Online Article Page


Industry News
Nikon Launches New Flagship DSLRs
New models include first full-frame DSLR for the company; latest prosumer model
On Assignment

Tokyo, Japan—At a press conference here on August 23, 2007, Nikon Corporation launched their two new flagship DLSR cameras. The new cameras are the D3, designed for the professional photographer and the enthusiast or prosumer model D300.

The D3 is Nikon’s first full frame 35mm digital SLR camera body, featuring a 36.9x23.9mm, FX format, CMOS sensor offering 12.1 megapixels in resolution. The new imaging sensor, which is utilized in the D3 was developed by Nikon.

Introducing the D3, Nikon Corporation's Representative Director, President, CEO and COO Michio Kariya apologized for taking so long in bringing a full frame Nikon DSLR to market.

The D300 is a 12.3 megapixel DSLR, utilizing a DX sized CMOS sensor designed specifically for Nikon and manufactured by Sony.

According to Tetsuro Goto, Nikon Corporation’s Operating Officer, VP of Imaging Company, the D300’s functionality—which borrows many of the new features available in the D3 model—is balanced with its compactness, offering the best value for the customer.

Both digital SLRs are scheduled to hit store shelves this November; the D3 with an expected street price of $4,999. and the D300 with an expected street price of $1,799.

Nikon also introduced five new lenses that were designed to benefit from the full-frame aspect of the D3, however they can also be used with DX format digital SLRs. The lenses include: the AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR, AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/4G ED VR, and AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4G ED VR.

When asked why Nikon had waited this long in releasing a full frame DSLR, Goto explained that knowing the professionals who would be using the camera demand perfection, the company wanted to wait until it was sure the D3 offered the quality Nikon shooters have come to expect.

While Nikon’s executives stopped short of releasing any specifics on products in development that may feature higher resolutions, the company’s Makoto Kimura, Director, Member of the Board and Senior Executive Officer, President of Imaging Company said, “We won’t deny the possibility in the future.”

At the time of this announcement introducing Nikon’s 12.1 megapixel D3, news of Canon’s recent introduction of the 21.1 megapixel, full frame, EOS 1Ds Mark III DSLR only days earlier, was on the minds of the journalists in attendance. Inevitably, during the Q&A portion of the press conference, it was asked whether the perception may be that Nikon is playing catch-up to Canon in the DSLR megapixel wars.

Nikon’s Goto responded by saying, “For the D3, we think we are able to capture a wide range of consumers with this camera.”

Nikon Inc’s Lindsay Silverman, Senior Technical Manager, SLR Marketing Department, further explained, “You have to take into account who the cameras are designed for.” He went on to say that the D3 is intended to be purchased and used by photojournalists, sports and wedding photographers—those who need a fast camera; whereas Canon’s 1Ds Mark III, with its features, is designed more for the commercial or portrait photographer.

The Nikon D3 can capture up to 9 frames per second in FX format, increasing to 11 fps when the camera is set to capture images in the DX format.

Both the D3 and D300 offer users the benefits of its original Expeed digital image-processing concept, which will be employed in all future Nikon DSLR and Coolpix digital cameras. Both models also feature two Live View modes, a first for Nikon DSLRs; a new 51-point AF system, HDMI output and 3-inch LCDs. Although both cameras utilize many of the same features, there are differences. The D3 offers 12.1 mp full frame, 5:4 and 5 mp DX crop shooting. The ISO sensitivity is wide—from ISO 200 to ISO 6400 at the normal setting. The D300 features an ISO range from 200 to 3200; and it is the first Nikon DSLR to incorporate a built-in dust reduction system.

Nikon Corp. CEO Introduces New DSLRs in Tokyo
Nikon Corp.'s Michio Kariya introduces the company's new flagship DSLR models.
Diane Berkenfeld

Model showcases new Nikon DSLR
The two new digital SLR cameras are showcased during the press conference at the launch in Tokyo, Japan.
Diane Berkenfeld

Nikon's Newest Flagship Pro D3 DSLR
Nikon's new flagship DLSR for professional photographers, the D3.
Nikon's new flagship prosumer D300 DLSR
The new Nikon flagship enthusiast or prosumer model DSLR, the D300.