Nikon | D3X | User's Manual | Nikon D3X User's Manual

• Lens: AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED • Image
quality: 14-bit RAW (NEF) • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/250
second, f/8 • White balance: Color Temp. (4550k)
• Sensitivity: ISO 100 • Picture Control: Standard
© Frank P. Wartenberg
• Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED • Image quality: 14bit RAW (NEF) • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/125 second, f/10 • White
balance: Flash • Sensitivity: ISO 100 • Picture Control: Standard
© Frank P. Wartenberg
• Lens: AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED • Image quality: 14-bit
RAW (NEF) • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/60 second, f/8 • White balance:
Color Temp. (4760k) • Sensitivity: ISO 100 • Picture Control: Portrait
© Frank P. Wartenberg
• Lens: PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D • Image quality: 14-bit RAW
(NEF) • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/60 second, f/32 • White balance: Auto
• Sensitivity: ISO 100 • Picture Control: Standard
© Kenji Aoki
• Lens: PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/2.8D • Image quality: 14-bit RAW
(NEF) • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/60 second, f/32 • White balance: Auto
• Sensitivity: ISO 100 • Picture Control: Standard
© Kenji Aoki
• Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm
f/2.8G ED • Image quality: 14-bit
RAW (NEF) • Exposure: [M] mode,
1/200 second, f/10 • White
balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO
100 • Picture Control: Standard
© Tim Andrew
• Lens: AF-S VR Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED • Image
quality: 12-bit RAW (NEF) • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/80
second, f/2 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 800
• Picture Control: Standard
© Tim Andrew
• Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED • Image
quality: 12-bit RAW (NEF) • Exposure: [M] mode, 1/50
second, f/13 • White balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO
100 • Picture Control: Standard
© Tim Andrew
• Lens: AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED • Image quality: 14-bit
RAW (NEF) • Exposure: [A] mode, 1/100 second, f/5.6 • White
balance: Auto • Sensitivity: ISO 100 • Picture Control: Landscape
©John Shaw
Extreme-resolution photography once meant a sacrifice in mobility, versatility and spontaneity. Now, the Nikon D3X builds
upon the world-renowned D3, merging 24.5 megapixels of imaging performance with the speed and handling characteristics
that today's photography demands: exquisite detail and tonal range in an ergonomically superior digital SLR body with
comprehensive protection against dust, moisture and electromagnetic interference. Work within ISO 100 and ISO 1600 for
spectacularly clean and sharp images, even in harsh conditions. The D3X's intuitive layout makes it easier to respond instantly
to rapidly changing situations. With Nikon's Total Imaging System on their side, demanding photographers can better realize
their vision, using the comprehensive range of renowned NIKKOR lenses and the incomparable Creative Lighting System to
adapt to any assignment or shooting situation. That's creative freedom. With the D3X, the world is your studio.
Nikon FX-format CMOS image sensor with 24.5 effective megapixels l Exceptional noise control from ISO 100 to ISO 1600
Near-instantaneous shutter release time lag of approx. 0.04 seconds (based on CIPA Guideline)* l 5-frames-per-second
continuous shooting in FX format and 7 fps in DX crop mode (up to 130 frames)* l 51-point Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus
system l Scene Recognition System for more accurate AF, AE, and AWB results l Active D-Lighting for complete control
over highlight and shadow detail l Picture Control: Standard, Vivid, Neutral and Monochrome (Landscape, Portrait and
D2X Modes I, II and III are available free via download) l Live View mode for shooting handheld and with a tripod l Highresolution (approx. 920k dots), 3-inch VGA-size LCD monitor with tempered glass l Durable, lightweight magnesium-alloy
construction and comprehensive weather sealing against dust and moisture l Intelligent power management that lets you
shoot up to approx. 4,400 frames on a single battery charge (based on CIPA Guideline)** l Compatibility with the Nikon
Total Imaging System *12-bit A/D conversion mode **Using EN-EL4a lithium-ion battery at Single-frame [S] mode
The sensor's 24.5 megapixels are only the beginning. No matter how you shoot – tightly controlled or on the fly –
the camera's phenomenally wide dynamic range retains subtlety of shadow and highlight detail that contributes to
breathtaking image fidelity, which can make the difference between good pictures and exceptional ones.
Images with the X-factor are what your clients expect and your reputation deserves. Nikon's EXPEED processing
system is much more than a mere label or processing chip component. The EXPEED at work in the D3X is designed
specifically to meet the requirements of a 24.5-megapixel sensor. The results will exceed the expectations of any
photographer whose work requires extreme resolution, rich tonal gradation, outstanding color accuracy and
remarkable detail. Commercial and fine art photographers will immediately see that the D3X cuts no corners.
Fast 14-bit A/D conversion incorporated onto the image sensor for high signal-to-noise ratio and low power consumption
24.5 megapixels, each pixel specially designed to carry larger electrical charges for outstanding light transmission properties, delivering
a wider dynamic range
l Exclusive low-pass filter with multi-layer coating for pristine resolution and minimized moiré
Nikon's EXPEED image processing system, utilizing a supremely powerful CPU with 16-bit image processing
Faithful, pleasingly saturated color throughout the palette, with smooth tonal gradations, even in highlights
l Fast and efficient processing speed
Not every subject poses for the camera. Whether it's on the catwalk, in the studio or roaming in the wild,
photographers must capture their subject beautifully and accurately. With its 51 individually selectable AF points,
the D3X autofocus system is the same as the acclaimed Nikon D3, which has become the preferred choice of so
many of the world's leading sports and news photographers by delivering tack-sharp images, even when shooting
moving, low-contrast or poorly lit subjects.
The logic is simple: a camera that functions naturally in your hands allows creative work to flow. The D3X features
Nikon's world-renowned ergonomics, placement of controls and intuitive menu systems to help you follow your
instincts instead of interrupting your flow to adjust settings or scroll through menus. Every texture and control has
been meticulously designed to maintain your momentum and remain comfortable in your hands for as long as it
takes to complete the assignment.
51 AF points to track and capture both moving and stationary subjects
15 cross-type AF sensors that work with any NIKKOR lens f/5.6 or faster
l Versatile AF-area modes: Single-point AF, Dynamic-area AF, and Auto-area AF
Spectacular images can be found far beyond the controlled confines of the studio. Unlike less robust 36x24mm
D-SLRs or more cumbersome medium-format equipment, the D3X was designed to be at home both on the set
and on location. Its performance-tested body is similar to the world-renowned D3, which has proven that it can
withstand the worst of what the world's leading news photographers can throw at it. Wherever you are, the D3X
delivers studio-quality images in an agile body that can withstand the elements.
Whether it's the world-renowned NIKKOR lenses or the industry-leading Speedlight system, shooting with a D3X
opens the door to a range of creative opportunities that only Nikon can offer. The Nikon Total Imaging System,
backed up by the Nikon Professional Services (NPS)* network is there to help you realize your vision, or even
stimulate new ones.
Rugged magnesium alloy construction
l Comprehensive protection against moisture, dust and even electromagnetic interference
l A shutter unit tested inside the camera to exceed 300,000 cycles
l A self-diagnostic shutter monitor for more consistent and assured performance accuracy
Compatible with the extensive NIKKOR lens range, including fisheye, ultra-wide angle, zoom, telephoto, super-telephoto, micro and PC lenses
Nano-crystal coating on NIKKOR lenses for spectacular clarity, as well as minimized ghost and flare effects during harsh lighting
l NIKKOR Vibration Reduction to effectively compensate for blur caused by camera shake
l The industry-leading Nikon Creative Lighting System, including portable and versatile Nikon Speedlights
l Wireless Transmission, GPS input, HDMI output interfaces
l A comprehensive suite of workflow software to manage, edit, control and authenticate your important files
*These services are for NPS members.
D3X: On Assignment
For studio shooting, the D3X's
resolution is amazing, rivaling
digital medium–format camera
offerings. Tonal gradation is very
smooth and even, and
the color rendering
is perfect for fashion
and beauty. It is always
thrilling for me to see
the range of colors in
my mind realized in the
final result, and the D3X
did exactly that.
This camera really
impressed me during our
beach shoot. The beautiful
tonal gradation allowed
me to experiment freely
in difficult light without
worr ying about losing
detail in the brightest and darkest
areas. As I shot that day, I realized
that with this D3X, the challenges
of harsh contrast, backlighting
and sudden lighting and weather
changes that once made location
Four of the world's top professional photographers worked with the D3X on a variety of assignments.
shooting difficult for fashion
photographers are now diminished
significantly. The fast autofocus and
incredible frame rate also gave me
the chance to catch
the perfect moment in
ways that a mediumformat camera could
One of the biggest
advantages, however, is
the incredible versatility
in every kind of weather.
Even when shooting in
the rain, the D3X's brilliant
autofocus wa s a l ways
sharp and precise, and
the camera's agility and
rugged build made it
much easier to handle
than a medium-format camera. No
matter what the conditions were –
hot sun, strong wind or even hard
rain – the Nikon D3X performed!
Frank P. Wartenberg
Fashion (Germany)
Studio work is a game of
millimeters: the slightest move can
dramatically change an image and
ruin what you have envisioned.
The D3X gives me the mobility of
a 35mm D-SLR, which opens up
completely new oppor tunities
for photographers in my line of
work. Without being restrained by
a camera stand, commercial and
product photographers can now
handhold the camera to freely seek
an ideal perspective. This can save
hours of setup time, as mediumformat stands and accessories are
cumbersome and require numerous
tedious adjustments.
For me, however, the biggest
surprise of the D3X was the
image quality. As a studio still life
photographer making my living
with expensive medium-format
digital equipment, I was skeptical
a b o u t w h a t a ny D - S L R c o u l d
deliver. At the beginning, I was
certain that the D3X images would
be vastly inferior to the medium
format. The price difference alone
between these two systems should
be enough to explain the quality
difference, I thought.
It did not take long to discover
that my presumptions were
completely wrong. The image
quality of the D3X is far better
than I anticipated; it would not be
an exaggeration to say it was fifty
times better than my expectations.
Th e re s o l u t i o n i s i m p re s s i ve,
and the bokeh reproduction is
spectacular, especially when using
the PC-E Micro NIKKOR 85mm
f/2.8D. Another benefit I see is the
D3X's ability to focus sharply with
wide-angle lenses in ways that
are simply impossible with the
medium format. With all of these
benefits, I am certain that the D3X
will make a big splash in the studio
photography world.
Kenji Aoki
Still life (Japan)
The D3X's control layout is virtually
identical to my trusted Nikon D3,
which means that I know exactly
where everything is and how it
works so I can get on with the job.
However, the huge increase in
resolution and detail is
immediately apparent
when reviewing the
image on the rear LCD. It
was later, on a computer
monitor, that I discovered
image information that I
simply couldn't see with
my own eyes at the time.
Lo o k i n g a t my f i l e s, I
suddenly realized that I've
got the image quality of a
medium-format camera in
the familiar and ergonomic form of
a 35mm D-SLR. I can use my huge
range of NIKKOR lenses – including
many zooms and VR optics – at
focal lengths not available with
medium-format systems. I can also
use all my Nikon Speedlights and
other accessories.
Working fast, as time was tight,
I completed the static shots and
switched to 12-bit mode for
the action shots. I had to keep
reminding myself that this was a
24.5-megapixel camera and that I
was able to shoot 5 frames
per second, which was
essential to catch that
“magic moment” in the
Turin traffic. Later, I was
shooting ac tion shots
at night, wide open at
f/2.0 with the AF-S VR
Nikkor 200mm f/2G IF-ED
at ISO 800 and ISO 1600.
Despite the challenging
conditions, the shots
were full of crisp detail,
accurate color and incredible tonal
The D3X is a camera I could walk
around with all day, tackling any
subject without worrying about
bad weather or poor light. It makes
a perfect companion to my D3.
Tim Andrew
Cars (U.K.)
When Nikon asked me to take a
D3X camera on my safari in Kenya,
I was at first skeptical. But my
reservations disappeared soon after
I handled this camera. The D3X
maintains the incredible ergonomic
design, ease of menu
choices and fantastic
high-resolution rear LCD
as the D3, but the most
important addition is its
24.5-megapixel FX-format
sensor. This translates
into detail, detail and
more detail. An incredible
amount of information
lies in each full-frame image, but
24.5 megapixels also mean that
photographs can be cropped into
panoramic formats and still retain
amazing detail.
On this trip, I carried an assortment
of lenses, but relied heavily on
my two favorite safari lenses: the
AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4G ED VR
and the AF-S VR Zoom-Nik kor
200-400mm f/4G IF-ED. The D3X
worked extremely well with
each lens despite all the difficult
shooting scenarios that a safari can
present. With the D3X, I
get Nikon's exceptional
handling, fast autofocus
and an increased dynamic
range, as well as 5 frames
per second in FX format
and 7 frames per second
in 10-megapixel DX crop
format. Combine these
features with extreme
resolution and NIKKOR optics and I
know I'll be able to get the pictures
I want. I was greatly impressed
with the D3X. From landscape
to wildlife, the versatility of the
camera is truly amazing.
John Shaw
Nature and wildlife (U.S.A.)
Nikon Digital SLR Camera D3X Specifications
Lens Mount
Picture Angle
Single-lens reflex digital camera
Nikon F mount with AF coupling and AF contacts
Equivalent to angle produced by lens focal length (1.5 times when DX format is selected)
Effective Pixels
Effective Pixels
24.5 million
Image Sensor
Image Sensor
CMOS sensor, 35.9 x 24.0 mm; Nikon FX format
Total Pixels
25.72 million
Dust-reduction System Image Dust Off reference data (optional Capture NX 2 software required)
Image Size (pixels)
Image area
FX format (36 x 24)
DX format (24 x 16)
5:4 (30 x 24)
6,048 x 4,032
3,968 x 2,640
5,056 x 4,032
4,544 x 3,024
2,976 x 1,976
3,792 x 3,024
3,024 x 2,016
1,984 x 1,320
2,528 x 2,016
File Format
1) NEF (RAW): 12 or 14 bit, lossless compressed, compressed, or uncompressed
3) JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1:4), normal (approx. 1:8), or basic
(approx. 1:16) compression ([Size priority]); [Optimal quality] compression available
4) NEF (RAW) + JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats
Picture Control System Four setting options: Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome; each option can be adjusted
Storage Media
CompactFlash (Type I/II, compliant with UDMA); Microdrives
Double Slot
Slot 2 can be used for overflow or backup storage or for separate storage of NEF (RAW)
and JPEG images
File System
Compliant with DCF 2.0, DPOF, Exif 2.21, and PictBridge
Diopter Adjustment
Focusing Screen
Frame Coverage
SLR-type with fixed eye-level pentaprism
-3 to +1 m-1
18 mm (-1.0 m-1)
Type B BriteView Clear Matte VI screen
Approx. 100% (vertical/horizontal) in FX format, approx. 97% (vertical/horizontal) in DX
format, approx. 100% (vertical) and approx. 97% (horizontal) in 5:4
Magnification Approx. 0.7x (50mm f/1.4 lens at infinity; -1.0 m-1)
Reflex Mirror
Quick-return type
Depth-of-field Preview When CPU lens is attached, lens aperture can be stopped down to value selected by user
(A and M modes) or value selected by camera (P and S modes)
Lens Aperture
Instant-return type, with depth-of-field preview button
Compatible Lenses*1
1) Type G or D AF Nikkor: All functions supported
2) DX AF Nikkor: All functions supported except FX-format (36x24)/5:4 (30x24) image size
3) AF Nikkor other than type G or D*2: All functions supported except 3D Color Matrix
Metering II
4) AI-P Nikkor: All functions supported except autofocus and 3D Color Matrix Metering II
5) Non-CPU AI Nikkor: Can be used in exposure modes A and M; electronic rangefinder
can be used if maximum aperture is f/5.6 or faster; Color Matrix Metering and aperture
value display supported if user provides lens data
*1. IX-Nikkor lenses cannot be used *2. Excluding AF-Nikkor lenses for F3AF
Flash Sync Speed
Release Modes
Frame Advance Rate
Electronically controlled vertical-travel focal-plane shutter
1/8,000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV; Bulb
X = 1/250 s; flash synchronization at up to 1/250 s
1) Single-frame [S] mode, 2) Continuous Low-speed [CL] mode, 3) Continuous High-speed
[CH] mode, 4) Live View [LV] mode, 5) Self-timer [ ] mode, 6) Mirror-up [Mup] mode
• DX format (24 x 16): Up to 5 fps (CL) or 5 to 7 fps (CH)
• Other image areas: Up to 5 fps
Electronically controlled timer with duration of 2, 5, 10 or 20 s
Metering System
TTL full-aperture exposure metering using 1,005-pixel RGB sensor
1) 3D Color Matrix Metering II (type G and D lenses); Color Matrix Metering II (other CPU
lenses); Color Matrix Metering (non-CPU lenses if user provides lens data)
2) Center-Weighted: Weight of 75% given to 12-mm circle in center of frame, diameter of
circle can be changed to 8, 15 or 20 mm, or weighting can be based on average of entire
frame (non-CPU lenses use 12-mm circle or average of entire frame)
3) Spot: Meters 4-mm circle (about 1.5% of frame) centered on selected focus point (on
center focus point when non-CPU lens is used)
Metering Range 1) 0 to 20 EV (Matrix or Center-Weighted Metering), 2) 2 to 20 EV (Spot Metering) (ISO 100
equivalent, f/1.4 lens, at 20°C/68°F)
Exposure Meter Coupling Combined CPU and AI
Exposure Modes
1) Programmed Auto (P) with flexible program, 2) Shutter-Priority Auto (S), 3) AperturePriority Auto (A), 4) Manual (M)
Exposure Compensation ±5 EV in increments of 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV
Exposure Lock
Exposure locked at detected value with AE-L/AF-L button
Exposure Bracketing Exposure and/or flash bracketing (2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 or 1 EV)
ISO 100 to 1600 in steps of 1/3, 1/2, or 1 EV; can be set to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO
50 equivalent) below ISO 100, or to approx. 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 6400 equivalent)
over ISO 1600
Active D-Lighting
Can be selected from [Auto], [Extra high], [High], [Normal], [Low], or [Off]
Printed in China Code No. 6CE80121 (0811/A) K
Detection Range
Lens Servo
Focus Point
AF-Area Mode
Focus Lock
Nikon Multi-CAM 3500FX autofocus sensor module with TTL phase-detection; 51 focus
points (including 15 cross-type sensors); AF fine tuning possible
-1 to +19 EV (ISO 100 at 20°C/68°F)
1) Autofocus: Single-servo AF (S); Continuous-servo AF (C); Focus Tracking automatically
activated according to subject status, 2) Manual focus (M) with electronic rangefinder
Single AF point can be selected from 51 or 11 focus points
1) Single-point AF, 2) Dynamic-area AF [number of AF points: 9, 21, 51, 51 (3D-Tracking)],
3) Auto-area AF
Focus can be locked by pressing AE-L/AF-L button or by pressing shutter-release button
halfway (Single-point AF in AF-S)
Flash Control
1) TTL flash control with 1,005-pixel RGB sensor; i-TTL balanced fill-flash and standard
i-TTL fill-flash available with SB-900, 800, 600 or 400
2) Auto aperture (AA): Available with SB-900, 800 and CPU lens
3) Non-TTL auto (A): Available with SB-900, 800, 28, 27 or 22s
4) Range-priority manual (GN): Available with SB-900, and 800
Flash Sync Modes
1) Front-curtain sync (normal), 2) Slow sync, 3) Rear-curtain sync, 4) Red-eye reduction,
5) Red-eye reduction with slow sync
Flash-ready Indicator Lights when Speedlight such as SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-400, SB-80DX, SB-28DX, or
SB-50DX is fully charged; blinks after flash is fired at full output
Accessory Shoe
ISO 518 hot shoe with sync and data contacts, and safety lock
Sync Terminal
ISO 519 sync terminal with locking thread
Nikon Creative Lighting With Speedlights such as SB-900, SB-800, SB-600, SB-R200, SU-800 (commander only),
System (CLS)
supports Advanced Wireless Lighting, Auto FP High-Speed Sync, Flash Color Information
Communication, modeling flash and FV lock
White Balance
White Balance
Live View
LCD Monitor
Playback Function
• Auto (TTL white balance with main image sensor and 1,005-pixel RGB sensor);
• Seven manual modes can be preset with fine-tuning; color temperature setting; white
balance bracketing: 2 to 9 exposures in increments of 1, 2 or 3
Handheld mode: TTL phase-detection AF with 51 focus areas (15 cross-type sensors)
Tripod mode: Contrast-detect AF on a desired point within a specific area
3-in., approx. 920k-dot (VGA), 170-degree wide-viewing-angle, 100% frame coverage,
low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCD with brightness adjustment
Full-frame and thumbnail (4 or 9 images) playback with playback zoom, slide show,
histogram display, highlight display, auto image rotation, image comment (up to 36
characters), and voice memo input and playback
Video Output
Hi-Speed USB
NTSC or PAL; simultaneous playback from both the video output and on the LCD monitor
HDMI Output
Type A connector is provided as HDMI output terminal; simultaneous playback from both
the HDMI output terminal and on the LCD monitor not available
10-pin Remote Terminal Can be used to connect optional remote control, GPS Unit GP-1, or GPS device compliant
with NMEA 0183 version 2.01 and 3.01 (requires optional GPS Adapter Cord MC-35 and
cable with D-sub 9-pin connector)
Supported Languages
Supported Languages Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian,
Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish
Power Source
AC Adapter One Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a/EL4, Quick Charger MH-22/MH-21
AC Adapter EH-6 (optional)
Tripod Socket
Tripod Socket
1/4 in. (ISO 1222)
Dimensions (W x H x D) Approx. 159.5 x 157 x 87.5 mm/6.3 x 6.2 x 3.4 in.
Approx. 1,220 g/2 lb. 11 oz. without battery, memory card, body cap or accessory shoe cover
Operating Environment
Under 85% (no condensation)
Supplied Accessories* Rechargeable Li-ion Battery EN-EL4a, Quick Charger MH-22, USB Cable UC-E4, Audio
Video Cable EG-D2, Camera Strap AN-D3X, Body Cap BF-1A, Accessory Shoe Cover BS-2,
Eyepiece DK-17, Battery Chamber Cover BL-4, USB Cable Clip, Software Suite CD-ROM
*Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area
Main Optional Wireless Transmitter WT-4/4A, Magnifying Eyepiece DK-17M, AC Adapter EH-6, Capture
NX2 Software, Camera Control Pro 2 Software, Image Authentication Software
Note: Approx. 0.04 second* shutter release time lag extends to approx. 0.05 second* when VR is on or used together
with either AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED or AF VR Zoom-Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED. Release time lag
becomes approx. 0.06 second** in 14-bit A/D conversion mode.
*Based on CIPA Guideline and in 12-bit A/D conversion mode **Based on CIPA Guideline
• CompactFlash and Extreme are registered trademarks of SanDisk Corporation. • HDMI, the HDMI logo and HighDefinition Multimedia Interface are trademarks or registered trademarks of HDMI Licensing LLC. • Products and brand
names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
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