Nikon D3 Review

 
Camera Reviews > Nikon Cameras > Nikon D i Full Review

Nikon D3 Feature Comparison

The following table compares Nikon's current line-up of pro models. What we've done below is to present something of a hybrid comparison between these three models. A red cell means that a given camera performs below the other two, a green cell means that it performs better than the other two, and a yellow cell means it falls between the other two. In cases where two cameras share a superior capability, both their cells will be colored green. Sharp-eyed readers may find some areas where we haven't chosen to highlight a particular difference. Those cases are simply ones that we don't feel are significant in typical use of the camera.

Nikon Pro SLR Camera Comparison
Manufacturer
Nikon
Nikon Nikon
Model
D2Hs
D2Xs D3
Imaging
System
Sensor Manufacturer
Nikon Sony Sony(?)
Sensor Type
JFET LBCAST CMOS CMOS
Color Filter Array
RGB RGB RGB
Total Megapixels
4.26
12.84 12.87
Effective Megapixels
4.1 12.4 12.1
Pixel Size (µm)
9.4 x 9.4 5.49 x 5.49 8.45 x 8.45
Effective Sensor Size (mm)
23.3 x 15.5
23.7 x 15.7 36.0 x 23.9
Focal Length Multiplier (approx.)
1.5x
(Nikon DX)
1.5x
(Nikon DX)
1.0x
(Nikon FX)
Image Processor
Not stated
Not stated EXPEED
Viewfinder
Type
Eye-level pentaprism
Eye-level pentaprism Eye-level pentaprism
Coverage
~100%
~100% ~100%
Magnification (-1 diopter with 50mm lens at infinity)
0.86x
0.86x 0.70x
(but full-frame)
Eyepoint (mm)
19.9
19.9 18
Dioptric Adjustment Range (diopters)
-3.0 to +1.0
-3.0 to +1.0 -3.0 to +1.0
Focusing Screen
BriteView Clear Matte Screen III Type-B; interchangeable with optional Type-E with grid
BriteView Clear Matte Screen III; supplied Type-B or optional Type-E with grid Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI
Depth of Field Preview
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Enabled with depth-of-field preview button Enabled with depth-of-field preview button
Live View
(on LCD)
No No Yes
(2 Modes:
Hand-held mode uses conventional AF sensor;
Tripod mode uses contrast detect AF from image sensor)
Recording
System
Recording Media / Quantity / Slot Type
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive
Type I or II CF card / Microdrive Dual Type I or II CF card / Microdrive slots
(UDMA supported)
Compatible File System
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
FAT 16 / FAT 32
Recording Formats
RAW 12-bit (compressed or uncompressed NEF), TIFF, JPEG
RAW 12-bit (compressed or uncompressed NEF), TIFF, JPEG RAW 12-bit or 14-bit (lossless compressed or compressed NEF), JPEG
Maximum Resolution
2464 x 1632

Full Image:
4288 x 2848

HS Cropped Image:
3216 x 2136

FX format (36 x 24):
4256 x 2832

5:4 format (30 x 24):
3552 x 2832

DX format (24 x 16):
2784 x 1848

Reduced Resolutions
1840 x 1224

Full Image:
3216 x 2136;
2144 x 1424

HS Cropped Image:
2400 x 1600;
1600 x 1064

FX format (36 x 24):
3184 x 2120;
2128 x 1416

5:4 format (30 x 24):
2656 x 2120;
776 x 1416

DX format (24 x 16):
2080 x 1384;
1392 x 920

RAW + JPEG Recording
Yes, Selectable JPEG resolution / compression
Yes, Selectable JPEG resolution / compression Yes, Selectable JPEG resolution / compression
A/D Conversion
12-bit 12-bit 12- or 14-bit
Auto crop when DX lens mounted
n/a n/a Yes
Color Space, Image Parameters &
White Balance
User-Selectable Color Space
Yes
sRGB (two variants) + Adobe RGB
Yes
sRGB (two variants) + Adobe RGB
Yes
sRGB + Adobe RGB
Processing Parameters
(Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Hue) / # of Increments
7 options for sharpening, 6 for contrast, 7 for hue, 5 for saturation. Second sRGB color space boosts saturation somewhat.
7 options for sharpening, 5 for contrast, 7 for hue, none for saturation. Second sRGB color space boosts saturation somewhat. 9 options for sharpening, 7 for contrast, 7 for hue, 7 for saturation, 3 for brightness
Picture Control System
No No Yes
Active
D-Lighting
No No Yes
Preset WB settings
6 (Direct sunlight, Cloudy, Shade, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash)
6 (Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade) 6 (Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade)
Manual Color Temperature Setting Range
2,500 ~ 10,000K in 250K increments
2,500 ~ 10,000K in 250K increments 2,500 ~ 10,000K in 250K increments
WB Adjustment Range
±3 steps in 1-step increments
10 mireds per step
3 steps in 1-step increments, roughly 10 mireds per step
3 steps in 1-step increments, roughly 10 mireds per step
Autofocus
System
Type
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM2000 autofocus module
TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM2000 autofocus module TTL phase detection by Nikon Multi-CAM3500FX autofocus module
# of Focusing Points (Focusing Point Type)
11 points (9 cross-type, 2 vertical-type)
11 points (9 cross-type, 2 vertical-type; 9 points active in cropped mode) 51 points (15 cross-type, 36 line type)
Superimposed Focus Point Display
Yes Yes Yes
AF Working Range
EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100) EV -1 ~ 19 (ISO 100)
AF Servo Modes
Single Servo AF-S,
Continuous Servo AF-C;
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject's status
Single Servo AF-S,
Continuous Servo AF-C;
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject's status
Single Servo AF-S,
Continuous Servo AF-C;
Focus Tracking automatically activated by subject's status
AF Area Modes
1) Single Area AF,
2) Dynamic-area AF,
3) Closest Subject Priority Dynamic AF,
4) Group Dynamic AF
1) Single Area AF
2) Dynamic-area AF
3) Group Dynamic AF
4) Dynamic-area AF with closest subject priority
1) Single-point AF,
2) Dynamic-area AF [number of AF areas: 9, 21, 51, 51 (3D-tracking)],
3) Automatic-area AF
AF-assist Beam
Emitted by an optional dedicated Speedlight
Emitted by an optional dedicated Speedlight Emitted by an optional dedicated Speedlight
Fine-tune front/back focus adjustment
No No Yes (settings for up to 20 lenses)
Exposure
Control
Shooting Modes
4 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual mode.
4 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual mode. 4 - Program, shutter-priority AE, aperture-priority AE, manual mode.
Metering Zones
1,005
1,005 1,005
Metering Modes
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); matrix metering (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering II available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8mm dia. circle in center of frame
3) Spot: Meters 3mm dia. circle (about 2.0% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 6, 8, 10, or 13mm dia. circle in center of frame
3) Spot: Meters 3mm dia. circle (about 2.0% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); color matrix metering II (other CPU lenses); color matrix metering available with non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data; metering performed by 1,005-segment RGB sensor
2) Center-weighted: Weight of 75% given to 8, 15, or 20mm dia. circle in center of frame
3) Spot: Meters 4mm dia. circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on active focus area (on center focus area when non-CPU lens is used)
Metering System Working Range
1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
1) EV 0 to 20 (3D Color Matrix or center-weighted metering)
2) EV 2 to 20 (spot metering)
Nikon Scene Recognition System
No No Yes
ISO Range / Extended
200 ~ 1,600 / up to 6,400 in Hi-2 mode
100 ~ 800 / up to 3,200 in Hi-2 mode 200 ~ 6,400 / down to 100 in Lo-1 mode; up to 25,600 in Hi -2 mode
Exposure Compensation
+/- 5EV in 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
+/- 5EV in 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV increments +/- 5EV in 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV increments
Automatic Exposure Bracketing
2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1EV
2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1EV 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1EV
Shutter Speeds,
Frame Rate, Shutter Lag
Shutter Type
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
Shutter Durability
Not specified
~150K cycles ~300K cycles
Shutter Speed Range
1/8000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb
1/8000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb 1/8000 ~ 30 sec. in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV, bulb
Maximum Frames Per Second / Buffer depth
8 fps / 50 JPEG or 40 RAW
(manufacturer spec)

5.3 fps / >20 JPEG or 16 RAW frames at full resolution; 8.0 fps / 34 JPEG or 29 RAW frames in High-Speed Cropped mode
(measured)

9 fps / 30 JPEG or 17 RAW frames at full resolution; up to 11 fps in 5.1MP DX Cropped mode
(measured)
Full AF shutter lag (seconds)
Not specified 0.045
(measured)
0.085
(measured)
Prefocused shutter lag (seconds)
0.037
(manufacturer spec)
0.045
(measured)
0.043
(measured)
Startup Time (seconds)
Not specified 0.2
(measured)
0.3
(measured)
Flash
i-TTL / Advanced Wireless Lighting
Yes / Yes
(with SB-800 Flash or SU-800 Wireless Commander)
Yes / Yes
(with SB-800 Flash or SU-800 Wireless Commander)
Yes / Yes
(with SB-800 Flash or SU-800 Wireless Commander)
Built-in Flash / Guide Number at ISO 100.
No
No No
Max flash x-sync speed. (sec.)
1/250
1/250
1/250
Flash Exposure Compensation
n/a
n/a n/a
Slow-sync flash
1st or 2nd curtain
1st or 2nd curtain 1st or 2nd curtain
PC Sync Terminal
Yes
Yes Yes
Playback
System
LCD Size / Pixel Count
2.5 in LCD / 232,000 pixels
2.5 in LCD / 235,000 pixels 3.0 in LCD / 920,000 pixels
Enlarged Playback / Scroll
1.1 - 15x for large images, 12x for medium / Yes
1.1 - 27x for large images, 20x for medium images, or 13x for small ones / Yes
Yes (details TBA) / Yes
LCD Monitor Brightness Adjustment Range
5 steps
5 steps
Yes (details TBA)
Automatic Rotation for Vertical Shots
Yes
Yes Yes
Video Out
Analog NTSC/PAL Analog NTSC/PAL Analog NTSC/PAL, HDMI
Other Features
Computer Connection
Yes, USB 2.0 High -Speed, PTP-compliant
Yes, USB 2.0 High -Speed, PTP-compliant Yes, USB 2.0 High -Speed, PTP-compliant
Direct Printing (PictBridge-compliant printers)
Yes
Yes Yes
Menu Languages
10 (Chinese, German, English, Spanish, French, Korean, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Swedish)
10 (Chinese, German, English, Spanish, French, Korean, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Swedish)
15 (Chinese [Simplified and Traditional], Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish)
Camera Default Reset
Yes
Yes Yes
Custom Functions (Quantity / Settings)
Yes (41)
Yes (41) Yes (TBA)
Remote Control
Yes, 10-pin terminal
Yes, 10-pin terminal Yes, 10-pin terminal
Info LCD Panel / Illumination
Yes (large top panel, smaller rear panel) / Yes (both panels)
Yes (large top panel, smaller rear panel) / Yes (both panels)
Yes (large top panel, smaller rear panel) / Yes (both panels)
Ultrasonic dust-removal
No
No No
Virtual Horizon digital level sensor
No No Yes
In-camera Lateral C.A. Correction
No
No
Yes
Self Diagnostic Shutter Monitor
No
No
Yes
Body Structure
Body Cover / Chassis
Magnesium Alloy, full environmental seals
Magnesium Alloy, full environmental seals Magnesium Alloy, full environmental seals
Power System
Battery
EN-EL4
EN-EL4a EN-EL4a
Rated Shooting Capacity at 20C/68F (shots)
100% AE: 2900
100% AE: 3800 100% AE: TBA
Dimensions & Weight
Dimensions (WxHxD, mm)
157.5 x 149.5 x 85.5
157.5 x 149.5 x 85.5 159.5 x 157 x 87.5
Weight (body only)
1070 g
1070 g 1240 g
Operational
Environment
Operating Temperature Range
0 ~ 40°C
0 ~ 40°C 0 ~ 40°C
Operating Humidity Range
85% max.
85% max. 85% max.
Lens Compatibility
Lens Mount / Compatibility
1) AF Nikkor (including AF-S, DX, VR and D-/G-type): All functions possible
2) D-type Manual-Focus Nikkor: All functions except autofocus and some
exposure modes available
3) AF Nikkor other than D-/G-type: All functions except 3D-Color Matrix Metering II
and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash possible
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions except 3D-Color Matrix Metering II,
3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash and AF possible
5) Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can
be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value
display supported if user provides lens data.
1) AF Nikkor (including AF-S, DX, VR and D-/G-type): All functions possible
2) D-type Manual-Focus Nikkor: All functions except autofocus and some exposure modes available
3) AF Nikkor other than D-/G-type: All functions except 3D-Color Matrix Metering II and 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash possible
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions except 3D-Color Matrix Metering II,
3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash and AF possible
5) Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can
be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value
display supported if user provides lens data.
1) Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported
2) DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/5:4 (30x24) image size
3) AF Nikkor other than type G or D (excluding lenses for F3AF): All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix Metering II
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
5) Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder can
be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture value
display supported if user provides lens data. Up to 9 non-CPU lenses can be registered.
Auto switch to DX-format crop when DX lens mounted
n/a n/a Yes

 

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