Category: Sensor

Nikon D3 CMOS NC81361A

The legendary Nikon made D3 CMOS NC81361A

Ever wondered which manufacturer made the sensor for your Nikon? It must be noted that Nikon will have specified what they want tweaked from the sensor if outsourced. They have used Sony sensors from the onset mostly for the DX but for a few FX models too, however some of their flagship models, the D3 and D4 are “Nikon” sensors. The D5 appears to also be a Nikon developed sensor but made by Renesas.

According to Nikon’s website:

Image Sensor

Every Nikon digital camera comes equipped with an image sensor that delivers sharp, high-resolution images with minimized noise — even at high ISO sensitivities. The image sensors used with Nikon cameras, including FX (36.0 x 23.9 mm), DX (23.6 x 15.6 mm), CX (13.2 x 8.2 mm) and other smaller sensors, are originally designed in-house to assure optimally excellent image quality. Whichever format or category you choose, you can be sure that the image sensor at work will give you still pictures and movies of the highest quality.

D100: 6 MP CCD Sony
D200: 10 MP CCD Sony
D300: 12 MP CMOS Sony


The much anticipated Nikon D7100 arrived whilst I was on a long weekend wildlife shoot in the Pilanesberg Game Reserve, South Africa with friends and family. Essentially an upgrade to the D7000 but not quite a replacement for the D300s most thought it might be. A D400 must still be on the cards.

Nikon’s D7100 – Front View

Nikon’s D7100 – Rear View









The D7100 Specs are mostly what I expected with a twist or two, notably the 51 point AF and the lack of OLPF;

To quote Nikon:

The D7100 marks an exciting advancement in image quality for high-resolution DX-format cameras. Nikon specially designed its 24.1-megapixel DX-format CMOS sensor without using an optical low pass filter (OLPF), resulting in the purest, sharpest images using D7100’s DX-format CMOS sensor.

which should be good news for a number of genres especially in my case; bird and BiF images, wildlife as well as jewellery and studio ‘togs where crispness is almost a total expectation now by viewers and critics alike. It remains to be seen just how sharp that is when compared with the results I’m currently achieving on a D7000 with Sigma glass (the Ultra Sharp Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM):

Pied Kingfisher, Mankwe Dam, Pilanesberg © Harvey Grohmann 2013

Pied Kingfisher, Mankwe Dam, Pilanesberg Nature Reserve, North West, RSA © Harvey Grohmann 2013 (D7000 | Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM)


LBJ, Monk's Cowl Forest, Ukhalhamba (Drakensberg), KZN, RSA

African Dusky Flycatcher, Monk’s Cowl, Ukhalhamba (Drakensberg), KZN, RSA. © Harvey Grohmann 2013 (D7000 | Sigma 100-300mm f/4 EX DG HSM)


The new flagship of Nikon’s DX-format HD-SLR lineup. Achieve a thrilling new level of image quality and sharpness thanks to a specially designed 24.1-MP DX-format CMOS sensor. Enjoy speed, precision and convenience at every step, from shooting up to 6 fps to instantly sharing your shots with the optional WU-1a Wireless Mobile Adapter. Create dazzling Full HD 1080p videos and ultra-smooth slow-motion or time-lapse sequences. Unleash the power of Nikon’s nimble DX-format system.

Pre-Order yours at B and H Photo Video or wait for your local supplier to get stock, expected March 21st, 2013.

Get the Press Release PDF here.

Specifications (more…)

According to this MF photographer, there are limitations…

After receiving a newsletter from DP Review about the Phase One Mamiya – Leaf tie-up , one commentator, kb2zuz; (Kurt Heumiller)-USA, who shoots for the Yale Center for British Art, with a Hasselblad H3D-II 39 MS and H4D 50 MS, had this to say about the Medium Format  debate (added below for those without restricted internet access):

What are the mythical advantages of sensor size (or the often related larger pixels)? Less noise, better dynamic range, shallower depth of field. I work with an H4D every day, … I can tell you this, at anything over 50 ISO it has worse noise than any 35mm “full-frame” digital I’ve seen. It has only slightly better dynamic range (and again, that’s only at 50 ISO). Yes with the 120mm f/4 lens it will have a shallower depth of field than an 85mm lens on a full-frame at f/4, but you can get f/1.2 lenses for full-frame. Most MF lenses are f/2.8 or slower, there’s a couple f/2.2 lenses… so there goes the DOF advantage. I use medium format every day and there are reasons for it: multi-shot uninterpolated images, no AA filter, and high megapixels. That’s about it.

I’m no expert on MF, but I’ve long thought it would be better than FF or APS-C in all regards, at that sensor size, and I’ve seen jaw dropping images by MF photographers, but there are other factors I should have taken into consideration, (more…)