The Nikon D3 Professional SLR Digital Camera features the exclusive FX-format CMOS sensor, measuring 23.9 x 36mm, which is nearly identical to the size of a 35mm film frame - thereby eliminating any significant crop factor or focal length multiplier. Images taken with the D3 exhibit exceptional overall quality, broad tonal range and depth, along with extremely low-noise throughout its normal ISO range of 200 to 6400. Furthermore, by setting the camera to its built-in options of Lo-1 or Hi-2, the ISO range of the camera can be expanded to the equivalent of ISO 100 or ISO 25,600 respectively, offering unmatched versatility in practically any shooting situation.
Designed with sports photographers and photojournalists in mind, the Nikon D3 incorporates the EXPEED Image Processing System that is central to the blazing speed and processing power needed for many of the D3's performance features. Thanks to this exclusive processor chip, the D3 has incredibly fast reaction times with a shutter release lag of only 37 milliseconds, and a start-up time of approximately 0.12 seconds. The D3 is also capable of continuous shooting at up to nine frames per second in full resolution FX-format for up to 64 consecutive frames in JPEG compression and up to 20 frames when recording NEF (RAW) files. The camera can even record images at a mind-boggling rate of 11 fps when shooting in DX-format (5.1 Megapixel) mode.
The D3 introduces a range of innovative technologies and features that significantly improve the accuracy, control and performance professional photographers can get from their equipment. For example, Nikon's exclusive Scene Recognition System advances the use of Nikon's acclaimed 1,005-segment exposure sensor to recognize colors and light patterns in order to improve the accuracy of auto focus, auto exposure and auto white balance detection functions, while Nikon's Multi-CAM 3500FX auto focus module features an intelligent array of 15 cross-type sensors and 36 horizontal sensors, that can either be used individually or in groups, with the option for Single Area AF mode and Dynamic AF modes, and also features 3D Focus Tracking with automatic focus point switching as it uses color and light information to accurately track the subject.
These innovative technologies are also instrumental in making the Nikon D3 one of the easiest Professional cameras to use. The Picture Control System makes it easy for users of all experience levels to select and apply adjustments, and offers four basic setting options - Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome. Photographers can also customize and store up to nine customized options in the D3 and export up to 99 to a CF memory card, enabling photographers to share settings among multiple D3 cameras. Furthermore, the D3 features an Active D-Lighting mode that, when enabled, provides remarkable real-time highlight and shadow correction with optimized image contrast.
The D3 has been designed with refined ergonomics and usability and a streamlined, aesthetically pleasing layout so photographers can take pictures with greater accuracy and comfort and with less concern about fatigue. The camera's viewfinder provides virtually 100 percent coverage for accurate framing, while an ultra-high definition, 920,000-dot VGA LCD screen on the rear of the camera displays images with vivid color and clarity. The 170-degree wide viewing angle makes composing shots using the LCD screen in LiveView mode easy, and the camera also features a unique 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. The cameras impressive durability means that it can be used under the most demanding conditions. The exterior of the D3 is crafted of magnesium alloy and the camera's shutter mechanism is tested to 300,000-cycle releases. Furthermore, the 3.0-inch LCD is strengthened with tempered glass and the comprehensive array of rubber gaskets and seals protect vulnerable entry points from dust and moisture.