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Nikon D3X  (Source: Nikon)

  (Source: Nikon)
Nikon D3X boasts 24.5-megapixels and more

Nikon offers a full line of digital cameras from the point-and-shoot variety down to a complete range of D-SLR cameras. Nikon is one of the biggest names in the photography industry and when it introduces a new model photographers get excited.

Nikon has officially announced its latest D-SLR camera called the D3X. The camera features 24.5-megapixels and can shoot bursts at full resolution of up to five frames per second. Reducing the resolution to 10.5-megapixles allows bursts of seven frames per second.

The camera shoots photos in TIFF, JPEG, or RAW formats with 12-bit or 14-bit compressed and uncompressed formats. Images are stored to CF cards and the D3X sports dual CF slots that can be written to at 35MB per second.

The ISO range is ISO 100 to 1600 and is expandable to ISO 50 and ISO 6400. Nikon promises that images at ISO 1600 have no grain. Startup time is a mere 0.12 second and the shutter release time lag is 0.04 seconds.

Nikon builds its Scene Recognition System into the camera to refine auto exposure, auto white balance, and autofocus calculations. An internal database of 30,000 different images allows the scene selection system to choose values based on actual photos.

The autofocus system uses 51 points and has 15 cross type sensors along with 36 horizontal sensors to track and lock on to moving subjects. A 3-inch rear LCD offers 920,000-dot resolution and supports LiveView. The battery promises enough power for 4400 shots on a single charge.
The Nikon D3X will be available this month at $7,999.95, presumably for the body only. Most amateur photographers will find the much lower priced Nikon D90 to be more than adequate for their needs.

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RE: Steep entry price
By flurazepam on 12/2/2008 4:57:57 PM , Rating: 2
It is not the same sensor. If you read around the net, general consensus is that its Nikon's own design, but likely made at a Sony fab as Nikon doesn't have the manufacturing capacity to build their own sensors. If it was it would have the same 12bit output, same AA filtration, amongst other things. Only thing in common is the pixel output dimensions.

Really? You're that sure that the sensor is 100% different and unique to Nikon? Interesting. Strangely enough I did read the releases and the consensus parallels my own. Wesley Fink from Anandtech, whose reviews I give much more credence than some other sites, states:

"Nikon makes no claims to have designed or manufactured the D3x sensor so it is likely the same sensor as the Sony A900 with customized Nikon image processing.

What was NOT expected is the $8000 price tag Nikon USA has announced for the new D3x. With the 24.5 MP Sony A900 selling for $3000 and the now shipping 21.0 MP Canon 5D Mark II with an MSRP of $2699 most expected a selling price nearer the $5000 D3.

Since the Nikon D3x and Sony A900 appear to use the same Sony 24.5 MP sensor it will be interesting to see if the D3x can effectively compete against a full-frame rival that uses the same sensor and is selling for about one-third the price. The Nikon features a 100-1600 ISO range, with expansion down to ISO 50 and two steps up to ISO 6400. This compares to the Sony A900 ISO range of 200-3200 with expansion to 100-6400, which is a virtually the same sensitivity rating.

No doubt Nikon has worked their normal magic with their Image processing chips in the D3x, but will that justify three times the price?"

Fink seems convinced that it is indeed the same sensor. Moreover, it is specious to assume that Sony would manufacture a "one-off" for Nikon. That doesn't bode well with the economies of scale. Furthermore, it doesn't make sense financially as the company is in the business of selling electronics; as much as possible in fact. Since, assuming, it's their own (Sony's) design, why wouldn't they use it? Now, what another company does with the information after it exits the sensor (internal algorithm's etc.) is their own design. This still brings it down to price. No doubt Nikon makes a fine product, but is it still worth the price? Keep in mind that while the Sony may not compete one for one against the Nikon (A900 Vs D3x), it does make the sensor. Sony is not a fledgling camera company. Star Wars II wasn't filmed using Sony cameras and electronics because they weren't that good. I know I might be knocked down again for these comments - but the price, so far, has yet to be justified regardless of the target audience that this product is directed towards. I'll gladly concede if the reviews say otherwise (i.e. they state that it is worth every dime). As an aside - nVidia believed their G200 was worth $650 or so dollars until AMD/Ati released their 4870 to which nVidia's product dropped 30% in value!

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