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Key Features

Nikon's original 12.1-megapixel FX-format (23.9 x 36mm) CMOS sensor: Couple Nikon's exclusive digital image processing system with the 12.1-megapixel FX-format and you'll get breathtakingly rich images while also reducing noise to unprecedented levels with even higher ISOs.

Extreme low-noise ISO range with advanced noise reduction: This enables photographers to confidently select from 200-6400 ISO with an expanded range that includes: Lo-1 (100 ISO), Hi-1 (12,800 ISO) and Hi-2 (25,600 ISO).

Selectable 12-Bit or 14-Bit A/D Conversion: The choice of selecting bit depths at 12-bit (4,096 tones) or 14-bit (16,384 tones), both yielding incredible image quality through a full 16-bit processing pipeline, enables photographers to choose smaller files at faster operating speeds, as opposed to larger files with smoother tonal gradations at slower operating speeds.

Fast, accurate 51-point auto focus with 3D focus tracking: Add onto that, three dynamic AF modes to deliver exacting autofocus precision at blazing speeds.

Nikon's exclusive Scene Recognition System (SRS): Improved 1,005-pixel 3D Color Matrix Metering II provides even more intelligent auto exposure capabilities, along with smarter auto white balance detection and faster, more accurate AF performance.

Nikon's exclusive Active D-Lighting:  Image enhancement provided on the fly while shooting produces broader tone reproduction in both shadows and highlights by controlling light intensity and exposure compensation while applying localized tone control technology to achieve the right level of contrast across the entire image for sharp, detailed results.

Nikon's self-diagnostic shutter system: Tested to 300,000 cycles, this system is a clear indication of advanced engineering and durable construction.

Continuous shooting at up to 9 frames per second: At full FX resolution and up to 11fps in the DX crop mode, the D3 offers uncompromised shooting speeds for fast-action and sports photography.

Nikon's exclusive EXPEED Image Processing Technology: The foundation of Nikon’s newest Image Processing Systems, EXPEED incorporates the concepts, innovations and years of Nikon’s digital image processing experience, providing superior image quality with state-of-the-art technologies at blazing processing speeds.

3.0-inch super density 921,000-dot VGA color monitor: With 170-degree, wide-angle viewing and tempered glass protection, you'll get even better critical image review capabilities.

Two Live View shooting modes: Use either hand-held or with a tripod when shooting in a studio, remote situations or from challenging angles.

New Picture Control settings: This gives photographers dramatically advanced color control with 4 preset options; standard, neutral, vivid and monochrome, as well as 9 customizable settings.

The World's First Virtual Horizon Graphics Indicator: The D3's super-density color LCD monitor, teamed with Nikon's innovative Electronic Virtual Horizon delivers instant and accurate confirmation of the D3's position relative to "horizon level." You can also level the D3 while looking through the viewfinder or on the top-deck LCD.

Comprehensive state-of-the-art dust and moisture countermeasures and electromagnetic interference: With a rugged, durable and precise magnesium-alloy chassis and body, the D3 goes beyond other D-SLRs to protect against invasive moisture, dust and even electromagnetic interference. A comprehensive series of O-rings and other specialized seals, combined with additional engineering, keeps you shooting when lesser cameras would fail.

D3 4.8 5 23 23
The best camera ever made, can't wait for Nikon to come out with something next June 21, 2011
Worth the wait This Nikon body was the first entry into the FX sensor, and it was definitely worth the wait. Here is a snippet of an article I wrote on it: What I like about the D3: FX full frame sensor that equates with returning the original angle of view to my wide-angle lenses. Image quality. Oh, yeah. Nikon metering and autofocus is terrific. The D3 will mount almost any Nikon lens made in the last 25 years. Nikon flash technology is years ahead of Canon in my opinion. Excellent battery life, and the batteries from my D2X and D3X interchange. Comfortable ergonomics. Controls (mostly) positioned where I expect them to be. Most shoots I do don’t require me to delve into the menus. April 16, 2011
No more deep thought years ago, I used a 4 x 5 view, a Weston meter and a black cloth, not to mention loading and unloading film holders every night- but that was very long ago Now as a limited pro photog. I own this incredible D3, of one of the finest cameras ever made. Almost just frame, point and shoot - yes there are settings to be concerned with, however this marvelous piece of technology does so very much for the holder. NIKON D3-none finer!! April 16, 2011
Excellent, Versatile Camera Body I do a variety of work ranging from fast paced event/ working /sports subjects to landscapes and products. Shooting environments range from in a studio to out into remote areas in all sorts of weather including heavy snow and rain. Through all of this the D3 works marvelously. Continuous shutter and AF speeds make it a perfect sports body. Its FX sensor's high ISO performance make it perfect for shooting weddings or other low, available light only. 12 megapixels gives you enough resolution to shoot commercially with it as well. Ergonomics are fantastic. Adjustments can be made without leaving the viewfinder and your hands won't hurt from holding it all day. Because it uses the Nikon F-mount you have access to a vast amount of lenses to meet any of your needs. All of these qualities make it, the updated D3s, and the D700 the most versatile camera bodies on the market. April 15, 2011
A real workhorse The D3 is superior in quality to many newer competitors models offering higher mega-pixel counts. Works consistantly, very dependable, a real workhorse! Easy to navigate, accessories work reliably, As a professional it makes perfect economic sense to depend on the best. April 14, 2011
Speed shooter I had to buy another D3 just for the speed shutter. I did not need a video camera.This is a fantastic camera. I will do anything you set it to do.Great Great shooter....I now own 2 D3 cameras with a D700 and a D200. Also a Nikkor 800mm,24-70 nikkor-70-200 lense-300mm manual focus lense-Nikon 2x entender-14-24 lense all f2.8 and a Mb10 power pack for the D700. What a perfect set of cameeras to shoot anything i want...Happy Camper. Alaska is my June trip ths year.... February 24, 2011
Got this camera as a x-mas gift. It is an awesome camera, easy to use, great built-in features & great for a first time user. I highly recommend this camera for a beginner or a pro. December 29, 2010
D3, the best Nikon I have ever owned For its quality of image, its high ISO capacity, its protection against dust (except sensor) and water, the possibility to use a micro-Nikkor I bought in 1973, the D3 is the best Nikon I have ever owned. I have had and used Nikons cameras since 1973 (including the whole Fn range except for the F6), this is the camera that feels and performs the best wherever I go, from tropical rainforest to extreme cold, sports or photojournalistic photography to landscape... Its huge versatility makes it a formidable asset for the dedicated photographer. Hoping for the next model to include a slightly higher pixel count (without curtailing the ISO/lack of noise capacity of the D3) and a sensor-cleaning possibility that does not require having to send the camera back to Nikon (for safety). Thank you again Nikon! December 1, 2010
The perfect digital solution Full frame with huge pixels makes this camera the perfect companion to my F6. My digital assignments don't require huge files, this is why the D3 works great for those projects that need fast turnaround. The 8.4 pixel pitch means no diffraction and loss of image quality at f16.0. I make 24" x 36" prints with beautiful details and color. Will I upgrade to the D3x? At this time I don't need that much in a digital body, but I do know the pixel pitch is 5.9 and I would still be able to maximize depth of field if I wanted to step up to 24mp. This picture was taken with an old 1980's era Nikkor lens, the 28 f3.5 at f16.0 and is one of my biggest sellers. November 10, 2010
Wow! Awesome Camera! We own 4 of the Nikon D3! We use them day in and day out for our Wedding Photography and Portrait Business and they always perfom great! All of the important controls, (ISO, White Balance, Flash Controls, High Speed Mode, Custom Function) are all easily accessable and intuitive to find and use. The 3" Screen cannot be underestimated, I originally saw it as a somewhat silly upgrade, but it has made a huge difference in conveying to us what we are capturing while we are shooting! Once you use these LCD's you cannot go back to anything else! The color is vibrant, accurate and sharp. You can easily and accurately determine correct focus and depth of field due to the high level of detail that these exception LCD's offer. The images are clear and crisp beyond belief! And don't let the "mere" 12mp fool you! The high level of quality that comes from the sensor and processor makes this camera perform well above what you would expect from 12mp! We regularly print crystal clear, beautiful 20x30 inch metallic prints without ANY worry of resolution! Resolution is more than adequate. We regularly shoot at 3200 ISO and below and the images are very usable, even for our high end wedding clients. I use 1600 ISO without even thinking twice and get wonderful images where often the noise in the image cannot even be seen. I love the Vivid Mode on these Cameras and I often use Custom Sepia Tones and Black and White Mode and they work quite well. The autofocus is spot on, even when shooting very dimly lit wedding receptions! I love the second shutter button on these cameras too! I very frequently shoot using the vertical grip and find a huge advantage in comfort, (which makes a big difference shooting a 10 hour wedding day), stabililty and intuitive control of the camera. I could go on and on about this camera, it really is awesome! August 12, 2010
Work Horse The D3 is never not hanging on my shoulder. I am street photographer and this baby performs! She has never let me down. My only complaint is some of the rubber padding is separating looks bad but she stills performs. August 3, 2010
Changed the Photography World The D3 changed everything for me as a wedding and portrait photographer. Amazing speed and low light capabilities. The best investment I have ever made! July 31, 2010
Phenominal Camera I usually wait for a year before purchasing a new release, but when I read about this model I new it was going to be the one time I purchased right away. I received mine shortly after it was out and I have not been sorry. This camera has impressed me in every way possible, from its high frame rate, its incredible exposure and color accuracy, to its clean high ISO settings. I am fussy about my photographs, and this camera makes me look even better. The files print well, and enlargements are most impressive. The camera is shaped well, and very comfortable to hold and shoot. The controls are well placed. The user interface is quick and easy to move through and when I am working, I find myself mindlessly making changes to my camera, allowing me to concentrate on my subject. I have had the D1 line, the D2 line, and this camera is light years beyond them. July 30, 2010
Simply the Best I don't have a single negative thing to say about this camera - it exceeds every detail in the product description - I have read some owners complaining or wishing it had a "sensor-cleaner", but this is not something that concerns me in the least... July 30, 2010
The Best camera, Ever! Words fail to express the incredible experience that shooting with this camera offers. From its incredible color to its noiseless chip. We routinely print 48"x60" prints straight out of this camera. Its high ISO ability alone is worth the price. This camera is better then the venerable F3HP, which I still own. July 20, 2010
Shutter too loud!! Great camera, BUT.....On my D3, the shutter is so loud and clunky that it cannot be used in many situations because it is too disruptive. My D300 is quieter, but both are much louder than comparable Canon DSLR's. PLEASE fix this! I cannot be the only one with this issue. April 14, 2011
Great add ons I am an international paparazzi and I use this camera as my backup in my bag along with using it in tight spaces such as clubs and other high security ares because bouncers do not like large equipment. The features that this camera allows to be added onto it is astounding that such a little camera can do such great things with lenses flashes and other add on technologies. September 28, 2010
Has issues. I was one of the first people to get my hands on this camera when it came out. Imagine my disappointment when the thing just wouldn't lock focus indoors. Very quickly, I found out that most of my colleagues who bought this camera have the same problem. I also discovered that both the D700 and the D300 have the same issues. Less then a year later, two shutter blades broke off with less then 25,000 actuations on the shutter and the rubber grip started pealing off. Nikon would not honor the warranty and charged me $375 to replace the shutter claiming that the famous 350,000 shatter actuations is only an estimate, but they corrected the focusing problem a bit. It is still not nearly as fast as my D2XS in focusing department, but the image, once you get it is superior to all other brands. Overall, I'm disappointed that a $5000+ camera has this many problems and that Nikon does not stand behind its product. August 21, 2010
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My camera has a "F EE" message. What is this, how can I fix it?

Nov 20, 2011 by
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Angelica
Chile
 on D3
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2 years, 4 months ago by
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Angelica
Chile
Location : 
Chile
Age: 35-44
Favorite Subject: Family & Friends
Nikon Family: 6-10 years
Experience: More than a year
Role: Occasional user, memory keeper
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Answer: 
Rotate the lens aperture to its smallest setting (highest value). Usually a detent in place to prevent the lens aperture ring from engaging. The lens can now be operated using the camera body controls (auto or manual).
Jul 15, 2013 by
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Anonymous

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Answer: 
Here is Nikon's answer:http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2605/~/what-does-the-fee-or-f---error-message-displayed-on-an-slr-camera-mean%3F
Nov 21, 2011 by
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JoeR
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How many frames is the D3 rated for?

Dec 5, 2013 by
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photogjosh
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The shutter blades on my D3 came loose, the camera is at 389,253 on the frame count. I am wondering what the camera was originally rated for in my decision to replace or repair. Thanks!
4 months, 1 week ago
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photogjosh
Age: 35-44
Favorite Subject: Travel
Nikon Family: 11-20 years
Experience: More than a year
Role: Professional photographer
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Answer: 
300000
Dec 5, 2013 by
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JoeR
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