First of all - I haven't seen any shots taken with this camera, however, I'm not worried about image quality. With its large sensor and relatively small (and sensible) megapixel count, the camera has a very large pixel pitch, which should make it possible to compete with the Canon 1D Mark III. Even though all that remains to be seen, this is basic physics.
The new EXPEED processor, developed in house, uses a 12-channel readout and enhanced noise reduction algorithms. Reason enough for competition to worry about. Also, the unique new feature - ISO 6400 sensitivity without software gain - should be very interesting.
For those of you who use DX lenses - don't worry. Stick a DX lens on the D3, and the camera automatically adjusts the sensor capture area.
When it came to speed, Nikon cameras never lagged behind. Nor do they now, with a turn-on time of 0.12 s and a shutter lag of only 37 ms (Nikon D300: 0.13 s and 45 ms, respectively). When functioning with the full sensor size, the camera can take 9 frames per second, while with the reduced sensor size, this number goes up to 11. The D300 can do 6 fps, or 8 fps with the optional battery grip.
The new EXPEED processor is used to transform 14 bit data into 16 bit images, and also includes additional processing, such as colors, chromatic aberration and lens corrections. According to Nikon, this system is adapted to the new lenses, however, it should produce remarkable results with old lenses as well. This image processing can of course be turned off, if you're shooting NEF (RAW) images. Also, the Nikon Capture NX got a few improvements, but will still be an optional purchase.
There is also a new option, Picture Control, which makes it possible to perform much of the processing in camera - handy for reporters who want to get the shot, not spend time massaging it to perfection.
Also, of the 51 AF sensors, there are 16 cross-type sensors, which come in especially handy in low light, making AF even faster for all lenses with an aperture of f/5.6 or more.
Another thing - the D3 has the Shutter Balance system, which minimizes camera shake due to mirror and shutter movement.
More on everything tomorrow.
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By Jože Svetičič. Material provided by Matjaž Intihar.