera.

People may complain about the cost of this camera, but as a flagship camera for Nikon, I don't see what there is to complain about! It is the best camera on the market in my opinion and worth every cent. For the price, you get a hell of a lot.

If you are considering this camera but the price is making you weary, GO FOR IT! Trust me, it is worth every cent and you won't regret it.
Paired with the Nikon 24-70mm 2.8 and the 70-200mm 2.8 you have the best combination kit possible.


May 4, 2008
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condrup.eu
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Registered: Jul 20, 2006
Location: Denmark
Posts: 38
Review Date: Apr 13, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $6,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Design, features, build, speed, ISO, LCD
Cons:
It may be too much of a camera for some..Other than that, NONE!


Ok first of all. I have been a Canon user for 12 years +.

Ive had the EOS 300D, 20D, 1D MKII N, 1Ds MKII.
Ive had tons of lenses, L series but some none L too.

I have always been a happy Canon user, but D3 changed all that..

In short: This is the camera ive been waiting for since my first DSLR. Its that good!

The design feels so rough, like a tough guy. Compared to Canon which would be a fine lady with nice curves.
It really feels as it can build you a house or you can take it to war! I feel like a man when holding and shooting it! Smile

Nikon has made a beautiful design, the rubber grip feels like it is melting into your hands, it becomes a part of you. All the features and buttons, the functions, everything is made so simple, that even I as a previous Canon user feels almost at home in an hour or two.

The ISO delivers the most amazing lowlight shots out of the box. The shutter sounds like a shutter and the camera is soo fast if you should ever need the speed.

The LCD is crystal clear and sharp as a prime lens. The viewfinder... OMG! Love it!

The battery/charger is unique and very well designed. The customfunctions are great and you can program a ton of individual settings in your own "Banks". The menu is easy to navigate and you can find almost anything without looking in the manual. Ohh, the manual.. Its a small bible on 400+ pages with everything you need, especially the Q&A part is quite nifty.

14bit RAW is a killer! 2XCF cards support rocks! The settings for 2x memory cards far exeeds Canon!

I could go on and on and on forever about this lovely piece of machinery, but im affraid i dont have the time, i want to go shooting with my D3 24/7!

Conclussion:
No matter if you have tons of equipment in other brands, no matter if you have Nikon lenses or not, you should at least go to a store and try this baby out first..I mean, i never thought id see the day when i switched to Nikon, however i can say this today.. "Man, i should have done this a looong time ago"..

Nikon D3 - Takes you back to when photography was about photography!

*Highly recommended!*


Apr 13, 2008
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Dan No
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Registered: Jan 5, 2008
Location: N/A
Posts: 278
Review Date: Apr 7, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Solid build, great at high ISOs, decent retail price for what it delivers
Cons:
None

I don't own a D3 but I borrow one from work on regular occasion. I took it to a two-day indoor sporting event and it did not disappoint (though I had little need for shooting at anything above 800 ISO).

My opinion may be somewhat skewed...I've been so used to shooting with a Canon 5d that I've forgotten what it's like to shoot with a real sports camera...so part of my love for the D3 may be just because of its heavy duty frame rate. Then again, I switched from Nikon to Canon because I didn't like the D200's (and to a lesser extent, the D2H's) image quality and low-light performance...they both produced images that looked just a little cheap compared to the 5D. I used both the 5D and the D3 at this sporting event, and this time it was my Canon that I wasn't so enthusiastic about.

The focusing system worked well for trying to shoot oncoming subjects in continual motion...but I can't say it was a landmark improvement over other focusing systems...but it met my usually unrealistic expectations.



Apr 7, 2008
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MDJAK
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Registered: May 10, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 354
Review Date: Apr 1, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The D3 has met or exceeded all my expectations. Lightning fast autofocus; excellent metering in all modes; dual CF slots allow oodles of storage on board with intelligent use of same; great rubber feel. Just a solid product.
Cons:
Does not have the little metal bar that Canon does for easy attachment of a handstrap. That means my RRS plate has to be off when the strap is on. Big oversight. Poor placement of ISO button and no way to remap it. MKIII is better in that aspect. Don't like the two handed operation necessary for zooming playback.

This camera has such a solid feel; great sounding shutter, and is just right there and ready for business. I can't wait to get some long glass for it. Results have been spot on, especially in the focusing department. Sharp, sharp results even in RAW mode, requiring very little sharpening or PP of any kind.

Highly recommended.


Apr 1, 2008
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Julius
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Registered: Jan 26, 2002
Location: United States
Posts: 941
Review Date: Mar 23, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,999.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent ergonomics, perfectly refined design with all the features that I will ever need.
Cons:
No sensor cleaning system, which helps somewhat to minimize airborne particles on the sensor.

Nikon really got everything right on this camera, I can not find one thing I would like to see different.
I have been a Nikon user for the most part of my life but after having the D2x with less than enough dynamic range and washed out highlights on landscape shots with white clouds and water falls I switched over to Canon. I really liked the Canon 5D with the full size sensor and better dynamic range, which solved this problem completely but missed the professional quality body. The 1D MK III AF disaster and Canon’s response to it turned me off (although I liked the camera) and since the timing was right I purchased the Nikon D3 switching back to Nikon system.
I could not have made a better decision since the 12 MP sensor is enough for my needs and in an outstanding professional camera body. Just this camera body with the new 14-24 and 24-70 AFS lenses was well worth the switch. I really like the ergonomics of the Nikon camera bodies, everything feels more comfortable and right in my hands and the menu system seems more intuitive.
I disagree with a previous reviewer that Nikon should have “squeezed” more pixels in the camera. This camera is designed for high speed and high ISO performance and perfectly lives up to it.
All in all I am extremely pleased with my choice and enjoy my D3 tremendously.


Mar 23, 2008
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PILLMAN
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Registered: May 2, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 12
Review Date: Mar 15, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,999.99 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: It is simply Intoxicating ! If it were a female I would gladly pay $1000/hr to be with . Of course, only if I were "unattached". That's just to look at, what it can produce in the wright hands is breathtaking! Far exceeds all expections. Will be the camera left in my will . Worth every cent.
Cons:
are you kidding

enough said

Mar 15, 2008
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Kit Laughlin
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Registered: Mar 7, 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 3526
Review Date: Mar 12, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Incredible images out of the camera, with the least PP of any of the pro cameras I have ever used. This includes all the Nikon pro bodies (except D2x), Canon 1Ds, 5D, Sigma SD-14, Leica R9/DMR ... there are more. The low light capacity is a feature I use shooting with long lenses in the forests (machinery, commercial work). I use M mode with Auto ISO all the time---this way I can get exactly the look I want. I have shot in torrential rain (with the 24-70/2.8); absolutely no problem at all. The finder is very good, ergonomics very good (but see below). I have been shooting since 1978. I have tried or owned pretty much every SLR and DSLR is the search for an image-making tool that gets out of the way and lets me create. The D3 is that camera for me. I complement it with a D300, the 70-200 VR, TC 1.4 II, 14-24/2.8, and the new 24 shift is on the way.
Cons:
The camers is so good you don't need a tripod---but you will have to go to the gym to be able to hold it and the 70-200 all day, as I did last week. The D3 doubles as a defensive weapon, if necessary. Lighter would be better, IMHO. I don't need more pixels---these image up-rez, if necessary, incredibly via Quimage. I want more flexibility in button assignment (I have all the ZF lenses except the 85/1.4), and I have the Fn button assigned to TTL flash. I may elaborate on this in a separate post, but the ergonomics are really excellent.



Mar 12, 2008
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robinng
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Registered: Dec 1, 2003
Location: Malaysia
Posts: 47
Review Date: Feb 26, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fast response, awesome AWB, low noise in iso 3200 and usable image in iso 6400. Live view is good
Cons:
too heavy for my small hand LOL, high investment, no in camera sensor cleaning system,

dear all,

I owned D3 for about 2 weeks. This is my first pro camera. i use nikon D100, D200, canon 30d, 40d, 5d before. I am happy that i make a decision to get the D3. The low noise high iso just make my job easy....especially wedding moment. I use D3 with 14-24mm f2.8 in my interior shoot...this is the first time i see picture in 14mm....is a must have combo for architecture/interior photographer. For Wedding i use D3+24-70mm f2.8 for about 70% of the shot!
conclusion, one of the best camera i have even use....nikon rock!

regards,
Robin
http://www.robinng.com/blog


Feb 26, 2008
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Zerga
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Registered: Jan 11, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 1255
Review Date: Feb 24, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $5,000.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: ISO for low light, focusing, WB, weight, LCD....
Cons:
nothing yet

I've been shooting with CANON cameras for about 5 years. Everything from 10D to 1DIII. D3 made me want to try Nikon.
I got D3 and bunch of Nikon glass and took it to the wedding, along with Canon 1DIII. I ended up using D3 for about 75% of the images.
Really there is no comparison to 1DIII. I didn't need any post processing on D3 files, maybe slight WB or contrast adjustment here and there, that's about it. Auto WB is amazing, so is the noise(or lack of) at ISO3200. I loved this camera and can't find any flaws in it so far. I'm sure Canon will come up with something to stay in the game, but there is nothing out there right now that comes close.
If money is not an issue and you're deciding Canon/Nikon... D3 is the way to go. Next best thing (for wedding photographer, which I am ) is 5D, or two of them for the price of D3.


Feb 24, 2008
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DavidWEGS
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Registered: Apr 15, 2004
Location: United States
Posts: 3799
Review Date: Feb 3, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Everything. Dual CF (why did Canon ever do a dual card slot with different card types?), auto ISO, response times, focus accuracy/speed, wonderful color for just about all situations, excellent ergonomics (with one exception), weight/balance with lenses used, battery life and on and on.
Cons:
The save to CF card options not being customizable enough and the AF-ON button is too far to the left of for my thumb (not sure why either as there is no other stuff in the way of bringing it closer to the rear dial).

I shot Nikon before Digital and then...

I have (still do have) had Canon since the switch to digital and loved the files they have produced. I love the 5d's and will still keep one of them with the 24/1.4 since Nikon STILL have not announced one of that lens yet. I have owned every Canon DSLR from the 10D's over 5 years with the exception of the MkIII's and the DsMKIII. The DsIII is too big a file after using the 16mp DsII. The MKIII's are ... well lets not complain about Canon QC.

So with that history in mind... I got a couple D300's and played. After a three week vacation over the holidays, I returned home and sold all my Canon crop lenses and the 40d's. The D300's were that much better. Auto iso is a dream come true to me (shooting M a lot). After a while of use and a few paid gigs with them, I began to think about what the D3 might offer. I had decided against this body since Nikon don't make any decently fast wides (24/1.4 etc.). Well, one came along at a moment of weakness for me and having had such a great experience with the D300's, I decided to spin the D3. I could always send it back if it was not enough more to convince me, right?. Well, I am keeping it.

Here's why...

For my shooting (people stuff, mostly) style and situations, this is (all things considered) by far the BEST camera on the market and not only for tech advancements, but the feel of it and the resulting images. Its a camera that is great on so many levels. It has answered Canon's domination with a resounding BOOM that will carry me for years to come. Well done Nikon.



Feb 3, 2008
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Rick Lewis
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Registered: Nov 19, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 37
Review Date: Jan 29, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,795.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: FX sensor, extremely low noise, fast auto focus, beautiful image quality, outstanding matrix metering system, etc, etc, etc.....
Cons:
There is nothing on this camera that I see as a negative.

I have been a Nikon shooter all my life. Started with a Nikkormat FT. The D3 is by far, and I mean By Far, the best camera they have every made. (But I did not own an F4 which was an outstanding camera).

I came to the D3 from a D200. What an easy transition. This camera is really very easy to get to know if you have been shooting Nikon. A different story for Canon shooters switching though.

The image quality is amazing! Shadow detail is unbelievable. Is it worth $5,000? Absolutely!

Finally Nikon listened and got it right!!



Jan 29, 2008
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bikinchris
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Registered: Dec 2, 2005
Location: United States
Posts: 341
Review Date: Jan 21, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,799.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This camera is a sports shooter's dream. handling is perfect. Low light focus is fantastic. Solid build. I am in love.
Cons:
Files sizes are a little too big for some of my use (NEF). Don't need all of this resolution for most work also. I JPEG, I just turn it down for faster handling of files.

I was waiting for this camera and hoped I would not be dissapointed. I am not. It is worth the wait for sports shooters. Focus is stellar. Lock on for fast and erratic subjects is solid. I don't think I will ever sell this. I am going to be worse than those who are still shooting their D1H's

Jan 21, 2008
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mirror man
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Registered: Jan 8, 2008
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Posts: 0
Review Date: Jan 8, 2008 Recommend? yes | Price paid: Not Indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: D3 handling is great. Terrific with "old" film lenses, 17-35, 28-70 give superb quality images. Made for the 200mm f2. A few Pro mates I know are ditching Canon for this Nikon. Low noise at high ISO is a winner. Top camera.
Cons:
None so far after 2 months heavy use of two bodies.



Jan 8, 2008
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jgfranks
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Registered: Jul 11, 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 1
Review Date: Dec 29, 2007 Recommend? yes | Price paid: $4,995.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The low light capabilities of this camera are amazing; no hype, no exaggeration, amazing. The 51 point AF is tremendous. Camera is a real speed demon. FX, DX and 5:4 via FUNC button roll of the dial is very nice feature even with reduced resolution in DX mode. Ability to blast birds at 11 fps in DX with big glass is a real plus when going for action captures. Ergonomics are just right for me, I am a big guy with big hands. The LCD is gorgeous and an unexpected feature is the Info display on the LCD, this is great when working from tripod and you just want to quick check the shutter speed or aperture when light changes without having to put your eye to the viewfinder. Build quality is excellent and start up time is instantaneous making this the perfect action shooter's camera, especially sports in low light venues. I also see this as a great camera for event and wedding photographers because of its low light capabilities and the extremely clean images it produces all the way to ISO 6400.
Cons:
Seems to collect dust on focusing screen, similar to other Nikon DSLRs. Even though haven't encountered any problems with scratches or marrs on the LCD it makes me a little nervous not to have some protection there, undoubtedly the aftermarket suppliers will fill this gap.

Final thoughts; this DSLR is a tank and I don't anticipate any service related issues. In many ways Nikon finally answered the bell and got back in the race with Canon. Canon pro bodies have a very well deserved reputation for exemplary performance and image quality at high ISO. I am convinced that this offering from Nikon will compare most favorably and the D3x, or whatever the next model is tagged, will be a higher resolution offering around the 20 MP range. However, as this camera is configured it is a real winner and will offer camera buyers wanting a full featured pro body with a FF sensor a reason to pause and seriously contemplate which of two excellent offerings from two great camera makers to purchase. Considering where Nikon was three months ago, much ground has been covered indeed.

Dec 29, 2007
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Nikon D3

Buy from B&H Photo
Reviews Views Date of last review
37 68365 Jun 28, 2012
Recommended By Average Price
100% of reviewers $4,984.20
Build Quality Rating Price Rating Overall Rating
9.81
9.00
9.7
d3


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