Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Big News, meet the new Nikon D3 and Nikon D300, and five new lenses!

They are here, new Nikon D3 and Nikon D300, along with five new lenses!

Nikon D3
+Detailed preview at dpreview
+Press release at dpreview, IR, CameraTown, CNet's Crave, Rob Galbraith
+Price $5000 (November)
+12mp 35mm full frame CMOS sensor, pixels 8.45 microns (Nikon claims 15% larger pitch than competition)
+Nikon decided that this sensor size/format shall be known as FX (perhaps trying to deflate the whole full-frame religious war)
+14-bit A/D conversion, new EXCEED image processor, 300K shutter
+ISO 200-6400, but can also go down to ISO 100 and as high as ISO 25600 (Monet fans, set this right there!)
+9 fps blazing burst mode with AF tracking, 11fps (!) without AF tracking
+Burst mode buffer: 9 fps with 64 JPEG, or 20 12-bit RAW files or 17 14-bit RAW files.
+Cropped mode with DX lenses (5 megapixel image). 10fps burst mode w/ AF tracking (11fps without!)
+41ms shutter lag, 12ms startup
+51 AF points, 15 of which are cross-type. Multi-CAM 3500 FX AF sensor. AF tweaks: AF calibration and tracking by color
+RAW compressed or uncompressed
+SRS - Scene Recognition system piggy-backing on the metering sensor for improved exposure and WB calculations (Nikon calls it a "radical new approach")
+Active D-Lighting feature for JPEGs (not just for the Coolpixies!)
+3" LCD (920K) - most cameras have LCD resolutions in the 200s. This will be interesting!
+Now with Vertical Virtual Horizon (not the band): The camera will tell you of its position with respect to the horizon.
+Two Live View options: the typical DSLR Live View we saw the last few years or using contrast detection like compact digital cameras do
+Two CompactFlash memory card slots with flexibility (no SD card support). UDMA speeds up to 40MB/s writes
+The included battery charger can charge two batteries in parallel
+The included LiIon battery is the EL-EL4a
+The new battery grip MB-D10 is only for the D300
+HDMI video output (to attract the big spending consumers with money burning in their pockets?)

Nikon D300
+Detailed preview at dpreview
+Press release at dpreview, IR, CameraTown, CNet's Crave, RG
+Price $1800 (November)
+12mp 1.5x (DX) CMOS self-cleaning sensor (not just your oven anymore!)
+14-bit A/D conversion, new EXCEED image processor, 150K shutter
+12-bit and 14-bit RAW files (compressed or uncompressed) (Even TIFF is making a comeback!)
+ISO 200-3200, boosted range goes from 100 to 6400 (no Monet mode here, sorry!)
+AF is Multi CAM 3500 DX, with 51 AF points, 15 of which are cross-type (with same tweaks as D3)
+6 fps burst mode, or 8fps burst mode with the optincal MB-D10 battery grip
+Burst mode buffer: 6 fps for 100 JPEGs.
+Same 3" (920K) LCD screen, with the same two Live View modes as the D3
+45ms shutter lag, 13ms power-up (just a hair slower than the D3)
+Lots of other similaries with the D3: SRS, HDMI output, etc
+Only (!) one Compact Flash slot in this one.
+One of the points that will be hotly debated is the long list of similarities between the two, yet one costs $5000 the other costs $1800 (!!!!!!).
+New vertical grip MB-D10 available (not included)

Sample pictures and galleries
+None yet

Nikon D3 and D300 SuperUnknowns (Questions to be answered!)
+Who makes the sensors for the D3 and for the D300?
+How many RAW files can the D300 buffer hold?
+Will they send me one for a blog preview? :)

Information from Japan
+Details from the Japanese press release have been posted at (computer-translatd to english)
+This year Nikon is planning to ship 10.3 million digital cameras (overall, not just DSLRs)
+Want to guarantee 40% DSLR market share
+Both DX and FX will continue to advance in parallel! Please cancel the panic :)
+Celebrating the NASA D2Xs order
+An homage to D2Hs LBCAST sensor
+Nikon beat Canon 42%-38% in June in Japan
+Last four weeks Nikon had a 50+% market share in Japan
+Their compact Coolpixes are doing better than expect, the S500 was ranked #2 in Japan for the last four weeks.
+Nikon has a 41.6% market share in China
+Please note the above is based on computer-translated text :)

+Nikon AF-S 14-24 mm. USA price: $1800 in November
+Nikon AF-S 24-70 mm F2.8G ED (same link as above). USA price: $1900 in November
+Nikon AF-S 400mm f/2.8G ED VR. USA price: $8800
+Nikon AF-S 500mm f/4G ED VR (same link as above). USA price: $7900
+Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4G ED VR (same link as above). USA price: $9500
+Buying all five new lenses? Total cost of $20,000! The enjoyment you will get from using them? Not priceless :)

Reactions to the new Nikon cameras!
+dpreview advanced Nikon DSLR forum front page. Dozens of new threads has sprung up since the announcement went live. The oldest post on the first page is only 25 minutes old. This is the equivalent of "fast markets" on Wall street! I will be picking some spotlight discussions once the dust settles.
+CNet's Crave blog full coverage, including a very quick comparison of the Nikon D200, D300 and the Canon 40D


Anonymous said...

I find it puzzling that the baby brother of the D3, the D300, has, at about a third the price, a self-cleaning sensor and the D3 does not.
Dean M

1001 noisy cameras said...

That is indeed interesting! Would the sensor size have any (technical) issues why they didn't do that?