Nikon's D3, The New Digital SLR King: Live Shots From Tokyo


So that super-duper, top secret reason why I’m here in Japan—the Nikon D3 and D300, two digital SLRs that should help the Japanese company reclaim some lost ground in its Tolkienian battle against Canon. The D3, which is aimed at professional photographers, is Nikon’s first to make use of the FX format, a fancy term for what amounts to a full 35mm sensing area. (Photographers know what that means, I’ve been told.) The new top of the line camera’s 12.1-megapixel CMOS sensor may sorta have you scratching your head—only 12? Well, just like the megahertz myth, there’s a hell of a lot more involved in taking pictures than just how many pixels make up an image.

Not unlike Q showing off MI6’s newest toys to James Bond, Nikon showed me and a select group of other journos the cameras yesterday, which means that I had to sit on this information for a whole day before writing about it. Professional picture-taking guys (“photographers”) will appreciate the D3’s ability to have up to 51 separate points of focus. Nikon is also the first company to introduce a camera with an ISO speed of up to 6,400.

Another thing to note is the D3’s Live Mode, which lets you use the LCD to see what you’re taking a picture of, sorta like a point and shoot. Another first.

Less words, more pictures. Got it.





Oh there will be more in the hours ahead. Count on it.

And no, I didn’t forget the D300. That gets it own post. It’s only fair.