Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with 24.5 Megapixels
The D3X employs a new Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with 24.5 effective Megapixels covering an area of 35.9 × 24.0 mm to achieve truly amazing resolution. What more, we’re optimized the pixel characteristics to provide a higher S/N ratio and wider dynamic range by securing a greater amount of light received by each pixel, thereby reducing lost highlights and shadows, and ensuring smoother tone reproduction with minimized noise.
Wide sensitivity range starting at ISO 100
At normal setting, the D3X offers a wide range of sensitivity – from ISO 100, suitable for stroboscopic setting in studio shoots, to ISO 1600. It realizes superior image quality with less noise at ISO 1600 as well as at low sensitivity settings. What more, the sensitivity range can be increased by two stops (up to ISO 6400 equivalent) and decreased by one stop (down to ISO 50 equivalent), offering an even greater diversity of shooting possibilities. Auto sensitivity control is also available.
New EXPEED-based image processing
A new image processing system, based on Nikon’s comprehensive EXPEED digital image processing and specially optimized for the D3X, provides superior image quality, faster processing speeds and lower power consumption. This advanced system achieves precise color reproduction for the broadest spectrum of hues, plus vivid saturation and smooth gradation, conveying colors as you see them, even with the slight changes in color tones you perceive. Furthermore, Nikon’s advanced noise processing function, which was designed to minimize noise occurrence, achieves this without interfering with other factors, including hue.
High-speed performance meets the most rigorous professional demands
Just like the D3, the D3X achieves a start-up time of 0.12 second*1 and a shutter release time lag of 0.04 second*3*4. It delivers a continuous shooting speed of approx. 5 frames per second in FX format (36 × 24) or 5:4 (30 × 24), and 7 frames per second in DX format (24 × 16)*4*5. Also, the D3X is fully compatible with UDMA, the new-generation high-speed card that enables 35-Mbyte recording equivalent to the D3. The D3X is capable of recording approx. 7.1 MB (JPEG, image size L, NORMAL) of data captured in FX format at speeds of approx. 5 frames per second.
*3: Based on CIPA Guidelines
*4: In 12-bit A/D conversion mode
*5: The maximum frame rate can be chosen using Custom setting d2 [Shooting speed]. The rate is tested under the following conditions: focus mode set to C, exposure mode set to S or M, shutter speed set to 1/250 sec. or faster, with other settings set to default. If VR is on when a VR lens is used, the indicated speed may not be attained. The maximum number of shots at the maximum frame rate is determined by the selected image size and quality. The frame rate slows when the memory buffer fills.
Realizing reliable auto control: Scene Recognition System
As with the D3, the D3X recognizes subjects and shooting scenes using a 1,005-pixel RGB sensor that precisely controls exposure by detecting not only the brightness but the colors of the subjects as well. The results are applied to control Autofocus, Auto Exposure, i-TTL Balanced Fill-flash and Auto White Balance, thereby achieving control of the highest.
AF system employing high-density 51-point AF
The Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module, originally incorporated in the D3, offers proven outstanding performance. All 51 focus points, including the 15 cross-type sensors located at the center, are effective in all AF NIKKOR lenses with a maximum aperture of f/5.6 or larger. Three AF-area modes – Single point, Dynamic-area AF and Auto-area AF – are available to maximize the use of the 51 focus points by selecting the most suitable one to match subject conditions. Moreover, in Scene Recognition System, subject identification and tracking information is applied to improve subject acquisition performance in Dynamic-area AF mode and focusing accuracy for human subjects in Auto-area AF mode.
Magnesium alloy is used for the exterior cover, chassis and mirror box to ensure light weight and rugged reliability. Strict O-ring sealing at critical connected parts effectively restricts dust and moisture. The shutter unit, developed and manufactured by Nikon, employs a new material (carbon fiber/Kevlar-hybrid) for the shutter blades, guaranteeing excellent durability through 300,000-cycle release tests with the shutter actually loaded. Precision is also maintained with a shutter monitor.
High-resolution 3-inch LCD monitor with approx. 920k dots (VGA), 170 wide-viewing angle and reinforced glass
The D3X incorporates a large, 3-inch LCD monitor with ultra-high resolution of approx. 920k-dots (VGA). Enlarged playback images also appear in extremely high resolution for easy focus confirmation. The wide viewing angle of 170 makes it easy to check composition in Live View shooting for both high and low angles.
Two Live View modes available
In Handheld mode, which allows the frame to be recomposed prior to actual shooting, ordinary TTL phase-difference AF using all 51 AF points is activated. Tripod mode is designed for precise focus with still subjects and tripod stabilization; It allows focal-plane contrast AF on a desired point within a specific area. Optional software Camera Control Pro 2 enables monitor focus and control shutter release from a computer. And optical Wireless Transmitter WT-4 enables wireless remote camera control and image transfer.
Picture Control System
Picture Control System offers four kinds of Picture Controls: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, and Monochrome. Choose one and use as is, or adjust image creation factors (Sharpening, Contrast, Brightness, Saturation, and Hue). Optional Picture Controls (Portrait, Landscape, D2XMODE I, D2XMODE II and D2XMODE III) are available at the Nikon website for downloading and installation to your camera.
Active D-Lighting reproducing brightness as you see it
In settings with strong contrast, Active D-Lighting, used in combination with 3D Matrix Metering II, determines an exposure by utilizing a gradation of highlights, detects lost shadows, then reproduces them after digital processing. Rather than simply expanding the dynamic range, Active D-Lighting prevents images from looking flat through localized tone control technology, and creates realistic contrast while compensating lost shadows and highlights. Choose from Auto, Extra High, High, Normal, Low or Off setting prior to shooting.
Electronic virtual horizon
An accelerator sensor incorporated in the body of the camera detects inclination and displays it in the LCD monitor. In Live View shooting, virtual horizon is displayed in the LCD above the monitor image. It can also be displayed in the top control panel and in the exposure indicator of the viewfinder.
UDMA-compatible memory card double slot
The CompactFlash (CF) card slots are UDMA-compatible for high-speed data transfer. With the double slot, you can choose from Continuous recording, Backup recording, and RAW + JPEG Separation recording (records the same image in RAW and JPEG on different cards). You can also copy the data from one card to another.
GPS Unit GP-1 (optional)
GPS records shooting information such as latitude, longitude, altitude and date of shooting. Coordinated with map information, you can create an original map using images.
- Lateral chromatic aberration reduction creates images with a clear periphery using original image processing technology to significantly reduce color aberrations
- Vignette Control effectively prevents reduction of light at the periphery
- Optical viewfinder achieves approx. 100% 6 frame coverage and 0.7x 7 magnification in FX format
- Three sensing areas: FX format (36 × 24), DX format (24 × 16), and 5:4 (30 × 24)
- Customizable function button
- Choice of black or white letters for shooting information display
- AF fine adjustment with professional standard of accuracy
- Compliant with HDMITM for high-definition image playback
- Lets you shoot up to approx. 4,400 frames on a single battery charge *8 6 Approx. 100% (vertical/horizontal) in FX format, approx. 97% (vertical/horizontal) in DX format, approx. 100% (vertical) and approx. 97% (horizontal) in 5:4
*7 With 50mm f/1.4 lens set at infinity, -1.0m-1
*8 Using EN-EL4a lithium-ion battery at Single-frame [S] mode; based on CIPA Standards
|Type of Camera||Single-lens reflex digital camera
|Effective Pixels ||2466.5 million
|Image Sensor||Nikon FX format (35.9 × 24.0 mm) CMOS sensor
|Image Size (Pixels)||FX format (36 × 24): 6,048 × 4,032 [L], 4,544 × 3,024 [M], 3,024 × 2,016 [S] DX format (24 × 16): 3,968 × 2,640 [L], 2,976 × 1,976 [M], 1,984 × 1,320 [S] 5:4 (30 × 24): 5,056 × 4,032 [L], 3,792 × 3,024 [M], 2,528 × 2,016 [S]
|Sensitivity||ISO 100 to 1,600 in steps of 1/3, or 1 EV, plus LO-0.3, LO-0.7, LO-1, HI-0.3, HI-0.7, HI-1 and HI-2
|File Format||Compliant DCF 2.0, DPOF, Exif 2.21 and PicBridge
|File System||Compliant DCF 2.0, DPOF, Exif 2.21 and PicBridge
|Storage Media||Compact Flash & trade; (CF) Card (Type I/II, compliant with UDMA) and Microdrive & trade;
- Front-curtain sync
- Red-eye reduction
- Red-eye reduction with Slow sync
- Slow sync
- Rear-curtain sync
|White Balance||Auto (TTL white balance with main image sensor and 1,005-pixel RGB sensor); Seven manual modes can be preset with fine-tuning; color temperature setting; white balance bracketing: 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3
|LCD Monitor Size
3.0", 920,000-dot low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD, allows up to 170-degree wide viewing angle
- Full frame
- Histogram indication
- Shooting data
- Highlight point display
- Auto image rotation
- Image comment
- Card format
- All frames delete
- Selected frames delete
|I/O Function||NTSC or PAL (selectable); simultaneous playback from both the video output and on the LCD monitor available, HDMI Type A connector
|Interface||USB 2.0 (High-speed): Mass Storage and PTP selectable
|Picture Angle||Equivalent to angle produced by lens focal length (1.5 times when DX format is selected)- (in 35mm [ 135 ] format equivalent)
|View Finder Type||Optical
|Viewfinder||Fixed eye-level pentaprism; built-in diopter adjustment (-3 to +1.0 m-1), Eyepiece shutter provided
|Eyepoint||18 mm (-1.0 m-1)
|Focusing Screen||Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI screen
|Viewfinder Frame Coverage/Magnification ||Approx. 100%/ Approx. 0.7x – (with 50mm lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
|Reflex Mirror||Automatic, instant-return type
|Lens Aperture||Instant-return type, with Depth-of-field preview button
|Autofocus||TTL phase detection, 51 focus points (15 cross-sensors) by Nikon Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus module; Detection range: -1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 at 20 °C/68 °F); Focal-plane contrast [in Liveview (Tripod) mode]
- Single-servo AF (AF-S)
- Continuous-servo AF (AF-C)
- Focus tracking automatically activated according to subject status
- Manual focus (M) with electronic rangefinder can be selected from 51 focus area
|Focus Lock||Focus can be locked by pressing shutter-release button halfway (Single-servo AF) or by pressing AE-L/AF-L button
|Exposure Metering System
- 3D-Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering II (other CPU lenses, Non-CPU lenses require manual input of lens data) performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor,
- Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8, 15 or 20mm circle in center of frame, or weighting based on average of entire frame;
- Spot: Meters 4mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
|Exposure Metering Range
(at normal temperature [68 °F/20 °C], ISO 100 equivalent, f/1.4 lens)
- 0 to 20 EV (3D-Color Matrix or center-weighted metering),
- 2 to 20 EV (Spot metering)
|Exposure Metering Coupling||CPU and AI (Automatic maximum aperture Indexing)
- Programmed Auto [P]
- Shutter-Priority Auto [S]
- Aperture-Priority Auto [A]
- Manual [M]
|Exposure Lock||Exposure locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
|Auto Exposure Bracketing||2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 steps to (+-) 1.0 EV
|Shutter||Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal plane shutter; 30 to 1/8000sec in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV plus bulb
|Sync Contact||X-contact only; flash synchronization at up to 1/250 sec
- TTL flash control with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard i-TTL fill-flash available with SB-900, 800, 600 or 400
- Auto aperture: Available with SB-900 or SB-800 and CPU lens
- Non-TTL auto (A): Available with SB-900, 800, 28, 27 or 22s 4) Range-priority manual (GN): Available with SB-900, and 800
|Flash Sync Modes
- Front-curtain sync
- Red-eye reduction
- Red-eye reduction with Slow sync
- Slow sync
- Rear-curtain sync
|Accessory Shoe||Standard ISO hot-shoe contact with safety lock
|Sync Terminal||ISO 519 standard terminal, with built-in rubber cap
|Self-Timer||Electronically controlled timer with duration of 2, 5, 10 or 20 s
|Depth of Field Preview Button||Yes
|Remote Control||Via 10-pin Remote Cord MC-22/30/36 (optional) or Wireless Remote Control WT-4 (optional)
|GPS||GPS Unit GP-1 or GPS device compliant with NMEA 0183 (Ver. 2.01 and 3.01) interface standard supported with 9-pin D-sub cable (optional) and GPS Cable MC-35 (optional)
|Supported Languages||Total of 15 languages: Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
|Power Requirements||Rechargeable EN-EL4a/EL4 Li-ion Battery, EH-6 AC adapter (optional)
|Battery Life||Approx. 4400 shots – (on a fully charged battery)
|Tripod Socket||1/4 in. (ISO1222)
|Dimensions||Approx. 159.5 × 157 × 87.5 mm
|Weight||Approx. 1,220 g – (without battery, memory card or body cap)
|Supplied Accessories (may differ by country or area)||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a, Quick Charger MH-22, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-D3X, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-2, Eyepiece DK-17, Battery Chamber Cover BL-4, USB Cable Clip, Software Suite CD-ROM
Shot on D3X
CNET – Editor’s Choice
Overall rating of 9.5 out of 10. “It’s simply superb, reaching the quality, tonality and depth of colour you would normally expect from the highest quality film… this is undoubtedly Nikon’s best digital camera yet.”
DP Review – Highly Recommended
An overall rating of 9.25/10. “There is no doubt, if image detail is on top of your priority list… the D3X has to be your number one option.”
Photo Review – Editors Choice for DSLR Pro
An overall rating of 9/10. “Skin tones were beautifully rendered in a variety of lighting conditions, giving us some of the best portrait shots we’ve ever captured.”
Out on assignment
Frank P. Wartenberg – Fashion (Germany)
For studio shooting, the D3X’s resolution is amazing, rivaling digital medium-format camera offerings. Tonal gradation is very smooth and even, and the color rendering is perfect for fashion and beauty. It is always thrilling for me to see the range of colors in my mind realized in the final result, and the D3X did exactly that. This camera really impressed me during our beach shoot. The beautiful tonal gradation allowed me to experiment freely in difficult light without
worrying about losing detail in the brightest and darkest areas. As I shot that day, I realized that with this D3X, the challenges of harsh contrast, backlighting and sudden lighting and weather changes that once made location shooting difficult for fashion photographers are now diminished significantly. The fast autofocus and incredible frame rate also gave me the chance to catch the perfect moment in ways that a medium format camera could not.
One of the biggest advantages, however, is the incredible versatility in every kind of weather. Even when shooting in the rain, the D3X’s brilliant autofocus was always sharp and precise, and the camera’s agility and rugged build made it much easier to handle than a medium-format camera. No matter what the conditions were â€“ hot sun, strong wind or even hard rain – the Nikon D3X performed!
Kenji Aoki – Still life (Japan)
Studio work is a game o f millimeters: the slightest move can dramatically change an image and ruin what you have envisioned. The D3X gives me the mobility of a 35mm D-SLR, which opens up completely new opportunities for photographers in my line of work. Without being restrained by a camera stand, commercial and product photographers can now handhold the camera to freely seek an ideal perspective. This can save hours of setup time, as medium format stands and accessories are cumbersome and require numerous tedious adjustments. For me, however, the biggest surprise of the D3X was the image quality. As a studio still life photographer making my living with expensive medium-format digital equipment, I was skeptical about what any D-SLR could deliver. At the beginning, I was certain that the D3X images would be vastly inferior to the medium format. The price difference alone between these two systems should be enough to explain the quality difference, I thought. It did not take long to discover that my presumptions were completely wrong. The image quality of the D3X is far better than I anticipated; it would not be an exaggeration to say it was fifty times better than my expectations. The resolution is impressive, and the bokeh reproduction is spectacular, especially when using the PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D. Another benefit I see is the D3X’s ability to focus sharply with wide-angle lenses in ways that are simply impossible with the medium format. With all of these benefits, I am certain that the D3X will make a big splash in the studio photography world.
Tim Andrew – Cars (U.K.)
The D3X’s control layout is virtually identical to my trusted Nikon D3, which means that I know exactly where everything is and how it works so I can get on with the job. However, the huge increase in resolution and detail is immediately apparent when reviewing the image on the rear LCD. It was later, on a computer monitor, that I discovered image information that I simply couldn’t see with my own eyes at the time. Looking at my files, I suddenly realized that I’ve got the image quality of a medium-format camera in the familiar and ergonomic form of a 35mm D-SLR. I can use my huge range of NIKKOR lenses â€“ including many zooms and VR optics – at focal lengths not available with medium-format systems. I can also use all my Nikon Speedlights and other accessories. Working fast, as time was tight, I completed the static shots and switched to 12 bit mode for the action shots. I had to keep reminding myself that this was a 24.5-megapixel camera and that I was able to shoot 5 frames per second, which was essential to catch that “magic moment” in the Turin traffic. Later, I was shooting action shots at night, wide open at f/2.0 with the AF-S VR Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED at ISO 800 and ISO 1600.
Despite the challenging conditions , the shots were full of crisp detail, accurate color and incredible tonal gradation. The D3X is a camera I could walk around with all day, tackling any subject without worrying about bad weather or poor light. It makes a perfect companion to my D3.
John Shaw – Nature and wildlife (U.S.A.)
When Nikon asked me to take a D3X camera on my safari in Kenya, I was at first skeptical. But my reservations disappeared soon after I handled this camera. The D3X maintains the incredible ergonomic design, ease of menu choices and fantastic high-resolution rear LCD as the D3, but the most important addition is its 24.5-megapixel FX-format sensor. This translates into detail, detail and more detail. An incredible amount of information lies in each full-frame image, but 24.5 megapixels also mean that photographs can be cropped into panoramic formats and still retain
amazing detail. On this trip, I carried an assortment of lenses, but relied heavily on my two favorite safari lenses: the AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR and the AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 200-400mm f/4G IF-ED. The D3X worked extremely well with each lens despite all the difficult shooting scenarios that a safari can present. With the D3X, I get Nikon’s exceptional handling, fast autofocus and an increased dynamic range, as well as 5 frames per second in FX format and frames per second in 10-megapixel DX crop format. Combine these features with extreme resolution and NIKKOR optics and I know I’ll be able to get the pictures I want. I was greatly impressed with the D3X. From landscape to wildlife, the versatility of the camera is truly amazing.