I Knew It!

4 comments August 23rd, 2007at 07:25pm Posted by Eli


So I was talking digital cameras with spork a couple of weeks ago, and remarking that Nikon’s two high-end digital SLRs, the D2H and the D2X, had been around for an awfully long time and had to be due for replacement. And lo and behold, Nikon announces the D3, its first “full-frame” (35mm sensor) D-SLR. And it sounds Teh Awesome.

Some of the highlights that jumped out at me:

o Self-cleaning sensor that vibrates to shake dust off. This is not new in the D-SLR world, but I think it’s the first Nikon with this feature.

o Insane wireless networking capabilities, including the ability to create some kind of wireless network of multiple cameras, wireless image transfers, wireless remote control and image viewing.

o The ability to compose images on the 3″ 922,000-pixel(!) LCD screen. Again, not new to the D-SLR world (Olympus pioneered it), but a first for Nikon.

o Real-time enhancement of shadow and highlight areas without sacrificing contrast. If this works, it would reduce one of film’s biggest advantages over digital.

o The ISO goes up to 25600(!!!). Yes, 25600. I could take pictures by candlelight at that ISO, maybe even by starlight. I can’t wait to see what kind of high-ISO noise the D3 has – this is one area where Canon has outperformed Nikon pretty significantly. Nikon has switched from a CCD to CMOS sensor for the D3, which is what Canon uses, so this is not inconceivable.

o 12 megapixels. Not really a highlight, since it’s the same as the D2X, but you always have to mention the megapixels. The new Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III kicks the D3’s ass in this category, but is really frickin’ ugly.

Nikon also announced the D300, which I really didn’t expect, since the D200 is not really in need of an upgrade. But they upgraded it anyway. The D300 has/does pretty much everything the D3 has/does, except the sensor is regular-sized, the burst mode isn’t as fast, and the ISO “only” goes up to 6400. If it lives up to what Nikon claims, I will probably have to get one. Anyone want a used D200?

Also: This is just insane.

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Technology


  • 1. spocko  |  August 23rd, 2007 at 11:39 pm

    39 Megapixels/CCD Image Sensor! INSANITY!

    I have a Minolta SLR that I bought in 1976. Still works. I wonder how many megapixels film translates to?

  • 2. Eli  |  August 24th, 2007 at 12:18 am

    Until I went digital, I used a Pentax Spotmatic SLR that I’m pretty sure was older than I am. Never had a problem with it.

    As for megapixels, I have one word: Slide shows. I could blow a 6-megapixel photo up to 13 X 19 without much trouble, but I don’t think I could have gone much beyond that. And thanks to the Wonders Of Math, I would need *36* megapixels to produce an image twice as large without it looking like crap.

    So I think we’re talking about a whole lot of pixels here.

  • 3. virgotex  |  August 24th, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    32 K for that Hasselblad! Daaaayummmmm, that’s a lot of cannoli!

    re the Nikon, I like the dual card slots, with RAW separate from jpeg if you want, also the 3.0 LCD (hey, my eyesight ain’t what it used to be)

    I don’t understand what “boosted” ISO means, though.

  • 4. Eli  |  August 24th, 2007 at 3:20 pm

    My first thought on the dual cards was that it was kinda excessive, but then I remembered why I’m still using 1GB cards even though I could easily get 8GB ones: So I don’t lose as many photos if a card fails. If I had the dual card slots, I could just carry around four 8GB cards instead of eight 1GB cards.

    I dunno *how* they’re boosting the ISO, but the noise performance had better be pretty damn good if they’re pushing it all the way up to 25600. Jeez. That’s about 8 times higher than the D200 top end, which already looks like crap.

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