The new Nikon D3 & D300

Nikon has announced today their new DSLR, a 12MP full frame sensor D3 and 12MP DX sensor D300. The Nikon D3 is the first DSLR that has an ISO 6400 as a standard, with a boost mode up to ISO 25600 !!!

Here are some early notes from professional photographers and reviewers about the High ISO perfomance in D3:

The new D3 has high-ISO performance beyond what anyone could imagine possible. I could hardly believe my eyes. Bjorn Rorslett in DPReview.

… based on a look at ISO 1600 – ISO 25,600 frames produced by prototype D3 bodies, including a handful we shot ourselves, the camera looks like it will produce low light photos that are both massively cleaner and more usable than the D2Xs and in the same ballpark as Canon’s EOS-1D Mark III …
… based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s safe to say that the D3 will produce photos of dramatically better quality than the D2Xs at ISO 1600 and up.
Rob Galbraith

The D3’s high ISO is really impressive I’ll remain at least somewhat skeptical until we can get a D3 back in the lab and test it under controlled conditions, but Nikon showed some incredibly impressive prints at the event. They had enlargements that must have been 30×45 inches or more in size, comparing identical shots taken with the D3 and Canon EOS-1D Mark III at ISO 3,200 and 6,400.
After the disappointment of the D2H, I have to say I was taking Nikon’s claims of low noise at high ISOs with a rather large grain of salt. When I saw the aforementioned prints though, I was literally flabbergasted. The D3 didn’t just surpass the 1D Mark III, it far surpassed it. Well, that may be a little strong; the Mark III is a fantastic camera, but the difference between its images and those from the D3 was anything but subtle. As I say, I’ll remain a skeptic until we can test a production sample of the D3 ourselves, but if the images shown had any basis in reality (and Nikon would be foolish to have doctored them in any way), it looks like there’s a new leader in the high-ISO / low-noise derby, and it’s the D3.
Dave Etchells, The Imaging Resource

In our hands-on time with the D3 at an exclusive press event in Tokyo, we were blown away by the high speed images generated by the camera. Far from a scientific test (we shot a lot of images underneath the meeting room tables) the camera exhibited almost no noise at speeds up to ISO 6400. Obviously extended testing of the system will be necessary, but even in casual inspection the images off the D3 are exponentially better than previous systems.
For years the high ISO noise of the Nikon platform has been the Achilles heel of camera system, and clearly Nikon set out to eliminate that weakness with its new DSLRs. From what we’ve seen in our limited testing, they seem to have succeeded. Anyone who has heard the generalization that the Canon system performs better in low light will likely to have to revisit that maxim.
David Schloss, PDNOnline

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