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Nikon D3 12.1MP FX Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
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Product Description

Lens is not included / 3" VGA LCD Screen / 51 Point Auto Focus / LiveView Shooting Modes / CompactFlash storage / USB / HDMI / Video Output Auto and manual exposure modes with 3D matrix metering Two LiveView shooting modes, Hand-held or Tripod, are perfect when shooting in a studio, remote situations or from challenging angles Nikon's Self-diagnostic shutter system, tested to 300,000 cycles Picture Control settings give photographers dramatically advanced color control with 4 preset options - Standard, Neutral, Vivid and Monochrome, as well as 9 customizable settings Storage Media - CompactFlash (Type I/II, compliant with UDMA); Microdrives Video Output - NTSC or PAL; simultaneous playback from both the video output and on the LCD monitor available HDMI output for wide screen TV Exposure Modes - 1) Programmed Auto (P) with flexible program, 2) Shutter-Priority Auto (S), 3) Aperture-Priority Auto (A), 4) Manual (M) Shutter - Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter; 1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; Bulb 5 Flash Sync Modes Compatible Lenses - Type G or D AF Nikkor - All functions supported; DX AF Nikkor - All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/5 - 4 (30x24) image size Unit Dimensions (W x H x D) - 6.3 x 6.2 x 3.4 in. Approx. (159.5 x 157 x 87.5 mm); Weight - Approx. 2.7 lb. (1,240 g) without battery Power Source - One EN-EL4a/EL4 Rechargeable Li-ion Battery

Features:
  • 12.1-megapixel FX-format (23.9 x 36mm) CMOS sensor
  • 3.0-inch, super density 920,000-dot VGA color monitor; 170-degree wide-angle viewing and tempered-glass protection
  • Continuous shooting at up to 9 frames-per-second at full FX resolution
  • Fast, accurate 51-point AF with 3D Focus Tracking
  • Capture images to CF I/II cards

Customer Reviews:

  • Review from someone who didn't pay for the camera
    There is a tendency for people to always give good reviews to things they paid a ton of money for. My father in law owns this camera and paid for it. He and I are both pretty avid photographers and he let me borrow the D3 for a few days.

    There is no doubt that this camera takes very high quality photos, but its size and weight gets in the way.

    I'm not going to dwell on the details. You can look up the specs yourself. The major benefit from this camera is that its image sensor is very sensitive to light. That means you can get away with better f-stops than you could otherwise. The color is richer and you can avoid artificial light in most indoor situations.

    This thing is HEAVY. Nobody should buy it online without holding one first. I am an average size guy and am pretty athletic. My wrist was killing me after holding this for a couple of hours. Add a large zoom lense and it is impossible.

    My advice would be that anyone purchasing this find one to borrow or rent before paying big money for it. You might find that you don't like it. I can say that for 99% of my shooting, I would probably never chose this camera over others half its price.

    For average hobyists, there is absolutely no reason to buy this. In fact, some of the detailed settings can be so confusing - it is difficult to take good photos at first. If you are a pro - or simply must have the top of the line camera - the picture quality you will eventually get from this will not disappoint....more info
  • Awesome camera if you can afford it, but don't be ripped off by price gougers
    The three major factors that, for me, make this camera (2 of them apply to the D300) so incredible are . . . well, the full frame sensor (finally), the outstanding low-noise/high ISO performance . . . and the extraordinary color! The photographer has a greater deal of control over color than ever before and the results are stunning (use Picture Control). And noise (the digital equivalent of film grain) is at least a 2-stop improvement over the previous D2x. Actually, it's probably 3 stops, but say 2 to be conservative. Believe it or not, ISO 6400 is actually usable! (The D300 is one stop less)

    While those features were the most compelling ones in my view, there are plenty of others that are a big plus, such as:

    ~ 9 frames per second
    ~ 51 point AF
    ~ Live View
    ~ 12mp CMOS sensor, self-cleaning on D300
    ~ A new 3" LCD--about 4x the resolution as previous LCDs.

    The list goes on, but you should read the tech specs and professional reviews. Suffice it to say it is loaded with features and handles like an absolute dream!

    Compared to Canon's $8000 professional models, this camera has a very clear advantage. Sure you lose some megapixels compared to the MarkIII, but that's not so important for the majority of (but not all) photographers.

    Another thought . . . while this is a good deal at $4999 compared to Canon, you can get almost the same camera for $1799, with the D300. If you don't need a full frame . . . or the extra 1-stop high ISO, the D300 offers about 90 - 95% of the features and performance of the D3 for 40% of the price! If you want to get the best possible picture quality for the lowest possible price, consider the D300 and put the difference ($3200) on some of Nikon's great new professional lenses.

    As of this January 2008 writing, this is listed on Amazon at $6399 through Cameta Camera. PLEASE DON'T buy at this price and allow yourself to be exploited by the backorder situation. Instead, pre-paying $4999 for it at your local camera store puts you ahead of everyone else on the waitlist who merely put down deposits on it. Or wait until it comes down here on Amazon. Again, $4999! That's the price. There is no need to pay an extra $1400 "sucker fee" for it just to have it a few weeks or maybe a month or two earlier. You survived until now without the D3, so you can make it a little longer--just don't pay more than retail. $4999! $4999. $4999. Get the point? :-)

    Post Script, April 16, 2008:

    I notice this is now being sold by 17th Street Photo, who I've not done business with, but at least they are charging the *correct* price of $4999. First it was a $1400 markup, then $500, and it's good to see the price gouging attempts appear to be dying down.

    Post Script #2, November 2, 2008:

    How times change--the gouging is gone, and so are the backorders. The price has dropped below $4500 I see. My opinion on this camera remains unchanged in the 11 months since I first got my hands on it, and it's as excellent as it ever was, but now, with the introduction of the D700, I would have a hard time spending the approximately $4300 it now sells for, when the D700 is selling for $2699. The D3 is better built, and shoots 9 fps vs the D700's 8 fps with battery pack, but I don't see it being worth the added $1600 cost unless you're a professional who shoots every day.
    ...more info
  • D3
    This is an awesome camera. Color is rich and details are sharp. Two Card slots for memory is cool......more info
  • A little history...
    In the cold dawn of digital cameras we all wondered if they would ever be comparable to film. Silver film had 3-6 logs of latitude, thinner emulsions, and developers, had progressed to a gidy point of sensitivity and resolution so it seemed as though the 1-3m pixel chips would never catch up. But then there was the same discussion about medium format or God help us, 4X5 and greater. The quality of images HAS suffered by Oskar Barnack's gadget, but the number of high quality images from what ever digital domain they escaped has made life communicating by pictures far more satisfying.
    Of course they still havent produced comparable chips to a piece of film, but the offerings are so sophisticated and so easily manipulated I wonder if we will or should see the full size 60meg card of our dreams. The D3 should reduce the cravings by offering a maleable tool that fits into taking pictures with never whimper.
    Nikon in the US is a pesky source if you need real facts about photography. One of their hello girls informed me that T mount adapters wont work on Nikons. But with the D3, it would be unlikely that you need the help. Its just so civilized, or refined, or friendly or...
    If you make a living from your images, this camera is too cheap to pass up....more info
  • Nikon D3 audio recording capability, Live View, 28-300mm lens
    I rarely see anyone mention one important benefit of the D3 as compared to the D300: the ability to easily record audio .wav file memos at the push of a button. For anyone who would like a quick and easy way to include a note to go along with a photo that's just been shot (for example, the name and title of the person being photographed), or perhaps record some audio to go along with the subject of the photos (like the music from a carousel being shot), this neat feature can't be beat. I first had it on my D100, thanks to the optional base that also doubles the battery capacity. The optional base for the D200 and D300 do not have that audio recording capability, so that omission was a significant factor in my decision to buy a D2X instead when I was ready for a better camera than my D100. As they say, "try it, you'll like it." I still use my D100 and D2X when I don't want to change lenses in the field, but the D3 is way better. The low light capability is incredible and the "Live View" feature is great when I need to hold my camera over people's heads and still be able to see what I'm about to shoot. I can't wait to see what Nikon brings out to replace the D3! One thing I would like Nikon to do is bring out an equivalent to Tamron's very useful 28-300mm, non-DX compact zoom lens (so yes, it works well with the D3). When I have to travel light, that lens just can't be beat. I've been happily using it since I bought it back when I only had my D100 and needed to stick to a tight budget. The story I keep getting from Nikon vendors and reps alike is that if Nikon made it, it would be way too expensive. Really? Since when did price stop people from buying Nikon lenses? Maybe if enough people ask for it Nikon will eventually make it......more info
  • Disappointing
    Paid a lot of money for this camera, and was very disappointed with the noise issue i experienced. On top of that the color was not natural for the subject being captured. Just disappointing....more info
  • Move over Cannon, Nikon is the new King!
    Yes, it's expensive. Yes it's heavy. Yes, it's unbelievable! If you make your living as a photographer this is the camera for you. You can get a very good image in almost total darkness! The images that you get with this camera are fantastic. If you can't afford the five grand, get the D300, it's almost the same camera at less then half the price. I know I own both, and use both. As great as the D300 is, the D3 is even more so. It's like driving a Mercedes Benz as opposed to a Bentley! If you want all the technical reviews and specs go to the Nikon web site. I am a professional photographer and make my living with a camera. I have it pressed to my face all day long. The D3 makes my day easier. I use the D300 as my back up camera. Cannon has finally been out classed by Nikon. What took Nikon so long?...more info
  • Wonderfully worth it
    If you are a professional photographer, you will find many things to love about this camera. Audio annotation. Multiple card slots. Easy bracketing control and continuous shutter (great for on the fly HDR). Great image quality. Best ever ISO sensitivity.

    I work in conditions that are often low-light and this camera is great at providing low-noise images at extremely sensitive settings. So much to love, but the price!...more info
  • Simply the best!
    This camera is simply the best Full Frame DSLR in the market........... Unprecedented speed, flexibility and low noise level are just one of the features no other DSLR could beat!!! This camera is ready for whatever shooting condition there is......It's simply the best! Enough said!...more info
  • Most Excellent (and then some)
    Pros:
    Image quality
    Full frame 35mm film-size sensor
    Low digital noise, even at high ISO (ASA) ratings
    Two SD card slots
    Three image modes (24x36, 5x4, and DX)
    Even faster high speed shooting at DX mode
    Incredibly manageable noise at ISO 6400, even ISO 8000...
    Excellent image quality with Jpeg settings on Large size and Basic compression
    Efficient battery use
    Consistent exposures
    Precise interval timing at a host of rates

    Cons:
    Shutter sound catches attention
    No self-cleaning sensor (which is a dust-attractor)
    Heavy body (some colleagues bemoan this - yet they won't part with theirs)
    Eats up CF card space, especially with Raw and TIFF writing
    Difficult to shoot with Nikon DX cameras
    The DX lenses are made to smaller image sensors which can lead to vignetting.
    Professional price tag

    You've read how fast the camera is, how the focus works, and much else on other concerns, so I just wanted to point out the things I enjoyed or wanted changed with the D3. The main thing to keep in your arsenal is a can of compressed air; the full frame sensor loves to catch dust, especially when you have to change lenses all the time. I now use my other pro camera - the Nikon D2HS - as a lens holder. The image quality isn't even in the ballpark with the D3, so I want the best images possible, especially in low light conditions. Otherwise I need to keep changing lenses which can expose the camera's innards to dust or micro metal (a natural occurrence whenever anyone changes lenses on any camera with the metal mounts). But I heard that Nikon didn't have a vibration mechanism to clear off particles for build reasons.

    The other pain is that the D3 has the full frame sensor. We have a mix now, of DX lenses (for those cameras with the smaller sensors) and FX lenses (and older film lenses, some of which I never let go of). You can't use, say the 9mm DX fisheye lens without seeing major vignetting, making you have to set the camera to the DX setting (which does yield a lower image size).

    I used to rarely shoot at sensitivity ratings of anything higher than 800 ISO unless I couldn't manage an image otherwise. While I still bristle for a moment when I set the D3 at ISO 3200 (I still like going a smudge less, to ISO 2500) I now shrug and know that the image I get will do just fine. I've simply grown up with digital cameras since those days in the 1990's with the Nikon N90 was morphed into the Kodak NC2000. Imagine the images they made when your card size was 128MB! Blech.

    But I also had the Nikon F5 film camera in my hands back in the day, having to give it up for the Nikon D1 body, the first production pro Nikon digital camera. So much has changed since then, including my experience and feelings about that age-old preference between film and digital cameras. I understood then that digital photography was a necessary evil in order to get something posted or printed quickly, as opposed to taking film to the one-hour lab. So I will make a "film vs digital" stand at this point, with this camera, with no regrets: With the Nikon D3, I will say that I prefer the D3 to the film F5 camera, hands down. I also prefer the D3 to film, so digital to me is no longer evil. Ask me to elaborate and I will, but not in this review.

    This is a professional camera at a professional price. Heck, I sure didn't buy it for myself, and our staff only gets one D3 per staffer. So even large businesses may bristle at the price. This camera spoils me. I want images that are this nice all the time. You can't shoot more than 38 pictures in a film camera. And even with film rated at ISO 1600, I truly believe that the D3 can match or beat film quality (noise vs grain structure). While I haven't found anyone who has, I think it's high time we start comparing film to digital images. ...more info
  • Purchase from Cameta Camera
    Cameta Camera provided excellent customer service for this purchase. The camera was refurbished and came with dust spots on the sensor. I did not notice them until I was on a trip, about two weeks later. Cameta's customer service responded immediately to my e-mail with an offer of a full refund or exchange. I am impressed with their overall service so I am doing an exchange. I consider them to be an A+ company....more info
  • Best DSLR camera to date.
    I have the D3 for a month, this is the best DSLR camera to date. I have no problem shooting 25000 Iso, the D3 has change the way photo can be taken.

    I got my D3 from Amazon for US$4999 and less( Thanks to Amazon), The D3 is hard to get and some Amazon 3rd parties sellers are selling it for 6.5k... I will never buy anything from those guys.

    Amazon is a great place to get camera other than B&H....more info
  • The Best SLR I have owned
    I recently sold my Canon 1DS Mark2 and the accompaning 14 mm wide angle lenses because after trying out a Nikon D3 I found the Nikons pictures so much better. True, the Canon software is easier but to me the ergonomics of the D3 are better than the Canon 1DS Mark2 while the detail, clarity and accuracy are still better. Even 24" poster comparisons between both camera's have the Nikon winning in every detail. I am now a proud Nikon owner I think although Canon has more pixels 16.3 versus 12.1 the pictures at large a simply not as good. I perform operative photography and am in the process of finishing a book on Female Reconstructive surgery this is were the comparisons became for my field so much more apparent. The colors for the Nikon are just so much more dynamic and precise while the Canon is not as vibrant and demonstrative of detail. I found for comparisons sake that the Canon videocamcorder XL H1 colors versus the Sony comparable model to again lack color precision, depth of field and to simply to the less experienced eye to lack quality needed for surgeons. So I am now going to start to build a Nikkor lens assortment. By the way I took 20000 with my Canon so I know its downside well under all conditions. The Canon was sturdy and never a problem but its performance is only 80 percent of the Nikon and Nikkor lens ...more info
  • The Nikon D3 is a superb piece of equipment
    I've been a "serious enthusiast" of photography for many years as well as a graduate of the NYU film school. I made the transition from 35mm (Canon FT and Nikon N90S) to digital very gradually..A Canon Elf to the G7 and now the D3. The quality of its construction, feel, and the great full frame format using all my old Nikon lenses made me rediscover what I love about still photography. (yeah, I know I could have gone cheaper, but I'm not sorry I spent the money). The low light capability and amazing FPS rate more than live up to their reputation....more info
  • You are a fool if you do not buy this, especially at this price! The Best!
    Had, have many cameras, Nikon, Canon, Hassleblad, Olympus...This is the best since my old F100. Forgiving, fast, accurate, versatile. If you only have one camera, this should be it...If you have more than one camera, this is the one you will use, and the others will gather dust. ...more info
  • Don't Wait - Get it Now
    Own a D200, just got my D3. Can't help but wonder why it took Nikon so long. Well, maybe not, Nikon did this one right. This camera [...]. It has all the goodies and delivers on que exactly what you see. Great investment; it will use my FX lenses along with my DX lenses. So I didn't waste my money on the DX camera and lenses. GO NIKON !!!!! ...more info
  • Better than the competition
    It's about time Nikon got its act together to deliver a high speed, high ISO, full-frame camera. I had semi-switched to Canon with the purchase of the EOS 1D Mark III. Despite reports over focusing issues, I haven't had any real problems with it. The frame rate and high ISO on it is phenomenal. Anyhow, the D3's 9-fps at full frame, impressive high ISO, and a wealth of other features on it were enough to lure me and my wallet back to the Nikon camp. After some comparison test shots at different high ISO settings on the D3, D2Xs, and Mark III, I have to say that the D3's noise level is as good, maybe even a tad bit better than the Mark III. The D2Xs was a very distant third, clearly unacceptable at ISO 1600. Also, the D3's auto white balance appears to be more accurate than the Mark III. I haven't had extensive use of the D3 yet, but so far, it performs as good as Canon's best offering in terms of speed and noise level.

    8/27/08 - After having used it for 7+ months, the D3 is better than the Mark III in just about every aspect - focusing, color, white-balance, low noise, ergonomics. But the only thing I haven't gotten down is flash exposure with the SB-800. The flash tends to overexpose, unlike the D2Xs which had almost perfect exposure every time....more info