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Nikon D3X 24.5MP FX CMOS Digital SLR with 3.0-Inch LCD (Body Only) (Discontinued by Manufacturer)

by Nikon
34 customer reviews
| 4 answered questions

Available from these sellers.

From the experts at DPReview
Overall score: 86%
See review summary and sample images
What is DPReview and its awards?

Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.

Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.

  • Extreme resolution 24.5-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24.0mm) CMOS sensor
  • Nikon EXPEED image processing technologies; 138 MB processed NEF (RAW) 12 or 14-bit image files
  • 3-inch super-density 920,000-dot VGA LCD monitor; 100 percent viewfinder coverage
  • Two Live View shooting modes; continuous shooting at up to 5 fps at full FX-format resolution
  • Dual CF card slots with overflow, backup and copy options
2 new from $6,995.00 6 used from $1,542.00 1 refurbished from $3,599.00

Technical Details

Review summary from DPReview

DPReview Tested February 2009
We've used the D3X in the studio and on location, for portraits and for sports, in daylight and in dim clubs and on every occasion we were amazed how easy it was to achieve good results with the camera.
Lars Rehm Lars Rehm


The D3X takes the crown as the king of the high-resolution DSLRs, leapfrogging the Canon EOS-1D Mk III and offering breathtaking image quality when shot under optimal conditions. Putting aside the eye-watering price it's hard to find much to complain about, though you wouldn't choose it for sports or low-light work. For studio and landscape work, however, it's pretty much peerless.

Reasons to buy

  • At low ISOs clean, artifact-free output with good pixel-level detail
  • Efficient D-Lighting preserves extra highlight detail (although the effect is fairly subtle)
  • Plenty of RAW headroom with surprisingly good highlight recovery potential
  • Superb build quality, weather-sealed magnesium body

Things to consider

  • Self-Timer cannot be used in Live-View
  • Image parameters only offer limited latitude of adjustment
  • Unreliable Auto White Balance in artificial light
  • Steep JPEG tone curve can lead to clipped highlights

Suggested for

High end studio photography, portraiture, landscapes

Not suggested for

Very low light work, sports/action/wildlife, JPEG shooters and movie makers
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (RAW)
Image quality (JPEG)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
DPReview is the world’s most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography website. Since 1998 its mission has remained unchanged: to deliver the best reviews of cameras and lenses anywhere on the Internet, and help you find the right gear for your needs.

Product Description

Product Description

Nikon is proud to announce the new 24.5-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 24.0mm) D3X digital SLR camera! Joining the award-winning 12.1-megapixel D3, the D3X brings extreme resolution performance to Nikon professional flagship-level D-SLRs. The D3X was meticulously engineered for professional photographers whose assignments demand nothing less than the ability to capture extreme fidelity, detail and nuance in ways now made possible with the amazing D3X.

Review from

An in-depth review from the staff Learn more about this camera
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Nikon D3X Digital SLR: Highly Recommended by

Ever since the simultaneous announcement of the Nikon D1H and D1X back in 2001 Nikon's professional D 'single digit' series has been split into two - the X series designed for high resolution applications such as fashion or landscape photography and the H series for high speed sports type photography (lower resolution but faster continuous shooting). When the Nikon D3 was announced in August 2007 it did not carry an 'H' in its name but was clearly designed for speed. So the question wasn't if, but when, Nikon would launch a high-resolution counterpart. It arrived, after more than a year of eager anticipation, in the shape of the Nikon D3X in December 2008.

Superficially, the new flagship is the D3's identical twin. The body, controls, user interface and also a large proportion of the camera's electronic and mechanical innards have been carried over directly from the D3. The camera's core component, however, is brand new. The 36 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor provides a resolution of 24.5 megapixels, and while this is - compared to the D3 - a massive jump in resolution, D3X users have to accept a smaller range of sensitivity (ISO 100 to 1600, extendable to ISO 50 to 6400) and slower continuous shooting of five frames per second (7 fps in DX mode) in return.

While the only other piece of news - the 'Extra High' setting for Active D-Lighting - won't make much difference for most users, the premium that Nikon is charging for the extra resolution most certainly will. For $8000 retail price you can bag yourself almost two D3s. The D3X is also roughly $1500 more expensive than its only real competitor in terms of specification and features, the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III. This won't make the professionals who this cameras is targeted at contemplate changing systems, but can a camera be worth the equivalent amount of a small car? Read on and find out in our in-depth review of the Nikon D3X.

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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 3.5 x 6.2 inches ; 2.8 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 7.1 pounds
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B001MJ03U0
  • Item model number: 25442
  • Batteries 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,497 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Date first available at November 30, 2008

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras and lenses on our review pages: Digital SLR Cameras, Lenses

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

172 of 182 people found the following review helpful By Low Hounds on December 29, 2008
Owned a D3 for one and a half years and traded in for the D3x after trying out the new model for a day. My review is not about price - for the record I think Nikon stretched the barrier on the price point for this which I am not happy about - but as far as performance goes I am happy. The D3x results is are perceptibly superior for landscape and macro photography - which is what I typically shoot - even on just A3+ prints.... so I can imagine that the results would be that much better for larger sizes. Just as many of you, I have also read arguments on the net re the megapixel myth ad nauseam and was half convinced about it but nothing speaks as clearly as prints (and I'm comparing studio shots of the same subject taken with the two different cameras).

Have not tried the D3x for sports photography yet but I suspect that unless you are shooting either motor-sports or winter sports, the moderately slower 5fps in large FX mode compared with the 7fps for the D3 is not going to be an issue.

I also spent a day with the Sony Alpha-900 given that is the only other player in a similar mega-pixel category. The output was all right but overall just not in the same league as the D3x in terms of handling, build quality etc etc (I'm probably biased as I am very familiar with Nikon controls - just found the Sony too 'fiddly' and 'plasticky' and couldn't see myself spending hours with it without getting irritated).

Early days with the camera but so far it feels like one of the best DSLR's I have used especially when the medium format alternatives would involve rendering my large pile of Nikon lenses useless and the replacement cost would be prohibitive. As mentioned earlier the D3x pricing is a different issue altogether and I think that the right price point would have been around $2K lower......will update if and when I discover any shortfalls or glitches.
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60 of 64 people found the following review helpful By gregr on March 10, 2009
Verified Purchase
A little context...I've shot a lot with a D200, even more with a D3, and most recently with the D3x. Most of my work is in fashion, with a small bit of commercial product work here and there.

I must say - the images this camera produces are truly stunning. Paired with a suitable lens, the detail is amazing...and other qualities, the more subjective ones like contrast and color, are hard to describe but are excellent and for my work, exceed the D3's already excellent capabilities.

But all the detail in the world can't help you if you can't count on the camera to deliver the shot...and that's where handling comes into play. The D3 is, IMHO, the best-handling DSLR body in the world - a combination of the autofocus system and the camera controls (and the metering system, but I'm usually shooting in manual so don't rely on it often). The D3x handles identically to the D3x (save for the frame rate), which is exactly what I would have hoped for.

I use this camera mostly at ISO 100; the files delivered are amazingly noise-free. Sure, any camera can deliver at its base ISO...but you truly need to study these files to really understand the cleanliness and enlargement potential.

All in all, this is exactly what I hoped Nikon would deliver. Sure, I'd rather it was cheaper...but if you want the best image quality in digital 35mm format that money can buy, this is it.
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful By G. Patrick Byers on July 25, 2009
Verified Purchase
I purchased and reviewed the Nikon D3 earlier and decided to keep it when I purchased the D3X. The reason I kept the D3 is that I shoot sports, low light, outdoors etc. The capability of shooting with such high ISO settings, high frame rate is what persuaded me to not trade it in. I did not realize just how much more detail the D3X would result in. I also had been almost convinced that higher megapixels is a waste over kill etc. It most certainly isn't unless you are dealing with small prints, snapshots, presenting just on internet along this line, then it would be a waste. If however you are like me, a want to be professional, larger the image the better, with extreme clarity, detail, conatrast, in a word stunning, then you must try to test out the D3X. I question my decision to keep the D3 but found at recent Zoo outing that both cameras came in handy. I had the Nikon 200mm F/2 lens on the D3X to shoot at greater distance and for the close intight shots, and had the 24mm to 70mm Nikon zoom on the D3. I was able to take about 150 shots on each camera, and found a few I liked because of the composition of my shots, not because of either camera, both are amazing. I found when you view a picture at 100% size from the D3X, I shoot in RAW in both cameras, the results are simply amazing. I could literally see seperate eye lashes of a camel, and elephant, even the lion shots some at a good distance convinced me that if I make it as a photographer it will be in large part of Nikon D3X, D3 and lenses. I love the build of both the D3 amd D3X, sturdy, heavy to some, solid to me. I lugged both cameras around with the above mentioned lenses, along with 2 extra lenses for 7 hours at the Denver Zoo. I spent maybe an hour all day with periodic rest stops. I would do it again and I'll be 60 in a few months.Read more ›
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Alister Benn on January 25, 2010
I bought a D3x this week and the first thing I wanted to do was compare it to the two other bodies in our household: my wife's Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D700. I have written a full article on my website and linked full-sized image galleries from there also that people can download and review on their own computers.

[...] For a camera of this resolution and detail, the performance at higher ISO is spectacular. I previously used a Hasselblad H2 with a Phase One P45+ and with that I don't think I ever shot it above ISO 100 and it is a very very slow camera back. The D3x is the pinnacle of the DSLR hierarchy right now, a fabulous tool... Highly recommended.
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