Category: Specifications

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


Nikon D4

Nikon’s D4 Full Frame DSLR

Always wanted to know the differences between various Full Frame DSLR’s, be they Nikon, Canon or Sony? (To my knowledge Sigma, Pentax and Olympus have no FF models but I’ll keep checking) Thanks to the excellent coders and programmers over at DP Review you can do a side by side comparison of any DSLR camera system. Nikon: D700, D3, Ds, D3x, D600, D800, D4 Canon: 1DS, 5D, 6D, 1DX Sony: A900, A850, A99

Nikon have just announced an updated version of their 80-400mm 5x telephoto zoom lens with Super ED glass and Nano Crystal Coat. It also has a revision of their VR (II, not the latest III) technology and a different lens design from its predecessor in further reducing CA. Whilst I can’t confirm this on Nikon’s website, others have reported the new lens to have weather sealing…?

Lens construction:
20 elements in 12 groups (including 4 ED glass and 1 Super ED glass elements, and Nano Crystal Coat)
17 elements in 11 groups (3 ED glass elements)
Due it’s IF motor it will now AF on all the consumer Nikon DSLR’s as well as the Pro-Sumer and Pro FX models.
DX D40, D60, D70, D80, D90, D2x, D2xx, D3xxx, D5xxx, D7xxx, D300, D300s
The reach on DX is an effective 120-600mm from f/4.5 to f/5.6 on DX. An ideal reach with an additional stated 4 stops of VR effectiveness.
FX D700, D3, D3s, D3x, D600, D700, D800, D4.
On today’s High ISO Low Noise sensors and the stated improvements of Super ED coated lens I’m keen to see the results. Even on FX it should be a useful all round lens for those who do not have the $5000+ for a prime.

03/2013: AF-S 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR2

06/2001: AF 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6D ED VR1







To quote Nikon:

The Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Lens is a telephoto zoom lens that is compatible with both FX and DX-sized image sensors. This lens features an extensive zoom range that encompasses both portrait lengths and long-reaching telephoto lengths to suit working with a variety of subjects.

The lens construction integrates one super ED (extra-low dispersion) and four ED glass elements to help minimize chromatic aberrations throughout the zoom range and also contribute to higher image sharpness, clarity, and color fidelity. A Nano Crystal Coat is also applied to individual lens elements to help reduce surface reflections and prevent lens flare and ghosting for greater overall contrast and light transmission. Built-in Vibration Reduction image stabilization also lends itself to producing sharper imagery by compensating for the effects of camera shake up to the equivalent of four shutter speed steps. Additionally, a dedicated VR setting for tripods is available for producing the sharpest imagery possible without countering the effects of the image stabilization system.

The MTF graphs look very promising & I trust real world use on today’s 16, 24 and 36MP DSLR’s provide exceptional results.

MTF Chart: Wide

MTF Chart: Tele









Click here to see the full spec on Nikon’s Website and here for sample images.

Order yours at B and H Photovideo

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…)

Nikon Press Centre. Feb 6, 2012: Expectations Surpassed: The 36.3-Megapixel Nikon D800 Is The Multimedia HD-SLR That Shatters Conventional Resolution Barriers For Maximum Fidelity

The New Nikon D800 Offers Unrivaled Resolution and Features Designed for a Variety of Demanding Professional Photographic and Multimedia Disciplines, Videographers and Filmmakers

Nikon's new FX DSLR, the D800 (and D800E)

Nikon D800/D800E

Exciting news indeed. After months of watching and wondering, and 3.5 years after the D700, it’s here! I’ll be brief. After my debate of “Are more Megapixels better?” the D800 now sports a 36.3Mp CMOS sensor in Full Frame (FX) 35mm (35.9 x 24.0 mm). That is rivalling Medium Format…but with the choice of f/1.4 lenses where nearly all MF lenses start at f/2.8! The sensor is also completely redesigned and engineered by Nikon, and with Nikon’s legendary FX Format Low Light Low Noise characteristics, this is a leap forward in the evolution of the digital camera, especially in this format. Not just a small Mp progression…It allows unedited A1 size pictures without needing Fractal Software and amazing cropping options without degradation of pixel/image quality.

That’s a pixel density of 42,131 pixels per mm² and to all appearances it’s not at the cost of IQ, sharpness or noise, keeping in line with the high ISO, low noise tradition of all Nikon full frame DSLR’s from the D700 on up, and specifically the D3s.

(Owners of the remarkable Sigma SD1 Digital SLR Camera with the FOVEON  X3 – 46Mp will no doubt be wondering what all the hype is about…except maybe the price tag, however the SD1 has an APS-C 24 x 16mm small frame sensor and thus a pixel density of 119,791! Yes I know it has 3 stacked sensors (layers), each 4800 x 3200px but thus needs no AA filter (such as the D800E) and no coloured jaggies but with a slight increase in colour noise in low-light.)

As a reminder here are the current FX per mm² pixel densities (from my 2009 500mm Vivitar mirror-reflex-lens report):

Nikon D800/E 36,3Mp CMOS

Nikon D800/E 36,3Mp CMOS

All of the FX DSLR’s use a Nikon designed and built CMOS

D700—14,063 pixels/mm² (12.1 Mp FX 36.0 x 23.9mm)
D3 -–- 14,063 pixels/mm² (12.1 Mp FX 36.0 x 23.9mm)
D3s –- 14,063 pixels/mm² (12.1 Mp FX 36.0 x 23.9mm)
D3x –- 30,113 pixels/mm² (24.5 Mp FX 35.9 x 24.0mm)
D4 -–- 18,850 pixels/mm² (16.2 Mp FX 36.0 x 23.9mm)
D800—42,131 pixels/mm² (36.3 Mp FX 35.9 x 24.0mm)

I won’t add more tech gumf, as no doubt thousands of other blogs and websites have done so already however you can download the PDF brochure here (3.6MB) / Full D800/D800E Specifications here.

Despite all it’s new bells and whistles, this is the most intriguing and interesting aspect to me:

What is the difference between the D800 and the D800E or the D800 vs D800E? (Note: Both have the SAME resolution and SAME sensor at 36.3 Mp)