Product Reviews (19)
Master of the NIGHT!! A paradigm shift in photography!!
Strengths: Incredible high ISO image capability. Full frame! VERY high res. Great DR.
Weakness: HUGE...no popup flash. DX mode is less than desirable. AF grid of FX mode does not extend out far enough.
In 20+ years of shooting SLRs...and owning well over a dozen film and digital bodes...this is the most incredible camera upgrade ever. I upgraded and currently own a Nikon D2h, D200 and D40. I was very hesitatant in spending the money for such an expensive camera when cameras are being replaced so quickly with new models. But I have ZERO buyers remorse with this camera because of such a significant improvement in other models.
Nikon will come out with some thing better. And there are problems with this camera. Such as the DX mode is less than desirable. It is common knowledge about the drop in resoution to shoot in DX mode...but it is also frustrating because you can still see the surrounding area. So, even if I wanted to shoot at HALF resolution with a DX lens, I don't like the framing.
If you are upgrading from a DX body...you can pretty much count on your lenses needing to be replaced. Even if you had FX lenses (a new term for older lenses that were for film), they may need replacing. The venerable 28-70 was a perfect portrait and wedding lens on a DX DLSR...is too short on this camera.
The battery last for ever. The form factor is very well thought out...except for the metering mode switch. For the life of me...can't figure out why they changed that little item. Despite the great design...it is too large...larger than even the D2h (which is a LARGE camera). But it is smooth. The two extra cards slots is REALLY nice...nicer than I thought. I use two cards all the time. When shooting REALLY important stuff...the camera writes to both cards at the same time. In super important shoots, when I am done, I take one card and put it in my pocket...JUST in case something happens to the camera before I can get home, etc. Even for casual shooting, I keep two cards in...that way, when I am done shooting for the day, I will remove one card...and the other card is ready to roll.
I know the lack of a popup flash should be listed as a weakness...but despite being a professional level camera...it would still be nice. It can't hurt to ask, can it?
Really though, the high iso ability of this camera is simly remarkable. A TRUE shift in photography rules. I teach HS photography...and I am speechless when it comes to preparing the students for what they are going to be able to do with cameras one day (at consumer cameras). If Nikon can accomplish this today...what will they all be able to do in another 2 years??? If you are new to photography...you won't quite get what I am talking about. But if you have been around for any length of time...you KNOW that 100 is better than 400. And you don't shoot 400 unless you just had to. Recent camera models have seen improvements...allowing you to shoot pictures at 800 with pretty good quality. But this camera shoots 800 like the D200 shoots 100! It shoots 3200 like the D200 shot 800. 4000 ISO is completely useful. And I have NO problem shooting stuff at 6400 when noise is understandable, like sports.
Bottom line...if you CAN get this camera...get it...the next two years of your photography will be the most rewarding ever. I have never been a big fan of the comment that a camera doesn't make the photo. I can get good image from a P&S Canon A85...but this camera makes it so much easier. And, this camera literally makes possible shots otherwise impossible.
By lokerd - Mar 6, 2008
Nikon D3 professional digital SLR camera
Strengths: full frame CMOS censor, 9 FPS (frames per second), 12MP, low noise at high ISO, high resolution 3" LCD screen, LiveView, very good auto white balance, quality construction, fast read/write
Weakness: white balance presets not very accurate, pricey, a little on the heavy side, resolution loss with DX crop
As a professional wedding photographer, this has been the Nikon camera I've been waiting for. The solid construction and attention to detail (i.e. attached rubber flaps instead screw-type covers for the remote and sync adapters) really showcase the fact that this is a professional photographer's camera.
I've had my D3 since 12/07 and have yet to be let down by its performance. Pushing the ISO limit to 3200 still yields images with good image quality. In fact the noise is comparable IMO to grain in the old Kodak 800 ASA film that I shot years ago. Shooting weddings in stodgy old churches that don't allow flash photography is no longer an issue for me.
If you're familiar with past Nikon pro bodies, the D3 presents itself as the next step in a natural evolution. The ergonomics and menu layout are clean and overall easy to follow. The menus (and previewed images) look great on the new high res 3" display.
The D3 has a full frame CMOS sensor which allows me to take advantage of my old wide angle lenses again. While the D3 can shoot with DX lenses, the camera will crop the image down to accommodate the smaller area. Unfortunately the price paid for this is a substantial loss of resolution; from 12.1MP down to a meager 5MP.
All in all, many will complain about the price of the D3 or its lack of MP compared to the new Canon 1ds Mark III but as a Nikon shooter whose been waiting for a full frame dSLR with unbeatable high ISO performance, my D3 was worth every penny I spent on it. Try it, you won't be disappointed.
By themaniacal1 - Apr 2, 2008
Nikon NIK3 D3 Digital Camera
Strengths: Extremely easy to use. Fast.
I am new to digital cameras and learning how to use this camera was easy and fast. I purchased three Nikon lenses to match this camera and they all work perfectly. ( 14-24mm f2.8, 24-70mm f2.8 and the 70-200mm f2.8) I am blown away by the clarity and detail of the photos that I am able to capture. All three lenses feel extremely balanced on the D3 and the weight with the heaviest lens is not a problem. I have printed images as large as 24x36 inches on an HP Z3100 color printer and they meet my needs. Anyone who can afford this system will be amazed and happy with your images and output.
By gdwoon - Apr 20, 2008
The D3 left me speechless
Strengths: Low noise at high ISO. Flexibility in custom programming. Very intuitive layout. SOLID feel. Great display.
Weakness: Bracketing limited to +/- 1 step at a time instead of +/- 2
I set down a D1X and popped the lens on the D3. Big mistake. That might as well have been a funeral ceremony for the D1X. The unfair comparison aside, this camera left me wondering how I was ever going to use all it had to offer. The first thing I noticed was that after a quick review of the control layout and on-screen menu choices, entering all of the custom settings I wanted was simple. Most of the "New Features" have on-screen info available at the touch of one clearly marked button. Shooting was as expected for a Pro 35mm format camera. Solid feel, instant response, and no surprises in the mechanics. Let's assume for the remainder of this review that it's well built and has all the features you could hope for in the format. The selling features for me are in the RESULTS. At high ISO settings, the D3 is superb. Low light with no strobe takes on an entirely new meaning. Combined with a VR lens, many once impossible shots seem easy. Images taken "On the fly" look as if they were set up carefully. 14 bit RAW files get a bit thick on the CF card, but hey - that's what the second slot is for! I'm using the D3 for interior architectural photos, and it has yet to let me down. As 30-year Nikon user, I have come to expect nothing but the best. Past digital offerings from Nikon have failed to live up to the standards set by the film cameras... until now. The D3 is simply the finest 35mm format SLR I have ever used.
By dmilstein - Apr 14, 2008
Nikon D3 Professional DSLR
Strengths: Incredibly accurate metering system, Low light High ISO setting capabilities with minimal noise, full frame sensor,dual memory card slots, exceptional battery life, 3" high res LCD & clear viewfinder.
Weakness: Size and weight but what can you do when you pack all of this into one package, Not really a big negative.
First let me say I previously owned a Nikon D1 and a D2X and I really liked them both. Each new mod seemed to improve a little over the other. The D2X improved on the sensor resolution and slightly improved on the high ISO noise problem.
Well the D3 ends all the similarities, it is a big leap forward in several key areas. First the big leap in ISO sensitivity from 3200 on the D2 to ISO 25600 on the D3. Plus not only does the D3 do 25600, it does it better than the D2x did ISO 3200. The results look better, with less noise and better color output as well.
The full size sensor is the next big item for me, it allows the full benefits of my wide lenses, and the bigger pixles seem to perform much better at large maginfications with less halo and shimmer effect.
The new metering with 51 points seems to perform quite well and lastly I really like having the 2 memory card slots. this feature is really nice as it allows several options as to how you use the 2 memory cards, say for back or for using two photographic storage formats simultaneously.
Lastly the Nikon build quality as always is exceptional!
By denniscs - Apr 3, 2008
The best Nikon DSLR...period
Strengths: Full Frame Sensor; high quality photographs at 1600 ISO and above
Weakness: Price, Weight
Despite it's price, this is the best Nikon DSLR camera out there. If you have a collection of professional Nikkor lenses, you will appreciate this camera. No more 1.5X crop factor. The full frame sensor magically produces excellent photos at high ISO speeds (i.e., 1600)
The weight gets some getting used to. Battery life is amazing. Taken over 1000 shots with it and battery is barely at 50%. If you've never used a Nikon DSLR, read the manual, otherwise, most of the controls are just where you expect them to be.
By gnassif - Dec 19, 2007
Strengths: I was absolutely surprised by the quality of the D3 at ISO 3200-6400.
Weakness: No Problems
I was absolutely surprised by the quality of the D3 at ISO 3200-6400. It's a really amazing camera. The image quality is outstanding. The handling is great. The AF is very fast and even in low light no problem of focusing.
By victorsd3 - Oct 28, 2007
Strengths: great in low-light, sharp pictures, ease of use..easy transition from D2X
This was a much anticipated upgrade from my D2X. I'd been hearing lots of praise for its low-light capabilities and have only been using this camera a few days now and so far it's been great.
By nanushka - Jun 13, 2008
Best profi camera I ever had
Strengths: Fast response, 100% nd bright viefinder, high and noisefree ISO, high speed shooting, excellent ergonomy
Weakness: a bit bulky for smaller hands, would appreciate finer tuning of light temp sometime. Maybe focusing screen could have grid similarly to D700
I have been using many film and also digita cameras since mid seventies and am mainly specialised to ballroom dacing reportage and also wedding sometime. I always preferred not use flash as to me it kills the true situation, especially in the dancing where the background is usually too far not to be too black. Since I had my first Nikon FM2 I have collected quite a few of full format Nikkor lenses and so my first DSLR was Kodak Pro 14n. The camera itself was working well the imager however was quite noisy and it had pink or cyan tint on oposite edges. So I changed to D200 when it appeared and lost the wideness of wide lenses but the quality was much better. I was impatiently waitig for FX DSLR by Nikon and when D3 appared I had to have it and am still very happy about the decision. It is my first true profi camera and I like evry bit of it. Wide lenses are wide again. The high ISO setting allows by order better pictures then I ever could dream before, including fast series of shts when it comes to it. Dancing competition is usiually 1000 to 1500 shots per evening and the batery is still alive regardles frequent reviews, deletiing and continuous focusing mode on. Also the dual CF card slot allows to take lot of shots safely. I am not missing the built in flash at all. Size and weight might be a bit to much for to take such body for holiday (unless it is photo trip) but you gat the stability at longer exposures. And D700 with battery pack is even bigger I think. I may would appreciate the ultrasonic dust removing system like on D300 and D700 because I found D3 quite good in attracting dust and dust is difficult to get rid of once it is on the imager. For longer trips I however usually carry the D700 as it better fits into the photo bag. Loss if resolution in DX mode is not my problem at all - not using DX lenses at all. What I quite like is the 5:4 format as it produces smaller files at scenes which are mostly square. The ISO and WB buttons at the bottom of the camera are less convenient to me, but it is not serious problem at all.
If you want fast reliable professional camera and also use the wide lenses again there is no better choice, that is my opinion.
By anonymous; - Oct 10, 2008
Strengths: Fast start up, great battery life, high useable ASA, large LCD, 2 card slots, easy to navigate menus.
Weakness: Wish it were lighter weight. A few more Megapixels wouldn't hurt.
I'm a film guy and have stuck it out till the bitter end using my F5....still a great camera. BUT, I know I will be able to get many more shots I never could have with my film camera and it's going to be nice to not have to travel around with a whole brick of film. Digital also allows you to play and experiment with things. Very, very happy with my purchase. Glad Nikon FINALLY came out with a full frame camera.
By ski2mch - Jul 1, 2008
Amazing camera -- if you can afford it!
Strengths: Low noise in high ISO
Nikon's latest camera once again raises the bar for any professional or advanced amateur that needs the best quality picture in the most demanding situations. The most raved about quality is the ability to push ISO to 6400 or higher and have pictures with low noise. This does wonders when shooting fast action sports and/or under low lighting situations. Highly recommended.
By aafflyer - Feb 24, 2008
Nikon D3 (body only)
THE GOOD: Full-frame sensor; well designed, pro-level weather-sealed body; very low noise, even at extremely high ISOs; fast. THE BAD: Resolution lags far behind the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III and Sonys forthcoming 24-megapixel dSLR. THE BOTTOM LINE: Nikons flagship dSLR packs a full-frame 12-megapixel sensor and is a highly versatile imaging powerhouse that lets photographers create images...
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By cnet.com - Jul 31, 2008
Best Professional DSLR Digital Camera For Ease of Use
Image is Excellent according to 17 Digital Camera experts. -- "Unparalleled ISO performance"-digitalcamerareview.com -- "very good ISO 1600 images and usable ISO 3200 images"-photo.net -- "exceptional color and image quality"-digitalcamerareview.com Read more to find expert opinions on more features like Video, Optics, Interface, Battery, etc.
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By reviewgist.com - Dec 16, 2009
Nikon D3x Digital Camera Review
The Nikon D3x is an update to the company's professional-level D3 introduced in 2007. This new full-frame, 24.5-megapixel camera has a list price of $7999.95 without lens. The D3x is designed for studio use, weighing a hefty 43 oz without battery or lens. While the D3x more than doubles the megapixel count of the D3, it does so at the cost of dropping the maximum frame rate from nine frames per...
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By Digitalcamerainfo.com - Apr 27, 2009
Nikon D3 Review
As the the company's first full-frame digital SLR, the 12.1-megapixel Nikon D3 really turned a lot of heads, and brought quite a wave of former Nikon fans back into the fold. Though the full-frame story was big news and the 51-point AF system made folks take notice, it was the Nikon D3's incredible high ISO performance that drew the largest crowd of serious photography fans. Set the right ISO,...
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By Imaging Resource - Jan 21, 2009
Best Professional dSLR
Bestcovery experts have rated the Nikon D3 Digital SLR Camera - Body Only as the #1 Best Professional dSLR. This product has also been ranked as the Best Nikon Digital SLR Camera. Bestcovery's experts recommend the best products and services for a particular need based on extensive research and evaluations. Click below to see Bestcovery's full review of this product.
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By bestcovery.com - Dec 3, 2008
Testseek.com has collected 49 expert reviews for Nikon D3 and the average expert rating is 94 of 100. The average score reflects the expert community’s view on this product. Click below and use Testseek.com to see all ratings, product awards and conclusions.
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By testseek.com - Oct 11, 2008
Nikon D3 receives an overall TopTenREVIEWS score of 1.86 out of 4.00. It is ranked the #60 Professional DSLR digital camera of all time. The overall rating represents an intelligent balance of features, value as a function of price to features, and a summary of reviews from a variety of sources. The TopTen REVIEWS' formula gives a picture of important consumer features, market value, and a...
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By TopTenREVIEWS.com - Jul 16, 2008
Nikon D3 Review
The Nikon D3 digital SLR is Nikon's first ever full-frame camera, offering a 12.1 megapixel, FX format CMOS sensor. The 9fps continuous mode, even when shooting RAW images, should appeal to all the sports photographers out there, supported by Nikon’s next-generation 51-point AF system. The Nikon D3 has an incredibly versatile ISO range of 100-25,800 (yes, ISO 25,800!), new EXPEED image...
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By photographyblog.com - Feb 18, 2008