Tokyo (Japan) – Nikon has announced its first full-frame digital SLR camera, the D3. The camera will be available this fall and can shoot 12.1 megapixel images at a blistering 11 frames a second. The D3 also has an ISO boost mode which lets the user shoot at up to 25,600 ISO.
The frame rate and auto-focus system should appeal to action and sports photographers. Up to 51 auto-focus points are supported and the camera will shoot 9 frames a second with AF tracking activated or 11 fps without auto-focus.
Nikon has upgraded and enlarged the LCD screen its previous cameras and the D3 will have a 3.0-inch display with live view capability. There’s also a virtual horizon indicator that will show if the camera is perfectly level. If a three-inch screen is too small for you, then you may want to use the D3’s HDMI video out connector.
Images are taken in JPG, TIFF or Nikon’s compressed raw format, NEF. The D3 stores images to two Compact Flash cards and the user can specify to send copies to both cards or to fill up one card and overflow to the next.
Nikon promises this won’t be a throwaway camera and has rated the Kevlar/carbon fiber shutter blades for 300,000 cycles. Nikon’s D3 should be available in November for $5000. Whew.. it’s time to save up your pennies.