Nikon finally releases a full-frame DSLR

NikonWhen I switched my photography to a digital format I had too much invested in Nikon lenses to change manufacturers; however I do know that many professionals using DSLRs today have Canon equipment to make the most of a full-frame image sensor (and I bought my best Nikkor lens from a pro who made the switch to Canon). For years, Nikon has told us that their DX format is all we need (and the focal lengths of our lenses have grown by around 150% as a result) but this has a cost in the higher signal to noise ratio. It seems that, finally, Nikon has recognised this with their new “FX” format D3 (which can also use DX lenses, although it shuts down part of the image sensor to do so). At the wrong side of £3000 it’s too much for me but I like the sound of features like a self-cleaning sensor, dual CF-card slots, LiveView and virtual horizon adjustment. I also like the sound of a 12 megapixel sensor, 51 point autofocus, 3″ LCD and larger viewfinder (something I can only experience by shooting some rolls of film in my old F90x) although I’d like to see low ISO settings too (when shooting landscapes I find ISO 200 too restrictive and would like the option for slow-speeds in the ISO 25-100 range) and the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III already meets (or even exceeds) most of the D3 specifications (admittedly with a £6000 price tag). I had hoped that a prosumer FX format model would follow the D3 but it seems not – the new D300 is DX only. Regardless, I’d better get saving to replace my D70, which is still a fantastic camera but not quite in the same league – maybe by the time my piggy bank is full there will be a prosumer model with an FX sensor.

Rob Galbraith has a full review of the D3 at digital photography insights.

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