Nikon D3: ISO 25600 Samples from IFA

Note: These images are pre-production samples from the Nikon D3, shot in 2007 prior to the camera's release.

Here are some new samples from the Nikon D3, coming to you from the IFA electronics show in Berlin. The following images were shot and graciously provided by member grizerep19, who was able to attend the German expo and spend a little time with the D3.

UPDATE: grizerep19 has uploaded the complete set of uploaded a few full-resolution images. All of the following crops are at 100%.

ISO 1600 (resize)

ISO 1600: 100% crop

ISO 3200 (resize)

ISO 3200: 100% crop

ISO 6400 (resize)

ISO 6400: 100% crop

ISO 25600 (resize)

ISO 25600: 100% crop

The above images were shot with the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 at maximum aperture with the exception of the ISO 1600 shot, which was made at f/2.8.

Many thanks to grizerep19 for supplying these samples, which make a nice addition to the other high ISO 100% crops available, which together begin to describe the noise characteristics of the D3. Overall, the noise appears largely luminance-based, rather than of the chroma variety, which is generally typical of Nikon's DSLRs. However, the D3 appears to produce files at high ISO with a level of quality never seen before in a Nikon.

You can view a discussion of these images on these threads:

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D750:
I use two Nikon D750 for my live music photography. Amazing high ISO performance in a compact body with tons of pro features.
nikon-24-70mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon-70-200-squareNikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
nikon-14-24mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.
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There are 18 comments

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  1. David Chin

    What’s most impressive to me from these samples, is the absence of any “painterly” artifacts from overly aggressive in-camera noise reduction algorithms.

    It also helps (a lot!) that even the ISO 6400 image seems perfectly usable without any further NR in post-processing. In fact, that particular photo looks even better than many of the ISO 800 shots from my D70 (yup, the “poor little D70” that started it all).

  2. Todd

    David, I agree, there’s very good retention of detail even at high ISO. From what I’ve seen, ISO 6400 is entirely usable, and I expect that up to ISO 128O0 and the 1/3 stops in between will be quite fine as well.

  3. Judson Abts

    I’m eager to see more of what the 25,600 ISO will do—but I suppose if I could get as far as ISO 3200 and still have truly usable images i’d be more interested in shooting things like weddings, events etc.

  4. Todd

    Judson, if the initial images are any indication, even as pre-production samples, I expect ISO 6400 to be quite usable. And for my work, I think even ISo 12800 will be quite suitable. Regardless, the D3 seems to be quite an accomplishment for Nikon.

  5. Andrew

    Canon MK3 owner here…

    D3 looks nice. Glad to see Nikon finally has what appears to be a decent low-light sensor.

    As a former Nikon shooter, I wish nothing but the best for them.

    I am perfectly happy with my Mark III (no AF issues on my copy). Until Nikon’s super-tele’s come down in price, they are going to still have trouble capturing that market.


  6. Todd

    Thanks for the well wishes, Andrew. Photographers who happen to use Nikon are quite excited about the D3.

    Personally, since the D3 and appropriate lenses will mean a significant expense even with my existing lenses, I’ve been considering the 1Dmk3 as well. Brand is of no significance to me as long as the tool delivers the performance I need.

    Either way, it’s a great time to be a consumer — the stellar performance of the Mark III and the D3 will only mean better cameras in the future. If Nikon comes out on top this round, so be it. I’m sure the successor to the 5D will have the best image quality yet once the dust settles.

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