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November 30, 2008 – Nikon today announced the pro-level D3X, which basically puts a full-frame 24.5-megapixel sensor into the rugged body of the Nikon D3. Even at this high resolution, with image files that can reach 138 megabytes, the D3X can still snap up to five frames per second. Well-heeled Santas will be pleased to learn that the D3X body will be available in December, for $7999.95.
The new camera provides more than double the resolution of the 12.1-megapixel D3 and promises extended dynamic range as well, but caps ISO levels at a more modest 1600 (up to 6400 in expanded-range Hi-2 mode), where the D3 pushes the envelope to ISO 6400 and 25,600 at Hi-2. The two cameras share a wide range of features, including 3D Color Matrix Metering II and 51-point auto focus systems, Active D-Lighting, dual-CompactFlash card slots and 0.12-second start-up time, with shutter release lag of 0.04 seconds. Dual Live View systems also carry over, with a tripod mode that relies on contrast detection and handheld mode that flips the mirror back into place for phase detection autofocus before taking the picture.
The Nikon Picture Control system is also in place, providing a range of preset and user-created combinations of sharpening, tone compensation, brightness and saturation settings that can be accessed with a single menu choice. The 3-inch 920,000-dot LCD screen that’s become the high-end Nikon standard returns, along with an optical viewfinder offering 100 percent coverage at 0.7x magnification and mini-HDMI port for high-def output to a big-screen TV. The D3X is compatible with Nikon’s Creative Lighting System, GP-1 GPS receiver and WT-4a wireless transmitter, and of course the wide range of Nikkor lenses.