Saturday, August 25, 2007

Opinion: Why have the Nikon D3 and D300 created such a big stir?

  • The D3 is the first 35mm full frame DSLR from Nikon
  • Both were something rather unexpected, and not the typical and expected sequential updates
  • Canon's products while exciting, they were sequential updates (1Ds Mk III and 40D) so they did not stir the pot as much
  • The D300 has a lot of things in common with the D3 (for a camera that sells for $3200 less!)
  • New autofocus system (51/15) with AF calibration, and new metering system (MultiCAM 3500) in both
  • Bold claims of high ISO performance on the D3 (IR said "far exceeds 1Ds MK III" - but this was based on a print comparison provided by Nikon).
  • 14-bit A/D conversion (ADC), very fast burst modes (esp the D3), D300 boosted by new battery grip
  • LCD with the most pixels/dots of any DSLR, and a Live View mode that uses contrast detection AF
  • D3 automatically switches to DX cropped mode when a DX lens is attached (Canon's 1Ds series is allergic to EF-S lenses)
  • Five new lenses totalling $20,000 (the three telephoto primes being the most expensive)
  • Dual slot CompactFlash and dual slot battery charger in the D3
  • These are some of the reasons why the D3 and D300 have created such a big kerfuffle!
  • Sensor Mystery creates intrigue. The latest consensus seems to indicate that the D300 sensor is a Nikon-tweaked version of the brand new Sony IMX021. The D3 sensor is a bigger mystery: it appears to be a Nikon design but the manufacturer has not been revealed. So who is it and why wasn't it revealed? :)

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