It's here, after perhaps the longest period of speculation ever Nikon has today lifted the covers on their first full-frame digital SLR, the new 12.1 megapixel D3. The D3 is all about speed and sensitivity, twelve megapixels on a big CMOS chip means large photosites (8.45 µm pitch to be precise) and that adds up to base sensitivity of ISO 200 to 6400 with an additional two stop boost over that (up to ISO 25600). The other side of the speed story (apart from blistering AF and shutter lag) is that the D3 can shoot at nine frames per second with AF tracking or eleven frames per second without. Other headline features are a newly branded EXPEED image processor, a new 51-point AF sensor, color AF tracking, dual CF compartments (with UDMA support), an amazing 3.0" 922,000 pixel LCD monitor with Live View (including contrast detect auto-focus), HDMI video output and even a virtual horizon function which can tell you when you're holding the camera perfectly level. There's too much to fit here so we crammed as much as we can into a preview. The D3 will be available in November, at around US$5000.

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