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Nikon D3 vs D3X Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D3

Nikon D3 camera image

Nikon D3X

Nikon D3X
Nikon D3
Nikon D3X
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
August 23, 2007
December 01, 2008
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D3X takes the lead with a score of 64/100, while the Nikon D3 follows closely at 58/100. Both DSLR cameras share common specifications, such as their release years (2007 and 2008), camera size (160 x 157 x 88mm), and camera type. However, the Nikon D3X outshines the D3 with its lighter weight of 1260g compared to the D3’s 1300g.

Despite the higher score, the Nikon D3X comes with a heftier launch price of $9,172, while the Nikon D3 is more affordable at $4,300. This price difference may be a deciding factor for some consumers.

Taking into account the specifications and scores, the Nikon D3X offers better performance with a slight advantage in weight. However, the Nikon D3 provides a more budget-friendly option without a significant compromise on quality.

Nikon D3 vs D3X Overview and Optics

The Nikon D3X emerges as the winner in the optics comparison, scoring 65/100, while the Nikon D3 scores 56/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a CMOS sensor, Expeed processor, Full Frame sensor size, Nikon F FX lens mount, and no image stabilization. However, there are differences that contribute to the D3X’s higher score.

The Nikon D3X has a significant advantage in terms of megapixels, boasting 24.5 compared to the D3’s 12.1. This higher resolution allows for more detailed and sharper images, particularly when printing large-sized photos. Additionally, the D3X has a higher DXOMARK score for its sensor, at 88 compared to the D3’s 81. This indicates better overall image quality, including improved dynamic range and color depth.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3 has a faster shooting speed of 11 frames per second, compared to the D3X’s 5 frames per second. This makes the D3 more suitable for capturing fast-moving subjects or action photography, where quick bursts of shots are essential.

In terms of optics, the Nikon D3X is the better choice for photographers seeking higher resolution and image quality. The increased megapixels and superior sensor performance contribute to this advantage. However, the Nikon D3 may still be a suitable option for those who prioritize shooting speed for action photography. Ultimately, the choice between the two cameras will depend on the individual’s specific needs and preferences.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
12.1 MP
24.5 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
4256 x 2832 px
6048 x 4032 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
24 x 36 mm
24 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
11 fps
5 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F FX
Nikon F FX
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
30 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Optical (pentaprism)

Nikon D3 vs D3X Video Performance

When comparing the Nikon D3 and Nikon D3X, it is important to note that neither camera offers video capabilities. Both the D3 and D3X lack this feature, so there is no difference between them in this aspect.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.

Nikon D3 vs D3X Features and Benefits

The Nikon D3 and Nikon D3X both have a feature score of 54 out of 100, making them equal in terms of their overall features. They share several specifications, including a 3-inch screen size, the absence of a touchscreen, flip screen, GPS, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. The screen resolution is almost identical, with the Nikon D3 having 922,000 dots and the Nikon D3X having 920,000 dots.

Despite their equal scores, the Nikon D3 has a slightly better screen resolution. This difference, though minimal, means that the Nikon D3 provides a marginally clearer and more detailed image on its screen compared to the Nikon D3X.

On the other hand, the Nikon D3X does not offer any specific advantages over the Nikon D3 in terms of features. Both cameras lack modern connectivity options such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, as well as other useful features like a touchscreen and flip screen.

In terms of features, the Nikon D3 has a minor edge over the Nikon D3X due to its marginally better screen resolution. However, this difference is minimal and may not be significant enough for most users to prefer one camera over the other. Both cameras are evenly matched, with neither offering a clear advantage in terms of features. Ultimately, potential buyers should consider other factors, such as price, performance, and personal preferences, when deciding between the Nikon D3 and Nikon D3X.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
922,000 dots
920,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D3 vs D3X Storage and Battery

The Nikon D3 and Nikon D3X both score 87/100 in storage and battery, indicating a tie in this category. They share common specifications, such as two memory card slots, accepting Compact Flash (Type I or II) cards, and using the EN-EL4a battery type. Neither camera offers USB charging.

However, the Nikon D3X has a slight advantage in battery life, providing 4400 shots compared to the Nikon D3’s 4300 shots. This 100-shot difference may be beneficial for photographers needing extended shooting time. Additionally, the D3X is compatible with UDMA memory cards, offering faster data transfer rates.

On the other hand, there are no specific advantages for the Nikon D3 in storage and battery compared to the D3X. Thus, the D3X proves to be a slightly better option in terms of battery life and memory card compatibility. Both cameras perform well in this category, but the D3X offers a minor edge for users prioritizing extended shooting time and faster data transfers.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
Compact Flash (Type I or II)
Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
4,300 shots
4,400 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
23.5 bits
24.7 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
12.2 EVs
13.7 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon D3 vs D3X – Our Verdict

Nikon D3 vs D3X Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D3 or the Nikon D3X:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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